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Congo Crisis Entry 17

Cathy continued to give Alessandra instructions on how to use buckets to flush toilets and take baths, all new concepts for the visitor from the States.

“For bathing, we allow everyone one full bucket, since the water only comes on once a week. Of course, we’ll be a little lenient on you because you are a guest.”

Alessandra shook her head in unbelief, “There is so much that I take for granted. Please be patient with me while I get used to this lifestyle. You guys are sacrificing way more than I realized. I don’t think that even churches back in America have any idea what you give up by living here and serving the Lord.” She paused as she let it all sink in, then said with a grin, “All right, if you leave me to myself, I will attempt to bathe with my one bucket of water.”

Just as the family was walking out, Alessandra heard Jenny exclaim, “Mom, I can wash with half a bucket to make sure there’s enough for Alessandra.”

She smiled to herself and wondered how many other sacrifices the Carmichaels were making to fit her in to their lives for six weeks.

Sacrifices are necessary in any endeavor of service to the Lord, but missionaries face even greater opportunities to offer their lives in the cause of the great commission. Paul, the first well-traveled missionary in the New Testament, knew the cost of giving up amenities for the spread of the gospel. In his second letter to the believers at Corinth, Paul reminded, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:15) It was only just occurring to Alessandra that her presence in Congo would require the family to give up, give in, and adjust in order to squeeze her into their routine. May we be just as willing as Jenny to give of ourselves to train others in the value of the good news and the necessity of sharing it with the lost world. Sacrifice: required but always rewarded.

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