Pastor Finds Two Little Boys Among Trash Bags

A Metropolitan Ministries’ worker named Mark Purcell was closing up the Pasco County facility one night when a pile of “trash” caught his eye. Upon further inspection, he realized it wasn’t just bags of garbage or donations – there were two very little children among the pile.

Purcell told FOX 13 that a baby was in a car seat and a toddler was sitting on the ground, and neither was wearing more than a diaper. The children (both boys) were alone, and their mother was found hiding around the corner. Sadly, the family was homeless and living in the woods in a tent.

Pastors Ronnie and Krystal Stewart of Refuge Church had seen the homeless family before – as they frequently ate at the church’s soup kitchen.

There was one particular day when the parents and their two boys hung around outside of the church for numerous hours. Krystal’s heart broke looking at the little ones, and she felt the need to do something to help them.

As the day turned into evening and it was apparent a storm was rolling in, the Stewarts (who had three children of their own) decided to put out an offer to take the boys for the night to give them warm beds. Little did they know though – it was just the beginning of their lives changing forever.

Krystal shared their moving story online, describing what happened with the two young boys.

She begins with the simple line, “Ummm they said yes…”

“My heart stopped as I heard my husband’s words. I closed my eyes and prayed for courage as I felt our lives getting ready to change drastically. As pastors, we have always tried to help people as much as we could, but this was on a whole different level. It was bigger than us and we knew it.”

Before going on, Krystal wanted to provide readers with some background.

She wrote:

“Let me back up to the beginning. We started a church called Refuge located in Pasco County, Florida which happens to have a rather large homeless population. We knew this community was hurting, so we dove right in and started helping in every way we could. We partnered with Metropolitan Ministries, serving free hot meals at the church twice a week (Tuesdays & Saturdays) to the homeless. In a matter of months, we were feeding 500 people a week and offering free clothes & toiletries.”

There was one autumn day that the Stewarts will never forget.

“On Friday, Nov 6th, we were working all day at the church, and I couldn’t help but notice the tiny face of a toddler staring in at us through the glass doors. His younger brother lay strapped in a stroller next to their parents for an estimated 10 hours that day. It gripped my heart. I recognized the parents, they had been attending the feeding program for a few weeks. The family, along with another man, camped out under the awning of the church all day. It was evident at that time that the children were in need, and I knew we were placed in this community to meet needs.”

Krystal continued:

“Our hearts were breaking as evening came, along with storm clouds. We began imagining the night these boys were about to have as we were getting ready to go home to a warm, dry house.”

They decided to place a kind offer out to the homeless parents – hoping they’d say “yes.”

“I asked my husband, “Since the parents are high and refuse to go to a shelter, should we just ask them if they want us to take the babies home for a warm bath & bed for the night?”

Thankfully, Ronnie and Krystal got the answer they hoped for.

“Ummm they said yes…” were the next words I heard. Without hesitation they put an old, blue polo shirt they had gotten from the church on the toddler and handed me the baby in the car seat. I asked the parents the babies names as we drove away not realizing I didn’t even know what to call them. Within 5 minutes of driving down the road, the rain began to fall and I couldn’t help but stare in my rear view mirror amazed and overwhelmed that God provided a refuge for these boys, and chose to use my home to do so. After returning them to their parents Saturday, we prayed as a family that God would protect the sweet boys and always provide a shelter for them (never dreaming it would be with us).”

Soon after, the Stewarts were approached with an even bigger question.

“As we were leaving church Sunday morning, we were approached by the family with their social worker in the parking lot. They told us that after investigating, the social worker determined the boys would be immediately removed from the parents. (Due to the boys privacy I will not disclose details). The parents asked if we would temporarily shelter the children to avoid foster care and needed an immediate answer. That was 5 months ago, and what was so unplanned & unexpected has turned into a beautiful blessing for our family.”

Pastors Ronnie and Krystal felt that God was involved in it all.

“We have now been faced with the decision to adopt or place the boys in foster care. We are absolutely positive that God has placed them in our lives for a purpose and to love them as our own. We cannot deny God’s sense of humor; my husband laughs as he remembers the conversation that we had the day before we met the boys. I was 6 weeks post-op from a total hysterectomy after battling an early cancer diagnosis and sadly said, ‘Well, no more kids for us!’”

The Stewarts made their decision and it changed their family’s lives forever (in the most beautiful way).
“With the consent forms already signed, we are now finalizing the process to legally adopt the boys and officially make them part of our family.”

In 2016, the Stewarts set up a GoFundMe page to help with the adoption’s legal expenses and received an outpour of support. They were truly grateful to everyone for their prayers and donations.

Krystal concluded her story (which is on their page):

“Our prayer is that our story inspires others to also take generous leaps of faith when your moment arises.”

Watch the FOX 13 News video below to see an interview with the Stewarts and to hear more about their incredible story!

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