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May 22, 2008

OT: Touched by a tragedy

This blog is usually reserved for topics concerning the Panthers and the NFL.

Today, however, I want to share something with you that has nothing to do with football.

Shortly after awakening this morning, I learned the tragic news that a 5-year girl named Maria, adopted from China by a loving Christian family, was killed accidentally at about 5:30 p.m. yesterday in the driveway of her Nashville, Tenn., home when she was struck by an SUV driven by her teenage brother. He didn't see her. Several members of the family witnessed the accident, but were helpless to stop it.

Maria's daddy is a contemporary Christian singer named Steven Curtis Chapman. You may have heard of him. His songs are known all over the country and world. So is the ministry he and his wife Mary Beth started to encourage and assist families with international adoptions.

Steven and Mary Beth had three children of their own when they first adopted a daughter from China. Maria was the third little girl from China they rescued from an orphanage to become their daughter.

Their family has had tremendous impact on mine. A few years ago, my wife, Susan, came home from a women's conference with a pamphlet describing the opportunity to host a child from a Russian orphanage for one summer month. Though we were childless, I was skeptical.

Then, almost certainly by divine intervention, I was given free tickets to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in Charlotte by a friend who knew nothing about the pamphlet. I accepted and was profoundly impacted. Chapman spent a considerable amount of time singing and talking about his experience with adoption. He explained that caring for the fatherless is so much a part of the heart of God.

When I returned home that night, my wife and I decided to host a child from Russia.

That was about three years ago. Now, the little girl we hosted is our daughter, Elena. She is a beautiful 11-year-old princess. It is an honor and a joy beyond description to be her dad.

I honestly don't know if she'd be here if not for hearing Steven Curtis Chapman's testimony and being touched that night at the concert by the songs he'd written about adoption.

So, I was compelled to tell you about what happened to little Maria Chapman yesterday. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on May 22, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

Comments

Charles, that was a great article you wrote. I want to thank you for reaching out to children in need and helping them in a huge way...thank you.

Posted by: Cameron | May 22, 2008 10:47:09 AM

I was also at that concert. I can't imagine what that family is going through right now. I think the little girl was the inspiration for his song "Cinderella", which is currently playing on radio stations across the country.

Posted by: Mills81 | May 22, 2008 10:51:59 AM

TRUELY TRAGIC,
WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

Posted by: J | May 22, 2008 11:03:01 AM

Fantastic article... it's so wonderful to see how Steven has touched so many lives. His music has helped to transform my life over the past 20 years and has molded me into a Christ Follower. I am praying that God will blanket the Chapman family with the peace that passes all understanding. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful story.

Posted by: Charlotte | May 22, 2008 11:08:47 AM

Mills81 asks why bad things happen to good people. Because of sin, bad things happen to ALL people. However, those who have put their faith in the risen Lord - Jesus Christ - have the assurance of the Creator of the Universe as their comforter. He will comfort the Chapman family, and they will find peace in the promise of eternity with their Lord and Savior and in Heaven with their little angel, Maria. I pray that Mills81 knows the One whom the Chapman family will turn to for comfort, peace, healing, and joy.

Posted by: ann | May 22, 2008 11:25:27 AM

Thanks for sharing with us, Mr. Chandler.

Posted by: Ben | May 22, 2008 11:31:51 AM

thanks mr. chandler, awesome!

Posted by: Bluzman | May 22, 2008 11:42:43 AM

That is a wonderful story! Thank you so so much for sharing it with us!

Posted by: pete | May 22, 2008 11:44:10 AM

Charles,
Having heard the news I was reminded in reading your blog of the article you wrote a couple of years back, I believe it was Easter when I read it. We have talked before, but our family was inspired by your article then to get involved bringing children to the US from Afghanistan last summer for medical treatment through Lake Norman's Children Relief. Thank you for writing this and for your article as it has changed our lives. We lift the Chapmans up in prayer and feel their pain.

Posted by: Robert Popoff | May 22, 2008 11:53:12 AM

Thank you Mr. Chandler. Too bad about Maria. Why does it seem that bad things always happen to good people?

Posted by: Shawn | May 22, 2008 12:03:48 PM

Charles,
Having heard the news I was reminded in reading your blog of the article you wrote a couple of years back, I believe it was Easter when I read it. We have talked before, but our family was inspired by your article then to get involved bringing children to the US from Afghanistan last summer for medical treatment through Lake Norman's Children Relief. Thank you for writing this and for your article as it has changed our lives. We lift the Chapmans up in prayer and feel their pain.

Posted by: Robert Popoff | May 22, 2008 12:05:21 PM

Charles:

Thank you for devoting time to remembering Maria's precious life. I am a Panthers fan, but a bigger fan of Steven Curtis Chapman. His life has touched so many, and we all need to fervently pray for the Chapman's right now. May they know the wonderful deep grace of Christ!

Posted by: Scott Schuyler | May 22, 2008 12:22:14 PM

great article. thank you for taking the time to care

Posted by: Eddie Smith | May 22, 2008 12:24:31 PM

Thank you for that inspiring story Mr Chandler. My wife and I did not think we could conceive and were researching adoption when she got pregnant at 43 yrs old. Now we ahve Emily Grace. I wish so much I could afford to still adopt a child as well.
I love football and sports but there are truly more precious things in life.

Posted by: Alan Ruppe | May 22, 2008 12:37:50 PM

It's shocking how many small children are killed or injured by vehicles in their own driveway...I don't know of any way to minimize these accidents, but I hope someone thinks of something....

Posted by: Kyle | May 22, 2008 1:01:49 PM

Honestly, people...can't you proselytize somewhere else?

Posted by: This ISN'T a blog on religion | May 22, 2008 1:06:54 PM

Charles -
Good story, possibly your best blog. It makes us all realize there are bigger things in life than what happens on the field.

Posted by: Ben | May 22, 2008 1:08:16 PM

So sorry to hear about this tragedy.
Thanks Mr. Chandler for sharing this story and mat God bless the Chapman family in their time of grieving.

Posted by: Panthermike | May 22, 2008 1:18:16 PM

Jah Bless!

Posted by: selassie | May 22, 2008 1:31:03 PM

This ISN'T,

No one forced you to read this.

Posted by: PN | May 22, 2008 2:05:24 PM

More things important than football..Thanks for your post

Posted by: Jason | May 22, 2008 2:25:48 PM

Charles, thanks for sharing, They have our prayers.

Posted by: Roger | May 22, 2008 2:31:17 PM

Thank you for sharing your story Mr. Chandler. I am very glad you are using your voice to to bring an important message to others. God bless you for sharing your story and those hurt in this tragedy.

Posted by: Dave | May 22, 2008 2:51:33 PM

You're right, PN...I totally should have expected to read this kind of crap when I clicked to the "Inside the Panthers" blog.

Posted by: This ISN'T a blog on religion | May 22, 2008 3:50:45 PM

May God bless the Chapman family. This is a very sad story. My feelings and prayers go out to them.

As far as the service of adoption goes, that is exactly what God asks of us, to serve widows and orphans. This type of work is mentioned over and over again in His word.

Thank you Charles for sharing the story and for your service to the Kingdom.

Posted by: Will Parker | May 22, 2008 3:51:08 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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