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An Unexpected Trip to Minnesota

It’s true! Sam and I made the long journey from Kenya to Minnesota one week ago. Not at all something we planned so early in our first term in Kenya.

Why are we here? A couple weeks ago, Pete and I took Sam to another mission hospital in Kenya to see an ear specialist who was visiting from the U.S. We had noticed some changes in his behavior that made us think he may not be hearing as well as he could be. We discovered during the appointment that Sam does indeed have decreased hearing in his right ear. Because of his past ear issues, we prayed about it and sought counsel from our mentors before deciding it would be best for me to take him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

We arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan 14 and took a shuttle van to Rochester. Monday afternoon, Sam had a hearing test and Tuesday morning, we met with the ear specialist. He agreed that Sam does have hearing loss, which may be due to a plugged ear tube. He’ll be able to take a closer look tomorrow morning when Sam is under anesthesia. The ear doctor referred us to his colleague who specializes in working with people who have Down syndrome. He recommended Sam have a sleep study to determine if he has sleep apnea, something that is very common in those with Down syndrome and can be very hard on the heart. We were squeezed in for a sleep study on Wednesday night and discovered Thursday morning that Sam definitely does have sleep apnea. Therefore, he has been scheduled to have his tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow morning, January 22. Pete’s parents will be staying with us at an Airbnb rental house for a few days following his surgery. I’m so thankful they’ll be able to help! And my parents have been here in the last week to keep us company and take us shopping. We will stay in Rochester for two weeks following Sam’s surgery, and then we hope to head right back to Kenya. This is a long time for us to be away from Ella and Pete!

I’ve been told this procedure comes with a painful recovery, so will you please be praying for Sam in the next few days? We’ll be stocking the freezer with lots of Popsicles and Jello, and we’ll have plenty of movies available. I’ll post again later in the week with an update on how Sam’s healing is progressing. Thank you for praying with us!


Merry Christmas From Kenya!

card from Photo Affections


After many years of dreaming, we’re thrilled to be sending our Christmas greetings this year from Kenya! Though it feels quite different from what we were used to in Minnesota, we’re fully enjoying the holiday season. Here the temperatures are in the 70s, we’re surrounded by green grass, and most stores in the city have only one small aisle of Christmas treasures. We’ve spent a lot of time observing how our new friends celebrate during this season, and we’re looking forward to joining them at the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning church services to celebrate the birth of our one true King.

As you celebrate Jesus’ birth this Christmas, we pray you will experience His love in an entirely new way. May you deeply feel the joy and hope of this incredible season!

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Pete, Angela, Ella and Sam


A New Tradition: Gingerbread Houses

One of the great things we’ve discovered in living here at Tenwek is that there are some pretty fantastic traditions we get to add to our holiday season! Yesterday we participated in the annual making of gingerbread houses. I found a great recipe and printable template here and constructed Ella’s base for decorating the night before.

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Photo Friday

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