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The story of Iris Ministries South Africa is to a large extent the story of Surprise Sithole, a man of God who has experienced many miracles. In the mid-90’s, shortly before he connected with Iris, he received a prophetic word from the Lord about moving to a white river. At first he didn’t understand what it meant, buy then he found out that there’s actually a place named White River in South Africa. So he and his wife Tryphina moved from Mozambique to SA.
God continued to speak to Surprise about ministering on “the mountain” – Backdoor, a township outside White River. Back then, Backdoor was known to be a very dangerous place, where the crime rate was very high and robbery was a part of daily life. The Sithole family moved there anyway, and they were severely tested – once they were almost killed by a violent gang. But as their church plant grew and their social ministry expanded, the community started to change.
As I wrote in my previous blog post, there are still many problems in Backdoor, but the crime rate really has decreased a lot since Iris started working there. Of course, it’s hard to tell if that would have happened anyway, but surely Iris has contributed a lot to the good trend. Its community center, Village of Hope, includes a preschool, a bible school, a feeding programme, a sowing center, a youth ministry and soon also a carpentry. Everything they do is aiming to bring help and hope to the people.
As I’ve mentioned previously, Iris Relief is right now helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, bringing food, love and the power of the living God. On their facebook feed as well as through other sources, the team publish several testimonies of hope and relief in the midst of unimaginable suffering. Here are some of those testimonies:
I have been been brought to tears today as I sat with the Syrian Refugees listening to their tragic and horrific stories of what war has cost them. Love looks like something! – Daniel
Our Iris Relief Middle East team had so much favor today and made it into the refugee camp in Zaa-tari where 100,000 refugees are staying. We listened to horrendous stories of imprisonment and torture. We saw inner healings as well as many physical healings as we prayed at each tent. The indigenous Jor-danians said that the kind of breakthrough that we saw today has never happened before. These desperate people are absolutely beautiful and Papa God has broken our hearts for them – Christian
Sitting in a UNHCR tent w/ a family of Sy-rian refugees who fled war only 4 days before, I was blown away by this muffin. At her young age she has lived through bombs, bullets and 2 massacres. 1 of 400 ppl and another of 500 ppl. Looking deep into her eyes, holding her in my arms and echoing each other’s giggles I could only lean back on the goodness of God. No matter how bad the circumstance, his love is ALWAYS enough. Always. His beauty is found in the hope he brings to the hurting, the life he restores to the broken-hearted and the fact that he powerfully pursues us wherever we’re at. We’ve seen so much pain, so much devastation but I’ve never been more in love or filled with more hope. – Cassandra (more…)