Well drilling and a new children's center!
Written by Heidi & Rolland Baker
WELL DRILLING PROGRAM
I want to give you a quick update on our well drilling program. There has hardly been a week that goes by without something happening in this amazing journey. As you probably know, one of Iris’s core values is “going lower still.” We feel that applies in the spiritual as well as the natural…as we have certainly been going “lower still” in the well drilling department over the past few months. We have had many trials and every one of them “has worked together for the good” as we “go from glory to glory.”
We have great news to report on every front:
LICENSED TO DRILL
First of all, the most amazing news is that we have been issued a national government permit to drill wells anywhere in Mozambique. On the surface, this seems like a formality. In reality, it’s an outright miracle. Many organizations work for years to obtain a permit. Because of God’s favor, and the amazing work of Iris’s government relations manager, Serjio Mondlhane, we were able to receive the document after only a few weeks of the application process.
RIGHT PEOPLE RUNNING THE PROGRAM
In the best selling book, “Good to Great,” one of the key components of great organizations is getting the right people in the right seats on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. Following that simple philosophy, we have secured Iris missionary Joe Vaine to run the well drilling department. Joe has experience in water management in other parts of world as well as serving as Iris’s airplane pilot for the past couple of years. Joe has been busy interviewing people from all over…flying them in, busing them in, or calling them in from across town. They’ve come from southern Mozambique, Malawi, India and the United States.
Joe has been drilling some practice wells on our Iris base over the past few months for various reasons. First of all, he’s bringing in potential employees to see how they work. This has proven extremely beneficial in showing him, first hand, who will and who won’t be a fit. Also, we’ve been using the equipment and working out all the mechanical kinks as well as securing the correct material for future wells. We are happy to say that, unless something changes dramatically soon, we’ve found the right people to take this program out of the preparatory stages and into the well drilling phase asap. We have hired a gentleman from India (from the actual company that supplied our rigs). Also an extremely talented master driller from Malawi will be on our team. American Jeff Johnson, who just completed Iris’s Harvest Mission school, will be helping as well. Jeff, who has missions development experience all over Africa (including well drilling experience in Mozambique), will be coming in November to help us out. And perhaps just as important, we have a small team of Mozambicans lined up to train to eventually take this program to another level.
FIRST TWO VILLAGES ARE TARGETED
Ribbon cutting ceremonies are in order! We are prepared to begin drilling our next well in the next few weeks in the local village of Impiri (followed by another well in that same village). Impiri, a village of 8,600 people, doesn’t have a single well and the local people have to walk for miles to get water. After these two are completed, we will drill the nearby village of Nacaramo. Nacaramo has more than 4,000 people and no well. May we all rejoice together with the people of these villages and all of heaven over this great news!
These wells are an exciting climax to a dream Heidi has had for years. The wells we drill for villages will become natural gathering places for the communities, focal points for sharing the gospel and the love of God. We look forward to much rich fruit from all the labor that has made this dream possible!
UPDATE ON THE NEWEST IRIS CHILDREN’s CENTER OPENING IN SOUTH AFRICA!!!
We are thrilled to announce the opening of Michaels Childrens Village in Mbonisweni, South Africa! The dream for the children’s village began over 4 years ago 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. Prayer warriors at the local church and worldwide began to pray into the dream of establishing a children’s center. In 2008, Iris secured funding through friends of Iris in America, UK, and Korea and the property for the children’s village was purchased!
On July 25th, 2009 the dream became reality! We had a precious celebration service with over 200 people and leaders from the community present. We were so blessed by the presence of God as the first two houses were prayerfully dedicated to God and the new house parents led the ribbon cutting ceremonies. And this is only the beginning! Many, many more homes will be opened in the future and our new Baby house should open in the next two months!
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. 1Cor 15:57-58
Thank you King Jesus! We will not be moved! Friends, we are so grateful for your partnership with us! Together, we will press on for the manifest victory of the vision which God has sealed on Heidi’s/our hearts to take in a million children!
Please be praying for us! South African Social Services is currently in the process of placing the first round of children within our care! Thank you again for praying for the Bakers, Iris Ministries, and our Iris SA team during this exciting and growing time!
Because of Jesus,
Jean and Teisa Nicole
Iris South Africa/Michaels Childrens Village