Michael’s Childrens’ Village
The dream for the children’s village began in the heart of our International Director of Iris Ministries, Surprise Sithole. After planting a church and years of evangelism within the BackDoor/Mbonisweni area (poor, black township outside of Nelspruit), Surprise and his wife Tryphina recognized the vital need for a children’s center to take in the distressing number of orphaned, abandoned, and abused children within the community.
On July 25th, 2009 the dream became reality! MCV opened and took in the first group of children. Within one year, MCV has reached its maxim capacity in caring for 23+ children including 2-3 infants.
Currently, MCV has three residential homes onsite. The vision is to see 4-10 additional homes built on the MCV property. Each house becomes home to 6-10 children identified by the local government welfare department and the MCV staff. The children are supported to live as a family unit with a parental couple. The house parents are outstanding Christians carefully chosen from within the local churches and receive specialized training by the MCV staff and Social Services.
MCV’s is led by a dynamic team of both national leaders and missionaries. Together, MCV presses on for the manifest victory of the vision that God has sealed on ours/ Iris Ministries’ hearts to take in every forgotten and forsaken child!
Harvest Bible School
Since 2004, Harvest Bible College has been training and empowering indigenous leaders throughout Southern Africa. Currently, the director of the school is Johannes Mabila. The school runs on a 3-week rotation where students rotate attending class for up to 3 years (many students have jobs and families, so they stay for the 3 weeks and then return home until the next session for their group). Certificates are given upon each rotation, but graduation only occurs after a student finishes the entire 3-year curriculum. We have students from all over South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe!
“But thanks be unto God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” - 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Assisting Pastor Surprise Sithole in leading the churches of South Africa and Swaziland, a fiery group of national pastors and missionaries gather monthly to receive God’s heart for the nations. As a team, the Pastors Commission prays and plans for local/national outreaches, conferences, church planting, etc. The commission seeks to strengthen, disciple and empower the local churches to exalt Jesus in all ways and to care for orphans and vulnerable people in their own areas. The commission oversees the extensive evangelism ministry and church planting campaign for Iris Ministries/PIH in South Africa.
Village Of Hope
In the heart of the Backdoor community, we have a ministry center called Village of Hope (VOH). Many ministries are located within the VOH: Feeding/Discipleship ministry, Harvest Bible School, the Jabulie Preschool, the HEM Project (sewing ministry), and future Dream/Educational center. VOH’s primary focus is providing a safe refuge for all local children (especially those children in the Extended Care Program), but also seeks to empower children and adults to live God’s destinies for their lives.
Iris Africa Extended Care Program
This ministry seeks to empower the local churches to care for orphans and children at risk. Assistance is given to caregivers through feeding centers and bi- annual clothing distribution. Special Christmas gifts and prayer is organized during the holiday season. In 2009, we helped over 160+ children within this program.
The Feeding Center provides a warm, nutritious meal to anyone within the Backdoor community (Monday-Friday at 3:00). We also have a 30 min devotional and discipleship time with the children and youth who regularly attend. Attendance varies between 60-120 people each day and as much as 600 on special occasions and celebrations.
This ministry was founded by Linda McKay (UK missionary) and sponsored by some dear Partners in Harvest ministers in the UK. Currently the preschool has 35+ students and one teacher with two assisting staff. Because of the great need within our community for increased foundational education, the preschool hopes to expand within the next year. The preschool is also in the process of becoming registered with the local government agencies as a separate community led NPO!
This ministry seeks to empower women to sustain themselves and their families through sewing. By following the example of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8, these women know if they can just touch the hem of His garment they will be made whole! Therefore, the ladies begin their sewing day by seeking his presence and studying His word. After the devotional time, the ladies work on various sewing projects that can be sold for a profit to help bless/sustain themselves and their families.