Every year on June 1st the nation of Mozambique celebrates Children's Day! This year, over 7,000 children came from the surrounding villages to our bases to have a day of fun and food.
When Heidi and Rolland Baker first settled in Mozambique, they settled in the capital of Maputo to begin the work of the Gospel buried deep in their hearts. They started several bases including the one at Zimpeto. It would be the place the Bakers began to reinforce the Stop for the One lifestyle by pulling kids from the trash heap, showering them with love, and showing them the power of Jesus Christ.
At the most, Zimpeto housed over 500 children, and today is it home to just over 200 children. Their are several reasons the number of children has declined in ZImpeto, and all of them are good.
We've seen a relatively long period of peace and political stability in Mozambique after years of violent conflict. We believe this peace is partially due to the work the Lord has done through the people in Mozambique. As such we see less orphaned children than we did before.
In addition to social and political stability, we at Iris Global and Stop for the One have adapted our approach to serve the needs of Zimpeto and their children. In addition to caring for children we also focus on what will empower the community to keep families intact. We have seen considerable fruit in our schools as we provide a safe environment for our children to learn and grow in Jesus.
The main focus of the Iris Kenya Village of Peace Project is to empower this village to break away from this cycle of poverty and despair by educating the children. We will set up projects that empower and encourage self-sustainability, teaching the unemployed skills, such as sewing and organic farming - skills they will be able to use at home and to earn an income.
Five days a week our Pemba center fills with children from our community who come for the Agape Kids Club in the Centro de Esperança de Communidade – the Hope Community Center. Each day our doors are open for anywhere from 250 to 500 kids, ranging from 3-14 years old. Any child in the surrounding community wishing to have a plate of rice and beans and hear the Good News is welcome. These two things may not seem like a big deal, but for them, they are huge!