In a few short weeks we will have our FIFTH ANNUAL SHOP FOR A CAUSE. It is a time of reflection for me, Terri, looking back at the past five years and the amazing work that has been accomplished. Five years ago we hosted a party for Sseko sandals. Sseko was founded by Liz , an amazing and beautiful girl with a profound dream, employing young women in Uganda to keep them in school. We hosted a party for Liz's new company, and she sold out of her sandals. She had been trying to market the sandals to college students, and I believe the party opened her eyes to an entire different market, my friends! That night, an idea was birthed, Shop for a Cause. Three months later we were moving all of our furniture out of our home and inviting over 100 people to our first fundraisier to purchase various boutique items to raise money for a cause. The venue was free but it was work! Times have changed, but our efforts have not. We are still engaging people (often new people) in crazy endeavors that make an impact. We are teaching, traveling, raising money, writing, blogging, making posters, planning events, and developing important missional opportunties for our volunteers. What has this cost us? Everything.... As those first volunteers learned, serving a greater cause is costly. After five years, I believe the number one cost our volunteers pay, is time. Read this from a recent post in Empower Magazine, "In the study of economics, there is concept of “opportunity cost,” which basically means that for every choice we make, we must give up something else." This is true for mission. We love the lofty idea of traveling to foreign lands and asissting the needy. - or becoming a person of great cahnge in our community, making an impact on laws, neighborhoods, and our families. But what does it cost?- It may not cost EVERYTHING, but it does have A cost. We must give something up to truly be a person of impact. Every Athlete knows this.-- " Yes, it is glorious when we make the headlines, but what about that 5 am workout when no one is there cheering? " College athlete At this time of the year, while planning our annual fundraiser, I am reminded of the facts of the cost. That first party was an amazing amount of work, but the excitement was there and it was new, and the adrenalin carried us through. NOW? The newness is over, many people have moved on, and the adrenalin is waning. But you know what? I am still just as excited today about this mission than I was five years ago. I have weighed it out, counted the cost, and decided it was more than worth it. When you get to be a part of something miraculous everyday, it makes life meaningful. It makes the arguments over politics, illegal immigrants, and religous differences silly, because what you are a part of is weighty- full of people counting on you, praying for you, and being led to salvation through your work. This is worth any cost- every cost. No amount of money, fatigue, or trials can take away from the deep satisfaction of knowing those we have helped. We have the most amazing volunteers helping the most amazing people and i feel deeply grateful to be in the midst of this important work. SO.. count the cost each day. Write down a mission statement for your life. Make sure that when you are at the end of your life, you have no regrets. A beautiful body, house, or a huge bank account won't matter- it will be what you did for others that will grow amazing fruit that will sustain you in the tough times. It is like making deposits today that you will withdraw tomorrow. I hope you attend this years event where you will have a chance to meet our volunteers, shop for a cause, and hear about the work we are currently involved in- as well as make an impact of your own. Go to: http://faith-that-works.org/shop-for-a-cause/ to purchase your tickets today!