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CU hosts God's Heart for Orphans chapel with Elizabeth Styffe

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By Mikayla Smith
News from Campbellsville University

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - Campbellsville University welcomed Elizabeth Styffe, global director of the HIV/AIDS and Orphan Care Initiative at Saddleback Church in California, as keynote speaker for "God's Heart for Orphans" in Ransdell Chapel on Wednesday, October 29, 2014. The worship service was a kick off to National Adoption Month.

"We must be faithful and fruitful," Styfee said, as she talked about how everyone must allow our hearts and lives to open to adoption.

Styfee explained the need to end the orphan crisis because orphanages can literally damage a child's brain. Each month a child is in an orphanage they lose three months of development.

"Children feel a need, express a need, and get the need met. However, in orphanages that need may never get met, causing children to lose all trust," Styfee said.

There are 163 million orphans and Styfee feels that ending the orphan crisis starts with the help of Christians. "We are all adopted by God - He created us - He chose each and every one of us - so it only makes since that we would adopt," she said.

Styfee is the mother seven children, three of which are adopted from Kigali, Rwanda.

Those from around the community gathered to hear the testimonies of those who have adopted in hopes to encourage others to help find homes for children.

Rusty Watkins, director of summer camps and the conferences program at CU, and his wife, Megan, spoke of their son's adoption process with Love Basket based in St. Louis, Mo. Love Basket works with pregnant women and couples where the birth mom has the option to choose the adopted family.

"We continue to stay in touch with Caleb's birth mom and we even let Caleb talk on the phone with her so she can hear his voice," Watkins said. "Adopting one child may not change the world, but his or her world will change."

Michael and Marilyn Goodwin spoke of their adoption process through Sunrise Services. Sunrise now has changed more toward a foster care service for kids who have been abused.

Marilyn is an assistant professor for early childhood education at CU. They gave up on having children and accepted the fact they weren't going to have children, but they started searching, and now with the help of Sunrise, have a little boy, Micah.

"We know he is the one picked out for us," said Goodwin.

Fred Miller, director of distance education, spoke of his adoption process through foster care.

"We started doing foster care training though the state of Kentucky and then eventually filled out an adoption profile that said we could adopt more than one child. We ended up adopting three," he said.

Dr. Kevin Propes, assistant dean of academic support, spoke about he and his wife's experience with adoption.

"Adoption was nowhere on our radar," he said.

Before they knew it, they were on their way to India to meet their new son, Alan. This was five and half years ago.

Dr. DeWayne Frazier and wife, Sarah, spoke about their international adoption. Frazier is the associate vice president for Academic Affairs at CU.

The Frazier's adopted three children from the Congo, Africa, three years ago. They didn't think they would come back with three, but they did and they can't imagine life without all six children.

"It is always crazy at our house, there is never a boring moment, but that's what makes it great," said Frazier.

They explained how important it is to open your heart to adoption because a child needs to feel what a family is.

"Many people can be a biological mother and father, but it is much harder to be a mommy and a daddy," Frazier said.

This story was posted on 2014-11-12 08:05:18
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Dr. DeWayne Frazier with adopted family

2014-11-12 - 401 N. Hoskins AV, Campbellsville, KY - Photo by Kyle Perkins, CU .
Dr. DeWayne Frazier, vice president for Academic Affairs, shares the story on how he and his wife, Sara, adopted three children from Congo, Africa. From left: Frazier, Safari, Sandrine, Sara and Kiera. - KYLE PERKINS

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