Iris Global

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Iris Global
AbbreviationIG
Formation1980 (1980)
FounderHeidi Baker and Rolland Baker
TypeMission Organization
HeadquartersRedding, CA, USA
Location
  • Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East
Websitewww.irisglobal.org
Formerly called
Iris Ministries, Inc.

Iris Global, previously Iris Ministries, is a Christian interdenominational, missionary organization that provides humanitarian aid in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Members of Iris seek to spread the gospel[1] while performing humanitarian activities.[2]

History[edit]

Iris was founded in 1980 by Rolland Baker and Heidi Baker.[3][4] First based in the United States, the organization initially undertook short-term evangelism trips overseas.[5] In 1985, the Bakers began to work with the poor in Indonesia and then Hong Kong.[5] The organization began operating in London in 1992.[5]

Iris became active in Mozambique, Africa in 1995. In 1996, Iris took over an orphanage housing 80 children, which had previously been run by communist leaders.[6] However, when the number of children grew from 80 to 320, the previous government leaders put a price on Heidi's head.[6] The government also banned the singing of Christian songs in the orphanage, prayer, and the unauthorized distribution of food and clothing.[6]

Initiatives[edit]

While searching out and caring for the poor and needy, Iris volunteers have founded thousands of churches, Bible and ministry training schools, medical clinics, church-based orphan care programs, children's villages, primary schools, cottage industries, widows' programs, vocational training and well drilling projects.[7] Iris volunteers make regular visits to care for children living at a dump,[2] and the organization combats the second-class status of women and girls by campaigning for equality of the sexes.[2]

Orphanages[edit]

In 2015, Iris Global has expanded its work to provide food, clothing, and shelter to thousands of orphans.[6][8] The organization has networks of church-based orphan care in all ten provinces in Mozambique[9] as well as bases in main cities,[10] including a base in Pemba which houses 200 orphans and several baby houses for abandoned infants.[7][11]

Churches[edit]

Iris initially established churches in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and London, and later one in Mozambique.[12] By June 2001, Iris had initiated 1,800 churches, [6] including about 1,200 in Malawi.[6] In 2015 Iris has networks of churches throughout Mozambique as well as bases in main cities.[5] Two thousand churches have been organized among the Makua people over a span of eight years.[5][2]

Conferences[edit]

Iris conducts a series of gospel conferences worldwide.[7] In Africa, the conferences are attended by poor people, many of whom walk long distances to attend. As many as 10,000 people crowd makeshift platforms to hear the gospel.[6]

Schools[edit]

Iris opened Harvest Schools at which local students and visiting Westerners receive training to become pastors.[7] These students study for six-month terms or for three-month terms once a year for four years.[6] The organization also organizes primary schools on its bases, in which more than 2,500 students at a time are taught to read and write.[7]

Medical[edit]

Iris leaders pray for the healing of those with hearing and vision impairments during village outreaches in rural Mozambique.[13] Iris bases include medical clinics from which the poor can receive free care.[7] Iris workers sometimes pay for life-saving medical care for others, and the organization has handed out condoms in an effort to combat the AIDS pandemic.[2]

Criticism and Controversy[edit]

The Bakers have claimed that prayer has restored sight and hearing,[14] and also that people have been raised from the dead.[7] The group has been criticized by medical and government officials for these claims,[citation needed] thrown out of their own building, and shot at five times. [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rumfords create loving culture for children at home and abroad". The Telegraph, November 28, 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e Kristof, Nicholas D. (27 September 2003). "God On Their Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Heidi Baker". MorningStar. MorningStar Ministries. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Hamilton grad Lindsey Burton a missionary in Australia, Africa". Holland Sentinel, Erin. Dietzer Jan. 2, 2016
  5. ^ a b c d e "Heidi Baker". Revival Magazine. Catch The Fire. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Flinchbaugh, Hope (28 February 2002). "Miracles in Mozambique". Ministry Today.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned"Stafford, Tim (May 2012). "Miracles In Mozambique". Christianity Today. 56 (5): 18–26.
  8. ^ Holly Duane (4 March 2014). All Things in Common. Charisma Media. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-1-62136-690-4.
  9. ^ "Middletown Native, Missionary In Mozambique Since 2007, Dies Unexpectedly At 41". Hartford Courant, December 15, 2015. Shawn R. Beals
  10. ^ " Oakville's Dream Riders helping Malawians fulfill their dreams" Oakville Beaver By Nathan Howes
  11. ^ "Memories in Mozambique". Circular Head Chronicle, Ashleigh Force, September 2016
  12. ^ "Team tackles gruelling mountain race to help Malawi students". Calgary Herald Joan McKeown June 5, 2015
  13. ^ Kantel, Donald (2007). The “Toronto Blessing” revival and its continuing impact on mission in Mozambique [dissertation]. Virginia Beach, VA: Regent University.
  14. ^ "New Documentary Will Offer Medical Evidence That Miracles Are Real". The Christian Post, Brandon Showalter, May 14, 2016