September 2015 Don & Elizabeth Kantel Update
Don and Elizabeth marked the completion of 10 full years serving the Lord with Iris in Pemba in June of this year. They had also been with Iris in Zimpeto in 2002.
Both have worn many hats over those years. Together they pioneered Iris’ Hospitality Ministry while in Zimpeto; Elizabeth has worked with Heidi and other senior leaders on the committee which appoints and oversees long-term missionaries to Iris bases all over the world; and Don has assisted in various administrative capacities on the Pemba Base. But their most enduring work has been the establishment of the flourishing Iris Centres at Mieze and Noviane.
There are now 80 resident children at the two centres; and another 45 are partially supported through the sponsorship program under Iris Ministries Canada. The Mieze church has grown to several hundred on any given Sunday, and thousands in the district have come to the Lord through the church and the impact of the many programs offered the community through the Mieze Project.
When Don and Elizabeth began working in Mieze in 2005-6, the entire village was mired in extreme poverty and depression. Today, the entire community of 20,000 has been transformed and its prospects for the future are very positive. The large Iris centre there is the major community resource: spiritually, economically, and culturally. And in a community which was formerly one hundred percent Muslim, the name of Jesus is now honored by virtually everyone!
[Mieze church building packed to capacity with at least 2,000 people.]