DORADO, Puerto Rico
There are ten specific principles through out the Abante journey that are fundamental in the program’s training. The principles reflect the models that Christ used when he discipled his closest followers. Out of those ten principles, the Love Discipleship principle has always been a favorite of past teams.
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” Mother TeresaFrancis Chan in his book, “Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, states, “God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” If what Francis says is true, it should cause us to action; the Love God and love people kind of action! Often, people of faith view love as a thing to do, but seldom a thing to be. It should be both. Loving God should involve every aspect of the human life, and loving people as well. After all, Jesus himself said that the most important commandment is to “love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself.”
The Love Discipleship Session began with a candlelight dinner at the beautiful terrace of the Casa de Abante in Dorado, Puerto Rico, on Friday, October 9. The meal consisted on a seafood rice, baked pork chops with a sweet chili vinaigrette, grilled vegetables kebabs, and white/dark chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallows kebabs. The meal was delicious, and the colleagues enjoyed it thoroughly. The terrace was decorated beautifully, regardless of the fact that 30 minutes before the event, it stormed and the leaders had to rush and move everything that had already been set up, from the original location (outdoors) into the terrace (upstairs).
The colleagues were served by their leaders, while they enjoyed each others company in the warm, and lovely atmosphere. Following the meal, the team moved into the main living room of the house for the Love Discipleship session. The goals for the session were simply to learn the true meaning of love for others, thorough Jesus’ example, to learn that the world needs advocates of God and His Kingdom, and finally, to love each other as Jesus loves. One of the statements that resonated with the colleagues is that Love is the purest form of choice. One simply chooses to love. A person will choose who and what he or she will love because if they didn’t then that would negate free will. If those who profess to be Christians are going to be like Jesus, then they must choose to love as unconditionally and as freely as he did.