There is an amazing quote from the Apostle Paul, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Although I fully recognize the divinely constructed order in the scriptures, it was interesting at a recent board meeting of the Freedom Business Alliance that one of the members went to the white board and reversed these three words, spelling out LOVE, HOPE, FAITH. He used the idea to show how lives are changed in BAM businesses.
IBEC has been privileged to work with freedom businesses1 and truly it works this way: first the sharing of love to victims of slavery; this gives them hope; and finally, they learn to have faith. Let me explain.
Earlier this year, I was in Zimbabwe for ten days. I met eleven-year-old Lucy at Hope Primary School. Hope is owned by entrepreneur and owner of the Hamara conglomerate, Peter Cunningham. Hamara’s primary product is agricultural products, but Peter loves Jesus. After seeing a tremendous need, he purchased a dying school from the government.
Peter then hired Martha to head the school, and she has turned the 400-student school into a vibrant quality school for the poor and disenfranchised. Most importantly, Martha hired teachers who, like her, love their students and see their job as fulfilling Jesus commandment “to LOVE…”
Back to Lucy who came from a dysfunctional home where she was regularly sexually exploited. Martha and her team helped to rescue her and love her in the name of Jesus.
Now Lucy has HOPE. She eagerly studies and learns every day while knowing her future is bright. She has not only learned history, languages, and math, but most importantly, she has learned who Jesus is and of His love for her. Along the way, she understood and trusted in Jesus. She is now a young girl of FAITH.
There you have it – LOVE first, bringing HOPE, resulting in FAITH. All of it because entrepreneur Peter loved Jesus enough to want to pass on the love, hope and faith to others.
- A Freedom Business exists to employ survivors of human trafficking and those at risk of being trafficked, investing in their personal and professional development.
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures