A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
Greetings and Welcome to the AFIRE™ Website!
It’s hard to believe that I’m the founder and executive director of a faith-based nonprofit. About ten years ago, I was running a successful food manufacturing business, and ministry was nowhere on the radar. Sure, I went to Mass weekly, prayed regularly, volunteered during the holidays, and I tried to be a good person. But a ministry of this scale — well, that was what religious people did — or so I thought. Yet deep inside there remained a subtle whisper calling me to something bigger, and I had no idea what that could possibly be. After all, I was living the American dream with a happy marriage and family, a nice home, two decent cars, and a successful business. What more could I want?
I think It’s the great paradox of life that blessings can come in curses, and strength comes when we are at our weakest. That’s what happened to me, as the darkest moments of my life brought me nearer to deciphering that subtle whisper I had been hearing throughout the years. When someone very dear to me became addicted to drugs, the addiction and overdose epidemic that was happening “out there” to others, suddenly sabotaged my life and my family. And at the same time that it seemed to drain me of everything (family, friends, sanity!), it filled me with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit — knowledge, understanding, courage . . . love, patience, kindness . . . even joy and peace. Gifts such as these come with a price — they must be shared. And so I shared (and continue to share) these gifts by educating others about addiction and our call as the Body of Christ to support one another and to emanate the light of hope.
I believe that the AFIRE™ ministry reveals the awesome and powerful force of the Holy Spirit. As I shared the gifts that I had received, others received too. Then they wanted to share their gifts. And the fire of the Spirit spread quickly until AFIRE™ was born. One by one people were put in my path who helped to bring forth this important mission, all of them filled with the desire to help and to share their gifts and talents for the cause.
We are all channels of the Spirit, and as we submit to the call and receive the gifts, the fire spreads. As the fire spreads, the flame grows brighter, and we emanate great light in the darkness — great hope amidst despair. That’s what AFIRE™ is all about. It takes all of us, and all of our unique gifts (large and small) to build and maintain AFIRE™. I pray that you will be ignited with a spark of the Spirit’s fire, and that you will join us in spreading the Light.
In Faith, Hope and Love,