Iris Abilene - Camp Barkeley Vision

A Historical Heritage

During World War II the United States Army transformed over 70,000 acres of West Texas into a military base called Camp Barkeley. Infantry and armory divisions were trained here and towards the end of the war the base functioned as a prisoner of war camp. After WWII a section of Camp Barkeley was transformed into Dyess Air Force Base, and the rest of the camp was dismantled and returned to private ownership. In 2006, a section of this historic base went to auction and Dr. Norm and Angel Poorman purchased the land with the intent of using the property as a home site and cattle ranch.

A Family is Called

Norm and Angel are native Texans and have lived their lives enjoying the wide Texas skies and warm culture. After Norm received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery and a Certificate of Pediatric Dentistry, the Poormans opened Children’s Dentistry of Abilene. For the Poormans, dentistry is a family affair. Not only is Angel a Registered Dental Hygienist, but Hunter and Hayden, the Poorman’s two sons, hope to follow in their father’s footsteps and become dentists someday.

The Poormans have been engaged in their community and active members of their church, Beltway Park, for years, but in 2010 the Lord gave Norm and Angel a new vision for their lives and their land.

A New Vision is Given

Rarely do we know all the Lord is up to, but while listening for His voice at a Catch the Fire conference, the Lord gave Angel a glimpse into His plans for their family. God had given Norm and Angel Camp Barkeley for much more than the American dream. The Lord revealed to the Poormans His desire to create a training and retreat center on Camp Barkeley. After this encounter, God continued to lead and affirm the Poormans in their desire to see Camp Barkeley as a facility to train men and women once more.

With a heart for the nations and an emphasis on healing ministry, the Poormans began networking with others to transform Camp Barkeley. This dream center would be a place where individuals and groups could come to be restored physically, spiritually, and emotionally; equipped with the tools needed for sustained ministry; and be mobilized to serve out into locations all over the world. Over the next few years, the Lord continued revealing His plan to the Poormans through personal dreams and visions and prophetic words of confirmation from other believers.

A Partnership Begins

Once the Lord’s plan was revealed, the Poormans quickly connected with Iris Global and began establishing a dental clinic in the Village of Joy in Pemba, Mozambique. In partnership with Global Samaritan, two shipping containers with supplies were sent to Mozambique to develop the clinic and equip Iris’s primary school. The Poormans have traveled to Mozambique multiple times as short-term medical missionaries and have participated in Pemba’s Harvest School.

A Ministry is Established

In 2013, streams began to converge and dreams began moving into reality. In partnership with Iris Global, Partners in Harvest, Restoring the Foundations and Catch the Fire Ministries, Iris Abilene Camp Barkeley opened and has been training up leaders to go to the nations ever since.

The formal beginning of Iris Abilene’s Global School was in 2014 with the launching of a six-week school: CB1. As partnerships continue to grow, the Lord is expanding the vision of this ministry. A worship center has been built on Camp Barkeley and has been dedicated as a Partners in Harvest Church. The Iris Abilene Camp Barkeley Worship Center fulfills its role as a Partners in Harvest Church by offering an International School, a missions training program and hosting community worship events. The Lord has also provided houses in Abilene to function as residences for long-term Iris Missionaries. A service and training partnership has been created with Kaleo International to bring a cross-cultural training experience to the Global School.

The Lord has expanded Iris Abilene Camp Barkeley and cast His vision to others. An amazing board of directors and local team have been established that share the heart and vision that God has implanted in this ministry. We believe this is only the beginning and know the Lord has great plans for this land, the team He has gathered, and those who will come and be blessed by this ministry.

A Continued Step of Faith

God has even expanded Camp Barkeley beyond what He is doing in partnership with Iris Global. In 2015, Camp Barkeley Training and Equipping Center (CBTEC) was created to provide a location for education, retreat, networking and preservation. Created as an apostolic event complex, CBTEC offers training, retreat and facility rental opportunities, and is dedicated to the preservation of the historical and environmental resources God has provided at Camp Barkeley. To learn more about Camp Barkeley’s history, the classes being offered through CBTEC partnerships, or for information about renting Camp Barkeley facilities visit the link below.


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