Introducing: Levi James Mast!

Levi James Mast, our son, was born on September 10th at 4:10am at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi. He was born 8 pounds and 7 ounces, 19 inches, and perfectly healthy. We are truly blessed!

Scroll down to see photos, read “10 Fun Facts” about Levi, and read our prayer requests.

Levi James Mast – on his birthday, just a few hours after being born!
Shanna holding her son for the first time. She’s a mom!
Nate holding his son for the first time. He’s a dad!
Levi’s face after a soothing bath at home.
Levi napping. He sleeps hard like his dad!
Levi’s nursery – the sheepskin rug is from the side of the road for $15. The rocking chair is from the US and was bought at a yard sale and has already seen 3 generations of babies. The crib was bought second-hand and has held over five missionary babies. The white banner is an Anthropologie copy-cat made out of denim and a broomstick. The blue hand-made African quilt was a gift during a marriage retreat we attended in January. It’s not a fancy nursery, but each item is so special to us!
The 8th grade girls’ Covenant Group has been SO EXCITED to meet Levi. We surprised them with a special invitation to visit him this week! They have loved our family so well over the past 9 months!

10 fun facts about our little Levi:

  1. We decided on “Levi” for his first name just a few minutes after he was born. Picking a name out was difficult for us and it took the full 9 months (and seeing his face) to finalize!
  2. James, his middle name, was chosen before we even knew about him. James was Shanna’s maternal grandfather’s name and she had always wanted to use his name if she had a son.
  3. Shanna’s water broke at 6:30am on Saturday, September 9th. For 14 hours, nothing happened, so she and Nate hung out at home, watched The Office, ordered sushi and she gave Nate a much needed haircut. They left for the hospital at 7:30pm and contractions didn’t start until 8:30pm.
  4. By the time Levi is two months old, he will have visited four different countries: Kenya, The Netherlands, Italy and The United States!
  5. Levi’s nursery is full of gifts from around the world: an alpaca and hat from Bolivia, socks from the Netherlands, outfits from the U.S, U.K. and Germany, a home-made swaddle from India, and a hand-stitched blanket from Kenya… just to name a few!
  6. Levi’s birth was announced in three different churches on his birthday: First Presbyterian Church in Rome, Georgia, First Baptist Church in Medina, Ohio, and International Christian Fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya!
  7. In Kenya, when you become a mom, everyone begins calling you “Mama + first born’s name.” So, when the Kenyans in our neighborhood greet Shanna, they now call her “Mama Levi.” (Nate is “Baba Levi!”)
  8. There are an estimated 2,000 African animals found in Levi’s nursery – from his outfits, to his crib sheets, to burp cloths, to wall decor.
  9. Levi got his dark hair from his mom. We are guessing that he got his nose from his dad. It’s tough to tell who he will resemble the most!
  10. Levi takes after his dad when it comes to being a deep sleeper and a loud farter πŸ˜‰


Prayer Requests:

Thank God for a healthy and pretty smooth delivery process. Our doctors and doula were terrific. Praise the Lord for our beautiful little Levi!

Pray that we would learn quickly as parents and know how to best care for Levi. Also pray that we would have grace with ourselves and each other as we are both new to parenthood!

Pray that Levi would grow up and one day know God. Pray that we would teach him about God and exemplify Christ to him in our marriage and as parents.

This has been such a big life transition for us – pray for comfort as we are far from family and miss them extra during this season. We thank God for the community here in Nairobi that has loved on us so well by cooking meals, showered us with gifts and are constantly praying for us!

Pray for other mamas and babies in Kenya – we were blessed that our insurance covered quality care in a prestigious private Nairobi hospital. Many Kenyans cannot afford the healthcare we had and are forced to give birth in public hospitals….where there is not enough funding and corruption takes place. Unfortunately, many women share delivery beds (up to three to a bed!) and risk infection due to lack of medicine, clean water, etc. Pray for these situations to be resolved!



One thought on “Introducing: Levi James Mast!

  1. Congratulations, guys!!! I loved the 10 facts about Levi, he’s such a special boy!! πŸ’™ The Lord has special plans for him.


    Dani Maita


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