THE SMILES on their faces proved they were family as they embraced for the first time.
Cathy, Laura and Jake Briggs met 12-year-old Ugandan orphan Peter Sebatta yesterday ahead of the Watoto Choir's final Sunshine Coast performance.
"I'm so excited, this is the first time to see my sponsors," Peter said.
"I used to pray every day so I can meet some of my sponsors and I'm so excited."
The Briggs family has sponsored Peter for almost two years and was thankful his involvement in the choir over the past year gave them the opportunity to meet him.
"When you start sponsoring a child you only see their face and get letters every now and again, but to see them in real life and see a cool kid growing up, it's pretty worthwhile," Jake said.
"I'm more excited than anything, sponsoring him for two years, never actually had a conversation with him, so to actually meet him in real life is great."
Watoto tour leader Robert Sendegeya said sponsor children often had a chance to meet their sponsor family while the choir was on tour.
"It's such an awesome moment when you get to meet a person you've never seen before and have been supporting them. It's the same thing for the children, getting to meet the person helping them to become better," he said.
"It blesses our hearts for us to be able to see the people out there who have hearts, not only for their own, but have hearts for the rest of the world that they're compassionate and we're able to put faces to the names. It's special for us too, knowing that is a person making a difference in our lives.
"In doing that they're helping us raise them to become leader. It's exciting."
The Watoto choir closed its five-show Coast tour last night at Calvary Christian Church, Tanawha, before heading to New Zealand.