Christian music legend Steven Curtis and author Mary Beth Chapman nestled on a couch, during our interview, still very much in love and in awe of what God is doing through Show Hope.
Families celebrated with the orphan crusaders on the 10th anniversary of Show Hope at The Factory in Franklin, Tenn., 20-plus miles from Nashville. Many came with their adoptive children to thank the organization, which has given out 4,000 grants to offset an average of 22,000 in adoption costs.
“You hear the numbers and you know there are millions of orphans in the world,” said the multiple Grammy winner. "When you walk into a place and see bed after bed and look into faces after faces of these little ones [and] they looked at us like “Are you coming for me?””
Most cribs are occupied by two babies moving Mary Beth to “wanted to take them all home,” she laughed.
The page turned for Steven and Mary Beth after witnessing the vast needs of Chinese children a decade ago.
“It no longer becomes a cause,” Steven jumped in. “It’s lives, it’s stories, and it’s children. I think this was fueled after coming home and being met by people at the airport who started saying: “We would love to adopt, we just can’t afford it.” ”
Lack of money can’t be an excuse, so the couple built a bridge to help children in 50-plus countries. Today they offer conferences, special care centers, fund corrective surgeries and raise awareness through concert tours.
Mary Beth is in amazement.
“Only God, only God can do that. And He brought together a bunch of amazing people [staff] together. It all goes back to God kind of smiling on the least of the least [Mathew 25:40].”
Five years ago, the family lost their 5-year-old adopted daughter in an accident, Maria Sue. She was the youngest of three girls the couple adopted from China. Hope has been restored, and Maria Sue’s footprint has extended globally with the opening of Maria’s Big House of Hope, a special needs orphanage with 130 beds in Luoyang, China.
“We are just facilitators helping people respond to the mandate to what it means to take care of orphans,” said executive director Scott Hasenbalg, who joined Show Hope in 2002. “We want people to be hope, we want people to show up and be in someone’s life.”
Children in the states have set up fundraisers, opened neighborhood lemonade stands and put on plays in their respective communities to support Show Hope over the years. Musicians also joined the cause by using their talents for concerts and becoming advocates. Casting Crowns, Audio Adrenalin and Toby Mac are just a few artists supporting the cause.
“I think we’ve been part of the music community [and] least think about it [advocacy] and start the dialog,” Steven added. “In all honesty, I think we feel that we’ve been given this gift. You can’t do what you do artistically or you’re an idiot if you act like there’s not a God. Songwriting and all that is a gift you’ve been trusted with. I think that’s why you see it more in the artistic community than the business sectors. We got this platform for more than putting food on the table. It’s to move people, and it’s to inspire people and it’s to encourage people.”
Do they consider themselves trailblazers?
“I guess we’ve been saddling up for awhile,” Mary Beth turned to her husband. “There is some truth to that,” Steven said.
"You do what you do with passion, conviction, and again, not with false humility, hopefully. It is so not about us.”
Interested? Visit Show Hope today.