Outback school of missions

Written by CLAIRE SMART – 06/03/2019 

In January we were blessed to be able to run our first ever Outback School of Missions at our Iris Alice Springs base! We confirmed the dates only a couple of months before the school and so we were surprised and excited that God sent us around 50 students from all over Australia and even a few international visitors!

Our small team here in Alice Springs were supported by teams from Tribe church in Byron bay and Rescue mission. It was such a joy to work together and enjoy getting to know each other more. Thanks to everyone who served us during the school and humbly helped in so many ways. We were so grateful, especially to God for the grace to ensure it all ran smoothly!

It was incredible to learn from so many amazing speakers and we were graced with worship leaders that led us into the presence of God each day.

We were so excited to have Papa Rolland and Papa Tony back with us, this time to minister at our first mission school! They brought incredible messages about love for Jesus and how to be a successful team member, and Papa Tony’s Dad jokes didn’t disappoint!!!

We had the blessing of having fiery Aboriginal Australian leaders share with us including Clyde and Rosemary Rigney from South Australia, and Vanessa and Faye Marika from Arnhem Land. They have all seen and are continuing to see the love of Jesus transforming their communities which bought us hope, encouragement and wisdom. It is so incredible to see such powerful Aboriginal leaders and we pray God would continue to raise up Aboriginal men and women of God across Australia to do the work of the Lord.

Jennifer Miskov came all the way from USA and shared the simple beautiful message about intimacy with Jesus and how everything flows from that secret place. Many received a new hunger to seek Jesus.

Melanie Fraser from Toronto, Canada came to lead us in worship during the school. During the times of worship Holy Spirit came upon us and gave many of us new commissions and callings, joy, fresh revelation, healing and freedom.

One of Iris Global’s messages is to stop for the one. Firstly to stop for Jesus and then to stop for the one in front of you, going lower still (low and slow!) and to demonstrate the love of Jesus through being His hands and feet wherever we go. It was so good to see the students demonstrate this as they were so keen to learn culturally respectful ways to honour the people and bless our community! Many of our friends in the surrounding Aboriginal communities enjoyed the extra time of worship and prayer through the week, and the opportunity to spend more time together building relationships. We pray that God would continue to build these relationships and unity as we grow together deeper in the Lord.

A highlight was watching our Anangu people powerfully host the visitors from around Australia and the world, receiving people, blessing them, sharing their space and imparting many things. It was such a mutually empowering and bonding experience in Jesus. The connections made were life changing.

A testimony from one of the young mothers here explained that her two year old baby was “fitting every time she got hurt or fell over -she would have a seizure…. One of the teams from the school visited the camp she was staying at, prayed for the little girl and ever since, if she falls or gets bumped or hurt she hasn’t had a seizure since!! She’s also started to thrive and put on weight!!”

Our students experienced missionary life here in Alice Springs through some of the things we do here in our everyday lives; loving the people around us as practically as possible through different ways including street outreach, worshipping and sharing Jesus in the town camps, providing food for hungry families and visiting those in hospital. The students learned the extremes of what it is like to live here in the middle of the desert as temperatures soared over 45 degrees celsius every day of the school! Many also got to eat kangaroo tail for the first time which is one of the favourites here!

Here is a testimony from a young man who attended the school with his Mum:

“Hey everybody! …I’m still reminiscing over how amazing Alice Springs was….I’ve always called myself a Christian and attended church, youth groups, scriptures and different events and would listen to what was said but never really knew if God was there or real and didn’t have faith in him. Before coming to Alice Springs I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I had a feeling I was going to experience something amazing. As soon as I landed in Alice springs I felt a strong connection to land and just found it so beautiful. Meeting everybody and seeing how amazing, friendly and strong in faith everyone was really made the outback mission school feel like a big loving family. Through the week, listening to everything that was said and experiencing everything there I started to put my faith and love in Jesus. I felt his love and presence in me grow as I continued to open myself up to him. By the end of the amazing week in Alice I had full faith and love for God and loved all of you there and wish we could have stayed there. You all had such a massive part in me opening my heart to God and I can’t thank you all enough for that. When I had got back [where I live] and was feeling sad Alice Springs was no longer, I had a shower in which God came to me and gave me an immense clarity and as if a blindfold had been lifted and I could understand everything that had happened in Alice Springs and God’s plan for me, I was sobbing tears of Joy and didn’t leave the shower for quite a while ahah.. it is so amazing having God in my life learning more about him and building my love and relationship with him. Throughout the school years I had a few unfortunate times, made mistakes and was also suffering from depression. I saw a lot of bad, evil, injustice and pain in the world and had a strong anger for it but felt helpless and lost. All that has changed finding God and understanding things happen for a reason even if it is hard, painful or almost breaks you and seems like there’s no light, you can grow from it be stronger or help someone else because of what you have experienced even if it’s years later until you realise it. I can’t thank you all enough for helping me find God and everybody that organised things and put in so much effort and work… and can’t wait to see what God has for us all”

We thank God for His goodness and faithfulness, for many lives being transformed during the school, for testimonies of healing and salvation, for a renewed vision and refreshment for our team and for the people here to see Holy Spirit move across Alice Springs and surrounding communities. It is Australia’s time to shine with love for our bride groom, Jesus! All glory to Him! He is so worthy!