Are you interested in long term missions with Iris South Sudan/Uganda? We are now pioneering a new work in Uganda as we have been transplanted here due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Come partner with us and join in with what Jesus wants to do in this new season for us. We’d sure like to hear from you.
There is a little long term process we follow. It is pretty simple. Here are the basics in barely any particular order.
- Come on a short term trip and get to know us. Fill out the form on that page. Please make sure you tell us you are interested in longer term service in the nice text block area as you are answering the questions there.
- Attend and complete Harvest School in Mozambique, Iris’s two and a half month long portal of amazing equipping for missions and life in God’s upside down Kingdom. (Check with the school leadership about availability of an extended outreach to Sudan. Usually two schools a year are running these.)
- Interview with the Iris long term committee. While they do not make the final decisions for our bases in South Sudan, we do lean heavily on their wisdom and insight. (This happens at the end of Harvest School usually)
- Interview with the Base director you are interested in serving with (can be done on the phone)
- Successfully complete any additional training/background checks the base requires. (Due to our work with children in most of our bases a police report and/or background check will usually be required. Also some of our bases require the completion of an online child protection course and code of conduct training for long term residential volunteers.)
- Please be aware that your first long term trip in will be a trial to see if you fit in with the needs of the base, the team and the local people.
- Pretty please don’t sell your house, give away your life savings, buy your ticket or make any radical life adjustments planning to join us until you get approved to be Long Term.
Our accommodation space is a bit limited at present and we are really focused on building our base teams, so we are looking for those coming with:
- a humble teachable spirit
- a heart to love our people and to learn and honor the beautiful things God has put in our culture
- a gracious positive attitude with changing circumstances
- extreme flexibility especially over things like personal comfort and privacy
- the ability to honor leadership and be a team player
- the desire to love our children and staff and spend time with them
- a spiritual grid that is hungry for Jesus and open to all of His Kingdom
- practical skill area (admin, media, education, medical, building, etc.) that fills a current need on one of our bases.
- a willingness to trust God for all your needs to be met and have some minimum preparations in place before you come (that all comes AFTER the letter of invitation)
Regardless of your area of interest concerning the geography of South Sudan, missionaries start at our main Yei base before moving deeper in order to acclimate to the culture and the country.
We are thrilled if you feel God has spoken about a specific area of ministry or service. Please tell us all about it! But also realize what you sense needs to fit in somewhere to what God has been speaking to our leadership as well for us to move forward on it. And if it is a new pioneering project area, you will need to trust Jesus for the resources to implement it.
We are a faith mission which means no missionary here receives a salary and we all trust Jesus for the entirety of our personal and often our project area’s support. Lots more details to share, but these are enough to get you started! We are delighted to begin to get to know you and see where this journey leads.
Here are some of the areas available for you to fill:
Are you torn between two nations? You can have both and more! Iris South Sudan and Uganda is a family literally living on the edge of something more. Although we have physically been transplanted to our new nation of Uganda for now, our hearts still burn for South Sudan. Right now there are almost 400,000 South Sudanese refugees living in the border towns of northern Uganda, and the number grows daily by 2,800 according to the latest UN reports. The largest refugee camp in the world is Bidi Bidi Camp, which is six hours north of us. This is our mission field. Right now there are a few million South Sudanese living in war torn South Sudan with little or no hope for a future. This is our mission field. Right now there are a few million Ugandans living in Uganda who don’t know Jesus. This is our mission field. And right now there are 115 Iris children living with us in Luwero, Uganda. This is our mission field!
So, now what do we do? We live with our 115 children and we disciple them. They are every age and need mentors for every age. They are our immediate and closest mission field. Right now our team is very small, just two missionaries. We lost most of our team after we came out of the trauma of war so we are starting over again. Once we have a solid team in place we will travel regularly to the refugee camps in Northern Uganda to minister to our family there. All of our townspeople from Yei, South Sudan now live in these camps so we have an open door to come and pitch our tents. This is not available to any other ministry. We also have a huge heart to build a small medical clinic in the Rhino Refugee Camp. There is no medical care for ten miles and no one has any money or vehicles to get there. We were told by the camp leader that children are dying every day because they can’t get medicine.
Our current plan is to rebuild in Arua, Uganda which is very near to the camps. This will hopefully happen early next year if not sooner. We are in the process of getting our NGO status and until that is in place, we are limited in what we can do. Also Arua is an airplane flight away from our base in Yei, South Sudan where we still plan to have ongoing ministry for those who are still there. Our pastor continues to minister in Yei and is seeing revival in the midst of war. We also have works in Juba and Aweil South Sudan. Again, once we get a team built up we will continue to minister in these places as long as it is safe to do so. It is our hope and our plan to one day move back to South Sudan. We are waiting, like everyone else, for peace to come and for the country to be a safe place to once again raise our children. This may not happen for two or three years.
Who are we looking to invite to come and partner with us in this work? Missionaries who are committed long term, who are very flexible, who are committed to the South Sudanese people, wherever we may live at any given time, and willing to relocate back to South Sudan if the country returns to peace. Although we are physically in Uganda, we are a Sudanese family with Sudanese culture and ways. We want to keep this culture even as we reach out to the Ugandan people who are so graciously hosting us as refugees. While we are in Uganda we plan to minister locally by hosting discipleship programs for both men and women, preaching in local churches and schools, ministering to the local youth.
Our ministry in the refugee camps will consist of discipleship training, evangelism, practical missions where there is need, bringing baby formula for mothers who cannot breast feed, investigating the need for sponsoring camp children in local schools and paying their school fees, and building a very basic and small medical clinic and staffing it with a local physician and nurse to provide basic first responder care for the most dire needs. We are so new to Uganda so there is a lot to explore. We are looking for visionaries who have hearts to help and go where it is needed. Again, flexibility is a must until we get our feet on the ground and running. So, if you want to be a pioneer, we are in that mode right now. Come pioneer Iris Uganda with us! Be ready to serve in any capacity on our small base as needed. We need media, administrative, sponsorship, financial, and hospitality people. All these are fairly part-time, leaving us free to pursue other works that God calls us to.
We are asking people to really pray about committing long term. It is said amongst us missionaries who have been here for five plus years that one never really gets comfortable until the third year. The first two are all training and growing and learning culture. Why throw it all away and move on. Stay awhile and use what you learn and grow exponentially bigger in character and faith. And since we do have children, it is very hard on them to see constant changeover. They always ask us what they did wrong and why no one likes them enough to stay. I know this is a big commitment but if God is in it, it is really nothing to say yes for two to three and even more years. Come without an agenda or a time limit. Just come fully given to what God is calling you to, for however long that might be.
Follow the Iris Global protocol for applying long-term and feel free to also email me at drop us an email.