Photo Stories | Old Man


Ben Aijian works in media for Heidi and Rolland Baker at Iris Ministries in Mozambique. One of his passions is photography, and here he shares the story behind one of his photographs taken while working with Iris.

Old Man

In February of 2012, a cyclone named Funso hit the central coast of Mozambique and flooded much of the lowlands, causing many thousands of villagers to lose their homes or even their farms. Often, the villages will be on higher ground so the homes themselves are spared when the Zambezi or other rivers flood, but the farms in the fertile lowlands get completely swept away. In the immediate aftermath, our disaster response division called IRIS Relief mobilized and deployed a team equipped with several tons of food, an emergency clinic vehicle, and other basic living supplies. After two days of rough driving through incredibly damp and often muddy terrain, we arrived in the villages of the affected people.

This man was an elder in one of the villages that we came to aide. He and his fellow elders sat up against a house scrutinizing our every move. Often, outsiders or westerners that come to the villages have ulterior motives, and as a result, people have become quite reserved. They sat and watched us all day long as we proceeded to give each and every family in the village food, seed, and other basic supplies. Later that evening we set up our floodlights, loudspeakers and microphones and did an evangelistic meeting where several hundred were in attendance. This same village elder came forward and received prayer! The love and compassion of Jesus Christ without ulterior motive has the power to melt even the hardest hearts of stone!