God is turning sorrow to joy in China through Maria’s Big House of Hope.
When Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman’s 5-year-old daughter, Maria, died in a tragic accident two years ago, pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries was one of the first people to reach out to them. Laurie, whose adult son, Chris, died in a car crash less than three months later, told Chapman: “Maria is a far greater part of your future than she is of your past.”
Laurie’s statement has had a profound impact on Chapman, though he has come to understand how much his little girl remains ever present as well. He has seen much of this in the way Maria’s life has influenced Shaohannah’s Hope, also called Show Hope—a nonprofit founded by the Chapmans and named after their oldest adopted daughter.
Show Hope (showhope.org) helps families offset the high costs of international adoption. To date, Show Hope has awarded 2,000 grants.
“To watch what God has done through [Show Hope] has been amazing,” Chapman says. “All over the country ... children have been brought into Christian families. We get to have a front-row seat and be a part of it.”
Maria’s lasting impact on the world was further solidified in July when the Chapmans opened Maria’s Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China. The facility is a 60,000-square-foot, six-story, blue-and-white building equipped to care for orphans 5 years old and younger with special needs. It includes 140 beds and a surgical floor.
Maria’s Big House of Hope was conceived when Chapman met a Christian physician and her husband who ran a special-needs foster-care facility as a ministry.
“We saw this work and fell in love with it and just asked if there was anything they dreamed of doing beyond this,” Chapman says. “They told us about some property the government had given them in the Luoyang province, but they didn’t have the resources to build a building.”
Chapman helped raise the money, and eventually the dream was realized. Now even the Chinese government sends people from its state-run orphanage to Maria’s Big House of Hope to learn how to better run its own facilities.
“It’s had this cool effect in China, and we’ve gotten to tell our story every time, that this is in honor of our daughter who’s with Jesus now and that’s why we can do this,” Chapman says.
“At the opening, I got to sing, ‘Yours.’ I literally declared in China, ‘God, China is all yours.’ Those opportunities and seeing how God has opened those doors has been an amazing thing.”