Forget the Frock: 2015 Easter Campaign

photoI know the statistics. I’ve heard them and read them, and they bother me. 3 billion people–almost half the world’s population– live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty on less than $1.50 a day. 1 billion children worldwide live in poverty, and around 22,000 die each day due to poverty. 153 million children live as orphans, and this number doesn’t include the millions of effectively orphaned children who live on the streets, in institutions, or have distant, unfit parents.

I read these statistics, and they really do disturb me. But it’s oh-so-easy to remove myself from them–to feel the slight sting when I first read the numbers but to forget about them in half an hour. For me, these statistics are often just numbers on a page rather than souls with faces, and I can so easily go on living my life as if these realities aren’t true and don’t matter. Each day, I pick a nice shirt from the 50 different options hanging in my closet, and then I browse the malls for more. Our family eats out even when we have plenty of food in the cabinets and fridge, and then we scrape tons of uneaten, bad food into the trash can each week. I can’t keep up with our laundry because we have so much, and my children are tripping over their high volume of toys and books.

I know so clearly that God’s heart is for the marginalized–the poor, forgotten, oppressed and orphaned in our world {Deuteronomy 10:18}. I also know, as one who has been transformed by the gospel of Jesus, He has called me to do something about it. As ambassadors for Christ, God has given all believers the glorious task of working to reverse the effects of the curse of sin in our world. Part of this is done by caring for the poor, the orphaned, and the widows. In fact, the Bible teaches that those who have been truly transformed by Christ will show evidence of this change by the way we care for those in need {James 1:27, James 2:2-6, 1 John 3:17-18}.

But what does this look like practically in our consumer-driven, materialistic, over-indulgent American society? Because my own self-centered heart is so prone to live indifferently to the poor and broken in this world, I am always looking for practical ways to put my faith into action and be obedient to the commands of God–not because this earns me favor with Him, but rather because I have already been granted ultimate favor with Him through Christ. Therefore, I desire to obey and please Him. I’m so thankful that my friend Kelley introduced me to the “Forget the Frock” Easter campaign 2015. “Forget the Frock” is a movement that has raised more than $250,000 for orphan care since 2011. FTF was started by a woman named Emily who became aware of the orphan crisis in our world by watching her best friend go through the adoption process and then felt strongly compelled to DO SOMETHING about it. A southern girl herself, Emily understood how much time, thought, and money go into picking the perfect Easter dresses, suits, and accessories for ourselves and our kids each year. As God worked in her heart, she began to find these traditions frivolous and in conflict with the heart of the gospel. The following is a quote from “How Forget the Frock Began

Instead of seeing frilly dresses, she [Emily] saw hollow bellies and sunken eyes. Every price tag reminded her of just how many children could be fed with that one purchase.

Emily had recently become acquainted with Feeding the Orphans, how the purchase of just one t-shirt from their site could help feed an orphan. She knew she heard the gentle voice of Jesus nudging her to do something to honor the orphans He loved so dearly.  

Forget the hair bows, forget the shoes, and forget the dainty little cardigans… FORGET THE ENTIRE EASTER FROCK… The Fox Family would FEED an Orphan with their Easter attire!”

Thanks to Kelley, the Rice family and several other families at First Baptist Hartselle have decided to take a practical step forward in tangibly caring for the poor and orphaned in our world by forgetting the fancy Easter frocks this year and purchasing the T-shirts pictured above to wear on Easter Sunday. 100% of the proceeds of each T-shirt will go to Feeding the Orphans, an organization that seeks to meet the physical and spiritual needs of orphans in West Africa.

This is an easy way to put our faith into action and be the hands and feet of Jesus in our hurting world. This is also a visible way to help us raise awareness about the orphan and poverty crises in our world and call others to action. Most importantly, this is a way to live the gospel before a watching world and to honor and glorify our risen King Jesus. He promises that when we care for the least of the these, we care for Him {Matthew 25:35}. Whether you attend FBCH or somewhere else, will you consider joining us in this effort by purchasing a T-shirt and spreading the word?

Religion that is pure an undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

 

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