As a husband and wife team of construction missionaries, we both have strengths and gifts. I know a lot of construction missionary couples who work side by side in construction, that’s not us. My gifts are in different areas...Bible teaching and cooking while my husband is construction. When I was asked to make breakfast for twelve, I gladly accepted the challenge. It would be easy but for one thing...this breakfast had to be cooked outside on a flat top grill. That’s where I need my husband’s strength.
Cooking breakfast for a group of 12 people is easy for me...but cooking that breakfast outside on a flat grill? That's a whole new ballgame. As a construction missionary, I've had my fair share of challenging moments in the kitchen. But one particular morning has stayed with me, as my husband and I took on the task of cooking scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, and fried potatoes for a group of 12 hungry people. Here's how we managed to get breakfast on the table, with a little help from the great outdoors.
Firstly, we knew that the secret to success was preparation. We made sure to chop all the veggies we needed for the fried potatoes the night before and pre-cook the bacon to save time in the morning. We also made sure we had all the utensils and seasonings we needed easily accessible. Once we got to our outdoor grilling area, it was time to start cooking the bacon and fried potatoes first, so we could keep them warm while we cooked the scrambled eggs and pancakes. We used a flat grill, which made the process a bit tricky, but not impossible.
Secondly, we had to rely on each other's strengths. My husband took charge of cooking the pancakes, while I focused on the scrambled eggs and making sure everything was cooked evenly. It was a true team effort. We frequently checked in with each other to make sure our timings were aligned and nothing was overcooked or underdone. Even though tensions may have been high, we managed to joke around and keep our spirits high. We have to rely on each others strengths and offer each other Grace often. He doesn't want me to make a pancake because I don't get them the same size or round each time. He does and it's important to him. For me, scrambled eggs must be soft, fluffy and filled with cheese and other goodies, his are flat. We learned quickly to stay out of each other's way and let the gifts fly!
Thirdly, we needed to have patience. Cooking in the great outdoors can bring in some unexpected challenges, like wind or uneven grilling surfaces. It took us much longer to cook everything than it would've in a traditional kitchen, but we didn't rush the process. We kept a close eye on everything and stayed calm in the face of adversity. Sometimes, all it takes is the right attitude to make a challenging task feel easier.
Fourthly, we didn't hesitate to accept help. As soon as our pancakes and eggs were ready, some of our hungry and gracious friends pitched in and helped us serve the food. We kept everything simple and used paper plates and plastic utensils, so we could spend more time chatting and laughing with the community we served. Letting friends help is part of the fun, we love the interaction and chatter that happens in a relaxed setting of an outdoor breakfast.
Cooking breakfast for 12 people outdoors on a flat grill might sound impossible, but with some preparation, team effort, patience, and a willingness to accept help, anything is possible. As a missionary, I've learned that there's no challenge too big or problem too difficult when you have a servant's heart that is humble and kind. Whether you're cooking for a church gathering or feeding a group of construction missionaries, it's the Spirit of God that makes it fun and the conversation flows. Enjoy each other...then go get that hammer!