Christian artist winner of 49 Dove Awards Steven Curtis Chapman ended his 21-city Christmas tour after informing churches and his audiences of the orphans who need a home.
According to Shaohannah's Hope, an adoption foundation led by Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, the Christmas tour allowed many to contemplate on adoption as surprise appearances were made by foster and adopted children who joined Chapman on stage as he concluded with, "All I Really Want," a song from his latest Christmas album about a young boy whose only wish is to have a family for Christmas.
The executive director of Shaohannah's Hope Scott Hasenbalg said, "The presence of these kids has helped people understand that the issue is not just a big number," the foundation reported him as saying, adding that the reactions Chapman received on tour made it clear that the audiences agreed.
Shaohannah's Hope is named after the first of three daughters the Chapmans' adopted from China. Before, Chapman said to Christianity Today in December 2005, they would "have never imagined seven or eight years ago" that they would have done this. The interview reported that Chapman felt their role was only to be supportive of adoption.
However, he continued, "God has done something amazing in putting us where he has at this point. It's not what I would call an accomplishment of ours, but an accomplishment of God's."
Since the founding, Shaohannah's Hope has been dedicated to helping parents through the financial burdens of adoption by offering financial grants to families that qualify. So far they have assisted about 500 families with the cost of adoption.
Moreover, their hope is to involve the church in starting up adoption or orphan care ministries.
"The plight of the orphans around the world simply cannot be ignored," Chapman said in a letter posted on the foundation's website. "We must remember, this is a tremendous opportunity for the body of Christ to show the world an amazing picture of the Gospel."
Across the nation during the Christmas tour, Chapman held church seminars hours before his concert to rally support from churches to participate more in adoption, from raising funds and celebrating it on a regular or annual basis to visiting orphans through mission trips.
Hasenbalg said, "There are churches passionate about adoption, and it is our desire to 'fan the flame,' or to simply inspire others to take the first steps in starting adoption ministries."
Since the Christmas tour, the national office of Shaohannah's Hope has been inundated with "heartwarming responses" from families and children with similar situations as the orphans, and pastors have reported to the foundation that there are some people in their congregations that wanted to start an adoption ministry for a long time but didn't know how to get started.
"This is a grass roots effort, and I believe our invested time at these events is purposeful -- seeds will grow; and Lord willing, more children will be brought into Christian homes," Hasenbalg said.
Some of the proceeds from Chapman's Christmas tour and his latest album "All I Really Want for Christmas" has been donated to the foundation.
"Adoption has been the most profound experience of my life. It allows me to understand what God has done for us, adopting us into his family," Chapman said in the interview on how adoption has blessed and changed his life.