September 2020 David & Joanna Morrison Update
Just like parents all over the world who were suddenly faced with the challenge of homeschooling, we are no different except for the size of our family. On March 23rd, we suddenly found ourselves responsible for the continued education of 89 children and young adults. Since all schools were closed on that day, 30 secondary students and 9 college/university students made their way home to join our 50 primary school kids who live on the base fulltime.
Our home is in the centre of the base and we can hear much of what happens in the children’s homes. The return of the older kids means that bedrooms are overflowing with suitcases and clothes, and the volume is increased significantly as the newcomers find their space. Our singing is improved with the addition of a significant base section. Conversations take a deeper turn, as we find inevitable places of conflict and unforgiveness.
My back porch is a place for those conversations as it is hidden from sight and usually quiet. There have been many occasions over these last few months where a significant conversation often birthed in prayer brought transformation to relationships. For this I am thankful. We were granted an extended visit with these older children who still need input from us as they make important decisions about the people they want to be in the world.
Meanwhile, the ordinary stuff of life continues – bandaids for cuts, tensor bandages and ice packs for twisted ankles, books from the library, reams of paper for drawing and colouring, trips to the market, clothes for mending, oh yes, and masks to make too. It was rewarding to train 10 Iris kids to use the sewing machines to make masks and mend clothes. Perhaps I have finally worked myself out of this endless mending job!
Meals are prepared, laundry done, shelves dusted, all with the help of little and sometimes big hands, without school to keep them busy. Do you have a job for me? I loved seeing little ones excited to fill up a sugar bag with bits of garbage lying around, and bigger boys tackling a huge termite mound in our back yard, proudly presenting the queen at the end of their excavation. Many days we would hear the buzz of the chain saw as Mo and some boys tackled another tree, blocking the necessary sun from the fields, and carefully dismantled to add to our growing piles of firewood. There is so much to be learned outside of the classroom, and we are grateful for the time and creativity granted by COVID-19.
After a very challenging journey home to Canada, and two weeks of quarantine, we were delight to celebrate the marriage of our son Daniel and Lauren in late August. We were more than ready to have lots of family time with all of our children and families before returning to Malawi at the beginning of October.
[The journey to Canada.....all for the joy set before us of being with our own 3 children!]