Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 30, 2012



S tarving children in Africa are usually only faces on a television screen or magazine page – spokespeople for donations pleas to feed the hungry overseas.

And “never in a million years” did one Andalusia family expect to come face-to-face with the child they’re sponsored through the Ugandan Thunder Tours, but that’s exactly what happened this week to the Williamson family of Andalusia.

Mom Misty said the family – which also includes dad, Raphael; 15-year-old Christian, and 11-year-old Gabe – attend Hopewell Baptist Church. For several years, the Ugandan Thunder Tours, a traveling choir comprised of 22 orphan children who performs to praise music, have performed in Covington County. The group tours the U.S. to raise money for the 11 different orphanages under the organization known as “Pennies for Posho” and promote sponsorship, where $9 pays for one child’s food. According to the organization’s website, there are more than 5,000 children within the organization. Only 2,500 of them are sponsored.

And this year was no different, as the group wrapped up a four-day stay last night.

To illustrate “the divine path” of these two groups of people, one must go one step further.

“Out of those 5,000 children, they pick around 22 children to be a performer,” Mrs. Williamson said. “Derrick, the child we sponsor, was one of them. Every time I think of it, I get chills.”

Derrick was literally the face of this ministry after the family put his picture up on a bulletin board at church to remind the congregation to pray for the children, she said.

Two days before the group arrived, the list of the performers names was given to the church so host families could be found for their stay.

Misty said when she saw the name “Derrick” on the list, she thought, “Could it be?”

And it was.

“Our pastor’s wife, Laura Wilkerson, told me his last name, and I said, ‘He’s staying with us,’” she said.

The family got to meet Derrick Kinnobe, 12, on Sunday, who said his favorite thing about his stay here was riding a bicycle.

For the last four days, the family has spent every moment getting to know their houseguest and his friend and fellow performer, Henry.

“It’s been a little rambunctious with four boys in the house, but it’s been great,” Misty said. “It’s very touching to see how humble the children are. He and Henry, they are so gracious. Beyond polite. They go out of their way to help us at the house. They’re very thankful. They thank you over and over all the time. Thank you for cooking food. Thank you for washing clothes. It’s just precious.

“They have brought the neatest things into our life – especially the reminder how God works in mysterious ways,” she said.

Those wishing to sponsor a child through Pennies for Posho should visit their website at