October 2017 Sarah Masson Update
The girl in this photo finds me every Sunday. I call her my Angel! She finds me in church and curls up, and usually takes a nap. She is desperate for a cuddle. She reminds me of when I was little and needed a cuddle. Honestly, I think that God sent her to me so that we can each bless each other with the language of hugs and cuddles! She comes to church alone but her family lives across the road from us. Join me in praying for her future! She represents so many little ones here in Malawi who just need a cuddle.
I left Malawi in February of this year, wondering if it would be the last time that they would grant me a visa to come back into the country. All I could do was open up my hands and give all the control to our heavenly Father. It was difficult, as I was called home to sit at my father’s bedside and support my family, and I wasn’t sure if God had it in His plans for me to even return to Malawi.
These last few months have definitely been challenging as I grieve the loss of my dad in a different way. We didn’t have him in a sense for almost 10 years, but this was different. Now we can’t go and visit him anymore, we can’t sit and worship Jesus with him anymore, and we can’t receive hugs and joyous smiles like when he would see us coming. Alzheimer’s is a cruel illness, and I hope that they find a way to heal it soon so others do not have to suffer the same fate. We continue to believe that our earthly father is ‘dancing it up’ with our heavenly Father.
I said this in my last update but it still is so true, so here it is again: “I’m truly honoured to be living where I do. It wrecks me, challenges me and blesses me all at the same time. It’s hard to explain and verbalize what life is like in this tiny bit of land in Malawi.”
God blew me out of the water when he provided a great vehicle for me this year! An absolute miracle! There is no doubt that we have good daddy in heaven that takes care of us and provides what is needed!
Over the past few years I have been guiding and giving career and school planning to our oldest children who are now looking at post-secondary options. Finding people jobs are in my DNA; my grandmother and father owned a recruiting agency. I’m very excited to report that my guidance counselling has now grown into a larger group and I’m now running a weekly class for them. They are learning more about themselves, setting realistic goals, dreaming big dreams, researching schools options, and getting on the right career path for them to make it as independent, fully capable adults.
The Iris Bible School has asked me to teach again this term. I’m teaching a class on the Holy Spirit this time around. This gives me life and it is exciting to see 1st year students have their lightbulbs lit up on issues of the Father’s love for them as sons and daughters of the King!
I am still teaching my adult English class when it fits into everyone’s schedules. We are living at the mercy of the seasons, and when it’s time to harvest or plant then there isn’t much time for anything else.
I’ve been building a wood burning oven for baking bread (and of course pizza) for those missionaries who have a craving! I hope to have it be a means for some of the women in on the base to start a baking business. We will see how this goes! More updates to come!
I have continued to host some great visitors. We had an amazing conference in August with Rolland Baker, Supresa Sithole, and their wonderful ministry teams. They always encourage us! Supresa is a living example of what God can do with your life when you fully surrender to him. He has an incredible life story which you can find online in a book he has written. Our kids love to learn and spend time with him because they see how a young boy from rural Africa who grew up in Malawi is now travelling around the world.
I continue to spend time with the youth to build solid relationships. Every Friday night we play indoor and outdoor games together, listen to worship music and pray, dance to their favourite songs or watch an educational or inspirational movie.
During the week I spend quality time with a few of the kids. I also make an effort to visit the girl’s homes in the evenings to relieve the house mothers in part, but more so to connect with the girls by helping with their homework or answering their questions about life and God. They usually ask me to read them a book, sing them to sleep, and pray for them. These are the most special times for me. I often say that I do a job on the base just so I can be where God has asked me to be, and that’s with the youth and children at Iris Malawi.
As I said at the beginning of the update, I wasn’t sure what God was going to do with my visa application. It was being held up for reasons that we couldn’t explain (even if I tried to tell you) and we didn’t see an earthly way forward. The only option was to trust God to get the paperwork done. As you have read from my update, I’ve been busy in Malawi with God since April of this year when I returned from burying my father. For more than one good reason I wasn’t sure I could make it back to Malawi. It was only by God’s hand that I was able to return.
Integrity, character, loyalty and honesty are some of the traits that my dad would often talk to me about when I was growing up. It may have been when I wasn’t displaying those traits! Aside from knowing that God sent me to Malawi, I will always know that my dad would be so proud of my commitment to the young people here in Malawi. He also had the same love for the people of Malawi.