November 2019 Update

1 Kingdom Prayer Summit - Camp Barkelely

The Johnson Family.

Bahamas Strong!

Mountain and Sea Adventures serving in the Bahamas.

One Kingdom Prayer Summit

This month we had the privilege of hosting the One Kingdom Prayer Summit at Camp Barkeley. Pastors and Leaders from all over Abilene came together for this one-day event to lift up in prayer some needs identified locally, and to refocus on God’s plans and vision for Abilene. It was a time of joining together with leaders from local churches, non-profits and charities to worship the Lord, fellowship, and stand together as a united prayer front. The focus of the event was not only to talk about current issues, pray and worship, but to also birth in the hearts of all who attended a fresh zeal for the importance of having a heart for prayer. A powerful time of corporate prayer and worship also took place on top of the hill overlooking Abilene.

What an honor it is to join with others across our city to pray in and stand for all that the Lord has planned for us individually and corporately. May His Kingdom come and be established here in Abilene Texas and the surrounding areas!

From deployment to planting for development in the Bahamas

Iris Relief, in conjunction with United Rescue Alliance, is planning and implementing new goals to support the next phase of rebuilding and rehabilitation on Grand Bahama Island. Representatives from our team have been working in the Bahamas since the devastation that took place in September with Hurricane Dorian, the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Bahamas. To offer longer term support, we now have a dedicated family who have relocated to Grand Bahama Island to support this next phase, and host other teams who want to offer their support as well. Jace and Sara Johnson, along with their three teenage girls, are now based on the west end of Grand Bahama Island, though relief efforts will continue to take placed from this side of the island all the way to the far east end which suffered the most devastation and loss.

The first team hosted this month by our team was Mountain and Sea Adventures, from Catalina Island. Marine Biologists who were apart of the team gave another perspective of the huge impact the hurricane has had on the natural environment. This visiting team were able to educate our team about the local wildlife as they partnered with them in the continuing process of beach clean up to support environmental development.

This past month, relief efforts have also continued through the distribution of solar lights, food, and supplies, along with assisting other organizations to get resources into the hands of the local people who have been so grateful for the outpouring of support. As our team continues to minister to the needs of local communities, they are seeing the healing power of the Lord touch the local Bahamian people in very tangible ways! What an honor it is to be able to not only offer physical aid, but to also offer people emotionally and spiritually care at a time when it is so needed.

We are so very grateful for all those who have served with Iris Relief in the Bahamas these past few months, and we are delighted that we now have a family based there, through United Rescue Alliance, that has a passion to see God’s Kingdom come to harder to reach places. Relief efforts will continue with the goal to see the Bahamian people thriving both physically, emotionally and spiritually. There is always hope when Jesus is in the picture!

Happy Holidays

Here in America, the holiday season is marked with great celebrations. Parties with friends and family leading up to grand dinners with all the bells and whistles. Homes are decorated and the atmosphere carries anticipation and joy. We all have our own stories about the holidays, some good, some may be difficult, and some filled with memories that will be passed down to the next generation. In all cultures, stories are told to remember the past and acknowledge the impact past events have on our lives. Some stories are good, even grand, and fill us with hope. Other stories reveal life’s challenges and may leave us full of stirred emotions, and even leave us with a determination to do things differently on our watch. Each of us have our own stories, and all our stories are significant to the Lord, every chapter, every paragraph, every sentence and even every word. But the stories that should forever impact us the most are those stories with His imprint. His stories have always, and will always, be a part of our stories.

His stories impact every person, for all generations, the question is how! Will we allow His stories to have the impact on our lives that He has planned? Will we allow His stories to become our stories as we journey life together with the Lord?

This holiday season, our hope is that we will all see His stories in our stories, that His stories will fill us with hope and joyful expectation for what is ahead. May we truly allow His stories to define our stories, His Life to define our lives, and we pray that His love totally overwhelms and defines every person this holiday season! Happy Holidays from all of us at Iris Abilene/Iris Relief.

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God - Colossians 3:16