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A Forever Story

It all started as a simple trip to China for a teen seeking an experience of a lifetime and resulted in a lifetime experience for the entire family! This is the gist of what alumnus David Altman shared in chapel with the CCC family - but there's so much more to the story!

In the summer of 2011, Katie, the oldest daughter of Pastor Dave and his wife Teresa, travelled to Maria's Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China, to minister to special needs orphans. This care center is owned and operated by a Christian organization out of Franklin, Tennessee, called Show Hope started by recording artist Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. These children have been abandoned by their Chinese birth parents, given loving treatment by the gracious staff at MBHOH, and made available for adoption to Christians living in the USA. Most are adopted, but those who are not placed by the age of six are required to be transferred to one of the state-run orphanages where all hope of finding a home and the continued help they will need are lost forever. After returning from China, the image and story brought back of one little girl by the name of Jaelynn lingered in the family's heart and mind. Jaelynn was different than all the rest in Katie's album of faces because of her gracious spirit to everyone at MBHOD, her infectious smile, and the fact that she was one of the oldest not yet claimed. Pastor Altman shared how God touched his family's heart and led them to pursue becoming Jaelynn's 'forever family.' After months of prayer, completing reams of paperwork, and raising funds to cover the costs associated with this overseas adoption, the Altmans were finally able to bring Jaelynn home with them to Sebring, Florida. Although now safely home, challenges continue for Jaelynn and her family because of the numerous surgeries she has faced and others yet to come. But throughout the process, the Lord continues to show Himself faithful. From the start, Pastor Altman and his family have used this experience to share the story of God's leading and faithfulness, and to compare their story of adoption to this marvelous biblical truth found in the Word of God.

Teresa, Jaelynn, Abby and David Altman
For CCC students, the testimony of Pastor Altman and his family serves as a marvelous story of what God can do through a family surrendered to do His will regardless of the cost and how He brings hope to the hopeless. Many students commented through an assignment in their psychology classes taught by Dr. Kris DeWitt. One student wrote "I must say today's chapel was a blessing. My favorite quote from Pastor Dave Altman's message was 'everyone is called to do something'. However, it doesn't mean we will be perfect when we are called. It was nice of Pastor Altman to be transparent on how he made excuses using his age, weight, and his financial status before making the decision to adopt Jaelynn. It wasn't until he stopped and asked himself 'I wonder if God has something more for me'. And as we are aware He wasn't finish with Pastor Altman for everyday He is using the Altman family to love, nourish, and cherish Jaelynn-leaving a lasting impression on not only her but those who hear their story. A life story that truly demonstrates his opening statement, 'when you obey God you have no idea what your influence will be' ".

David Altman and his wife Teresa have been at Southside Baptist Church in Sebring, Florida, since 1999. Pastor Altman graduated from CCC in 1986 with a degree in Bible and has served two previous pastorates before Southside. The Altmans have four children -Katie and Matthew, both currently enrolled at CCC, Abby, and Jaelynn. For more information on this story, click on Show Hope and the Altman's story. Watch the video of Pastor Altman as he speaks in chapel here