Our Mercy Department in Pemba supports 500 women and a small group of people with special needs. These women are either widows or single abandoned moms and face the challenge to sustain their families with at least three to eight children on their own. We aim to meet one of their biggest needs by supplying their families with one meal a day.
The heartbeat our work is our weekly discipleship where our women receive spiritual food and get to know Jesus personally. Some of them are believers and involved in our church, but others are from another faith. We want to minister to them through love, help and a skills training program. By teaching them about God, we want to empower them start and deepen a relationship with God, how to hear His voice and live life with Him every day and furthermore how to have faith for God’s provision.
We have different training programs in which they come to learn a skill. The following programs are once or twice a week for no longer than six hours and include the:Iris Arts
is a program which trains women in jewelry making as well as arts and crafts with Mozambican resources;Support and Cleaning program
which helps with cleaning the church and by distributing the food after the discipleship; andThe special needs group
which makes Mozambican day beds and creates baskets and crafts.
The vision of the training program is that they will understand the importance and value of work by giving their time and gifts. Through that we want to break off the orphan spirit mentality.
Iris Arts is a self-help project that gives impoverished women of Pemba, Mozambique who are either widowed or abandoned a place to be empowered by learning to create jewelry and art.
The 95 women are being discipled and loved into new places of freedom and joy in their God-given identities, with a focus in realizing they don’t have to conform what society sees them as. The women in the program have learned special jewelry and art techniques as well as received encouragement to be creative, and are now producing jewelry in varieties of wire, beads, crochet, coconut shell and are making painted art pieces to decorate journals and make unique greeting cards. We offer these unique products in our Pemba base and some of our Iris conferences in US. These women are receiving the Mozambican pay rate per hour which allows them to support themselves as well as see the value of their labor, besides receiving food each month.
Through our Iris Arts project we have seen how God is turning beauty for ashes into these women and how their value, dignity and beauty is being restored as they come to hear from the word of God but at the same time their needs are being looked for. They are feeling loved and their identity is growing as daughters of God and so their children. Iris Arts has also released so much freedom for women, allowing them to understand that they are worth it not just for having children but because God has made them with a unique personality and destiny.
The kitchen is at the heart of the Village of Joy base. It has a large cooking area and a dining hall which can fit up to 500 people. At its peak, it caters for up to 2000 every day, not to mention the feeding of the 5000 when its doors are thrown open on the big national holidays, Children’s day and Christmas. It is first and foremost a place for the children of the center to receive 3 nutritious meals a day, bringing many of them food security – the guarantee of never going hungry – for the first time in their lives.
It also provides the food for the village feeding program which happens 6 days a week, bringing food and discipleship to the poorest children from the local area. It also caters for the many different groups on the base – the staff, the missionaries, the visitors, the Harvest School and Bible School students – many of whom are now around the world carrying with them the taste of Pemba’s famous rice and beans! It is a department that is fully Mozambican led, with 40 national staff, who start each day in prayer and worship and who are the hardest workers on the base.
The Iris School of Vocational Training serves to equip the local community with job skills training. We believe that job creation is key to eradicating extreme poverty. We currently conduct English Language courses in various levels, life skills training, money management & budgeting. We offer computer courses to help students learn basic word processing, create email accounts and CV’s for job applications. We merge practical hands on teaching with Kingdom foundational truths about who they are in Christ. We have established intern training programs within the local community in the areas of tourism and hospitality. In addition, we have just launched our first social business, creating table linens from African Wax Fabrics that are sold online. All proceeds go back into the business, creating jobs for our students and giving them “hope and a future”.
Esty Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/galeriadossonhos
Our goal in the Visitors’ Center is to foster an environment wherein our guests can experience all that God has for them at the Village of Joy. It is our pleasure to “stop for the one” and give our guests the best IRIS Pemba has to offer.
Our staff is happy to help you connect with all the different ministry opportunities while you are here. Some of the ministries you can participate in include: praying for people who are in the hospital, visiting with mamas in the neighborhood, joining a prison Bible Study, trying to keep up in a soccer game, or simply resting in the presence of God.
If you are interested in coming to the Village of Joy, please email us at email@example.com
and we will get you started on our application process. We would love to have you come for a visit!
Every day at our main center, hundreds of children from the village community come for a hot meal and discipleship. Songs, games, memory verses, dramas, worship, prayer, and puppet shows fill each day with variety as our trained Mozambican youth diligently minister God’s love to these little ones. Visitors love joining in, often remembering this experience as one of their highlights. As the years go by, these children become the future teachers - some for this program, others for outreach or to their families and community.
We often hear these children joyfully singing our worship and scripture songs in the surrounding villages, where their neighbors and parents are hearing about Jesus for the first time. As the group always has many sick ones, we teach the children to pray for each other. Here they see Jesus healing their friends, brothers and sisters. After seeing what Jesus can do, many come back with testimonies of healing from home as well! We love the opportunity to give out food to these poor, hungry children. But even more, we love seeing the love of Jesus grow in each precious little one’s heart - filling them with joy, and spilling over to their homes and community!
Our Pre-School here in Pemba is composed of the 3-5 year old children who live at our center, as well as some of our missionaries’ children. Our goal is to help our kids be as prepared for first grade as they can be, and also to give them a solid Biblical foundation and understanding of who they are in Christ. We meet every morning for a few hours with these beautiful children where we learn and grow together. We believe in a hands-on, interactive approach to learning, with an emphasis on the things that the children are interested in. We focus on a different theme each week, and within that theme we incorporate learning our letters, numbers, shapes, colors, music, math, Bible, and English. These early years are critical in the development of these children – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – and we know that God has amazing plans for all of them. We pray that we can pour as much into these little ones as we can during our time together so that they can be fully prepared for the beautiful future that God has for each and every one of them, and that they will truly know how valuable and loved they are. It is a blessing and an honor to spend time every day with these amazing children!
We have a free health clinic that offers both medical attention and supernatural healing for those who come. Many people around the world live in poverty and suffer with many diseases and we want to continue to offer free, medical care for the entire communities we are in. We are dependent on God, revival, and the Glory of His Presence to heal the people make them whole.
• Care for patients, and provide basic medical attention
• Educate patients on topics such as: nutrition, hygiene, infant care, sexually transmitted disease and abstinence
• Distribute medications and resources as needed.
• Host international medical and dental teams.
In our Pemba location we see on average 50 patients every day in the clinic Monday through Friday, with a total of 3300 being cared for in a three month period. Of this number, 33% are children under the age of five. We assess mothers and babies twice a month for the distribution of powdered milk formula and teach the benefits of breast milk rather than powdered milk.
The love of God is impacting Mozambique, and people are responding with a desire to give their lives in ministry. The people are desperate to encounter God and preach this Gospel that burns like fire. In response to this need, we have poured our hearts and resources into a Bible school that focuses on raising up pastors who have a heart to minister in their native land. The students are given opportunities to serve the community and minister God’s powerful love.
Our desire is for Jesus to completely take control of this school and the lives of these students. We train them to take up the adventure of establishing churches in the bush. We can testify of what God is doing in and through these students and pastors, “The blind see, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor” (Matt. 11:5).
We bring hundreds of pastors for three months a year for four years, running three sessions a year for different pastors. Then we offer a fifth-year Mozambican mission’s school for specially mature, called and anointed leaders. Pastors are trained in classes ranging from Old and New Testament, hermeneutics, church planting, children’s ministry, the Holy Spirit, prayer, leadership and more.
Upon completion, we send the students home with clothing and with money to buy seed to see their farms grow. Our goal is to equip these students to be leaders, filled with the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the Word, so they can take the Gospel across Mozambique and beyond.
God is calling His sons and daughters to GO into ALL the earth, that His house may be full! Iris Harvest School of Missions is preparation for harvesting the nations. For this purpose Iris Ministries offers international, three-month missions training schools based in Pemba on the north coast of Mozambique. We invite you to come and be trained on the field. Live, love and learn from the poor:
• Attend a missionary training school with Mozambican pastors and leaders
• Be trained by Heidi and Rolland Baker and other international ministers and missionaries
• Three months including extended outreaches: The schools dates are usually between 9-10 weeks. We have many international outreaches after the school that last from 2-4 weeks.
• Go on extended evangelistic outreaches in local bush areas
• Live with hundreds of children and experience the Father’s heart
• Gain understanding of how to minister cross-culturally
• Get practically equipped for the physical challenges of third-world nations
• Live with a company of abandoned, holy and whole-hearted lovers at the Iris Ministries Village of Joy in Pemba, Mozambique
“We are not ashamed to proclaim the Good News (to the hardest of criminals) because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). We are privileged to show prisoners the unconditional love of God by pointing them to the grace of the cross. The perfect Lamb of God died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). We want them to encounter the “kindness of God that leads us to repentance” (Rom. 2:4), and many lives are being transformed.
Our desire is to show the prisoners love and support in order that they may be empowered to believe in their own God given value and therefore live changed and productive lives. We work with the prison officials and programs already in place, as well as establish new ones.
Our heart is to teach them to gain a sense of self-respect, respect for others, and the law. We encourage them with the hope of a new life in God by teaching them how to live victoriously through biblical education. We offer them a free Bible School in the prison, which has shown great success in raising up strong followers of Jesus.
When they are released, we continue to support them as they begin a new life. Many prisoners are testifying to changed lives through the help they are receiving and once they leave the prison they often come to our church.
Countless villages across Africa do not have ready access to water, and the inhabitants often have to walk many miles just to find water. Even then it may not be clean, and many people are sick and dying as a result. In response, and as an integral part of our mission to serve the people of Mozambique, Iris has a large well-drilling rig to support this area of great need.
After many technical and government delays, our well-drilling program is moving ahead rapidly making a tremendous difference in the quality of life of many villages. We are one of the few organizations that have the equipment and government permission to drill wells throughout the province of Cabo Delgado. Coinciding with well-drilling, we are planting churches and providing both clean water and living water, Jesus Himself. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst” (Jn. 4:13-14).
VILLAGE OUTREACH AND EVANGELISM
We are compelled by love to reach the lost. Our philosophy for outreach and evangelism is not one of duty, and we don’t have a formula. Missions are our joy, the simple, logical outcome of knowing Jesus. We simply respond to every window of opportunity to share the gospel; that may take us across the street, to a remote village or around the world. He can and will make a way for us. We obey His leading to reach people with every resource available to us: boats, airplanes, trucks, overcoming faith, limitless love and joyful energy. We travel to encourage our local pastors and find out what their needs are and assist the churches to provide for the needs of the people in these communities. We meet their immediate needs of food and general health care treating scabies, worm medication as well as general wound care. We minister creatively to meet the community’s needs whether it be building schools, churches, housing or health clinics. The most exciting part of outreach is watching what Jesus does among the people as He miraculously heals, delivers and sets people free.