Ultimate Missionary Mom...Or Not

By Jessica Cropsey

As you might guess, there are many "pioneer woman"-type skills that would be useful in Africa such as gardening, sewing, cooking and baking (completely from scratch, of course), canning, and the list could go on.  One of the missionary biographies that I read before going to Kenya told about the missionary mom who had to skin, clean, and then cook the meat that her husband shot and brought home.  I think it was boar or something.  I knew I would never be that hard core, but I thought it was a reasonable goal to learn at least one skill each time I was back in the U.S.  My mom and mother-in-law can do all the things on my aforementioned list, so why couldn't I learn too?

We are now more than halfway through our time back in the U.S. and I have yet to begin learning any of those skills.  I'm going to blame it on my husband's insane travel schedule and my newborn baby.  Of course, women "back in the day" had way more babies and their husbands were gone all the time too.  Perhaps my generation is a bit...oh, how shall I put it...softer?

I recently had a small glimmer of hope.  My Aunt Sandi used to decorate cakes and she did our wedding cake.  I asked her to help me with Elise's birthday cake a few weeks ago because I wanted to know how to do that in Burundi.  Party supplies will be scarce there, so I thought a fun cake would be one way to spice things up.  She kindly bought me all the basic supplies that I'll need, including a couple how-to books.  She was a wonderful teacher and so sweetly encouraged me and gave me tips along the way.  This was the final result.

Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but my birthday princess sure was excited.      

I had a lot of fun doing it and practiced some of my new-found knowledge on birthday cupcakes for her pre-school class a few days later.

Now my plan has changed.  I'm not going to try to be the ultimate missionary mom.  I'm banking on Heather and Rachel for their gardening skills.  I can hire someone to help with sewing.  Canning can be dangerous anyways, right?  I'm doing okay in the cooking and baking department so far.  I'll buy my boar from the meat store.  


Sandy said...

Awesome cake! I think your plan is awesome! You can each learn one or two "pioneering" skills. You will really appreciate each other!

Uttz Family said...

Great cake for sure and you probably have more pioneering skills than you think. Baby steps right?!
Mariah Uttz (Eric's sis)

Sarah Halter said...

That actually sounds like a good and realistic plan (to count on each other's skills, hire people and not try to master everything.) Canning's really the most useful when growing seasons are short and you have to save up fruits and vegetables for the winter. In Burundi you'll be able to get fresh produce all year.

Sonya & Aaron said...

Hey, you don't know me, but my husband and I are getting ready to go to Kenya this fall and serve at Kapsowar with WMM Post Res Program. I just have to say that the Lord used your post to encourage me!! I would LOVE to have all those skills as well, but it just hasn't happened...yet. And might not ever. I am glad it doesn't disqualify me from being a missionary mom! Thanks for sharing :) Your cake was GREAT! My daughter would enjoy that as well.