A week ago, all McCropders save John came together, along with a number of other Post-Residents in Bristol, TN, at the CMDA Medical Mission Conference. It was a great time, and there was a lot of food for thoughts, which we'll try to share over the next few weeks.
It was also a great chance to see each other in action, and I'd like to point out a couple of quintessential missions personality traits, exhibited by my friends. As far as I can tell, Adventurousness and Thriftiness may be considered less "spiritual" quailities, but still among the most important in the missionary life.
The medal for Adenturousness goes to my lovely wife Rachel, who (with me) weighed the pros and cons of a 9-hour van ride to Tennessee at 38 weeks gestation, and decided it was still worth it. So we packed a car seat and some baby clothes, and just to be ready for anything, she also brought a pair of sterile gloves and a pair of cord clamps. Thankfully, this all went unheeded, and we unpacked it all back in Michigan at the close of the weekend.
The Thriftiness award went to Jason. After an initial admonition to save our disposable cups, to help cost-savings at CMDA, Jason showed up the next morning with the styrofoam cup from his hotel coffee-maker. As impressive as this was, I learned an older story this past weekend that makes Jason's thrift certainly subordinate to Heather's. Apparently, Heather trained for a marathon several years ago in Chicago, but in order to avoid the somewhat hefty fee, she went out one Saturday by herself, and ran her own self-designed 26-mile course. Where does one get the will-power to finish that kind of race with no external expectations and no one cheering you on? I don't know. You had better ask Heather.