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Water Proposal = Green Light

July 9, 2011

I came across this article today from Pioneers. You can click here to read it on their page. I have copied it below.

This is the Cost

by a Pioneer in Europe

“This is the cost,” she says to me with tears brimming. Sitting on my couch, with legs curled under her…coffee in hand, she says confidently, “…and this is part of the cost, isn’t it?”
The cost-benefit ratio of following God’s lead and moving overseas is complex and varied. Are there benefits? Absolutely! We can count abundant benefits to our family, our marriage, our kids and our spiritual lives. There are many, many benefits to living a life of service overseas.
But, are there costs? Of course. Yes, absolutely. There are painful, daily, humiliating and difficult costs on our lives.
I think, that said, there is a cost to any God-following obedience. …taking up our cross, He calls it in Scripture. There is always a cost to following Christ.
The cross…although it brings innumerable benefits…is painful and heavy.
The costs of moving out of your home culture to serve alongside the Good Shepherd, though, are unique. And, these costs are heavy.
“This is the cost,” she says half smiling—half ready to cry.
My heart knows exactly what she is saying…I get it. And, I say, Yes! …Yes, I say as my eyes now brim with tears, too.
…missing your sister’s wedding.
…missing your niece’s birth.
…receiving an email (not a call) about your mother’s health.
…having your young child ask you again, “Now, who is that person?… What is his name?” And, he is referring to your brother, his uncle.
…missing those in-between years when nephews grow from babies to boys…boys to men.
…missing that graduation, that 40th birthday party and the Thanksgiving dinner.
…being forgotten. Or instead, being so deeply missed that you are the source of someone’s pain. Which is better?
…raising kids that are not “normal.” And, they know it.
…not having that youth group, that Grandma’s mentoring, or that Christian soul friend for a young budding daughter.
…not having that booming, beautiful, vibrant worship service each week.
…having to choose which state-side family crisis is worth the price of an international flight…and having to go on your own, because tickets for the others are too expensive.
…not having a primary care doctor that knows you, has known your medical history or even your name.
…not helping with your dear friends wedding shower, or attending her dad’s funeral.
… missing it. …not being there. …not having.
“This is the cost,” she says to me. And, I hear her heart. And, I can only agree. I nod. And, I smile with small tears brimming. “Yes, this is the cost.”
Is it worth it? …What a crazy, silly question, we both know. Even with brimming tears we know—of course it is worth it! We hardly have to ask each other the question. We know what He has asked of us. And, we know His will is for His glory and our best. We know the benefits. We know our Good Father and His blessings. So, of course it is worth it!
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
The benefits most definitely outweigh the cost. Always. Where else are we to go?!
But, there is a cost. And, there is a cross.
And, we must carry it. And, yes, this is the cost.

I can imagine that this is how Tom and Teresa feel. However, they must feel overjoyed knowing that ultimately, they are serving God because He asked them to go; to move against the fear and to trust Him. I can imagine there are moments where it can seem completely overwhelming, but I take this moment to encourage them and to thank them for their sacrifice.

Tom and Teresa didn’t wait until it became “easy” to travel. They didn’t make excuses to leave a life of “luxury” (yes, we live in luxury in the states). They just responded. God has honored His promise to the Rieder’s and this past week, the Water Project Proposal for Project Ethiopia has been approved! This proposal is the green light for the water ministry to move forward and commence, but it took over four months to actually be approved so I can only imagine during those four months the discouraging thoughts floating through Tom and Teresa’s minds and hearts; second-guessing if this was the route God wanted them to take or if they were to serve in other ways. For this Water Proposal to be approved just confirms that Tom and Teresa were hearing God correctly the entire time.

I suppose if I were to ask Tom and Teresa if they knew all the costs that would be involved with traveling to Ethiopia if they would still think it was worth it? I can be almost certain that I would receive a response that of course it’s worth it!

Thank you, Tom and Teresa, for continuing to move boldly and to be a witness that the cost is always worth it!

It takes many people for the work of Project Ethiopia to be accomplished. I hope that prayers and money will both be used and so please pray for the continued advancement of Project Ethiopia and for Tom and Teresa’s health and courage to move forward. If you want to support Project Ethiopia financially please click here to find out how you can donate.

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