September 2020 Sarah Masson Update
This is an update like none other that I have done before. Since my last update in March 2020, all of my responsibilities at Iris Malawi have mostly come to a grinding halt. Yes, you guessed it right, COVID-19 is the reason for this particular season! As you know, visitor hospitality(international travel) and education are two of the major sectors hit worldwide, so it is no surprise that the people we serve in Malawi have been affected. Our young people are extremely worried about their education as they were unable to finish their last semesters work at school. In Canada, it was extremely difficult for parents to homeschool 1-5 children, so can you imagine homeschooling 85 of various ages? Teenagers and young adults who are used to boarding at school and being independent all returned home to the base to live together in a lockdown.
Since March 7, 2020, I have been in Canada preparing for the birth of Chenela and my firstborn child. I have continued assisting our post-secondary students as planned over WhatsApp messaging and email. We had to sort out new exam timelines and differing timing for school payments. So I have continued my administrative support of our students getting educated, even from across the ocean! I have reminded our students to not lose hope and faith in such a time as this. We are currently experiencing quite a few losses.
We don’t know how education will go forward in Malawi as of yet, as we wait for schools and the Government to roll out their COVID-19 safety plans. We are hopeful for a safe and informative plan from our new President. My prayer is that education in Malawi will get a complete overhaul! It needs to be made into a Malawian system and move away from the traditional British system. For example, I’d love to see books like Shakespeare dropped from the syllabus, and added attention given to applicable knowledge - like currently spoken languages within Malawi.
As stated previously, I have been in Canada to have our firstborn child. Our son Josiah was born on May 1, 2020. He is a complete joy in our lives. While Chenela and I are still separated by the ocean and land between, we have remained close during this unusual time over video chats.
Chenela is still waiting to see his son. I can still hardly believe it myself! We are waiting on God and we trust that there has been such a delay for a reason. It has been 5.5 months since I have seen my husband, when on March 6th I departed Malawi early, due to pregnancy airline regulations.
I have continued to work for Iris Malawi over the internet, and have remained in contact with our college students, and assisted them in navigating this unusual and unprecedented time. We remain faithful in all things! I trust that God has been taking care of all of us, and as I learned while waiting for a manly God of faith and many other promises - that waiting for God’s best brings about incredible results. So let’s continue to be patient and wait on the Lord.
[Josiah is already in training, join our boys on the base in their soccer exploits - a strong contender for the win!]