Easter 2015: Passion into Action

My Family - Easter 2014

Has a year already passed since our first Passion into Action campaign? So much has happened in the world, in our communities, and within all of our families since wearing our Change Starts With One shirts to church last Easter. The decision to start a fundraiser alongside the Forget the Frock movement was born from the desire to inspire others to put their passion into action. Our family is passionate about defending the fatherless, which led us to bring Tucker home from China in October 2013. This past July, we felt the calling to return to China, and soon we will bring home our fourth son, whom we've named Tyson. I am convinced I am the luckiest momma in the world!

Tyson sticking out his tongue! He will fit right in with his brothers.

For those of you hearing about the Forget the Frock movement for the first time, let me explain. Instead of spending money on new dresses and suits for Easter, we will all dress with a purpose and put our passion into action! We will buy t-shirts that benefit others and wear them to church Easter weekend.

I have prayed about this year's t-shirt for many months, asking God to lead me to the just the right theme, verse, and design. In January, my prayers were answered. I hope you love this year's shirt as much as I do. I think the Greek translation of our theme is so beautiful.

τῶν ἐλαχίστων

The Least.

I don't think it is any coincidence that The Sheep and The Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) is the last parable Jesus shared before his crucifixion. Jesus knew that the end of his life was drawing near, and we can presume that this last lesson was of utmost importance, as all of his teachings were. If you knew your life was at its end, what would your last words be? What is the last thing you would want to tell your children or others that you love? Jesus began this parable by sharing how at the appointed time people would be separated as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep would be on the right, and the goats would be on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:31-40 - emphasis mine).

Jesus came into our world and loved the most despised and devalued people of that time. The prostitute. The leper. The tax collector. The demon-possessed. The blind. The lame. As the end drew near, Jesus said to his disciples, ...everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). He reached out and loved the least of these and beckons us to do the same.

Friends, we bring the Kingdom to Earth when we step outside ourselves and focus on the needs of others, especially the least of our brothers and sisters.

The shirts will be offered in the in four different styles: Adult V-Neck (pictured above), Adult Crew, Youth Crew, and Toddler Crew. I chose the Canvas brand this year for the adult and youth styles, as the shirts are made with extremely soft, ringspun cotton. The toddler shirts are the Rabbit brand like last year. Instead of offering a women's fit this year, I am ordering a UNISEX V-Neck style, as it fits true to size and is much longer in length than last year's women's fit style. I have this shirt and LOVE it!!! You will see the link to place your order at the bottom of this blog post. All sizing information will be included on that website.

Just like last year, we have chosen FIVE nonprofit organizations. For EACH t-shirt purchased, you will be allowed to vote for ONE nonprofit organization. Whichever nonprofit organization receives the most votes will receive 100% of the proceeds from this year's Passion into Action fundraiser. So, if you buy 4 shirts for your family, you will vote 4 times. You might vote 4 times for the same organization, or your family may choose a combination of the organizations.

Last year, people purchased 434 shirts and donated an additional $470 in cash. Love Without Boundaries received 55% of the votes, and we donated the proceeds of $4,350 to their organization! You can read about how the funds were utilized to help orphans in China HERE.

The five nonprofit organizations were chosen with great care and consideration. Each are currently serving the least of these as they address the needs of the hungry and thirsty, invite strangers in, clothe those in need, help those who are sick, and visit prisoners in their affliction. Please read through the following descriptions as you make decisions about which organization you'd like to vote for this year.

Operation Smile is an organization near and dear to our family's heart, as two of our children have been affected by cleft conditions. This international children's medical charity performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, and delivers postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in over 60 different countries. In fact, Operation Smile is the largest surgical charity of its kind, leading research into the causes of cleft lip and cleft palate, and its prevention, treatment and eradication. Did you know that every 3 minutes a child is born with a cleft condition? A child with a cleft has twice the odds of dying before their first birthday. Children with who survive may have difficulty eating, speaking, hearing, or breathing properly. In many areas of the world, they are shunned and rejected, and oftentimes their parents can't afford the surgeries they need. Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope. For just $240, children can receive surgery to change their lives. See the Operation Smile website for more information.

Restore International was founded in 2003 by Bob Goff after a trip to India where he witnessed extreme human rights violations. Their goal is to fight for freedom and human rights, work to improve educational opportunities, and help those in need of a voice and a friend. Restore International shines light in some of the most dire places in the world - Somalia, Iraq, Uganda, Nepal, and India. They strive to provide opportunities for education while helping people experience justice in the midst of their afflictions. While Restore International provides many unique and incredible services, I want to highlight their work with those who are/were imprisoned. They provide safe houses for girls who were sexually exploited in Uganda, help children who are enslaved in brothels or other forms of bonded labor in India, and support juveniles imprisoned in Gulu. Please visit the Restore International website for more information.

Kindred Image is a non-profit organization that works to support the vision and legacy of Pastor Lee in South Korea. After having a child with a disability, Pastor Lee Jong-rak brought several other orphans home from the hospital. One extremely cold, winter night, a woman abandoned her baby outside the gate of Pastor Lee’s home. The disabled baby girl nearly froze to death before Pastor Lee found her. Knowing that something had to be done, Pastor Lee built a "drop box" in December 2009. As of November 2014, nearly 600 children had come to Pastor Lee through his drop box. This organization helped create the film, The Drop Box, which is playing in theatres March 3-5. Get your tickets! Kindred Image is working alongside Pastor Lee on his mission in South Korea. Mothers who are considering using The Drop Box receive counseling, and those who choose to keep their babies receive Boxes of Hope, which include diapers, formula, and other essentials. They are striving to build a Rescue Center that is larger and more equipped where Pastor Lee and others can provide both crisis and long-term holistic care. A Maternity Shelter is also in the works and will be a home for mothers, right next to the drop box facility, where they can receive counseling, temporary housing, relational rehabilitation, and much more holistic help. Kindred Image also hopes to provide adoption assistance grants in the future. Please see their website for more information.

Amy Washington's heart and life was changed by the Lord when He planted her in Uganda to care for malnourished and orphaned babies in 2009. According to her website, Amy has adopted six sweet children from Uganda, which has been her home since that time. After witnessing a traumatic birth and death of a baby in a local hospital, Amy knew that God was calling her to love, help, and minister to expectant mothers and their babies. Kupendwa Ministries was founded in the summer of 2011 with the goal of sharing Jesus Christ and His love with mothers and babies in need, as well as everyone God brings through the doors of this ministry. For many mothers and women in Uganda, childbirth often means death for the mother, child, or both. Many expectant women and young girls live in rural villages or slum areas where there is very little, if any, access to medical care, birthing supplies or sanitary birthing conditions. Kupendwa is saving lives two at a time, in addition to spreading the gospel. They provide Village Maternity Clinics and Workshops, a Crisis Pregnancy Maternity Home for expectant mothers ages 12-18, and a Survive to Thrive Program that provides counseling, supplies, and other supports for mothers. Please see the Kupendwa Ministries website for more information!

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. They work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam’s approach tackles the conditions that cause poverty in the first place, rather than the focusing solely on the distribution of material goods. Oxfam assists the poorest communities when disaster strikes but also works to ensure greater local resilience through local groups and governments responding to those disasters. Oxfam invests in programs to help people assert their rights so that they can improve their own lives. They work to change the laws and practices that keep people trapped in poverty. Oxfam also strives to educate the public, changing the way people think about poverty and its causes. One example of their work took place in during and after the recent bombing Gaza when the water supply became greatly damaged. Oxfam and a local partner helped to provide safe drinking water to more than 250,000 people. Donations to Oxfam can be allocated to provide livestock, emergency toilets, education, emergency soap, funds to start a small business, training for a midwife, mosquito nets, medical kits, stoves, water pumps, bicycles, donkey carts, fruit trees, solar lanterns, and so much more. Please visit their website for more information.

Let's Forget the Frock and wear something that shows our love for the least of these!

A few important reminders:

1. First add your t-shirts to your shopping cart.
2. For each shirt purchased, you may vote for 1 nonprofit organization. This can be done by either adding the nonprofit to your shopping cart OR by leaving your vote in notes to the seller on your PayPal transaction. 
3. Make sure your shipping address is current. Shipping is a flat rate of $5.00 for most orders.
4. If you are local and want to pick up your order,  please enter PICKUP under discount and click update total. The shipping charge will be eliminated. 


If your church would like to get involved or if you have any questions, please email me:

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