Break Away…

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!


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10 thoughts on “Break Away…

  1. jan wood

    So great to hear from you Ann. I’m thankful for the rest you received and that the family is doing well. We miss you too! We pray for you often and trust that God is doing a great work through you there in Kijabe.

    Hugs to you all – Larry and Jan

  2. Janet S.

    Thank you for sharing about this blessed trip!
    Here is the verse I have chosen to pray over this year’s graduates that I know and love (my daughter being one of them.) I will be praying it over you all too:
    “May the favor of The Lord our God rest upon you! And may He establish for you the works of your hands. Yes! The works of your hands may He establish it!” Psalm 90:17
    Janet S

  3. Kimberley McKaig

    Lovely pic of Michael, Mike, and Jane…and the redoubtable Thunder and Carrot! Eric remembers Jane’s cute voice for radio…What fun! We loved the glorious and blessed story of your Spain getaway. There is, after all, a silver lining to recessions…So glad your family got that time away and was able to take advantage of the beauty and bounty of Spain. And to make new friends, as well as see family. How rejuvenating. Bless you in the coming months. Thanks, too, for sharing about Michael’s diabetes. That’s such an every day burden it’s wonderful you have felt God’s hand in his care and his own excellent spirit. Thanks, Ann, for sharing and for your heart for your family, and for the larger need in Kijabe.

  4. Colleen Gibbs

    I’m so happy you were able to enjoy such luxury! And how wonderful to meet all those other families following a similar path- must have been re confirming and uplifting. Michael and Jane look beautiful. We miss you all so much and can’t wait to see you. Blessings.

  5. Bonnie Wytsma

    Wonderful way to start to the day with a “VIsit” from the Mara’s !! So happy that you all a chance to get away and regroup and refresh and re-connect with fellow missionaries and your family. I smile when I read how our Lord went before and provided the young man with Type 1 for MIchael 🙂 Still missing you here in Bend tho…loved the pictures. So are Thunder and Carrot sisters or brothers hopefully not brother and sister!

  6. Karen Agee

    So happy for Y’all to have some time in Spain, and rejuvenate! What a great break for the kids also!
    I’m sure it was helpful to have connected and visits with other missionaries, with similar situations! Hope it was lots of laughs…and what a treat to be with your family! Ahhh! God bless…we think of you so often

  7. Lynda Corbin

    Once again, thank you for the wonderful update. So glad you were able to have some family time. Even the Lord took a day of rest. I can’t believe how much the children have grown. The last picture you sent me was when Jane was about a year old. They all grow so fast. Since I have retired my time is devoted to as much time as I am able to spend with Tyler and Lily as they are growing so fast too. Baseball and softball take up most of that time now. My rotator cuff repair is coming along well. See Brett the end of the month for discharge. Take care. My love and blessings are with you. Lynda

  8. Karen Farley

    Thank you for the update!!!! So happy to see you getting a break with family! Thunder and carrot are adorable. We love you guys!

    Karen Farley 541-419-0549

  9. Great pictures! Glad to see you still get the occasional vacation. I pray for you all everyday and think about all the wonderful things you are doing and how God has blessed the Kenyan people to have people like you who are willing to come and share your talents, gifts and knowledge with them. You are an inspiration to me and I am forever bragging about my friends, Mike and Ann, who are in Kenya doing the Lord’s work. My life pales in comparison but as St. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13).

  10. Binty

    Lovely pics 🙂

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