White River/ Mombela Base- South Africa
In 2003, Surprise Sithole planted a church in an impoverished township (Backdoor) outside of White River/Mombela, South Africa. From that one church, the transforming power of God has forever impacted the community and launched a ministry center committed to the core values of Iris Global. https://www.irisglobal.org/white-river/
Today, the base consists of ever expanding ministries that includes Michaels Childrens Village (MCV) and the following ministries:
Harvest Bible School
Since 2004, Harvest Bible College has been training and empowering indigenous leaders throughout Southern Africa. Currently, the directors of the school are two amazing national leaders, Johannes Mabila and Jeremiah Muhure. The school runs on a 3-week rotation where students rotate attending class for up to 2 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 curriculum. We have students from all over South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe!
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.
The Feeding Center provides a warm, nutritious meal to anyone within the Backdoor community (Monday-Friday at 3:00). We also have a 20 min devotional and discipleship time with the children and youth who regularly attend. Attendance varies between 40-120 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 25+ 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 thru 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.
Over five years ago, an amazing group of ladies went out to love ladies working the streets in Nelspruit, RSA. That first night they were invited into a guest house (brothel) and God’s love started pouring out…. a church was planted that night…. a church that continues to meet twice a week in that same room, years later. Under the leadership of Catherine Langa and Trephine Sithole, countless breakthroughs have happened. Last year down the street, a Drop-In Center was opened, allowing additional ministry to the ladies. Restoration Camps have been sponsored for groups of ladies who committed their lives to Jesus and are walking in His full healing. Check out the Dignity ministry website for more testimonies!
24/7 Prayer Centers
In 2015, we were greatly blessed with two prayer centers (one for Nelspruit and one for Backdoor). These prayer centers provide an amazing place for local believers and intercessors to pray for revival and transformation! We believe in the power of prayer and we know our nation/communities/lives are being changed thru this vital ministry.