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Guest Post #4: Lauren & “Super Christians”

December 3, 2011

I’m about 2 days late on this post. I’ve been without internet for over 48 hours since a tall truck drove through our back alley and took out the cable (the cable line that is lit up with a big yellow tag that reads “Caution Cable Line”). Oh well. Anyway, I haven’t been able to post Lauren’s guest posts so I will do it over the weekend.

An update on Elolam and Girl Effect: Once the story is approved you will see it featured on their Facebook page. In the meantime there is no *easy* way to donate. I have information for her bank account, however, no way for people to make a donation online with a 501c3 status. I have been doing a bit of research, though, so stay tuned…

Lauren’s back with another great post and don’t let the title fool you, there were no “Super Christians” that we met along the way. Just people like you and me who are doing amazing things because of God. Plain and simple.
Without further ado…

Reflections on Ethiopia: Follow Me

’ve always been a little bit wary of missionaries. These “Super Christians” who were making the world a better place surely looked down on us regular folk. Missionaries were best admired from afar, but never too close so I wouldn’t feel bad about myself. So you can imagine that I was very worried when God asked me live and work with two missionaries in southern Ethiopia for three weeks. I thought “God, I’ll be walking on holy eggshells the whole time, and they will be offended at my earthly sense of humor and general weirdness! Do missionaries even laugh at jokes about poo?”

To my relief, Tom and Teresa turned out to be perfectly normal imperfect folk like me. Teresa has a Diet Coke addiction, Tom’s kind of a bad driver (sorry TomJ), and they even have tiffs like other married couples. They are also hilariously weird. When they met Jen and me at the airport, we noticed that Tom had a rat tail tuff of hair growing on the back of his head. Teresa had it cut it like that without his knowledge, waiting to see how long it took for someone to notice. I think the humor of the rat tail was lost on their Ethiopian friends because no one said anything until we arrived. We knew then that the Rieders were kindred spirits.

But while totally normal people, the Rieders are doing totally abnormal things for the glory of God.

Francis Chan asks in Crazy Love, “How many of us would really leave our families, our jobs, our education, our friends, our connections, our familiar surroundings, and our homes if Jesus asked us to? If he just showed up and said, ‘follow me’?” It’s not normal that Tom and Teresa left their families, their sweet dog Elle, and a nice home in a gated community. They were living the American Dream as retirees. A year ago they were cruising on the smooth roads of their safe neighborhood in a golf cart, and today they are dodging potholes, people, and goats in the Deathmobile (Jen’s fond name for the Landcruiser). It’s not normal for a woman like Teresa who suffers from severe back pain (a condition that almost killed her several years ago) to care more about the health and safety of women and children in Ethiopia. It’s not normal for an older (but not old!), fat (Tom’s words, not mine. And by the way, he’s lost 60 pounds since he moved to Ethiopia so now he’s a slim jim) to subject himself to the physical hardship of rehabilitating wells in the African bush so that strangers can have clean water. Why would Jesus call two people who had never served in the mission field to follow him so far and to such an extreme?

Because GOD DOES NOT CALL THE EQUIPPED, HE EQUIPS THE CALLED (thanks Pastor Reimer for reminding me of this on Sunday). None of us are too old, too young, too poor, too rich, too fat, too skinny, or too sick to be called. Jesus adds no disclaimer to His commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The truth is we are all called. The question is who is listening?

Pray, Give, and Go to: http://projectethiopiaet.blogspot.com/

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