April 2021 Sarah Mkandawire (Masson) Update
Life has been busy for our little family these past 6 months. Chenela finally made it out of Malawi’s locked down borders (when they opened in October) to meet his son for the first time. We were reunited in Canada and we have had a great and challenging time settling into parenthood together (as I’m sure all the parents can attest to). It is so much better than flying solo, as I did for 5 months.
Throughout our time in Canada, we have both continued to work remotely with the Malawi base. All of our young adults in the post-secondary program have phones with internet access, allowing them easy access to me. This has allowed me to continue to assist our students via WhatsApp messaging, voice calls and email, while stuck in Canada due to Covid related issues.
Our college and university students have remained hopeful while waiting for the delayed start in 2021. Many of the students were meant to start full-time in September 2020, but because of many class delays from the previous semester, they were delayed again. One of the students' colleges remained closed until March 15, 2021, due to the passing of the Director’s husband from Covid-19.
We may not know the full effects that this pandemic has had on education worldwide until we are a few more years down the road. The delays and difficulties it has presented for our young people have wreaked havoc.
With my continued administrative support of our students, I have continually reminded them not to lose hope and faith in such times as this. They have done exceptionally well with the delays, and have been getting very encouraging grade reports.
The base has not been receiving any visitors because of Covid. This part of my role has not been challenging while I’ve been away because it has been in a holding pattern.
It is with a conflicted heart that I share with you that I will be taking a temporary leave from Iris Ministries Canada. I’m currently preparing my heart, mind, and soul to get ready to fly solo once again. Chenela will have returned to work on the mission (at the end of March), by the time you read this. I will remain in Canada with our 10-month old son until his dad lets us know that it is safe to travel with our family’s most precious cargo. We have weighed all our options several times, and this currently seems the best way forward.
We hope to be communicating with you soon about our whole family’s return to Malawi. Thank you from the deepest place in my heart for continuing to pray and support us for just over 10 years; I am deeply grateful. Many of our students have written this week to share their thanks with me, but I consider this a thank you from our students to you for so faithfully supporting me over the years.
Much love and gratitude,