I am a sucker for all things orphan. From the time I was very young, I was heartbroken for children in the world who didn’t know the love of a family. So when our campus e-news mentioned a week ago last Friday that the Red Bus Project was coming to our campus on Friday, I was all in!
Red Bus Project is a double-decker bus, converted into a thrift store to raise money and awareness on college campuses about the plight of the orphan. Caleb Chapman (fabulously talented son of Steven Curtis Chapman) travels with the bus and performs with his band CALEB to draw more attention to the bus.
So we grabbed some food truck cuisine, and set out for the Quad on campus to enjoy an evening picnic. As the opening act and our meal was wrapping up, the sky began to drip scattered raindrops — but not enough to be concerned about.
The band was setting up on stage when all of a sudden KABOOM, it began to POUR rain. We all ran for cover, as they announced they would move the concert indoors to the lobby of the student center. Many people ran for the cover of their dorm or called it a night, but we decided to stay and head in to the student center.
So all of the professional equipment that CALEB had brought on tour was reduced to a couple of acoustic guitars, most of a drum set, and their voices. No microphones. No speakers. The only lights were office lamps behind them.
And it couldn’t have been any better.
And if you looked really closely, you noticed that there was a family sitting in the corner, with a mom, dad, and two little girls. They were soaked, just like the rest of us. Then Caleb called up the dad — his dad– to sing a song or two.
So Caleb Chapman handed over his guitar to Steven Curtis Chapman, who did a couple of acoustic songs to perhaps the smallest audience ever, with no mics, lights or fanfare. Just a bunch of people who came out to support the cause of the orphan.
When Steven sat down after his songs, Caleb admitted he had just asked him to sing so that he would tune his guitar, and we all had a good laugh. Stevey Joy Chapman even got in on the act and communicated her own message (by whispering in her dad’s ear, who “translated”) about how she was once and orphan, and we all needed to help more orphans like her.
Caleb’s concert was awesome. We enjoyed every minute of it, and knew that bringing it inside to a smaller venue only added to the authenticity of the cause.
We got the chance to hang out and talk with Steven Curtis Chapman about our kids after the concert. Of course we showed him pictures and celebrated our most recent paperwork breakthrough. He hugged us both and wished us continued blessings in our journey.
We genuinely hope that someday, the Chapman family will not be remembered as much for the Dove and Grammy Awards, or even the music that they perform. We hope that the Chapman’s lasting legacy will be the voice they have given to orphans around the world. To find out more about their work in caring for orphans, check out their organization Show Hope and their latest adventure The Red Bus Project.