The Zimpeto team is made up of long term staff who come and serve for a minimum of 12 months. They come with a variety of skills and experience and lots of “love to give away”. There are young people, more mature people, married couples, single folk and families from many nations including USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Brazil, Denmark, Australia, South Africa and Russia.
We work together with an large group of National leaders and pastors. Each area of the centre has a Mozambican leader and most of these areas are supported by one of the long term missionary staff. The Children’s centre works along side the church and the pastoral team. The pastors lead the outreaches and church services. We pray and worship together each week and plan for the week at educator meetings, pastors meeting, business meetings and leaders meetings.
Sewing Teacher, Baby House, Medical
Phone: +258 8285-11617
I had previously served the Lord in Malawi in the early 90’s as a midwife in a Mission Hospital and had prayed that I was willing to return at a later date in a non-medical role if that was in His plan. When I came to Zimpeto for a short visit I was praying that if this was His plan that He would show me what I could do. I was helping with some sewing when it became clear that help would be appreciated with teaching the girls as many more wanted to learn, I felt in my spirit that this was my answer from God!
Baby House, Bible School, Library
Phone: +258 8298-90447
I am from Brazil and I am here in Iris Ministry Maputo there is seven month. I work forever in the area of intercession, mission, evangelism, in Brazil also I am missionary. I am working here in Zimpeto in the area of Baby House, Bible school, intercession and library. I have many interests. I love staying with the children and babies. They are lovely. I see the love of Jesus in the children.
Baby House and Transition Dorm, Kid’s Church at the Boccaria
Phone: +258 8267-68461
Having started adult life as a teacher, God quickly stepped in to direct me to missions - which has now been part of my life for 15+ years. it’s been a growing experience but I know it’s the greatest way to learn dependence on Him!! I first made my Christian commitment 6 months after my mum died. I’d been taken to church most of my life but strangely, when everything was pulled out from under my feet, that’s when starting to trust began! I trained as a grade school teacher in the UK but God quickly directed me to missions, again in the realisation that I had to trust Him to direct every step of my path. So, my “path” has included 5 years in Brazil (as a teacher to MKs with Wycliffe Bible Translators), a stint in Eastern Europe with SHARE, and now 5 years in Zimpeto, Mozambique. Out of my own brokenness and healing God has called me to be a “repairer” and a “restorer” and now, a mother to the motherless. I have the privilege of living that promise and call through caring for 40+ “under 5s” in our Baby House and wouldn’t swap it for anything!
Woodworking teacher to five boys in Zimpeto and two in Maracuene
Phone: +258 8284-49561
I first came to Zimpeto in 2005 and in 2007 my wife and myself decided that we wanted to be here full time. It is a pleasure to teach the boys woodworking and to see how eager they are to learn. It is my goal that when they leave here they will be able to get a job full time.
Elizabeth (Betty) Blanchette
Phone: +258 8291-89972
My daughter Renee and I came to Zimpeto as visitors in 2004. The following year my husband Bob came back with us. In 2007 Bob and I returned long term. He teaches the woodworking program while I teach sewing. I currently teach 13 girls and 3 adult women. While my expertise is in drapery making, my goal is for the girls to learn dressmaking, drapery making, pattern making as well as quilting so they will be well rounded in their sewing skills. I have a wonderful assistant named Carla who comes as a student every morning then assists me with the girls in the afternoons. My hope is that one day she will teach the sewing program. The scripture verse that I feel sums up the program is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I am grateful to have a small part to play in the “future” of these dear people.
Phone: +258 8298-57726
I grew up in a small town in South Carolina, USA with many people to love on me. I did not grow up knowing the Lord but decided in high school there was something bigger than me. I met Jesus along the way and am still learning daily what it means to surrender my life to Him. I am just like any other nurse right out of school, except God decided to send me to Maputo, Mozambique. It all started with a decision to say yes to God before I knew the question and a series of events only God could have orchestrated. After I learned about Iris Ministries, God made this call on my life abundantly clear. There were the conversations with complete strangers that would lead to the question, “Have you ever thought about being a missionary in Africa?” Or the time I turned on my car and the first word on the radio was “Africa”. It turned out to be a girl discussing her last year serving as a missionary in a remote African village. To be honest I never thought I would actually make it to Mozambique, but through God’s amazing provision and grace I am here serving children I now dearly love. One thing I have learned is God is forever faithful. His plan is better than ours, and His provision is perfect.
Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to work at an orphanage “someday.” In 2000, I visited Zimpeto, leading a team of 16 students from Vanguard University in California. My heart was captured! I returned in 2003 for a year’s commitment but have been here for almsot seven years. It’s been a dream come true to come and be a mom to my darling boys. Early on, someone prayed for me that God would use me to create a bridge between what these boys have had and what they need and deserve and it’s been my privilege to be used by God in that way.
Hospitality, Bible School
Nancy was born and raised in a small town in Canada before she moved to Vancouver, BC to attend university where she received her Bachelor of Education. It was while teaching English and social studies at a Christian school that Nancy’s heart was first broken for Africa. In 2001 her principal initiated a relationship with a rural, black, Christian school in South Africa by taking his family to live and teach there for 5 months. The following year the principal and a teacher from South Africa visited her school and Nancy knew from hearing their stories and heart that she would one day visit Africa. In 2003/04 Nancy took a one-year leave of absence from teaching to travel to both South Africa and Iris Ministries in Mozambique. She spent 2 months teaching at the Christian school in South Africa before spending 3 weeks at Zimpeto, Mozambique with her dad. “After arriving at Zimpeto I felt like I had been forever changed just from the drive to the centre through the streets of Maputo. Throughout the ministry in the bush, dump, street, hospital, and centre, I knew I was nearer to the presence of the Lord than ever before and had a taste of the Lord’s deep, deep compassion for the poor. I suddenly understood Jer. 22:16-17 where it says ‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me declares the Lord.’” In July 2005 Nancy returned to Zimpeto for 3 weeks with her whole family where her plans to return long-term were finalized. Three months later, in October 2005 Nancy moved to Zimpeto where she has lived since then. Her years at the children’s center at Zimpeto have involved work coordinating the hospitality team that manages the many aspects of visitors’ short term trips to Iris. She has also taught in the Bible School and helped care for a dorm of five to eight year old boys.
Bocaria Children’s Church Co-Leader, Houseparent, Donations Room
Phone: +258 8295-86890
I am from Devon, England and am the last of 12 children in a non-Christian family. I have worked with children most of my life as a Nanny/Nursery Nurse, also some years as Cook/Manager of a Christian Cafe. I became a Christian when I was 29 whilst working in Paris. Since becoming a Christian my heart’s cry has been to know Jesus more and make Him known to others. From childhood it was in my heart to care for orphans. After a short-term trip to China I told the Lord that I didn’t want to waste my life and would do whatever He wanted me to do. He called me to Mozambique and I moved there in 2005 as part of the Iris Team at Zimpeto. I believe God wants me to share in His sufferings and nurture the children that He gives me with a Mother’s love, enabling them to become who He created them to be.
Neil and Hilda Degregorio
Came after the floods in 2000 and the Lord has allowed us to stay awhile. Ministering to the children.
To walk in God’s love and give it away. I became a Christian in 1975, since then pursuing God, freedom, and liberty, loving babies and children from the most desperate situations, facilitating the dreams of others and serving the poorest of the poor is my passion. My prayer to be released into missions was finally realised in 1999 after a visit to Zimpeto Mozambique. Since becoming base director with my husband Steve our passion is to reunite children with families, to enable families to live together.
Phone: +258 8247-42720
Ros and I first visited Mozambique in 1999 after meeting Heidi and Roland in Toronto in 1996. We helped during the floods of 2000 and came back for 3 months before coming long term in January 2001. In 2003 Heidi and Rolland began their move to Pemba so Ros and I began directing here in Zimpeto. We are blessed to serve with about 35 missionaries and 150 Mozambican staff. God is changing a nation and we are excited to be part of what He is doing – bringing people to Jesus, seeing the sick healed and caring for 300 children. We serve over 1200 meals a day, see 500 patients a week in our clinic, educate 650 children in our school. We work alongside the church and in everything we do we share the good news of Jesus and give out food, clothing, medicine and lots of love.
Director of Hospitality
I have been a Christian since childhood, sold out since my teens and passionately devoted to following Jesus, no matter what, since my 20’s. My life now is spent learning to trust and follow the One who does abundantly more than all I can ask or imagine, and encouraging others to find this same place of freedom and joy. As a primary school teacher I learned that the Holy Spirit is one-size-fits-all, no matter our age, and that the hardest days are the most formative if we’re focused on Jesus. As a church worker, I learned that what God thinks of me is what matters most. I learned that He is gentle and kind and always good, and that He is resolutely, graciously persistent with me for my sake and the sakes of those He calls me to serve. As a missionary, I am learning day-by-day that God is unshakeably faithful and, no matter what time I get up in the morning, He is always up before me. I have been in Mozambique since early 2008. My mission in life is to love with the heart of Jesus and to serve with hands anointed by His touch, so that the extraordinary Presence of the Living God invades and transforms Earth with the power of Heaven. I am living the dream. How good He is.
Celia Santos (Celia Mendes)
Outreach, Oversees youth dorm workers and gardens
Phone: +258 8286-23600
For the past 10 years Celia is involved with Mission work. Has done either short or long mission in a few different countries. She has pastored a Spanish speaking church in Brazil and has always been involved with the teaching of the word of God in a bible school level. Has been in Mozambique for the past 7 years working with Iris Ministries and the Full Gospel Church of God. Her current work includes Bible School teaching, youth ministry, garden and farm project with Iris and outreaches, leadership training, with the FGCG and a community work with a community 40 kms outside Maputo preaching the word and assisting in some of their needs.
John and Sandra have been teaching in the Zimpeto Bible School, equipping and training Mozambican leaders since 2002. They assist the Mozambican Director, Pastor Eduardo Utie, in overseeing many aspects of the Bible School. They have recently helped Mozambican leaders launch a discipleship program in various churches in the southern provinces. John and Sandra enjoy going to the bush areas to minister in local churches during Bible School intervals. They try to take items to help the impoverished people of the remote areas while at the same time teaching them the Word of God and His love for them. One of their main emphases is imparting the Father’s Heart and the importance of developing an intimate relationship with Him. It is their passion to see leaders raised up who will carry God’s love and bring transformation to the nation of Mozambique. They also have a heart to provide the missionaries with a quiet place where they can be alone to seek God in the midst of a busy Children’s Centre. To this end, they have created a prayer room in their home which is available to the missionary staff 24/7 and continue to stock new CD’s and DVD’s for their edification.