Our visit to the US!

The power has been out for two days.

We have to remind ourselves not to drink from the tap.

I’m having cheese withdrawals.

…but we are HOME in Kenya and it feels SO GOOD!

Our two month visit to the U.S. was a terrific blessing. We were able to catch up with family and friends, connect with supporters and share about ministry with Bluesky. We also got to satisfy our Chick-fil-a cravings, as well as Nate’s personal favorite – Chinese buffet.

We are fortunate to have two “home bases” to return to in the U.S., with half our time spent in Medina, Ohio and the other half in Rome, Georgia. We know a ton of missionary friends who spend 99% of their time in the U.S. on a cross-country road trip to visit many churches and people….we are so thankful for the strong support we have received from our two hometown communities that makes our visit more simplified and restful (especially with a toddler!).

Some big events from our time in the USA included:

  • Nate’s family surprising us with “Christmas Morning” in June!
  • Attending the 100th (and longest standing) family reunion in the state of Ohio!
  • A Mast family vacation to North Carolina, including such special cousin time for the kiddos!
  • Finding out the gender of our second baby…it’s a BOY!
  • Being invited to a missionary marriage retreat at Winshape, where we connected with many folks serving overseas…and even made new friends who live 15 minutes from us in Nairobi!
  • Shanna’s sister gave birth to our newest nephew, Chandler!

We were also able to connect with a lot of our supporters and share about ministry with Bluesky. We hosted a supporter banquet in Rome, Georgia and met with folks over coffee or a meal throughout our visit. We were invited to share with both First Baptist Church of Medina and First Presbyterian Church of Rome about how things were going in Kenya.

It was truly special to talk to folks in person about Kenya, answer questions and catch up. Although we post blogs and send newsletters, there is something irreplaceable about seeing people in “real life” and having solid conversations about life. We are truly grateful. We look forward to the next time we can cross the “pond,” but for now we are enjoying life in Kenya and jumping head-first back into ministry!

Here are some fun memories from our visit in the U.S….enjoy!

Shanna and Levi visited the Yoder family for a few days in Dallas, Texas!
Claire and Levi are BFFs!
Shanna shared a slice of pie in Dallas with our dear friend Alexia who served with us in Kenya during our first year!
Got to eat Torchy tacos with Sally! She was a student in our youth group in Kenya, and now she’s thriving as a sophomore at Baylor University!
Levi got some time with his Granddaddy Landers…going up the driveway on their different modes of transport!
Time with Sharon and Noah was so great!
We FINALLY met our sweet niece, Olivia, who is 6 months younger than Levi!


Levi playing peek-a-boo with his great-grandpa Mast!
Grabbing ice-cream together with family!
Nate and I spent a day in Cleveland, OH for our 5 year anniversary. We found a bacon lollipop to celebrate!
Looking at family photos together in Medina.
Three cousins having dinner together at Uncle Aaron (Nate’s brother) and Aunt Sara’s house!
Three boys taking down Uncle Chris together at family vacation in NC.
Of course, we had to get a family photo outside of The Mast General Store.



Grandpa Mast with a handful of grandkids and great-grandkids in Ohio!
3 generations of Mast boys hiking in NC…trying to beat the storm rolling in!
Passed through Bristol, TN and grabbed lunch with these great friends! Chase and Audrey did mission work at the base of Kilimanjaro with the Maasai tribe. We sure miss them in Kenya now, but so thankful to see them in the US!
Nate’s parents drove us down to Georgia. So thankful for time with them!
Saw our friend Tessa in ATL for a bit…she worked with us at Bluesky during our first 1.5 years in Kenya!
Levi got to hang out with his buddy Myles both at church and at Myles’ house!
Finally got to meet little Bo and get some time with his fun parents in Chattanooga!
Our sweet friend Michelle came up to Rome for a hike at Berry…it was so great to catch up! Michelle served with Bluesky before we moved to Kenya…we just tend to follow in her footsteps!
A classic breakfast for dinner at the kitchen table in the Phillip’s home!
Spent a few days at a marriage retreat at Winshape. Got to hang out with our friends Andrew and Abby, who live about 3 hours from us in Kenya.
Levi instantly fell in love with our friend Sarah! Sarah was part of the Camp Bluesky team in 2010 when Nate and I first met!
A girl outing in ATL with my dear friend Tiffany. She introduced me to her friend Katrina a while back….who is SUPER fun! I loved getting a day with these two!
A little Berry picnic with Blake and Brittni…who are also expecting a little baby (girl!) in January!
So thankful to get to meet baby Chandler! Levi was excited to have a cousin on the Landers side!
Riding the Mule and looking for “critters”  was a regular evening habit for Levi and his Granddaddy Landers!
Grandmama and Granddaddy Landers with their two grandsons!





One thought on “Our visit to the US!

  1. Love reading your blog and looking at all the pics. Looks like the event you just had with 50 kids went well. We miss you so but know God is using you. Love you.

    On Sun, Sep 1, 2019 at 9:33 AM All the Way to Africa wrote:

    > shannamast posted: “The power has been out for two days. We have to remind > ourselves not to drink from the tap. I’m having cheese withdrawals. …but we > are HOME in Kenya and it feels SO GOOD! Our two month visit to the U.S. was > a terrific blessing. We were able to catch u” >


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