Confessions of a missionary wife: on hoarding and other stuff…

by mendibpng

jacob and cargo

(above) Jacob helps add to the cargo pile after we landed at Lumi on a Kodiak airplane, and waited for the helicopter to take us in three shuttles to our village. Note that only part of our cargo is pictured here!

What do malaria (and other) medicines, mosquito nets, school books, cameras, computers, clothes, food and toiletries all have in common? These are the things we pack to take to the village every time we go.

We have no stores out there and no way to replenish cargo if we run out. So I spend a great deal of time planning ahead to make sure that we don’t run out of something essential, like toilet paper!  It means that for our family of eight (including an intern this year) I ask Ben to book at least 200 or more kilos (440 pounds) of space on the airplane and helicopter if we are using it.

Here is a small sample of the list I use: (this is based on my next village stay of 6 weeks) As you can imagine, the list is fairly extensive although I do save a lot of space by dehydrating vegetables, meat and beans from the market here.

Item: Needed per week Total


11 lb

66 lb


8 lb

48 lb

Canned tomatoes



Canned corn



Cases of 2 minute noodles


3 cases


2 lb

12 lb

Peanut butter

1 medium jar


Packets of Tang



Rolls of TP



Although I always make a effort to take just the Essential Items, I inevitably end up feeling like I am going overboard when I see the GIANT pile of boxes and other cargo ready to be picked up by aviation. Once I’m in the village, however, I am always glad for the things I brought out with me. This happens every single time, even though I’ve been going to and from the village for 10 years.  Ben, bless him, doesn’t complain about how much food I pack for our family so that helps tremendously.

Which leads me to the wonderful passage that I learned as a child:

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There have been times when we’ve gotten to the end of a village stay with very little food left but we’ve never gone hungry! I do have a tendency to ‘hoard’ items when we are out in the village (HIDE the chocolate everybody!) just because I want to make them last the whole time…but if I run out of specialty items, it’s really not the end of the world. Our heavenly father has always provided everything we need.

I won’t lie, I do obsess about food items sometimes, especially when an item I like is either not available or too expensive for me to buy. Or when a village trip is looming ahead. But I am resolved to keep the “do not worry” in the forefront of my mind, as seeking first His kingdom is really where I want to put my focus.



4 Comments to “Confessions of a missionary wife: on hoarding and other stuff…”

  1. i am blessed by your letters … i too was a missionary wife/mother … and identify so much with all you write.  God bless you,  marilyn


  2. Mandy, I miss you! SO wish we could have a cuppa. Vivien told me about the blog again yesterday, it was a rediscovery, now I’m signed up for updates via email when you post. may the Lord bless you, my friend, may HE be your strength and shield, every day!

    • I miss you too, Lanie!! I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. Your life looks different than mine but you have your own challenges to deal with, I’m sure!! Being a mom has taught me this. 🙂 I miss being able to share little joys and challenges with you more regularly!! thanks for writing!!!

  3. I bow my head in shame to think of my complaints in this very comfortable, convenient setting I find myself in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: