Since moving to Mozambique in 1995, and giving away everything they had, Heidi and Rolland Baker have learned to depend on God for everything. “If God does not show up, we are dead,” says Heidi. Living among the poor has allowed Heidi to see firsthand how when they embrace the life of the Beatitudes, they are truly blessed. “The Beatitudes are God’s recipe for revival. They are a portrait and description of Jesus. When we walk as Jesus walked, we will be blessed,” shares Heidi. She believes God is calling a generation forward to be “laid-down lovers for Him, to walk in the ways He walked, and to follow His Sermon on the Mount as their instructions for their Christian walk.”
Heidi says there is something about the poor that delights the heart of God. The reason God breaks forth in Mozambique in great power is because the people are poor in spirit. “I believe Jesus meant that poor in spirit is a posturing of the heart where one is wholly given, fully yielded, completely desperate, and totally dependent on God alone.”
For years, Heidi dreamed about providing water to the people who live in the villages in the most desperate conditions. After years of praying, planning, crying, working and networking, they broke ground with an enormous well drilling rig in Pemba. “We know hundreds of thousands of people will be affected by this development as we can now bring water from the earth as Jesus brings living water from heaven to the desperate people of Mozambique,” says Heidi. “I cried as the huge drill rig broke through solid rock and dirt.” Many of their Mozambican friends walk from two hours to an entire day just to get one container of water. Many people die each year from diseases connected either with their lack of clean water or contaminated water.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
In 1995, Heidi arrived in Mozambique, the poorest country in the world, with her family. The government offered them a horribly dilapidated and neglected "orphanage." After many years of brutal civil war, thousands of children had been left as orphans, displaced and abandoned. There were 80 children and God poured down His love and provided food day by day. A church was planted and hundreds began to turn to the Lord. The former communist directors of the government orphanage were furious ever since Heidi and her husband took over since their extreme corruption and thievery had been stopped. Scheming together with an equally corrupt faction of the government, they concocted accusations and issued a legal decree against Iris Ministries that forbade prayer and worship, Christian singing, and all forms of "unapproved" food and clothes distribution and medical assistance. Since Heidi and the children did not obey the new rules, they had 48-hours to leave the property. Heidi was told there was a contract out on her life. So, they evacuated to their office in the capital city of Maputo. The children gathered in the dining room/church and began to sing praise and worship songs at the tops of their lungs. They were beaten and told they could not worship God. One by one, they began to walk the 20 miles to the city office. Reunited, Heidi, Rolland and the orphans called out to God in total desperation. They had lost everything and there was no place for them to go and no food to eat. A friend from the American Embassy came with chili and rice for the Bakers and their 2 children. They prayed over the pots of food and told the 80+ children to sit down. Everyone ate and was full! God has rewarded their faith, and now their property in Pemba is over seven times what was lost in 1997. “Government officials who once persecuted us and beat our children are now thankful for us staying in the country,” says Heidi.
MISSIONS IN HER BLOOD
Heidi was called to the mission field when she was 16 and living on an Indian Reservation as an American Field student where she was led to the Lord by a Navajo preacher. Several months later she was taken up in a vision for several hours and heard the Lord tell her to be a minister and missionary to Africa, Asia and England. Heidi met her husband Rolland at a small charismatic church in Southern California and married 6 months later. They left for the mission field two weeks after they were married, with simple instructions from the Lord, one way tickets and thirty dollars in their pockets. They spent 12 years in Asia and saw thousands come to Jesus.
After meeting Jackie Pullinger-To and working with her ministry to drug addicts in Hong Kong, their hearts were increasingly broken for the poor and unwanted. In 1992 they left to do their PhDs at Kings' College, University of London.
Rolland became ill in November 2008 with signs of dementia. Tests conducted by physicians reported minor damage to cells within the brain caused by two serious bouts with malaria and perhaps a series of small strokes. After much prayer, Heidi says they decided to take Rolland to a clinic in Germany that specializes in a blend of prayer, medical and nutritional remedies. While praying for a good recovery, many people have been supporting them due to Rolland’s growing medical costs.
While Rolland was in Germany, he received a sophisticated series of injections designed to build up depleted organs (like adrenal glands), clean out brain capillaries, wake up the nervous system and massive doses of vitamins and other things his body was depleted of. The staff at the wellness center also prayed for Rolland, counseling him and interceding for him. “The bottom line is that now I am thinking clearly and normally, which is huge,” says Rolland. “I do not have dementia. The road has been long and difficult, but I am greatly blessed and encouraged.” Today, Rolland has been fully healed for two years now, his mind is fully restored, and he is functioning 100%.
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH IRIS MINISTRIES
Heidi’s heart is evangelism. She goes to the bush once a week. Deaf people are hearing, and many people are getting healed. The ministry is still planting churches weekly. A “synchronistic people of another faith” have been converting to Christianity in masses. Currently they have churches in over 20 countries.
Education is also a strong outreach with Iris Ministries and it is offered free to the community. Their primary school in Mozambique has successfully been running for eight years and has over 1,200 children in attendance daily. This school has a free discipleship lunch program where along with a meal there are Bible readings and skits available. A year ago, they started a secondary school that provides a dinner program where everyone is welcome. Iris Ministries also has a vocational school that offers business, healthcare, and English classes. This vocational school has a café and offers internships with small businesses. It is really a thriving community. They have the Harvest School which is a missions school offered to 300 students twice a year in Mozambique. A new Harvest School is opening in Florida, the first school in the U.S. As a part of the Harvest School in Florida, optional outreaches are offered in various international countries and inner city America.
Rolland Baker: Keeping the Fire
| June 2, 2016 | 2 comments
Rolland Baker, Keeping the Fire: Sustaining Revival Through Love: The Five Core Values of Iris Global (Kent, United Kingdom: River Publishing & Media Ltd., 2015), 152 pages, ISBN 9781908393555.
Rolland Baker, along with his wife, Heidi, have served on the mission field for the last 35 years, most of their time has been spent in Mozambique, Africa. Many people within the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements are familiar with the ministry of the Bakers. Their ministry is known for its testimonies of miraculous provisions, healings, and miracles, things that most Christians would like to see in their churches and ministries. However, what may be less known are the challenges and difficulties they have faced. In the preface of the book, Elisha Baker, Rolland and Heidi’s son, chronicles a number of these less than desirable experiences. His list includes imprisonment, deportation, being falsely accused, being robbed, being beaten, numerous death threats, and some severe health challenges. This list of challenges reminds me of the apostle Paul’s list in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. In the midst of all of these trials the Baker’s ministry has flourished.
In this book Rolland Baker writes about the five core values that have preserved and prospered Iris Global. The five core values are: Find God, Depend on Miracles, Go to the Least, Suffer for Him if Necessary, and Rejoice in the Lord.
In the introduction of the book the author gives the reader a brief look at the five core values. After this he devotes a full chapter to each, providing a more extensive look at each one. These five chapters contain some simple, yet profound, insights.
God’s ways cannot be reduced to a simple formula.
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Tags: baker, fire, keeping, rolland
Category: Ministry, Spring 2016
About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook