A pastor approaches a stranger and asks if he can take her baby home, leaving his wife speechless.

Mark Purcell, the executive chef for Pasco County Metropolitan Ministries, was wrapping up his nightly routine when he noticed what appeared to be a pile of trash outside. Purcell was astounded to discover something quite special in the trash heap. Purcell thought someone had left donations for the ministry, but upon closer inspection, he discovered something far more valuable nestled between the garbage bags: these two little boys.

“There were four or five bags here,” he said to Fox 13. “A child in a car seat was perched atop a bag. The other kid was sitting here with cold feet. They were only dressed in diapers.” The baby was only seven months old, and his older brother was two years old. Purcell quickly noticed their mother hiding around the corner from him, shielding her face as he approached. The family was discovered to be homeless and living in a tent in the woods by the ministry.

When the pastor of Refuge Church, Ronnie Stewart, learned of their plight, he asked if he could take the boys home for the night to get them warm and clean. “I don’t think they’ve ever slept in a bed before,” said Krystal, who was so taken with her husband snuggling with one of the boys that she had to capture it on camera. It simply shifted something in her.

“They were covered in bug bites from head to toe,” his wife, Krystal, said. “They were so filthy that we had to bathe, drain, and bathe again two times. The toddler who did wear shoes did not wear socks. When we removed his shoes, the skin on the tops of his feet literally peeled off.” They gave the freshly cleaned tots back to their parents and asked them to contact them again if they ever needed a warm place to stay.

“We returned them as promised, so all we could do was pray,” Krystal explained. What the Stewarts didn’t realize was that one day would become a lifetime of care for these young boys. “As we walk out of the service and toward our car, the parents approach us with their children and a social worker and ask, ‘Would you be willing to temporarily take our children while we decide what we’re going to do?'” We simply looked at each other and realized there was no other choice.

“Of course, we said yes,” Krystal explained to Fox 13. Within a few days, Ronnie and Krystal’s other three children began to refer to the once-homeless boys as brothers. The precious little guys grew on the Stewarts to the point where they couldn’t imagine life without them. The couple met with the boys’ parents and a social worker in February to discuss adopting them.

All parties have now signed the official forms, and they are just waiting for the adoption process to be completed. The Stewarts are overjoyed that their family of five will soon be expanded to a family of seven! “There has been a bond between them since the first day we took them in,” Krystal told TODAY.com. “We are overwhelmed by this unexpected blessing.” Ronnie and Krystal enjoy spending time with their children as they grow older.

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