Orphan choir to perform in Alpena

A ministry that tries to provide hope to children of Durban, South Africa who were orphaned by the AIDS epidemic is bringing a youth choir to Alpena this week.

The Key of Hope African Children’s Choir, made up of 25 youngsters, will perform Friday at 7 p.m. at Word of Life Baptist Church. Their music includes both traditional African music and Christmas songs.

The choir’s appearance in Alpena is sponsored by Assembly of God Church as well as several other local churches and Promise FM Radio.

The Key of Hope ministry is dedicated to providing long term mentoring relationships to children impacted by AIDS and HIV. Ministry leaders help children not only to survive but to thrive as citizens, leaders and followers of Christ.

Staff members visit with each child in the ministry on a weekly basis to assess their basic needs and provide spiritual counsel and prayer. They also provide weekly food parcels to dozens of households in Durban struggling in desperate poverty.

Each child who is sponsored by the program also receives assistance with school tuition, a birth certificate and immunizations if needed, a full school uniform, shoes, backpack and school supplies.

While in Alpena, the children and their chaperones will be staying with host families from First Assembly of God. Food is being provided by JJ’s Steak & Pizza House, The Fresh Palate and Word of Life. Trips to both the Besser Museum and Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center also are planned to allow the children to experience a bit of Alpena.

The choir has been traveling to churches all over southern Michigan and plans to fly next to California for additional concerts.

Friday’s concert is free, but there will be a free will donation taken, with proceeds going to Key of Hope. For more information about this ministry, go to www.keyofhope.org.