4.02.2017

Easter 2017: Passion Into Action Results


The time has come to share the results of this year's Passion Into Action campaign, which is part of the larger Forget the Frock movement. Our theme this year is HOPE because, let's be honest, the world so desperately needs the HOPE of Jesus. 

By definition, HOPE is an assurance of things to come; a feeling of expectation and trust; the ability to expect with confidence. When we say that God is our hope, we are saying He is the one in whom we place our full confidence. Not in ourselves. Not in our husbands or wives. Not in our family. Not in our friends. Not in our money. Not in our jobs. Not in our world leaders. Our hope cannot be reliant on anything of this world. Jesus, the Son of God, is the HOPE of this world! Hebrews 11:1 states:


"Now faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see."

For our 2017 Passion Into Action campaign, we chose five organizations that are bringing HOPE to this world, and they all have the word HOPE in their names. We translated HOPE into the languages spoken by the people they serve to display on the front of our shirts.

Project HOPE: 
أمل


Hope Road Nicaragua: 
ESPERANZA


Hope For The Warriors: 
Hope

Hope For Justice: 
សង្ឃឹម

Circle of Hope: 
CHIYEMBEKEZO

By simply shopping with a purpose and wearing a t-shirt on Easter Sunday, we have the opportunity to bring HOPE to this world! 

My goal for this year was to sell at least 400 shirts, but when I would pray over this campaign, I asked God to help us sell 500 shirts. I am SO excited to share that thanks to all of you who purchased shirts and shared our campaign with others, we sold 536 shirts this year!! For every shirt purchased, you had the opportunity to vote for which organization you wanted to receive 100% of the proceeds. 

Are you ready to see how many votes each organization received?? 

Project HOPE: 94 votes (18% of total votes)

Hope Road Nicaragua: 62 votes (12% of total votes)

Hope For The Warriors: 90 votes (17% of total votes)

Hope For Justice: 129 votes (24% of total votes)

AND THE WINNER IS....



Circle of HOPE

161 votes 

(30 percent of total votes)!!!

When I met Kayla Stine for the first time at our church on Orphan Sunday, I had no idea how much God was already at work. During that first conversation, Kayla shared with me her passion for Circle of Hope. This organization exists to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ by engaging in works of mercy and justice alongside the world's most impoverished people in rural Malawi. Kayla sponsors children through Circle of Hope and has travelled to Malawi with CoH on short term mission trips. 

When I contacted Karen Roller, executive director for Circle of Hope, to share that CoH had received the most votes this year and would receive 100% of the proceeds, she wrote:

"Thank you!! I'm sitting here bawling, PRAISING Jesus with my tears."

Because you decided to forgo traditional Easter clothes and instead purchased one of our HOPE t-shirts, we are able to donate...

$5,000 to Circle of Hope this year!!

When I asked Karen how they plan to use the funds this year, I was overjoyed by her response: 

Hi Amy,

I’m still so excited and quite close to tears over this! It is such a wonderful thing!

I’ve been in conversation with Pastor Phiri (our Malawi director), Kayla, and one of my board members. We wanted to be sure and get the best project for this that we could come up with! My first goal was something that represents HOPE. My second goal was something that will last. We have decided that an Outdoor Dining Shelter/Play Area at Patricia’s Home will be the very best way to honor you and to have a lasting representation of this 2017 Passion Into Action Campaign! I hope that excites you as much as it excites me. I’ve wanted this for so many years. The babies sit in the dirt to eat their bowls of porridge or perch on the edge of the stoop to play. This will be so fantastic! 

The shelter will have a cement floor that can be easily cleaned, built in seating around the perimeter, and a roof!!! My plan is to contact a friend of mine and ask if he would be willing to purchase chairs and tables for the dining room!

Lots of Love,
Karen

I shed tears of joy after reading Karen's message! This will be the first structure that will be built as a result of a Passion Into Action campaign. To know that sweet children and their caregivers will be able to utilize this space brings me incredible joy! 

This is what the Christian life is all about friends. Our belief that Jesus is our Savior rescues us from a life without hope. Then, we get to take our faith and put it into action to shine His light in this world. This is such a small act - wearing a t-shirt to church - but look at the IMPACT it will have in the lives of those pictured below. 


Patricia's Home currently serves 34 young girls and babies, and thanks to your participation and this partnership with Circle of Hope, we are able to give a gift that meets a real need for these beautiful children! I cannot wait to see pictures of this outdoor dining shelter and play area. I will be sure to share them with all of you after the shelter is built. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the 170 families who helped make this year a success!

Also, a special thank you to Alyssa Casper, Claire Black, Jessica Limeberry, Ryan Abell, and Liam Abell for helping me sort and ship hundreds of shirts this year, as well as Bubba Crowder at Fund the Nations for helping me design this year's shirt. I couldn't have done it without all of you.

Most importantly, thank you Jesus for leading us to host this campaign, for blessing our efforts, and for making this year's donation the largest one yet. The LORD gets all the glory for this campaign! 

If you are interested in getting more involved with Circle of Hope, please visit their website. There are so many children in need of sponsors! According to the CoH website, "Through sponsorship you give a child food, education, access to healthcare, and HOPE. Just knowing someone is standing with them and supporting them gives HOPE to a child that will empower them to finish school, pursue a career, and bring transformation to their community!" You can learn more about the sponsorship program HERE

On Easter weekend, please share pictures of your families wearing their shirts using the hashtags:

#passionintoaction2017
#forgetthefrock
#circleofhope
#hope

You can also email them to me at amykabell@gmail.com if interested. I will compile them and write one final post to share pictures from this year's campaign. 

Until next year...Happy Easter!! He is Risen! 

2.26.2017

Easter 2017: Passion Into Action

Last Year's Passion Into Action Campaign

Welcome to the 4th Annual Passion Into Action campaign!! 

I am incredibly excited to launch this year's fundraiser. So many of you have sent messages asking me if we are hosting another campaign this year, which is so encouraging and let's us know that this work is as important to you as it is to us. We have a lot of families who have participated every single year, and we cannot thank you enough for your support. Some of you are getting your friends and churches involved, which is incredible! I can't tell you how many times someone has told me about running into someone wearing a Passion Into Action shirt, even out of state. Others have shared that while out shopping or working out, someone will stop and ask about their shirt. The encounters always lead to great conversation about shopping with a purpose, forgetting the frock, and the importance of putting our passion into action.

For those of you who are new to our campaign, allow me a moment to explain. The decision to start a fundraiser as part of the larger Forget the Frock movement was born from the desire to inspire others to put their passion into action. Our family is passionate about following Jesus, especially His command to "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed" (Psalm 82:3). We are so thankful that our church, Mount Pleasant Christian Church, created an orphan care ministry this past year called Defend 82:3 in reference to that verse from the Book of Psalms. To say we are thrilled is an understatement! 

At the same time, we know that while many of you share our hearts for the fatherless, others are passionate about ending human trafficking, serving refugees, helping the homelessness, feeding the hungry and so on - the list is never ending. As the body of Christ, we are gifted in different ways to shine the light of Christ wherever there are needs. This can take place in our own homes, with our neighbors, in our cities, across our country, and throughout the world. Our pastor recently said that "If our following of Jesus isn't leading us to hurting people, we're doing it wrong." Passion Into Action is an opportunity for all of us to help hurting people this Easter.

For those of you hearing about the Forget the Frock movement, which was cofounded by Emily and Jason Fox, for the first time, instead of spending money on new dresses and suits for Easter, we will all dress with a purpose, putting our passion into action! We will buy t-shirts that benefit others and wear them to church Easter weekend. For every shirt purchased, you will have the opportunity to cast a vote for 1 of 5 organizations, and whichever organization receives the most votes will be given 100% of the proceeds from this year's campaign. 

As I began to pray about this year's theme, the word HOPE was quickly placed on my heart. Let's be honest for a moment. People around the world are experiencing situations more horrendous than we can imagine. Our brothers and sisters around the world are suffering. They are living in a constant state of fear due to conditions beyond their control. Every single day, men, women, and children are experiencing desperation and devastationHopelessness threatens to overtake them. This is happening in the United States and all across the world.


People are grieving and longing for one thing.

Hope
By definition, HOPE is an assurance of things to come; a feeling of expectation and trust; the ability to expect with confidence. When we say that God is our hope, we are saying He is the one in whom we place our full confidence. Not in ourselves. Not in our husbands or wives. Not in our family. Not in our friends. Not in our money. Not in our jobs. Not in our world leaders. Our hope cannot be reliant on anything of this world. I believe with my whole heart that...


Jesus is the hope of the world.
In an interview with John Piper, he stated, "Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen, and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass." John Piper went on to say, "Faith and hope, in my mind, are overlapping realities: hope is faith in the future tense."

Hebrews 11:1 states...


"Now faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see."

Our trust in God - our faith in the LORD -  is the foundation that gives us certainty of His promises. Even though we cannot see what lies ahead, we can trust that our Father is good and that He loves us. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). Although His plans remain unseen and unknown by us, our faith and our hope is founded on His promises. 

When you look out and see the suffering around you, remember His promises and choose to be His hands and feet on Earth by bringing light and love, peace and hope to this world.

By joining our Passion Into Action campaign and purchasing a shirt this year, you have the chance to bring HOPE to the hopeless. All five organizations have the word HOPE in their names, and they are bringing HOPE to hurting people from various countries around the world. The word HOPE has been translated into each of the respective languages spoken by the people in those countries to create the design of this year's shirt: Arabic, Spanish, English, Khmer, and Chichewa. 

Additional colors and styles can be found at the end of this post.

Without further ado, please let me introduce you to this year's five incredible organizations in the order that they are represented on our shirt. 

Project HOPE
أمل
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. 

We chose Project HOPE this year because of their important work in bringing HOPE to refugees from Syria. According to their website, "Since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011, more than four million Syrians have fled their homes and taken refuge in other countries....Project HOPE has shipped more than $100 million of donated medicines to help displaced children, women and men living in refugee camps, and volunteer medical teams are supporting local medical staff in Macedonian to care for the thousands of refugees traveling through the country. I love that Project HOPE directly uses 95% of all donations to support their programs and very little is used for overhead costs. You can follow their work on Twitter @projecthopeorg. I am so thankful for the light Project HOPE is shining to bring HOPE to refugees from Syria!


Hope Road Nicaragua
ESPERANZA
Hope Road Nicaragua was founded by two incredible people in our local community, Kelli and Bill Luallen. The organization exists to bring the love and hope of Jesus Christ to Nicaragua by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable in order to transform lives into powerful disciples of Christ. Their website states, "We believe we are called to more than just fleeting good deeds in service of others. We believe in instilling hope for the people of Nicaragua through building deep, lasting relationships and a sustainable foundation for continued growth."

At this time Hope Road Nicaragua is focusing its efforts in five main areas. By acquiring land, building churches, and finding faithful pastors, Hope Road Nicaragua is planting churches around the country. Preschool-aged children are obtaining an education at these church plants, as well as adults, who are obtaining literacy skills. Hope Road Nicaragua is working to meet the daily needs of people by providing clean water for entire communities. Additional wellness programs were created to develop local farming of various crops and the provision of daily vitamin rich meals and medical care, including vaccinations, clinic visits, routine care, and birthing care. Providing a Christ-centered education has allowed Hope Road Nicaragua to train and empower teachers, focus on the importance of preschool, create computer labs, develop community centers, and teach literacy and vocational skills. When teenagers age out of the orphanage system, Hope Road Nicaragua has created a transition home in order to provide a family environment and values, develop Christian leaders, maximize educational opportunities, and bring emotional healing to the children. 

Some of my dearest friends have attended mission trips to Nicaragua, many often returning multiple times after falling in love with the people and witnessing how Jesus is changing lives through the work of Hope Road Nicaragua. I am so thankful for the commitment that Hope Road Nicaragua has to bringing HOPE to the beautiful Nicaraguan people. 


Hope For The Warriors


Hope

With one of our best friends currently being deployed in the Middle East, we wanted to find an organization that is bringing hope to people in various branches of the US Military. Hope For The Warriors is doing just that. 

A representative from Hope For The Warriors stated, "We believe those touched by military service can succeed at home by restoring their sense of self, family, and hope. Nationally, Hope For The Warriors provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources. Hope For The Warriors is a family, united by our shared conviction of honor and sacrifice. Hope For The Warriors understands the challenges, pride, and joy of being a military family. For today, tomorrow, and years to come, we will strive to meet the changing needs of service members and their families." 

I urge you to watch their 10 Year Anniversary Video. You can learn about how they have granted over 150 wishes to families, how they host an annual Run For The Warriors event, and how they work to bring hope to service members, veterans, and military families in such beautiful ways. You can also view pictures from their events HERE. I'm so thankful for the efforts of Hope For The Warriors and the HOPE they are bringing to the USA!


Hope for Justice
សង្ឃឹម

Hope for Justice exists to bring an end to modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society. Their vision is to live in a world free from slavery. From six offices across three continents, Hope for Justice operates a multi-disciplinary model based on years of combined experience. According to their website, there are an estimated 20.9 million people enslaved worldwide, and over $150 billion is generated each year from forced labor. They have helped rescue people younger than 1 year old to 63 years old. 

Although Hope for Justice focuses its efforts in the United States, Norway, and the UK, the focus on our Passion Into Action campaign will be on their work being done in Cambodia. Hope for Justice has several housing options to help victims of human trafficking. The Lighthouse provides safe shelter for young girls, ages 1-18, the very day they are rescued from sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. The Dream Home is a safe, loving, full time place to live for girls ages 13-18. Hope for Justice's Star House provides transitional housing for women working to reintegrate to life on their own in Cambodia. In addition to those houses, Hope for Justice created the Bridge Project that works to rebuild, strengthen, and restore the relationship of the survivor and her family in order to build community and society. They also have created the Shine Career School where intensive high school tutoring and classes are offered to rescued girls in any career field they choose.

According to James Pond, Director of Survivor Care, human trafficking is one of the most serious criminal offenses. It's organized crime and at its roots is profit from human misery. Our response is a strategic one - focus on excellence, professionalism, and outcomes to help victims find healing, hope, and justice. Now is the time for all of us to act and end suffering." I am so thankful for the efforts of Hope for Justice to bring HOPE to victims of human trafficking around the world. 


Circle of Hope International


CHIYEMBEKEZO

Circle of Hope International exists to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ by engaging in works of mercy and justice alongside the world's most impoverished people. Their three-fold mission is to empower community transformation through education, economic development, and and comprehensive health programs. They began their partnership in 2006 with Grace Alliance Church in Malawi feeding orphaned and vulnerable children. This church is "an indigenous organization of Malawians determined to transform their community from the ravages of poverty to impact the country of Malawi and the world." 

Together, Circle of Hope and Grace Alliance Church are building a center called the Grace Center to encompass the existing boy's home (Timothy's Home), girl's home (Patricia's Home), preschool, and primary school. People are receiving essential information through their community health education programs. Through this partnership with Circle of Hope, a full scale farming operation is producing food for their programs, as well as a training ground for sustainable agriculture. These programs are currently serving over 1,000 children in rural Malawi. The Hands of Grace Textile Center provides a training program for women to learn skills needed for sustainable income generation. Although they currently provide education for preschool aged children up through 5th grade, the goal is to provide continuing education all the way through university. 

I am so thankful that a new friend recently shared Circle of Hope with me! She sponsors children in Malawi through this organization and has taken mission trips to serve there and meet the children she sponsors. What incredible HOPE Circle of Hope is bringing to the Malawi people! 


I HOPE you are as pleased with this year's five organizations as I am! I love how each is working every day to put their passion into action, shining the light of Christ into the hearts of hurting people. 

As I stated before, we will be offering this year's design in many colors and sizes.

ADULT OPTIONS

All six options ABOVE are Bella Canvas unisex triblend shirts. You can purchase the v-neck or crew style options in sizes ranging from XS to 4XL. V-neck colors are blue, athletic grey, and orange. Crew style colors are mint, heather grey, and yellow-gold. The cost is $20 for adult shirts.

YOUTH OPTIONS

All three options ABOVE are Bella Canvas shirts available in Youth sizes S, M, or L. Colors available include Green, Heather Grey, and Neon Pink. The cost is $15 for youth shirts.

TODDLER OPTIONS

All three options ABOVE are Rabbit Skins shirts available in sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5/6T. Colors available include Pink, Heather Grey, and Chill. The cost is $15 for toddler shirts.

You will find a shipping button below. Buyers in the local area can choose the "pick up" option. If you live out of state or prefer not to pick up, shipping will cost a flat rate of $5 (1-6 shirts), $8 (7-10 shirts), or $15 (11-20 shirts). If your church or a larger group would like to place an order together, please contact me directly at amykabell@gmail.com, and I can send you an invoice.

Thank you for participating in this year's campaign! You can order shirts from today, February 26th until March 19th at midnight. At that time, I will place the order for shirts with the talented Bubba Crowder, who helped design this year's shirt, at Fund The Nations. Shipping will take approximately 2 weeks, and then we will mail them out within 48 hours of receipt. You will have them in plenty of time for Easter on April 16th! Please email me with any questions at amykabell@gmail.com. 

If you would like to join our 2017 Passion Into Action Campaign by purchasing shirts or making a donation, please use the drop down menus below. Remember to vote for your favorite organization in the drop down menu after choosing your size. DO NOT FORGET TO UTILIZE THE "SHIPPING OPTION" DROPDOWN MENU TO ADD SHIPPING TO YOUR ORDER YOU LIVE OUT OF THE AREA. Let's put our Passion Into Action and Forget the Frock again this year together!

IT'S 12:06 A.M.
THE 2017 PASSION INTO ACTION CAMPAIGN IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PURCHASED SHIRTS THIS YEAR!

THE WINNER AND TOTAL DONATION AMOUNT WILL BE ANNOUNCED AFTER THE SHIRTS ARE SHIPPED EARLY APRIL! STAY TUNED!
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