October 2018 Sarah Masson Update
A Season of Hospitality
It’s been a busy 6 months since I last wrote to you all. International visitors, post-secondary navigation, researching quality education opportunities in Malawi for our young Malawians, teaching life equipping skills, guidance counselling, youth programming, international conference hosting, airport pickups/drop offs, food shopping for guests, hospital emergencies, and so much more!
It has been a busy season! We’ve had many international visitors in 2018, and it has been full of great times as we reap so much from having specialists in their fields come and share their knowledge here on the ground. We appreciate those who take their coveted holiday time to come and share with the children and the great working staff here. The Malawian team appreciates their visits and they soak up what they don’t know already.
It was a super special time for me to host my brother in April, and then again (along with his family this time) in July. It was a personal dream come true to have my siblings here with me and see how God’s timing is always perfect. He was the only one remaining in my nuclear family to see one of my Dad’s dreams and interests flourish. It was a special time for all of us. I’m extremely blessed by my family and their continued passion to assist people worldwide.
As stated in my previous report, “Since September 2017, I have been intentionally meeting with and leading a group of our young adults who have finished Secondary School. I’ve been calling them up to their potential in life. I’ve also been helping them navigate their education options in Malawi after the completion of secondary school. We’ve set high expectations for their behaviour, character and attitude for their time after graduating secondary school. Through this new initiative we hope to see our students working as responsible young adults in jobs around the area and the country, and move into even better educational opportunities in their future”.
I’m overjoyed to report that we have placed 7 young adults into life giving situations for each one of them. They have been for lack of a better word ‘launched’ into their next stage of life. We all make mistakes here and there, some more than others, however, I am so proud of each one of our young adults who has made a go of their life circumstances. They have pushed forward through seemingly horrendous odds and made a new road for success in their lives. A few have started small businesses to assist their families and to help pay for their education fees. We worked with our students over the past year to discover who they are, and how knowing their personality can show them about some career ideas that they might not have known of or previously considered.
We are continuing to develop this program, as each year we will have more graduates into the post-secondary realm. We hope to provide the best learning opportunities for each one! We are all made differently with different, drives, passions, abilities, skills and personalities. I have so enjoyed empowering our young adults to see who they are and who they can be in the future! What a life giving opportunity for me; I’m so thankful to be a small part of it.
Iris Children and Youth:
Iris continues to bring children home who have been in the worst circumstances. I continue to know my reason for being here and I’m reminded each time Iris brings a new child home. Iris (hand in hand with the social welfare department in Nsanje District) investigates and makes sure that there are no living relatives able to care for the children. During my brother’s visit we were able to be part of another investigative visit….it’s a long process. We are so happy to report that this recent investigation led to a new child being brought into the Iris family in September.
I’m so proud to see our youth and young adults taking on roles and responsibilities that I used to oversee.This year I organized a meeting for our young adults to plan and make a program for the young people at the national conference that we host in Bangula every August. It was so exciting to step back and see our Iris young adults leading and making a difference in the lives of children in the community. What a testimony to see young people (rather than me) who have come from the worst places to be leading children in games and playing sports alongside children who normally don’t have much to do. It is amazing what young people take in along the way when they are given leadership opportunities. You can see that they have learned so much, and then are able to do it in their own way. This is so much more powerful to see than if myself or another missionary did it.
The children who are growing up on our base continue to be my priority. God continues to speak to me about being a constant in their lives. Last week we were working on math together - all part and parcel of living in community together. We all help each other!
God’s inspiration in Malawi:
God is an incredible creator and I’m continuously reminded of that that here in Malawi. He has made so many amazing and beautiful creatures. Incredibly made! Since we have had so many international visitors this year, I have been to the game park a few times, hosting these large groups. Please enjoy God’s creation through my personal favourites!