After Mike’s overwhelming and heart-breaking week in South Sudan and my cabin fever reaching an all-time high, we were all very ready to get away for a bit.
We flew to Spain for World Harvest Mission’s mission-wide conference, which takes place every three years (great timing on our part!). If you have not flown Emirates before, it is highly recommended – they treat the kids so well! 400 of us gathered together at a resort on the coast in a 4 star hotel (thanks to the recession in Spain!). We had a suite with a sea view, which was much appreciated! We enjoyed immensely the buffet meals, flat screen TV’s and washing our teeth with tap water!
The conference is designed to bring all World Harvest people together to get to know one another, be filled, encouraged, and rejuvenated. The talks were wonderful and it was so inspiring to hear about other peoples ministries from all over the world. The kids were entertained in their own special program, while we were free to enter into discussions, participate in workshops, and enjoy getting to know new and fascinating people! It is always a challenge for us leaving Michael in the care of someone new who knows nothing at all about diabetes management. I dropped Michael off on the first day and took his teacher aside and started off on my spiel about the fact that he needs careful attention and supervision. This guy, Mike, stopped me short and said, “I’m type 1 too.” Just another example of how God constantly provides for our family! We left michael safe in the knowledge that his teacher knew exactly what to look out for and was capable of counting his carb intake etc. What an enormous blessing for us as we were able to “turn off” and really engage in the program…and relax in the process!
Many people ask about how Michael is doing. As always, he is the ultimate warrior. He never complains about having diabetes, he is incredibly responsible about what he eats, and his understanding of carb counts and insulin requirements takes our breath away! He has the most wonderful doctor in Nairobi, a Diabetologist (didn’t even know that they existed before we came to kenya) who is all over his care. We could not be in better hands and are so comforted by the excellent resources at our fingertips. More of God’s amazing provision… There are days when Michael expresses his frustration at having to have yet another site change, or having to test his blood sugar so often, but these times are rare. Technology is accelerating at such a fast pace and we pray that new advances will be in place as he approaches his teenage years. At present, the odd indulgence, especially during holidays, is a given.
After a spectacular week in Spain that included paella, great conversations, late nights, walks on the beach, sunshine, and the pool, we proceeded onto Portugal. The Algarve is one of the most stunning coastlines offering the very best of seafood, sangria, and white sandy beaches! We rented what can only be described as a drug-lord’s mansion (thanks again to the recession) and were joined by my parents, Stephen (brother), Anna, Aria (9 month old niece and Godchild), Paul (brother) and Amanda. What a reunion! We each had a bedroom that we could fit our whole house in Kijabe into, an infinity pool that looked out to sea, and a state of the art kitchen where Paul and Amanda cooked up a storm! It was bliss!
Coming back to Kijabe was in Michael’s words “50% sad and 50% happy!” We miss family and friends so very, very much, but it is also nice getting back into the swing of things in Kijabe. Mike and I have both dived back into work and the kids are happy to be back at school with their friends. We have also welcomed two new additions to our family – Meet Thunder and Carrot!