October 2018 David & Joanna Morrison Update
September is the month when temperatures climb considerably, and the trees are dropping their leaves. Papaya trees are loaded with fruit, and winter maize stalks are standing tall and drying. There is a smoky quality to the air, as fields of sugar cane are being burned in preparation for harvest. Just a couple weeks ago our sports camp was in full swing here at Iris and shouts and cheers could be heard above the whir of the sewing machines, as tailors sewed school uniforms for Iris Primary School.
[Iris children during the Iris sports camp.]
July and August are winter school holidays, and those days were full. Secondary students were busy with chores around base, their contribution to the costs of supplies. Their mornings were spent in study, mostly math and literature this year. I have so enjoyed reading and discussing the Secondary English Literature. Much of it is African stories, not surprisingly dark because of the history of Africa. It was good to ask questions, to uncover assumptions, and to discover the truth together. Every story involves relationships and situations familiar to all of our students.
[Some of the Iris secondary school students.]
Also home for holidays were some of our post-secondary students. This is a tough season, where children become adults, and must adapt to new expectations, particularly around finances. It is also an exciting season where we can see the fruit of our labour, as some students make good decisions and clearly shine. Please pray for smooth transitions for Iris children at all stages, but particularly for those who are ready to re-enter village life. The safety and abundance on our base can be taken for granted until it is time to go.
We have five young adults awaiting their final secondary school exam results. Our St.8 class all passed their St.8 National Exams, which is very exciting. Based on these exams, learners are selected to secondary schools all over the country. This years’ pass rate was significantly higher than other years, which means that there is tougher competition for the same number of places at government schools. All 35 of our Iris secondary students are now settled in 14 different schools. We are still short several secondary sponsors, so if you would like to contribute in this way, please send me an email. This is an opportunity to really get to know your student through letters and videos.
[Kalina together with the ‘music pups’.]
It was a great joy to have our own secondary graduate, Kalina, back with us recently for 6 weeks. She enjoyed reconnecting with friends and taking up some of her many jobs around the base. I have enjoyed hearing music pups many mornings and leading our group for kids with Cerebral Palsy together. This last month we talked about the difficulties of having a child who cannot communicate. We took time to pray over every part of every child, from head to toe. We prayed for heads to think, mouths to speak and to eat, ears to hear, hands to hold, chests free of infection, legs to walk, and feet to balance. It is always a privilege to spend time with these amazing mums and grandmothers, warriors in a world where there is no support available.
[Iris Africa support group for children with Cerebral Palsy.]
Soon it will be time to harvest mangoes, and the papayas are already juicy and delicious. It seems to me that the important thing is to stay alert and awake to each moment as the seasons change. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
[A couple of hornbills helping themselves to our papaya, without permission.]