I am extremely inspired by Iris Ministries, which is why the background image of this blog comes from them. It is a ministry led by saints like Heidi Baker and Surprise Sithole, which is a ministry that have planted thousands of churches, taken care of thousands of abandoned children and experienced thousands of miracles, including raising of the dead. This is happening all over eastern and southern Africa, but especially in Mozambique, where the ministry is based. While the Western church is experiencing lack of Kingdom and abundance of money, the Mozambiqian revival experiences the opposite, and the thing I love with Iris Ministries is that they combine miracles with poverty reduction. The following text is taken from a newsletter sent last year by Rolland and Heidi Baker, founders of Iris Ministries:
In the last few years we have seen more than two thousand churches planted in this one province of Cabo Delgado. More spring up every week and we cannot keep count. Our “technique” is simple: all that counts is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6).
Every week we send truckloads of leaders, students and our own children to three villages. So many have opened up to the Lord that we are now often welcomed excitedly as we come back to love and encourage the people further. It is glorious to see the Kingdom spreading through the isolated and forgotten countryside of this land as village by village the power and love of our King is becoming known.
No carpets and air-conditioned sanctuaries here. We meet outside in the dirt and in the dark with hundreds and even thousands of villagers. In wind, dust, heat and rain they stand in their rags for hours, absorbing all they can. There is almost no resistance to the Gospel in this environment. Everyone wants Jesus when they feel His love through us all and see what only He can do. Of course they will need much more teaching, and more sanctification by the Spirit. But it is thrilling to see great crowds jumping and shouting “Yes!” to Jesus and His gifts. Every time our teams spread out and pray for everyone possible, resulting in tremendous testimonies. And in the morning we serve food for everyone, make friends, honor the chiefs, visit houses and families, pray for the sick, disciple the elders, preach and teach in simple mud churches, and just keep pouring out all we have.
This is Antonio, a 12-year-old known to his whole village as a deaf-mute since he was very young. Here he is, happy and healed, to the joyful excitement of everyone around. Almost every week the deaf are healed, and as a result this time three local chiefs came to Jesus acknowledging that He is Lord. They opened the whole area to us, welcoming our desire and efforts to bring more teaching, ministry and practical help of all kinds. For months since our last major newsletter we have seen this kind of breakthrough in village after village, invigorating us with fresh energy and appetite to see God do even more in the future.
The Kingdom of God is holistic. We don’t just preach heaven, but we prove the love of God by drilling wells, building simple churches and schools, supplying teachers, providing for orphans and abandoned women—doing whatever we can with what we have. These villages are primitive almost beyond belief to many Westerners, and desperately need help and development of every kind.
We love adorning the Gospel with love and good works that people can enjoy and appreciate here and now. We revel in all that transformation that we can achieve in the Lord that gives the poor more of a taste of heaven. We love material blessings that come from the good hand of the Father. We love to feed the hungry, set the lonely in families, teach the unlearned and bring hope and a future to the destitute.
But most of all we proclaim Jesus. He is our salvation, our prize, our reward, our inheritance, our destination, our motivation, our joy, wisdom and sanctification—and absolutely everything else we need, now and forever. All His grace and power flow to us through the Cross and no other way. We say with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Ps. 73:25).
We are glad to be known as social workers and humanitarians, and to have a reputation for doing good. But all is in vain if we do not bring to the people faith in our God and Savior Jesus Christ. We want to be known by His Name, first and foremost.
I told you they were inspiring! If you want more of this, check out Heidi and Rolland’s excellent book Always Enough.