Inspired to Work-and BE SELFLESS!
It is a beautiful thing when action is put to words! There is a powerful scripture with a wealth of substance that speaks on this matter: James 2:14-18 (KJV)
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
I have some friends who bring this scripture to life: Erika and Rich Akwo! This power team is the mobilizer of All is Well Inspire, A Friend to the Homeless, the BE SELFLESS Movement, and more exciting initiatives. I went to college with Rich and later met Erika through a mutual friend. Their story is both compelling and inspirational.
Both Erika and Rich grew up with the values of loving, serving, giving and doing. In high school, Rich served as a mentor and tutor for young men through BROTHERS while Erika became very dedicated and involved as a mentor through The Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program in college. Rich would later start a new chapter of BROTHERS on his college campus while Erika continued to put her all into her mentor relationship.
Rich shares that he has always desired to be "a servant to many," but when he encountered very hard times in 2007, his purpose crystallized. He had an encounter with a homeless man who inspired and encouraged him. (Read more from James 2 about not being a respecter of persons!) This man gave Rich a general overview of the life of the homeless and suddenly Rich found himself reconnecting with his childhood in Africa. "I always knew that when I grow up, I want to come back and help." With the support of Erika, that pivotal conversation began the start of both their company ALL IS WELL-INSPIRE® in 2011 and their non-profit organization, A Friend to the Homeless, on Christmas Eve 2009. Equipped with donations to give, a few friends were mobilized to come out into the elements to serve; to experience the bitter cold that the homeless deal with every day. "We wanted people to reconsider before complaining about the little things, and think about the person sleeping out in the cold." Rich reminds us that "It starts with you. I personally wanted to do something. When I started, it became a movement." The Be Selfless campaign invites us all to play our part and turn our words into action.
I applaud the Akwo’s for their service and dedication. I have learned a lot from them and look forward to supporting their efforts. I particularly am excited about Erika's activities as a motivational speaker with other impactful women through the “Step Out of The Box” annual conference. Through this forum she intends to "be a voice"; empower, and ignite other women to prosper. Look out for it in May 2014! Additionally, Rich and Erika realized a dream this winter when they both traveled to Cameroon equipped to serve and support the children of an orphanage. You don't see that sort of victory and fulfillment sitting down; you have to get up and make something happen!
The Akwos encourage us all to BE SELFLESS and to start DOING for others, even if it seems smalls.
I’m inspired! Let us all be inspired to ACT and BE SELFLESS through giving, serving and being! Consider joining The Movement.
-Lyrics by tia 2014