Katherine Rudowske is the daughter of Rev. Rich and Maya Rudowske. She recently completed her sophomore year at St. Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia, Missouri.
What’s your history? (Were you born overseas? How long have your parents been missionaries? How many countries have you lived in?)
I was born in Michigan in 1998. We moved every two years of my life until we reached Botswana, where we lived in Kang for three years. We began partnership development when I was in fourth grade. We left for Botswana in 2010 (I think), and we have been missionaries for five years. We have only lived in Botswana, but we visited South Africa once, and Namibia quite a bit.
What is it like to live in the United States after growing up in a different country and culture?
After living in another country, it’s easy to see how pampered people in the U.S. can be. Children and teenagers especially take a lot of things for granted. Not even just things like water, or heating, but like wifi and cell signal.
What do you miss most about living on the mission field? What do you miss the least?
I miss the free flowing meat. Biltong, steak, red meat in just about everything… I also miss the warmth. I hate the cold, and Missouri is not the place to be when you hate the cold. I miss some friends I left behind. There were a lot of good memories with them.
I don’t miss scorpions.
How easy or difficult is it to make friends, do schoolwork, and other “normal” activities while being known as a “missionary kid” by your community?
Pretty easy. Here at St. Paul’s, international kids are pretty common. Being from a different country doesn’t really make you different, so you get to just be yourself and live with people.
School work is fairly easy. The homework load occasionally seems insane, but once you sit down and just do it, it’s okay.
Sometimes people ask you questions, or you’re singled out because of where you’re from to do something, but not in a racist way. Just like if they want someone with experience to do something.
What is your favorite memory of living overseas?
Horseback riding, especially galloping without a saddle on a sand track. Hunting. Shooting rifles. Driving the truck around my friends’ farm.
How has the mission work of your parents influenced you and your faith?
I know I take my faith more seriously than I did before we left the U.S. That’s another thing people take for granted. Church. I think if we hadn’t left I still would not really care.