Children from Africa experience an American Christmas

By WEEK Reporter

December 24, 2013 Updated Dec 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM CDT

Hopedale, Ill. -- Drums and dancing filled Hopedale's Assisted Living Commons on Christmas Eve.

A group of 12 children from Africa performed during their four month tour of the United States.

The group is raising money to build homes for their families in Uganda.

"We have some without any parents and we have those with single parents,” said Harriet Busuulw, that Asante tour leader. “We also have those who have both parents, but both parents are HIV positive. Some cannot take care of the children."

But a stop in Central Illinois was not on the schedule for the Asante Children's Choir.

Due to a cancellation in Chicago, the group was left without a place to stay.

"They were needing a place to stay and when I heard about it I was like ‘we cannot have them out on the streets over Christmas time,’ so we definitely wanted to provide a place for them," said Kurt Litwiller, the pastor at Boynton Mennonite Church.

The Hopedale Boynton Mennonite Church partnered with the Hopedale Medical Complex to provide the choir a place to spend their first Christmas in the United States.

"Ours we do not decorate a lot, but here they decorate,” said a member of the choir. “Everywhere you go there are Christmas lights. I like it. It's nice and it's pretty."

The choir has raised more than $15-thousand over the last month. They hope to raise 800 sponsorships by March.

They will perform a free concert on January 9th at the Boynton Mennonite Church.

Donations will be accepted at the concert or you can donate at as antechoir.org.

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