The children of Grace Iris Ministries are amazing. They are a sincere, well-disciplined, funny, creative, intelligent, faithful, grateful, and dedicated group of extraordinary young people, truly created in the image of God. The boarding school at Grace Iris Ministries has approximately 150 children (always fluctuating), ranging in age from 4 to 16, and coming primarily from remote tribal areas. The children come from a diversity of backgrounds; some having both parents and some being orphaned. Many of the children come from families of migrant workers, which presents a challenge during times of drought or a lack of agricultural work. Sometimes the children will have to leave the school to migrate with their families, so the staff tries to use the time they have with the children as productively as possible. Even if a child can only attend the school for few years, or even one year, they will still receive excellent academic and Biblical training that will help them wherever they go.
The children receive a very high quality education. Vijay and Vansantha utilize the same staff from the private school they operate as a business, to teach the children at the boarding school. Many of the children have been able to go on to continue their education at the university level (studying medicine, engineering, education, business, etc.) through academic scholarships, while others have been enabled to go on to study a given trade (agriculture, sewing, mechanical repair, etc.). In addition to their education and training, the children also receive substantial Biblical training. It is made very clear to parents and other family members, that Grace Iris School is a Christian boarding school. Vijay, Vansantha, and the Grace Iris staff are very careful to not pressure children to become Christians, but rather teach them accurately about Jesus Christ, the Bible, God’s plan of Salvation, and prayer. Every child will leave the school with a thorough knowledge of God’s Word. Even if a child does not choose to become a Christian (and this does occur), they will at least have a thorough understanding of the Bible and of the Christian faith.
The children at the boarding school are always active and engaged using every part of their day (see daily schedule). These children do not have the distractions of things like television or cellphones so they use their creativity in activities such as: writing and performing skits and plays, developing games for themselves and the younger children, doing crafts, memorizing scripture, learning songs, and doing other activities that engage their minds and imaginations. Every year as we visit the school the children are always ready with an elaborate schedule of skits, plays, and songs that they have written and assembled to perform in programs every evening. They love to see Mrs. Louise Gann and her team as they perform their Christmas program and receive gifts, candy, and a new outfit as part of the Christmas celebration (usually in October).
As we said the children of Grace Iris Ministries are an amazing group of young people. Please pray for them, as well as the staff and administrators of the school, as they continue in their education and training for the glory of God.
Daily Schedule: Monday - Friday
5:15AM Wake Up / Brush Teeth
5:30 to 6:00 Prayer / Reading Daily Bread Devotionals
6:00 to 7:00 Cleaning duties/ Bath / Washing Clothes
7:00 to 7:30 Breakfast (rice and curd)
7:30 to 8:15 Reciting Bible Verses (Focus on Psalms/Proverbs)
8:30 to 12:30 School
12:30 to 1:30 Lunch Break (and reciting bible verses)
1:30 to 4:00 School
4:00 to 5:00 Games/Recess
5:00 to 6:00 Cleaning Duties and Bath
6:00 to 6:30 Supper
6:30 to 7:00 Prayer and Worship
7:30 to 8:45 Study Time
8:45PM Prayer and then bedtime