Last November, Pastor Ronnie Stewart and his wife Krystal Stewart looked out the glass doors of their church and were concerned when they saw a homeless family with two small children camped out under the awning of the church.
As the day turned into night and storm clouds appeared, the couple, who founded the Rufuge Church in Pasco County, Florida, asked the parents if they could take the two boys home so they didn’t have to suffer outside during the storm.
“Our hearts were breaking,” the couple shared on their GoFundMe page. “We began imagining the night these boys were about to have as we were getting ready to go home to a warm, dry house.”
The boys’ parents agreed.
“She had to bathe them twice, I think three times, just to get the dirt off of them,” Ronnie told Bay News 9.
The Stewarts, who already have three children, didn’t stop there. The next day, they fed the boys, now ages 2 and 11 months, and tried to get the family into housing.
But according to Krystal, the couple didn’t want the help.
“They chose to, because of their lifestyle of substance abuse and drugs, they wanted to live out with their homeless population,” she told the news outlet.
But the parents knew their sons needed help, and after speaking with a social worker, who informed them that their children would be put into foster care, they asked the Stewarts if their kids could live with them.
“They had a quick conversation with us and said, ‘After talking with our social worker we wanted to find a safe place for the children to be and would you guys mind taking them home for a while?’ Krystal said.
“They met with an attorney and signed their parental consents,” she continued.
The young boys lived with the Stewarts for five months and just last month, the adoption was finalized.
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The Stewarts couldn’t be happier with their growing family. Just a few months prior, Krystal, who was recovering from a hysterectomy after an early cancer diagnosis, remembers sadly telling her husband, “Well, no more kids for us.”
Now, they’re enjoying life as a family of seven.
“Our prayer is that our story inspires others to also take generous leaps of faith when your moment arises,” the couple wrote on the fundraising page.
A GoFundMe page which has raised over $15,000 was set up to help the Stewarts.