Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our Hearts are Broken

(Left to right Will Franklin, Maria, Steven, Shaoey, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb and Emily)

It is because of God's work through Steven Curtis Chapman, and even more so, his oldest daughter Emily, that we have Lily home with us today. Please join us in lifting this family up to the God of all comfort.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

NASHVILLE - The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said. The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. McPherson said no charges are expected.
"It looks like a tragic accident," she said. She said several members of the Chapman family witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville. The brother apparently did not see the little girl, McPherson said. She did not have the name or exact age of the brother, only that he is an older teenager. The girl died later at Vanderbilt Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said. Chapman, originally from Paducah, Ky., and his wife have promoted international adoption and have three daughters from China, including Maria. Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 51 Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association. The singer's Web site said that Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, were persuaded by their oldest daughter to adopt a girl from China. The experience led the family to adopt two more children and create Shaohannah's Hope, a foundation and ministry to financially assist thousands of couples in adoption. The Chapmans did missionary work at Chinese orphanages in 2006 and 2007, according to the Web site. "After our first trip to China, my wife and I knew our lives were changing - our eyes and hearts were opening to how big God really is, and we have wanted to experience more of that," Chapman says on the Web site. "We've really wondered whether or not we should just go to China and stay there. But I don't think so. I believe God is saying, 'I want you to go, get your heart broken, your eyes opened, and then take this story back to the church in America and around the world." ' Chapman also has released a book about being a father entitled "Cinderella: The Love of Daddy and his Princess."


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I have no words to truly express my deepest sympathy for this family. God bless this family in their great loss and the sorrow that fills their hearts now. I am grateful for their work that led you and other families to adopt. We do not know what plan He has for us, but trust in Him at all times. It seems like SCC word's about God breaking their hearts to teach them has an even deeper meaning to it now, and I pray for Him to comfort them at this time. May the heart of the brother also be especially comforted, and may he understand the power of forgiveness for himself, as this was a tragic accident and he should not blame himself. Dear, sweet Maria, your life was a precious gift to your family and the world. ~Ellen

Lindsay said...

I'm in tears for this family. It is every parent's nightmare. The death of any child is a cruel tragedy, yet it seems even more cruel that it should happen to this chid and this family.

I have no words...

Val said...

I am sitting here and can't figure out exactly what to say.
We will be thinking of all involved and keep you in our prayers.
I pray for Maria's journey to God along with her Brother's journey on Earth.
This is such a tragic thing to happen.

Karly said...

No words, just prayers. My heart aches.

But, there is total protection, love, and comfort in the Lord. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..."

quilly said...

Steven Curtis Chapman has touched my life through his music. Now, through my prayers I hope I can touch the lives of him and his family. I will especially pray for the boy who was driving the vehicle, because he will forever carry his own grief and loss, as well as that of every member of his family -- even though that would not be their choice for him.

Melissa said...

I haven't been online for a while and so I was catching up on your news when I came across this heartbreaking story. How devastating for this family...I cannot even begin to comprehend how heartbreaking this actually would be for the individuals involved, especially the brother who was in the car and the family members who witnessed this terrible accident.
Thank you for letting us know so that we can pray for this family.