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It seems like every year Christmas ends and New Year comes along in a hurry. The next day stores have already taken down the Christmas decorations and put up items for the next holiday….Valentine’s Day. A day that is either usually loved or hated depending on your current relationship situation. Despite all the hype of the overly commercialized Hallmark holiday, the overall meaning of the holiday is a powerful one…

Originally, Valentine’s Day was named for a Christian martyr that lived during the 5th century. At the time Rome was facing crisis from all surrounding areas. The Golden Era of Rome was over – taxation increased, education declined, and trade was minimal. The Roman Emperor, Claudius II, had banned marriage for young men, because he believed that it made them more emotionally attached to their families thus making them weak when they were most needed to fight for Roman military. He issued an edict forbidding the men to get married, thinking he was creating stronger soldiers.

We know quite the opposite to be true though. In fact, the Bible tells us that “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” indicating that two are stronger than one and when God is included in that bond, it becomes even stronger!

With this in mind, St. Valentine began performing secret marriages after seeing the despair that the new laws brought young lovers. Eventually, the emperor found out and Valentine was arrested. When he was brought to Claudius II, the emperor tried to convert Valentine from his Christian faith to the polytheism that was practiced in Rome at the time. However, Valentine refused to deny his love and faith in God, and as a result was executed. The legend, therefore, is not so much centered around passionate love, but on selfless Christian love, sometimes referred to as Agape. Certain traditions associated with the holiday have evolved over the centuries, but the underlying motivation and idea behind the holiday is about an unconditional, forgiving love that never fails – a love that God tells us is the greatest force in the world.

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This type of love is the love that works! This is the type of love that we have seen transform lives around the world. This is the type of love that empowers a child to go from struggling in school to being the top of his/her class, the type of love that encourages a child, once afraid to speak, that it is okay to share his story, the type of love that has the power to feed and clothe children, the type of love that guides the lost home and brings souls together – both literally and figuratively. This love absolutely and unceasingly works.

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So, this Valentine’s day when you’re considering a gift for you loved one, consider getting them something a little bit different. This Valentine’s Day you have the opportunity to Give Love across continents alongside BFR. We have put together three different unique gift sets that include one give back product, a delicious fair-trade chocolate and a personal Valentine from a child in Kenya. Each one supports love and empowerment for those in vulnerable situations. Every time you purchase one of these gift sets for your valentine, you help change lives full circle. Different gift sets include:

  • Papers of Peace necklace handmade by women in Kibera, Kenya; fair trade chocolate; and a hand written valentine from a child at Pehucci Children’s Home or Wings of Life school

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  • Agape North hat,  fair trade chocolate and hand written valentine from a child at Pehucci Children’s Home or Wings of Life school

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  • J. Brooks Memphis Roasted coffee, fair trade chocolate, and hand written valentine from a child at Wings of Life School or Pehucci Children’s Home

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Gift sets are available at The Rev or online at: www.befreerevolution.com.

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