The celebration of Valentine’s Day typically centers on romantic love. This year since Valentine’s Day and the start of the Lenten season fall within a week of each other, I am challenging myself (and of course you) to focus on love in all of its varying forms, particularly love for our neighbor.
The Greeks describe love in four forms: Eros, (romantic), Phileo, (friendship), Storge (family) and Agape (unconditional, enduring love). Agape is described as “to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above all other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without it.” Agape sacrifices pride, self-interest and possessions. This is the love that God commanded us to have for one another. It is a love that endures in our hearts at Opportunity International, inspiring us to act as a bridge between our generous supporters and the clients we serve across the globe. A love that demands that we act as the Good Samaritan whom we seek to emulate.
AGAPE is a love of supreme greatness.
At Opportunity our transformational work is just one way we reflect Agape to our global colleagues and clients. Through transformative services and interactions, we empower local implementing staff and clients to live in fullness and joy. We do this work because of our deep love for the people we serve. This type of love is intentional, it is not self-serving. We view our clients as our neighbors.
AGAPE is EVERYWHERE! Challenge yourself to spot it every day. At Opportunity, we witness AGAPE at work among neighbors like Akorli.
On a daily basis we encounter clients like Akorli who lives in Kasoa, Ghana. His loan officer says that Akorli exudes the love of Christ and is often the first person to lead the Trust Group in prayer and praise. As the leader of his group, Akorli is a selfless gentleman who has taken on the role to care for his neighbors and fellow group members. One example is that Akorli provided support to one of his fellow group members who underwent an amputation of his leg.
In a true act of AGAPE love, Akorli stopped by to see this friend regularly and offered his wife the guidance she needed to take over the business selling fried plantain chips. The group prayed for the member and his family and Opportunity was moved to donate a used wheel chair for the recovering client.
How will you AGAPE your neighbor today?