Platinum-selling Christian singer Mark Schultz made a stop in Pittsburgh, Kan., during his Across America charity bike tour this past Friday, meeting several orphans from his childhood adoption agency.
The gospel artist attended the Klicks for Kids photo exhibit, put on by The Kansas Children's Service League, where the artwork of 67 children in need of adoption was displayed.
The artist expressed that the benefit was gratifying, and that he was grateful to give back to the organization that had taken care of him when he was a youth.
"Meeting these children, especially at this halfway point in the trip, was an amazing and tangible source of motivation and continued encouragement for me," explained Schultz in a statement. "Just seeing the faces of these kids, their personalities and their amazing gifts, is inspiring."
Schultz is making a 3,500-mile bike trip across the country in an attempt to raise money and awareness for parentless children and in-need widows. He began the tour on the California coast and is headed toward New Hampshire, raising money as he moves forward.
The Christian musician thought up the idea while on a missions trip to Mexico where he visited orphaned youth in poverty and distressed widows. He received the urge to make a difference for American orphans and the youth in the areas he had visited, especially since he too had been without parents as a child.
So far, Schultz has about 2,000 miles left to travel and has raised $80,000 for the cause.
Besides money, the former orphan urged adults to consider a lifelong commitment to adopting a child. There are more than 900 orphans in Kansas alone.
"I encourage those that are thinking about becoming a foster family and those that are thinking about becoming a forever family for one of these children, and children like these, to take a leap of faith and make a lifetime of difference for these kids," Schultz said.
Also aiding the cause is a slew of celebrities who have added signed memorabilia to be auctioned off and raise more funds. Items up for bid include a Nolan Ryan autographed baseball, four different guitars signed by Alan Jackson, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Brooks and Dunn, and Kenny Chesney, as well as many more autographed items from athletes and celebrities.
This past Sunday, the Dove-winning singer also made a stop in nearby Kansas City to have a live interview on CNN Sunday Morning, where he explained the purpose of his Across America bike tour and what he hoped to accomplish.
While on the trip, Schultz is recording 60-second updates everyday for radio stations to play and keep his fans and supporters updated on the progress. Over 100 stations are broadcasting the audio clips. He is also making scheduled halts at cities to perform music off his latest hit album, Broken and Beautiful.
On the web: Auction bids can be made at MarkAcrossAmerica.org/auction.php.