Each year, the long-term missionaries from Tenwek Hospital join with other missionaries from their organization for a spiritual retreat on the Kenyan coast of the Indian Ocean. This year, the McCropders were privileged to participate.
The retreat structure included morning and evening sessions, which incorporated worship/ singing time, teaching from a pastor, community activities, and small group discussions. The afternoon free-time mostly involved napping, swimming in the pool, and enjoying the Malindi beach. It was so lovely.
1. The pool and the ocean. The McCropder kids absolutely loved the water! The pool was warm; the ocean was gorgeous. The crabs and moray eels (above) also fascinated the children. Anna and Elise participated in swimming lessons, and the little ones enjoyed floating around, too.
2. The worship sessions. I absolutely loved singing praise songs and hymns with the crew of about 40 missionaries, several of whom are gifted musicians.
3. The conversation time. We really enjoyed talking with various people from other areas in Africa and from other missions.
4. The vacation relaxation. While we really love what we do here at Tenwek, it was good to have a time to step back and rest from our hospital work and house work. I particularly enjoyed eating all those meals without having to prepare them. We all appreciated the chance to enjoy a change of pace together as families and community.
The McLaughlins even spent some quality family time in the middle of the nights, as their children did not do quite as much night-time sleeping as they would have preferred. Ben wakes up in the night as expected for a 1-month-old. And poor Maggie had a tough time adjusting to sleeping in a new place, but who can blame her, since she had not spent a night away from her Tenwek crib since October.
Really the only major mishap of the Malindi trip was our failure to administer Abi’s motion sickness prophylaxis prior to our flight from Malindi to Nairobi. The picture of the damage is too awful to share. Below are some of the regrettable results.
We have now returned home and resumed regular life, as evidenced by the full McCropder laundry line.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to rest, reflect, worship, and enjoy this retreat. Many thanks to our WGM friends for inviting the McCropders to Malindi.