Christian Music Star's Orphan Ministry Opens 'House of Hope' in China

The pro-adoption ministry of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, recently opened a six-story "healing home" for special needs orphans in China and received prominent coverage from a number of Chinese media outlets.

"The day after the grand opening, the morning news and the evening news covered it with stories," exclaimed Mary Beth on Friday.

"God is so good. I can't even tell you how wonderful it has been. Definitely bittersweet at times, but beauty is going to rise from our personal tragedy," she added, referring to the death of one of her daughters last year.

Maria's Big House, named in honor of the Chapman's youngest daughter, officially opened this past Thursday in the presence of national and local government officials.

The 60,000 square foot building, located in Luoyang, China, will be dedicated to saving the lives of special needs orphans in China and has so far transitioned in 40 children with room for about 90 more, according to a report by Mary Beth on Friday.

Most of the children will transition in groups from the state-run Luoyang city orphanage, which takes care of nearly 700 children from all around the Henan province, where Luoyang is located. With a population of approximately six million, the Henan province is one of the poorest provinces in all of China.

According to Show Hope, the ministry co-founded by the Chapmans in 2003, the children that Maria's Big House of Hope will be taking in – all five years old or younger – are among the most ill of Luoyang's orphans and also include those from other areas who are in desperate need for further medical care, which the facility has been equipped to provide.

At full capacity, Maria's Big House of Hope will have 190 nurses and nannies on staff and 128 beds available.

The building has a floor for children who have been through surgery, recovered, and awaiting adoption; two floors for children with long-term chronic care who are not healthy enough to survive on their own or in the state-run orphanage; a floor dedicated to hospice care for children who are terminally ill; a floor for children coming in from all over China to stay before and after surgery; and a floor for long-term staff and visiting medical physicians.

The fourth floor also offers an intensive care area, emergency room, and isolation room.

"We are truly getting to see God-sized impact," commented Nick Lyndon, Show Hope's director of Communications and Ministry Initiatives, two days after an open house celebrating the grand opening of Maria's Big House of Hope.

"Our Open House ... was just more evidence of what an incredible thing God is doing," he reported.

Mary Beth expressed similar sentiments when she and her team from Tennessee witnessed last week's grand opening.

"We really felt the spirit of God there as we stood there in front of Maria's Big House and dedicated it back to Him and in honor of Maria, who was a special needs orphan herself," Mary Beth reflected the day after the grand opening.

"Thanks so much for your prayers," Mary Beth told supporters Thursday. "They were answered in a big way!"

Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, Show Hope initially began out of the Chapman's desire to see more children find their way into forever families.

Originally named after the Chapman's first adopted daughter, Shaohannah Hope Chapman, Shaohannah's Hope has since grown far beyond the initial vision of helping a few orphans find homes.

To date, the organization has helped more than 2,000 orphans and raised millions of dollars for orphan care efforts.

Show Hope also assists churches in setting up their own adoption funds and mobilizes individuals and communities to care for orphans and reduce the financial barriers to adoption.

The organization officially changed its name in April 2009.

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