April 2020 David & Joanna Morrison Update
Wednesday night is busy in our house. David leads a Bible study for 9-12 year olds in the boys old room. He uses videos and drama to teach Bible stories, and plant seeds of truth. At the same time, I lead a youth Bible study in the living room. We have been enjoying an honest dialogue about matters of the heart. What keeps us from seeing God as he really is? How can we get to know him? How can we replace fear with faith, as we destroy lies and live by the truth? As both groups collide before and after, we have a lovely moment of chaos and cheer.
[Iris kids having fun with the skateboards up and down the sidewalk in front of our home.]
On most afternoons, we enjoy the kids when they come to play with dolls or Lego on the porch, or to draw and colour, or just to chat. My greatest joy is to see the kids grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I love watching a child grasp a math concept, or a young man engage with a spiritual challenge. I love witnessing courageous transparency and forgiveness. Living in a family of more than a hundred, opportunities for love and forgiveness abound and I am a grateful witness, and often, a participant.
[Iris kids hanging out on the condi (porch), with slippers dropped in front of the door, as kids like to do.]
People ask how we stay refreshed, and the answer is that we pray and listen to podcasts and read. Our strength is in God and in knowing that we are where he wants us. Kids have a way of bringing out the best and the worst, which keeps us thankful and humble. We received great refreshment at our Iris Africa Gathering in October and continue to reap the benefits of that time away. We also retreat occasionally to Zomba, a plateau a few hours away from here. It is cooler there and quiet. There is time and biking terrain for David and for walking and reading for me, a perfect combination.
[An African Harrier Hawk has decided to make his home at the Iris ministry base. As we watch him we are reminded that God’s strength at work in believers allows us to soar.]
We had a lovely visit with Kalina in December which was anticipated by all. She spent hours playing, swimming, chatting, and sewing with her Iris brothers and sisters who miss her terribly. It was good to discover that her Chichewa could be roused from rest within a few days. She made time to visit particular families whom she has come to love. What joy to see her embrace a child with severe CP, in that simple gesture acknowledging the goodness of his mother who tirelessly carries him everyday! It did my mother’s heart good to see Kalina in action again, and to walk with her through the village.