Saturday, June 30, 2007

care packages Jim, who maintains Missionary Blog Watch, has asked missionaries to write about care packages. The thing is most missionaries I know would say they don't "need" anything. Living overseas has taught us to learn to do without a lot of what we thought we needed before coming to our new countries. Also, there are now so many things that we are able to find here. Here in Taiwan, we have a Costco near-by where we can get brownie mix and extra chunky peanut butter. The greatest thing about care packages though is the little glimpses of home they offer. They scream "we miss you," "we are thinking about you," and "we care." I guess that is why they are called "care packages" and not "things-you-need-to-survive packages." So, even though most missionaries I know would say they don't "need" anything, we all delight to receive stuff from back home because it is a reminder that we are not alone. And, little bits of comfort are nice. :) I brainstormed about things we'd like to receive in a care package with a good friend of mine who has been a missionary in Taiwan for 12 years--she is married and has 3 small kids. Together we came up with the list below, so please know that this is NOT an Amanda wish list). Things that might bless an overseas missionary family: (Sugar free) Koolaid packets (Sugar free) Jello packets Envelopes of prepared mixes (sloppy joe, taco seasoning, salsa mix, ranch dressing, Italian dressing, gravy, so on) Instant cooking things (ex: Shake and Bake) Other dried foods, like cereal, oatmeal, or poptarts (Here in Taiwan, we have a good supply of oatmeal and cereal, but in other countries these things are not so easy to get a hold of.) Extra-active yeast (for making bread) Hair stuff (clips, barrets, pony tail holders) Candy (things like Jolly Ranchers, Starbursts, Twizzlers, Smarties) Sugar Free candy (Lifesavors, things like that) (Sugar free) Chewing Gum (in Taiwan we have trouble finding Spearmint and Cinammin flavors, I'm sure children would appreciate strawberry or grape bubble gum) Magazines in English (My grandmothers occasionally send me copies of Woman's World and Reader's Digest) Scented/Smell good things (for example: small candle, potpourri, or Plug-ins, with the plug-in device unless you know they already have it. Scents are so important to me now. Especially at the holidays it is nice to have a "smells like Christmas" feel in my home. But, something like plug-ins might not work in other countries, Taiwan has the same electricity system as the US) Decorations for holidays (holiday plates and napkins, even something like a paper 4th of July table cloth could be fun. My grandmother also once sent me Easter clingies to put on my windows.) Other holiday related items sent near that holiday (like an Easter egg dying kit before Easter or candy canes near Christmas). Things that are "American" or "Canadian" or in my case "Texan" . . . you get the idea. (I loved it...

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