Ash Wednesday/Valentine day divine; Charging Point Club International donate items to elderly, orphanage homes 

The twin observation of Ash Wednesday and celebration of Valentine day on Wednesday February 14, 2024 has been described as a divine coincidence by lead pastor of The Place of Fire and Transformation Ministry aka “The Furnace”, Pastor Hotom Azuma.

He said this on Wednesday in a chat with newsmen in Calabar stating that the story of the origin of Valentine Day celebration is ambiguous and people have corrupted the real meaning associating it instead with immoral love acts against St. Francis of Asisi, the originator of Valentine Day which depicts unconditional love and affection towards humanity.

The clergy noted however that the coinciding of this years Val day with Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of orthodox lent season preceding the Easter period scheduled to span about 40 days of self denials and fasting, culminating in the passion week for Christ is a message to all lovers and seekers that God is love for sacrificing His only begotten Son to die for the sins of mankind.

He stressed that Agape love is the epitome of all other forms of love referencing John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He argued that philia and erotic love affairs in todays world rarely would a person pay the supreme sacrifice for his or her lover as Christ did to reconcile us back to God. He counseled mankind to have a rethink, confess their sins, forsake it and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour of the Universe instead of indulging in immorality and advancing sin.

Meanwhile, as residents in Calabar join the rest of the world in marking St. Valentine’s Day yesterday, members of Charging Point Club International have extended kind gestures to the elderly and orphanage homes in Calabar, Cross River State.

The President of the Club, Comrade Chris Agbeh, said the move is to show love to those who need it the most even as God commands man to show and love one another.

“What we just did today for us is something God appreciates. We need to show love to those who need love.  We are trying to express love to the society.”

He noted that though the Club had been engaging in the outreach for years without media hype, it is pertinent to let the public know that there are those out there in dire need of their help.

“Today, the items we donated were worth over N600,000. We have done our bit as God enabled us. We’ve been doing it without media coverage before now but today we decided to highlight it via the media. I expect the society to emulate our gesture so that the happiness and love will go round.”

Mr. Ayuk Ekuri, the Vice President implored government at all levels to emulate their kind gestures towards the privileged and underprivileged.

“The government should emulate us. The government can do so by reaching out. Like the last time, we rendered free bus services; we used our club vehicles to convey people from one point to another toll-free. So, on a day like this, the government can say today, the government will subsidize transportation for all commuters by 50 percent. I’m sure it will touch the lives of Cross Riverians. People should not just enjoy the day but show love to members of the society.”

Receiving the items donated at separate locations, the beneficiaries who received the items via their caregivers (Reverend sisters) thanked their benefactor for the love and kindness.

The Club’s PRO Atuaka Godswill and the outreach committee Chairman, Frank Oyong while briefing on what the organization is all about, charged all and sundry to make it a point of duty to at all times reach out to those in need.

Homes visited were Pope John Paul II Aged Home and Orphanage and the Infant Jesus Orphanage Home,  both in Calabar.

By: Archibong Emmanuel
(Snr. Reporter)