Chapmans Receive Outpouring of Sympathy

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Funeral arrangements have been made for the 5-year-old daughter of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman.

The Chapmans' daughter Maria died after being hit by a car in the family's driveway. She had been playing there Wednesday evening as her brother, who was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser, pulled up. He did not see his little sister.

"He understandably is just devastated," Chapman's pastor Scotty Smith told CBN News about the son involved in the accident. "Their beautiful home has a couple of bends in the road. It just was totally an accident. and this young man's heart is crushed."

Smith has been a friend of the Chapman family for more than 20 years. He is urging others not to forget to include Maria's brother in their prayers.

"I encourage all to just redouble their prayers. because we all can predict how the enemy will try and whisper in his heart," he said.

Maria was the youngest of three girls from China that Chapman and his wife Mary Beth adopted. They also have three biological children.

The entire family was home when the accident happened. Two other kids witnessed the tragedy. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Visitation for the Chapman's little girl will begin Friday, May 23, at the Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn. A memorial service will take place Saturday, May 24, at 11 a.m.

An Outpouring of Grief, Condolences

Across the nation, thousands of fans expressed their deepest condolences to the family.

Smith, who pastors at Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tenn., told CBN News that it had been "overwhelming to see the sea of support."

On a special blog set up for the little girl, thousands of well-wishers offered words of support and encouragement.

"Our hearts ache for you and your family. Deeply truly ache. If there were words we knew would comfort you we would send them but we find no words. We are stunned and silent and holding you in our prayers.," wrote the Holloways, from Charlotte, N.C.

"I will be upholding your son in prayer, may he feel Jesus precious love during this time and may Jesus hold you in the palm of his hand. We are ever so sorry," wrote another on CBN News' message board.

In Michigan, Christian music radio station WJGK-FM opened up their phone lines for people to express their support.

"People called in and wanted to pray right over the air," Troy West, morning show co-host said.

Loving the Adopted

Early Thursday, a video of Maria was posted on the Shaohanna's Hope web site, showing a couple of her most "kid-like" moments. In it, Maria helps her dad clean the kitchen after eating pancakes. The video is slated Dishwashin' Daddy.

Chapman stands close behind his daughter, playing his guitar and singing a song as his "chief bottle washer" rinses cups in the sink.

The Chapmans have always had a heart for adopting and founded Shoahanna's Hope ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter home from China.

In his latest music tour, Chapman began the campaign Change for Orphans, asking audience members to donate to the adoption cause.

The singer/songwriter was recently inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame and has sold more than 10 million albums, winning him more than 50 Dove Awards.

 Send Your Condolences to the Family of Steven Curtis Chapman

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