Children spread gift of music while getting second chance at life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Children spread gift of music while getting second chance at life

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January 24, 2005

Dougherty County- For the members of the African Children's Choir, a hay ride at Kamp Kirksey is an American first.

Monday night, First United Methodist member Joe Register was just glad to be in the driver's seat. He and his wife served as a host family for three of the children.

"They're so sweet, they're so loving, they're so kind," Register said.

They're just so thankful to be here. The 23 children are six weeks into a year-long choir tour. It's a trip that gives them a second chance at life.

"They're learning to see the world in a new light," said Heather Lytle, a volunteer traveling with the choir to care for the children.

All of them were orphaned from a world darkened by poverty, violence and death. But showing interest in finding their way out, they were adopted by Music for Life. They care for them, educate them and gave them the chance to eat an American hamburger.

The money raised on the choir's tour pays for education and housing for the other 7,000 African children Music for Life has adopted. Appreciation for every moment turns them in to over-achievers.

"They excel because they know they've been given a second chance and they're going to live it up 100 percent," Lytle said.

"I know they've gone through so much, hard times there, but they really did touch our heart," Register said.

Now South Georgians are making them at home while they're here. For that, they left them with the harmonizing sounds of gratitude.

posted at 10:53 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com