September 2015 Southern Malawi Ministry Centre Update
Once again, we wonder at the quiet the day after 24 secondary school students depart for school. Getting them ready was a full-time job for Louise Loten, fellow missionary, for whom we are very grateful. Supplies have been bought. Sponsors have been written. The students have completed their volunteer work assignments - which is their ticket to secondary. We can see many of our students making wise choices and developing strong character. It is a joy to see them rise up.
[Secondary students (Sept 2015) before they headed off to their respective secondary schools.]
One of my favourite things is to watch these older, well-established kids welcome new Iris children. In September, we brought home four new children and they received a warm welcome in Girls’ 3 and Boys’ 4. Everything is new: new clothes, new home, new friends, new school, new routines, new food, in all, a new way of life. Hands are offered in friendship. Worn pathways are identified for the newcomers. Trust is demonstrated as Iris kids give and receive hugs. It takes time for new children to welcome a hug, but it will come.
[Girl on the right very excited about coming with us to her new home.]
[House mother Ruth welcomes the new treasure into the Iris family.]
These new children remind me once again that I look 80 miracles in the eyes every day. With the usual teenage challenges, we might forget how far these kids have come. They know they are loved; they know right from wrong; they know how to love, and some begin to lead. What joy, to be reminded of God’s goodness once again!
Those who have not gone to secondary school are doing the ‘big shuffle’ right now, figuring out who will lead and who will follow. I attended youth this week and watched them working it out. They are all full of life and joy, and some will rise up to take the lead. Last year, 3 of our girls were selected to national schools. This is evidence of growth and hard work and good training. New heights await this group too.
As base leaders, we are excited to find ourselves in a new place too. For the first time, we left Timothy Makwalo, national leader and Bible School Director, in charge while we were away in Canada this year. He did an excellent job, supported by our missionary and national team. He will continue in the role of Director of Ministries and Operations and carry the day to day work of Iris Malawi, while David moves into an advisory role as Executive Director. It is a new day and our national leaders are rising up and taking hold of the vision and the call to excellence.
[Sarah & Timothy Makwalo.]
‘Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’ Isaiah 43:19. Yes, and amen!