Every year at Winter Jam, Christian artist group NewSong advocates for orphaned and vulnerable children by promoting Holt sponsorship. Off the stage, they support children and families in a completely different way.
When Emily and Michael Sharp started the process to adopt a child with special needs two years ago, they felt unsure. Not about welcoming a child into their lives. Not about the challenges of adoption. The uncertainty came from something far more basic: finances.
“The financial obstacles were almost too overwhelming for us to even consider adopting, but we felt that God was leading us, so we began the process in faith,” Emily says. Last year, their adoption only partially funded, the Sharps received an e-mail from Holt that surprised them. “We read that we had received a grant from NewSong that covered all of our outstanding adoption fees,” Emily says. “We began to cry and praise God.”
In 2015, the Sharp family traveled to China to meet their son, Peter.
For ten years, Christian artist group NewSong has shared about Holt International’s child sponsorship program with thousands of concertgoers at Winter Jam — a 10-band Christian concert series that hits nearly 60 cities each year. On stage, NewSong shares a heartfelt message that each year inspires hundreds of audience members to sponsor children in 11 different countries.
Off stage, the band’s commitment to vulnerable children extends even further. In the past decade, NewSong has traveled with Holt to China, Korea and India, embracing the children in Holt’s care and seeing firsthand how Holt sponsors help orphaned and vulnerable children have hope for the future. These touching moments have led NewSong to take their commitment to a new level.
“Through our work with Holt, we have met so many families who have a heart for adoption,” band member Eddie Carswell says. “But the financial side of adoption seems to be an obstacle that many cannot get around on their own.”
After talking with these families, the band members and their wives were inspired to start the Forever Family Assistance Fund in 2011, in partnership with the orphan care organization ShowHope. “The families that are financially helped through this fund are qualified, willing and ready to become parents to a child in need of a family, but they just need a little help,” Eddie says.
The Sharps’ son has been home for a year. Emily says he “is doing fabulously,” and both she and her husband will never forget the help they received to give their son a stable, loving home.
The Sharps are among 46 families to date who have received adoption grants through NewSong’s Forever Family Assistance Fund. And while on tour with Winter Jam, Eddie says that they occasionally meet children who were able to come home with assistance from their fund.
“It has been such a blessing,” Eddie says. “An unbelievable joy.”
Ashli Keyser • Staff Writer