October 2019 Sarah Masson Update
I have now been serving at the Iris Malawi base for 9 years. I went to Malawi (my second time), landing in September of 2010, intending to stay only 3 months. However, in those three months God gave me a dream about my newly born nephew suddenly being 5 years old, and one of our Malawian house parents telling me that I’d be there for 5 years. At that time I thought to myself ‘that’s crazy and highly unlikely’ : -). God had different plans, but had to reveal them to me little by little. If he had revealed the plan all at once, I may have passed out or been too overwhelmed to function! At that point I could barely stand the heat and hated the isolation. The hardest challenge that I’ve had over the years as a missionary on the field is the isolation and loneliness that it brings. I’ve always loved a change of scenery, a little adventure, and a lot of moving around,so staying in Bangula, Malawi meant living in the same place.
God has gently challenged me in many ways in the area of friendships and I have learned to put him first; thereafter he tends to my wants and needs. This past year (my 8th year in Malawi) he has brought me friends in the district we live in who are like-minded, like-hearted, and with whom I have connected well relationally. What a blessing that I can rejoice in God’s good gift of life-long friendship. Eight years has been a long time to wait for a good friend. God knows what we need and when we need it.
This year has also been a year of great celebration, as I married my husband on May 4, 2019 in Malawi. We met on the mission field and dated for approximately 6 years (which felt like a long waiting period for me). God always has the most incredible timing. Chenela and I will be celebrating our union with our Canadian family and friends this month. As I write this, we have ‘just’ landed in Canada for a time of rest.
My focus at home in Malawi has been on the visitor (winter) season. We’ve had many international visitors over the past few months that came to encourage our local team in Malawi.
I continue to enjoy working alongside our young adults who are trying to get a start at their independence in life. We are working hard to guide our young people into great futures for themselves. As with any teenager, much patience is required. We want the best for our kids as they grow up. We desperately want them to be self-sufficient and able to contribute back into their families or communities, and to be as healthy as possible when they leave our gates to enter the world around them. I am praying for and waiting on God for great creative solutions for those who aren’t as academic, but are extremely capable individuals. I pray for (and envision) the day when our young people are grown healthy adults who can reflect back on all that they gleaned in their years at Iris, recognizing that all that we did was with the goal of ensuring their futures. God has them safely in his hands.