Rev Dr Edgar Mayer – Living Grace Lutheran Church, Toowoomba – Date: 8 November 2015
For more sermons and other writings, please check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org
Laden with Money Tested
Six weeks ago (27 September 2015), I preached on finances and provision and I shared how blessed we have been with paying down the debt on our property (from $780,000 down to $230,000 in six short years) and generous weekly offerings ($5000) and I confirmed some amazing prophecies that talked further about abundant financial blessings for our church:
One Million Dollars
A few months before November 2011, David Challenor had the impression that God would give $1,000,000 towards Jubilee and Living Grace ... I was sceptical ... One Tuesday, David confirmed his impression at WAM. The next Friday we were praying over our finances at the Prayer Watch. Without knowing anything about the $1,000,000, Joe took something out of his pocket, gave it to me and said, “Here, I give this towards it.” I looked at the piece of paper and slowly realized that it was a $1,000,000 banknote. It was a mock-up that was used as a Christian flyer but I sensed that God was encouraging our faith. A few weeks later, David came with another folded piece of paper on which was written “$1,000,000”. It was a thank-you note from Natasha who expressed her gratitude to David and Sonya and the church for saving her life. This piece of paper had been in one of David’s rooms for a few months but no one had picked it up. God again seemed to encourage our faith ... Joe’s banknote was placed on my desk (for daily seeing with the eyes of faith) and Natasha’s note was put before the cross in the church ... [For more than ten months our church finances were $1200 below budget every week.] ...
Dream 23 October 2011 (Edgar): In the middle of the night (I think), I dreamt that gem stones had fallen or manifested out of the glory of God in our church (Living Grace) and the congregation was standing in this mass of gem stones which were green (I think). There were so many that the entire worship building was filled up with the gem stones – maybe 1.5m deep (or more) all over the entire expanse of the building.
In the dream, it was clear that this would not only to cover the congregation’s debt and expenses but also benefit and bless personally every single member at Living Grace and we could further spend millions of dollars in helping other churches, the LCA, those in need, people overseas, Israel, etc.
On the morning of the miracle, people could take many gem stones home for themselves and we also put aside gem stones for those that did not attend on this Sunday. The only “problem” was that this hardly made a dent into the mass of gem stones and we had to find a way to secure the God-given riches and also be wise in its distribution.
Then, in the morning, I dreamt that I was going to the bank because I wanted to sell some bank shares whose value had fallen. (We don’t own shares that are worth anything.) I wanted to use the money to cover some debt. When I was at the bank, I discovered that I owned shares in three further companies (unbeknown to me previously) and these were all worth significantly more than their original purchasing price. Not only would any debt be covered, there was a measure of ongoing wealth.
Monday 24 Oct: I woke up and, remembering the dreams, I could not go back to sleep again because of the excitement in my heart. Then, David Challenor rang later with the news that the Sunday fundraising concert at Concordia College went well and that the Presbyterians (Pastor Rollie Sondergeld) made a commitment to increase their financial support of Jubilee Ministries by $1000 per month. God seemed to waste no time and seemed to confirm the dreams.
Tuesday 25 Oct: I perused the German daily newspaper “The Sueddeutsche” whose picture of the day was a picture of a huge gem stone (the biggest diamond in the world, worth more than $10,000,000). This gem stone looked similar (same?) to the ones that I saw in my dream. I made the picture my desktop picture.
Etienne Blom Prophecy
Transcript (Etienne Blom prophesying on Wed 26 Feb 14): I am not a prosperity preacher. Just want to make it clear … This gentleman here with the black shirt … yes … second row … yeah … When I walked in earlier this evening, I saw finances. I saw business. I believe there is a time coming that you will have influence in the business world and God’s goanna raise up finances through you for the kingdom. It’s a different dimension that’s goanna come into your life. It’s goanna be a different purpose. And God is busy preparing you and aligning you for it. He’s positioning you to move into that … You are a man of wisdom. You are a man of wisdom … And God’s goanna let you influence businesses to align them for the kingdom. There will be business people call you in the future … seasons to come … They call you (in the future) into their businesses to ask you for help … I want to tell you tonight: Think waaay bigger. You think way too little of yourself. Bless you in the name of Jesus.
Sunday 2 March 2014: I acted on the prophecy and prayed first for all self-employed people at Living Grace. We had more than fifty come forward which is an unusual number for our small church.
Positive testimonies flowing from Carl Humphrey, Stephen Sims, Dan Parsons, Trevor Hutton, etc. Challenges for Nathan Tranter, Des Wheeler, etc.
Sunday 15 Feb 15, I shared with the prayer group (8-9am) what happened and that the season has changed. We are allowed to stand up. “It is enough.” I prayed again – as I prayed at the Prayer Watch on Thu – for God to give the two Bishops in Qld and Vic repentance or remove them within three months (3 months would be 12 May).
Vicki shared how during the fast and then just this morning, she heard from God: “Call upon me and I will answer you beyond what you can imagine” (words to this effect, precise words from Vicki). Herman ended up preaching on “Breakthrough” (word he received on Tue). He had also heard to pray for breakthrough in the work situation but we (I led but then Letoya suggested for Brett to pray) had already done so straight after the worship => great confirmation. Herman announced that the time of breakthrough was here now for LG (preached on Moses striking the rock twice – stay in tune with God in the right attitude / king who needed to strike the arrows a few times / David twice against the Philistines) …
The whole church embraced the call to give shaped to a national movement of Lutheran Renewal.
Vicki Meagher’s testimony: Two weeks before Christmas 2014 we were discussing prayer and fasting for 7 days in the new year (2015). As time went by, the Lord put on my heart He wanted the first fruits. It became clear He wanted the first day of the year, so I was led by the Holy Spirit into a 40 day fast from the 1st January to 9th of February.
We were going through difficult times in the church (Living Grace), difficult times personally. In general, everything was getting too hard. As always, God has perfect timing. It was such a relief that God took over, took control and set discipline in place. I laid everything down before Him that was weighing so heavy on my heart. He knew everything but I just wanted to make sure.
On Monday the 9th of February (40th day, the day that I found out that the Jesus Tent in Rockhampton was cancelled by the Qld Bishop) I was reading and praying 5-5.30am and words came out of my mouth that had nothing to do with what I was doing. They were all out before I realized what had happened. I did not move or say anything – just sat. It had never happened like that before.
He said: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not.”
I was still for about an hour. Then I got angry because for so, so long I had been crying out begging, pleading with Him to do something and in the natural nothing seemed to be happening. So I let it go and walked away from what was said.
On Thursday 5th February (3 days later) – around the same time reading and praying – the exact same thing happened. Words came out of my mouth before I realized. I was in control of nothing.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not.”
I didn’t get angry. I just cried, repented and meditated on what he had said – not once but twice. This fast was God’s plan. He ordered it. He planned it. All I did was obey. What was it for?
On Sunday 15th February, we all went into the 8am prayer meeting. We were talking. Pastor Edgar told us about his week. The Jesus Tent in Rockhampton had been cancelled. The black mark against him became blacker. Turmoil was still around us but he said that he was excited. He was at peace. He spoke with confidence.
Church began and Pastor Herman was preaching and the word the Lord gave him was “BREAKTHROUGH”. My spirit jumped. God’s word was being confirmed all morning.
It is a new day – a new beginning. We will have warfare but God has promised: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not.” Amen.
Include this week’s prophetic word which Vicki received: “Advance fiercely” … “Philadelphia church”.
Jim White Prophecy
Transcript (28 May 15) – Jim White is ambassador to the nations for the International Association of Healing Rooms headquartered in Spokane Washington: I see you sitting at a table and the table is laden with money. But before you go home and throw a party, hear the Lord saying the wealth is not for you. It’s for the kingdom. He has a special anointing on your life to strategically manage kingdom finances. That word may be so farfetched than anything that you have ever heard. But God has given you. There is that wisdom again. You’re a manager. You’re a manager. God’s taking this whole thing higher …
You are a shadow healer … You are a Holy Ghoster …You’re not normal. You’re a Holy Ghoster …You are being summoned by God to move up higher …You’re going to be known as one who lives and loves in the presence of the Most High …You’re one of the Carriers. And God’s goanna work on you …You’re a Holy Ghoster … Your shadow will heal the sick …
I am not sure whether I have done this previously but, six weeks ago, I confirmed these prophecies publicly and expressed some faith in their truth. This is what God has in store for us – abundant financial provisions.
However, then – immediately – the warm glow of these prophetic words were challenged by some worrying news from the management committee. Our expenditure had exceeded income by $16,000 and there were more big bills to come. And I thought: “Me and my big mouth!” There I was rejoicing over our finances – publicly – and – bang – the bubble burst with being thousands of dollars in the red. We are not broke but we are a little subdued.
What happened? What always happens when we confirm a prophetic statement or make a stand somewhere. The word and our faith in this word get tested – often immediately. I give you a few Biblical examples. The pattern is consistent and strong:
God prophesies Abraham numerous descendants and Abraham believes him. But – immediately and throughout his life (Genesis 22) – Abraham’s faith is tested by the barrenness of his wife and seemingly contradictory commands of God (Genesis 22).
Joseph receives prophetic dreams of leadership over his family but his faith and expectations are tested when – soon after – his brothers sell him into slavery to Egypt (Genesis 37).
God expresses his pride and joy in the righteousness of Job and Satan immediately demands that Job’s righteousness is tested by suffering (Job 1).
Moses announces deliverance from slavery in Egypt to the Israelites but their faith is tested immediately when Pharaoh does not listen and doubles their oppressive workload (Exodus 5).
David is finally crowned king of both, the north and south of Israel, and immediately the combined armies of the Philistines attack his new status – twice (2 Samuel 5).
Peter declares to Jesus that he would never deny him and even die with him (Matthew 26:35), but – within twenty-four hours – his confidence was tested and he betrayed Jesus three times.
God, the Father, announced to Jesus in an audible voice that he was his beloved Son, but – immediately – the devil tested the sonship of Jesus and tempted him in the wilderness about his status as son (Luke 3-4).
Again and again, the Bible pattern seems to suggest that a public coming out with a prophetic statement or statement of intent gets challenged – often immediately. As you step out in faith and declare your faith, this faith gets tested and you can expect trouble.
Over the years, I have observed this pattern with new converts. We used to be so happy when people responded to altar calls and had them testify next Sunday in church. But it was too soon. They made their conversion public which invited the immediate testing of their new-found faith and they (most of them) were not yet mature enough to handle the test. It would have been better to keep the new converts “under wraps” for a time and let them settle as they have made a beginning with Jesus Christ.
On reflection – unconsciously but with some kind of dim awareness of the pattern – I shied away from preaching on sexual matters – remaining free from adultery, sexual purity, the lust of the eyes, and so on. I enjoyed and enjoy a happy marriage but I had a healthy respect for my own weaknesses. So many great pastors had fallen in this area and I knew that I was not better than them. I did not feel confident sticking my neck out in this area because I feared being tested and found wanting. I was probably not fully aware of the connection between declaration (public preaching) and having the declaration tested but I was nervous to go there.
Sometimes I think that I have failed you for not preaching (much) on sexual purity but, on the other hand, I recognize God’s amazing grace precisely on this aspect of our life at Living Grace. In twenty years of ministry, there have only been one or two marriage separations, one of them in my first year. God has given us amazing grace for marriages and families. I am not saying that marriage and family relationships have always been happy (we all need work and we grind against one another) but we have come through the rough patches and trust God that this grace will remain on us. Now that I have said this, I hope that it is not getting us into trouble. We make no confident pronouncements or claim special maturity but recognize God’s grace.
For this Sunday, I had planned to ask Tim Kingston and Stephen Sims to share a short testimony about their expanding businesses (cleaning and architecture). They are moving to new and bigger premises and God is blessing them (and others such as Carl Humphrey, Andrew Coates, Nathan Peters, Trevor Hutton, and so on). But I did them a favour by not asking them to give a testimony. I wanted to spare them the testing that usually comes after the public proclamation. You may say that I am timid but even Jesus encouraged us to pray – Matthew 6:13: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Why do these tests happen? They are meant to strengthen us. Last Sunday, Pastor David Schuppan preached on Romans 5:3-5 [AMP]: “[with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].” In the testing, we learn not to trust in ourselves but lean on God and dig in with our eyes fixed on him. We learn to let go of other things (the worldly comforts that hardships take away) and experience a growing fixation on God (only he will do) and discover his loving presence in the midst of our lowest state – Romans 5:5: “Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” We develop healthy habits – faithfulness – character – for leadership.
I give you a few supportive Bible passages:
Romans 4:18-21: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
2 Corinthians 1:5-9: For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ … We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10: … Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Hebrews 5:7-10: During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him … / Luke 9:23: Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Hebrews 12:7: Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children …
1 Peter 1:4-7: … This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
The testing of our faith strengthens us and our perseverance in faith pleases God. He rejoices when we are trusting him despite the trials – despite the setbacks – despite the heartaches. God showed off Job to Satan. He was so proud of this righteous man and he allowed the testing of Job to verify his pride. Job’s faith glorified him. Our faith glorifies God. Job said – Job 13:15: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him …” [And it is only on earth that we can praise God with our faith. In heaven, we no longer live by faith but know him and abide in his presence always.]
Are we being tested in our faith for finances and provisions right now? I think so – just a little at the moment – and I pray that there is not more to come. [Matthew 6:13: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”] However, what does this mean for you when you are running a business or pursue a career? You are in ministry. You are just as much in God’s service and doing spiritual work as the person that lays hands on other people in the prayer line or groans under the Spirit in God in intercession. Your work place is as spiritual as preaching from the pulpit which means that the same discipline applies. You operate by faith (by hearing from God and trusting him with his strategies for your business), you step out in faith into “God-sized” projects, listen to God and take authority over your work in prayer, you experience spiritual warfare as “powers and principalities” (Satan and his minions) seek to thwart your calling and the blessings that God wants to bestow through you.
Doing bookwork and banking may not feel like spiritual work but it is, if you submit your business and work to God – if it is in his service rather than your own. And you need the church to back you up – in prayer and encouragement. When you are stuck and are seeking direction (and not only then), come to the Prayer Watch and don’t get upset when God drops thoughts and strategies in your head for your business. When I preach and your mind wanders and meditates on your work, don’t be surprised or think (immediately) that anything is wrong. The Spirit is at work and he wants to speak about God’s ideas for your work.
I encourage you to grow in your calling. The journey to miraculous provisions is worth it and needs to be in place for a revival that is touching the nation and nations. We will travel, hire more tents, employ more staff, care for the needy, send money to struggling places overseas, plant churches, train ministers and whatever else God has on his heart.
Rolland and Heidi Baker have founded the mission organization, Iris, which today has over 35 bases in about 20 nations led by teams of missionaries and local leaders. They were instrumental in birthing thousands of churches and are global leaders of revival. But their spiritual breakthroughs included – prominently – the spiritual breakthrough in receiving provisions – money to finance their work. Can I tell you their story again and invite you to step into our calling as you listen to theirs? The same God that released them is releasing us:
Floods of Love in Mozambique by C Hope Flinchbaugh, http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/368-j15/features/21st-century-ministry, 2000: God gave Heidi Baker a vision to reach forgotten children in Mozambique. Today he and her husband, Rolland, care for more than 600 orphans …
“My life is very simple,” Heidi Baker says. “I just pick up abandoned, dying children. I love the garbage dump. I hang out there and go to the alleys and back roads; and I see who’s dying, abused and alone, and I say: ‘Come, live with me.’”
Baker determinedly goes about her work amid the horrors of extreme poverty and the apathies of civil corruption that create an infrastructure of misery for undesired children in the southeast African country. But it’s the perfect place of ministry for the petite blonde woman who is both a power-filled Pentecostal and a London-educated student of theology. She’s been helping outcasts in society since her teens, when God called her to the mission field.
That doesn’t mean life in Mozambique has been easy for the 40-year-old missionary. It has tested her natural tenacity to defend the poor like never before. It has more than once brought her close to death from disease and violence. And since 1995, when she and Rolland, 52, first arrived in Mozambique to take over a horribly dilapidated government orphanage, it has tested their calling.
Yet the result has been that their once-struggling ministry has become a virtual haven for children trapped in squalor or fleeing from death. This has occurred in part because of a pair of powerful encounters with God at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) in the late 1990s.
In the midst of it all, Heidi’s primary reason for doing what she does remains simple – and crystal clear with purpose.
“All I know is I’ve been in God’s presence, and I’ve seen His face,” she says. “And if you’ve seen His face – oh, oh, you’re changed.”
The Bakers’ ministry – Iris Ministries – today operates 200 churches across Mozambique. Most astounding is the fact that 197 of those churches were born in just 1-1/2 years. The Bakers know that God has given them the growth – since their hardest efforts at ministry had produced only three churches in the previous 17 years. For Heidi, the exponential growth represents the fulfillment of a promise God made to her at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in 1997.
“[In Toronto] I was completely cooked, slammed and smushed – all of the things that look weird,” Heidi told Charisma. “I felt powerful electricity all over my body. I could hardly stand the heat. I’m hearing God say, ‘Hundreds of churches,’ and I’m laughing hysterically. It’s the funniest thing I ever heard. It took us 17 years to plant three churches, and two of them weren’t doing that well.”
Today the Bakers’ children’s centre near the capital city of Maputo is responsible for the daily care of more than 600 children – and they take in more children almost every day. Iris Ministries also has started a Bible school for national pastors and older teenagers now preparing for the ministry.
Says Heidi: “Pastor Rego, who recently finished our school of ministry, just raised a lady from the dead in Jesus’ name. He prayed three days over her corpse without eating or drinking water. That’s tenacity! The whole village got saved.”
“The dead have been raised.” Rolland told Charisma. “Blind eyes have seen, a paralyzed pastor healed, a dumb boy is speaking, epileptics and demoniacs have been restored.”
One 7-year-old boy Heidi found had lived in a cardboard box for three years and had no mother or father. According to Heidi, the apprehensive child was taken up in a vision onto the shoulders of two angels and bounced from one to the other as they danced and sang an African Christian song.
Heidi says the child later reported that the angels took him to Jesus who told him: “Son, I want you to live a pure and holy life. Don’t fill it up with drugs and alcohol. I want you to go back and tell everyone I’m coming soon.”
Heidi has been motivated to minister to the poor and forgotten since age 16 when she was saved and called to the mission field while working on an American Indian reservation. Shortly after, she heard the Lord in a vision telling her to minister in Africa, Asia and England.
She returned to her home in California where she met Rolland Baker in a small charismatic church. Rolland is a third-generation missionary and grandson of the late H.A. Baker who authored Visions Beyond the Veil, an account of an orphanage revival in China.
After realizing they were united in their calling to see revival among the poor, Rolland and Heidi were married six months later, in 1980. By the mid-1990s Heidi had received a doctorate in systematic theology from King’s College, University of London, and the couple had ministered in poverty-stricken situations in Asia and pioneered a church for street-sleepers in London.
The ministry the Bakers now enjoy in Mozambique hardly seems like the same one they started with when they first arrived in the country in 1995. At that time, their new leadership at the orphanage put an end to the corruption and thievery of the centre’s former directors, an action that quickly brought accusations against them from corrupt officials and spawned governmental rules against prayer and worship. Within a year, Heidi and Rolland were ready to call it quits in Mozambique, despite the fact that they were 17-year veterans of the mission field.
But the couple’s two visits to Toronto quickly changed all of that.
“We were ready to give up before we went to Toronto,” Heidi says. “Then God blasted us, and He showed us His heart and His face and His burning eyes of love.”
It was in 1996, during her first meeting at TACF, that Heidi says she saw the face of Jesus in a vision. The encounter immediately started to transform her life.
Heidi was drawn to the Toronto Blessing revival at TACF that year because of the change she saw in Rolland when he returned from several weeks of meetings there.
“We worked on the mission field for 18 years together, and we had our ups and downs,” Heidi says, “but I never felt so loved by him as when he came home from Toronto.”
Heidi had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia, and in August 1996 she checked herself out of the hospital and left with Rolland for Toronto. Her first experience at TACF began with the immediate healing of her pneumonia and quickly became what Heidi describes as a time of total self-death and surrender to Christ.
As she lay under the power of God, Heidi says that she saw Jesus’ face and broken body and looked into His eyes, which she described as “fiery eyes of love.” It was an experience that created an awareness in her of her own need for brokenness.
“For God to pick you up and run with you, you’ve got to totally lay down,” she says. “When you’re nothing, nothing’s impossible.”
Suddenly in her vision, Heidi was surrounded by thousands of children. Jesus handed her a piece of His own broken body, and it turned into bread in her hands.
“Give it to the children to eat,” He told her, and every child ate.
Then He gave her a cup filled with the blood and water from His side. She drank first, then gave it to all the children.
Then Jesus spoke to her the words that have defined her ministry since that time: “Because I died, there will always be enough.”
After the encounter in Toronto, Heidi and Rolland returned to Mozambique – which statistically sits at the bottom of the United Nations’ list of highly indebted nations. Heidi began seeking more and more children from the garbage dumps and streets of Maputo. Heidi was convinced that with Jesus there would always be enough to feed and care for them.
The Bakers met an immediate test of faith when the largest donor to their ministry suddenly stopped supporting them because of the couple’s involvement in the Toronto revival. It meant that they lost most of the money needed for food and housing for the children. The day the support ended, Heidi went out to the garbage dumps and found seven more children.
Circumstances quickly worsened for the Bakers.
Expecting signs and wonders when they returned to Mozambique, Heidi and Rolland were shocked when a faction in the city government suddenly evicted them and their 320 children from the orphanage. The former building directors had successfully conspired to regain control of the dilapidated centre that Rolland and Heidi had worked to rebuild. Government workers beat the children for worshiping God, and the Bakers soon found out that members of the faction had purchased – for $20 – an assassination contract on Heidi’s life.
The orphaned children pleaded with the Bakers, telling them they would camp with them anywhere – in the woods, on the beach or any other place – rather than be denied the opportunity to worship Jesus. The troop of orphans followed Rolland and Heidi, walking barefoot for miles into town, where the Bakers rented a small office.
“I just clung to the vision of Jesus’ loving eyes and remembered that He said there would always be enough,” Heidi says.
After being displaced from the orphanage, the Bakers experienced a year of nomadic-style wanderings in 1997 during which they continually were trying to feed and shelter hundreds of orphans. That year, the mayor of the nearby town of Matola gave the Bakers land, and they housed the children in army tents.
In January 1998 the Bakers made a second visit to Toronto for a conference at the TACF that featured Randy Clark, the catalyst of revival in the early days of the Toronto Blessing. Clark preached on dying to self and the holy fire of God. After the preaching, Heidi experienced the fire of God.
“I felt I was literally going to burn up and die,” Heidi says. “Then I heard the Lord say: ‘Good, I want you dead!’”
Clark prophesied that there would be an apostolic anointing over Heidi, declaring she would see the dead raised, the blind healed, miracles performed and many churches started in Mozambique. Clark then prophesied that God was going to give her the nation of Mozambique.
Heidi says she was on the floor under the power of God all day for seven days during the conference, unable to move. The presence of God was so strong, she says, she had to be carried to her hotel room each night and even needed help getting drinks of water.
During her seven days at TACF, she says, the Lord showed her the importance of the body of Christ and told her, “You can do nothing without Me, and nothing without My body.”
She then had a vision of Jesus walking with the children over the smouldering, stinking garbage heaps in Mozambique, where they scavenge for food. He handed out royal robes to each one and invited them to His marriage feast. Jesus even brought the children forward to sit with Him at the head table.
After all the holy fire, the visions and the prophecies in Toronto, the Bakers packed up and returned again to Mozambique, expecting that they would begin a new, perhaps even less difficult, work for God. Instead, they returned only to face even deeper trials and testings.
“After Toronto, it all fell apart,” Heidi says. “We lost so much support. We lost all our buildings, beds, trucks and equipment. We lost our health! The trials kept getting hotter, but we didn’t leave.”
Upon their return to Mozambique, Heidi was hospitalized three times for near-fatal blood poisoning and almost was killed during a hijacking attempt. Rolland contracted severe malaria.
Then Heidi started collapsing without warning – falling unexpectedly, for no apparent reason. In August 1998 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and told it was progressing rapidly. Doctors forewarned her that she may end up in a wheelchair.
Heidi cried out to God.
“God, You promised signs and wonders and hundreds of churches,” she said. “Now what? I don’t understand what’s going on, God, but I love You. I trust You.”
After some deep soul-searching, Heidi decided that she would return to Mozambique and preach from a wheelchair if necessary, and that she would not let the devil thwart her. Back in Africa, she preached – and even baptized children who were being healed and set free in the baptismal tank while she was struggling to stay on her feet.
“Every time she fell, the children would gather around and pray ceaselessly,” Rolland told Charisma. “They simply would not give up.”
The children’s prayers, combined with Heidi’s determination to worship God in spite of her illness, brought healing.
“God told me to rejoice in tribulation, rejoice in suffering and worship Him,” Heidi says. “He told me not to back down in any area but keep walking. Day by day I obeyed until today every symptom is gone – and I dance before my God!”
The Bakers faced a new set of challenges in February after massive flooding occurred in Mozambique. High winds and rain storms ripped their large church tent and destroyed their school building. Their trucks now are falling apart from extreme use, and new construction for churches and children’s centres are needed.
Due to the flooding, parasites now afflict many of the children’s feet, and the danger of cholera and malaria has increased. “Medical help is simply not available at all for most people,” Rolland says – a fact that the Bakers hope to remedy somewhat by building their own clinic and attracting medical personnel to staff it.
Despite these adversities, Jesus is revealing Himself to the young treasures Heidi and her staff have been gathering. The children are fed, clothed and trained.
Besides attending evening meetings, the youngest children rise early in the morning to gather in makeshift shelters where the dirt flies as they dance and sing their African songs of praise to Jesus. Heidi adds with a laugh that in Mozambique people overcome by the Holy Spirit don’t do “carpet time” but “dirt time” as the Holy Spirit evaporates for many of the kids the fear and trauma they have experienced.
One 7-year-old boy named Armando, whose mother is a prostitute and alcoholic, fell prostrate in the sand during a meeting in Mozambique. He cried and shook in intercession over the country’s sins for two hours. Three hours after the meeting was over, Armando was carried to his bed weeping.
The next morning the boy’s face was beaming when he told Heidi: “I saw Jesus! Jesus said, ‘All who come to Me, I will forgive.’”
“It changed his life,” Heidi says. “He was called to the ministry at his tender age.”
Heidi says that everything God told her during her experiences in Toronto is coming to pass.
“There’s nothing God cannot do,” she says. “But I tell you, it has cost us everything. God’s looking for perseverance – not one-night stands where He blesses and shakes you, and then you go out and commit adultery with the world.”
It’s that kind of perseverance that has kept Heidi and Rolland Baker in the thick of a life-or-death struggle to rescue as many of Africa’s unwanted children as they can.
… Rescuing Orphans from Mozambique’s Floods
In the wake of devastating national floods, Iris Ministries is helping pick up the broken lives.
Citizens of Mozambique experienced devastating floods in February, when three-fourths of the country’s normal annual rainfall came in three days. News broadcasts worldwide showed sometimes crowds of people awaiting rescue from rooftops or clinging desperately to trees to escape the rush of deadly waters below them. Many of those rescued were left homeless and were transitioned into temporary quarters in schools, tents and abandoned factories.
In the capital city of Maputo, rushing currents threatened the work of Rolland and Heidi Baker’s Iris Ministries, which consists of 30 village pastors, 600 orphans and 100 staff members. The floods carved and eroded the ministry land; destroyed its school, roads and power lines; rose dangerously close to the windows of its church building; and surged onto the orphanage property.
Facing shortages and crowding, the Bakers provided bread and relief aid for 12,000 people in various refugee camps. Despite the disease, insects, hunger and raw sewage floating in the surrounding flood waters, hundreds of people gave their lives to the Lord daily.
“We are able to bring spiritual and physical bread to the camps each day,” Heidi says. “Several of our Mozambican pastors come with us, and we are blessed to be able to preach, sing and pray for the sick. Thousands of loaves of fresh bread fill our trucks and are eagerly received by the refugees. They are most eager for prayer.”
After the flooding in February, disaster struck again in March in Chokwe and villages near the Gaza region, where residents had less than 10 minutes of warning before the Limpopo River cascaded over the town.
In an effort to look for flood orphans and bring them back to the ministry centre, Heidi and Dr. John Colby flew by helicopter to Chibuto, the airfield nearest the worst flooding of the Limpopo River. Another cyclone slammed the area after their arrival, grounding all aircraft and stranding Baker and Colby with everyone else in the camp.
“Heidi began to minister to the weak, sick, starving people huddling under tarps and other bits of shelter,” Rolland says. “She began speaking in their local tribal dialect, Changaan, and they immediately perked up with smiles.”
About 2,000 people came to Jesus. Soon the camp was singing and dancing, and many sobbed on their faces for their sins and the sins of the nation.
“The people in the camps know as never before that Jesus is their only hope – not communism, democracy, business, foreign aid, modernity or their own hard work,” Rolland says. “The Lord wants that rarest of human emotions – love for Him – to sweep over a land bereft of all else. Starving, cold, sick, miserable refugees ignore the bread we bring and surge toward us for Bibles, to hear preaching and to receive prayer.”
Children who just lost their parents in the flood have been taken in by the Bakers, joining other orphans gathered previously from the garbage dumps and the streets of Maputo. The sound of singing and shouting from hundreds of children in a crowded dining room carry far through the night air just outside of Maputo.
Water and mud are tracked everywhere, insects crawl in the kids’ hair, and staff and children alike are soaked with perspiration in the damp humidity. The power goes off and, against the roar of a generator, the children continue to dance to the Lord.
As the Bakers continue to take in more children almost every day, these worship services are the highlight of their lives, giving everyone courage, comfort and much needed hope.
Says Rolland: “Never have we seen or heard of such an opportunity to be ‘fishers of men.’ Our aim is the Lord – and for revival without measure.”
Rescuing Orphans from Mozambique’s Floods In the wake of devastating national floods, Iris Ministries is helping pick up the pieces of broken lives.
The Bakers’ ministry provides relief aid for 12,000 Mozambican flood victims confined to refugee camps.
Edgar Mayer: The Worst That Can Happen (On Healing by Compassion), 2007: The other week I bought a new book with keen anticipation from the Koorong catalogue. It is by the missionaries Heidi and Rolland Baker who have amazing stories to tell from Mozambique, Africa. I bought the book because they planted about six-thousand churches in only five years and I wanted to learn how they were able to do that. I was intrigued by how powerful the Holy Spirit was through them – opening the eyes of the blind, making the deaf hear, multiplying their food, raising the dead even (53 reports of raising the dead) … Wow!
However, then I made two unexpected discoveries. Firstly, despite the miracles, life in Mozambique is hard. At one conference Heidi and Rolland Baker asked all the pastors to stand who had lost a close family member to starvation – a wife, an aunt, a child. Too many rose to their feet and then Rolland wrote a sentence which sounded all too familiar: “We are exhausted, overextended and overrun by needs, crises, corruption, disappointment and the desperate cry for relief … “ (Heidi & Rolland Baker: The Hungry Always Get Fed, Chichester: New Wine Press 2007, p128).
Miracles did not mean the absence of challenges and then, the second observation – standing in curious tension with the first one – has to do with phrases like these – repeated throughout the book: “… We are falling in love with him who is love …” (p26) / “… Ever since this day I have been wrecked and ruined by his love …” (p31) / “… We have lost our love for this world … The Lord is calling us deeper into the river of his love …” (p38) / “… I am undone by his love …” (p41) / “… We have not understood that the Gospel is as simple as this: love, love, love, love, love …” (p68) / “… The immense love of Jesus is far bigger than anything you will face in life …” (p85) / “… heart-broken at the great love of our Father …” (p116) / “… at the core of this movement is a white-hot, total abandonment to Jesus and his kingdom … a love that cannot be resisted …” (p128-129) / …
What kind of relationship do these people have with God? I am convicted. I wish that I could say the same with the same passion: “I am undone by his love. I have been wrecked and ruined by his love – heart-broken at the great love of our Father.” And I wish that I could say the same in the same adverse circumstances of Mozambique. I seem hardly able to handle Toowoomba and that is no comparison.
Heidi teaches that even the tragedies of life inevitably force you deeper into the love of God. The turning point of their ministry happened early on. Everything fell apart around them. Rolland contracted cerebral malaria and Heidi discovered that she had multiple sclerosis. In addition, their daughter also contracted malaria. At the same time the Marxists repossessed all their ministry buildings which meant that they were all thrown out onto the street – a family of four, plus 320 homeless children in their care. They retreated to the last building which they had – one tiny office twenty miles away with one toilet between them, nowhere to sleep and no food.
Heidi writes: “I was tired and I was angry! I heard the voice of the angel of the Lord beckoning me to come deeper into God’s presence, but at the same time … life was practically unbearable … I prayed and said: God, you’re mean! How could you let this happen? … “
I continue to read Heidi’s story: “. when all hell breaks loose you have a choice. You can either go deeper into the river of God’s presence or you can retreat … For a long time I was in the twilight zone between these two places, yet the Spirit of God was continually calling me deeper [into love].
I can’t say that I was full of faith at that time – I wasn’t. I desperately needed a miracle. Later that day, God provided one by supernaturally multiplying the food brought to us by a friend. That day I went a little deeper in him. In fact, I took a plunge, because I had seen God do a great miracle right in front of our eyes.
The deeper you get into the river of God’s glory, the more you discover how good he really is. He turns out to be so much more beautiful than you can imagine … soak in the river of God …” (p140).
Rolland and Heidi Baker: Always Enough, Grand Rapids: Chosen Books 2003, p51-58: But our lives were not to become routine at all, and, in fact, we were about to be radically resifted. We were working eighteen-hour days and often battling with corrupt government bureaucrats. We were quickly wearing out. I had served the Lord joyfully and eagerly for over twenty years. I had done everything I could to please Jesus in Mozambique. He was doing amazing things. But I was exhausted and getting steadily weaker and sicker. The constant responsibility of having over three hundred children looking to me as their “Mama Aida” had simply worn me out. I had been on antibiotics six times in two months for various infections and dysentery, and then I developed pneumonia. The doctors were concerned that I had tuberculosis. I knew I needed recharging and felt compelled to go to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF), a church in Canada that was experiencing an unusual, powerful, wonderful move of the Holy Spirit. It had become a spiritual “intensive care ward” for people all over the world who desperately needed a refreshing overhaul, and I wanted to be there.
I checked myself out of the hospital and got on a plane to Toronto. Physically I was taking a risk by rejecting my doctor’s advice and going on such a long trip. My lungs were filled with fluid, and I could barely breathe. Financially we were very low. But I had to go!
Rolland had just returned from Toronto and had had a dramatically great time with God there. He was full of faith and compassion, which made me want to get there all the more. I stopped off in California briefly to see my parents and again was put in the hospital. I could hardly walk. It was very difficult to breathe, but all I could think of was how hungry I was for a touch from God. I was so sick and exhausted. I longed for a simple, non-stressful job. I had ten years of higher education, but at this point I didn’t even want to teach, because I didn’t know what to teach anymore.
When I arrived at TACF, I was healed in the first meeting. The Lord mercifully opened up my lungs and allowed me to breathe effortlessly for the first time in weeks. I spent many hours receiving prayer from loving people on the ministry team. It was deeply healing to be ministered to after preaching and teaching for so many years. Carol Arnott and Sharon Wright especially ministered to me in prayer for hours. I had never experienced such loving, compassionate, unhurried prayer ministry.
Often during my time at TACF, I was on the floor before the Lord, unable to move. His presence was so heavy upon me. One night at the end of a meeting, I was still unable to move. I was rather hidden behind the altar and began to get slightly nervous as Betty the security guard was calling, “Okay, everyone! It’s time to go!” The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I am sending a precious servant to rescue you.” I couldn’t even move my little finger. Betty came over and gently asked me how I was doing. She got a couple of people to help lift me into a chair. The love and mercy that flowed out of her was life- transforming. The Lord taught me so much during those times of utter weakness. His presence was so strong upon me that I felt as if a blanket of liquid love was laid upon me. He demonstrated that He is my only strength. He is my hope. I depend only on Him. I can do nothing without Him and nothing without the Body of Christ.
One night I was groaning in intercession for the children of Mozambique. There were thousands coming toward me, and I was crying, “No, Lord. There are too many!” Then I had a dramatic, clear vision of Jesus. I was with Him, and thousands and thousands of children surrounded us. I saw His shining face and His intense, burning eyes of love. I also saw His body. It was bruised and broken, and His side was pierced. He said, “Look into My eyes. You give them something to eat.” Then He took a piece of His broken body and handed it to me. It became bread in my hands, and I began to give it to the children. It multiplied in my hands. Then again the Lord said, “Look into My eyes. You give them something to drink.” He gave me a cup of blood and water, which flowed from His side. I knew it was a cup of bitterness and joy. I drank it and then began to give it to the children to drink. The cup did not go dry. By this point I was crying uncontrollably. I was completely undone by His fiery eyes of love. I realized what it had cost Him to provide such spiritual and physical food for us all. The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “There will always be enough, because I died.”
I was refreshed and ready to go back to Mozambique. I expected to see a wave of new, amazing miracles right away. Instead, all hell broke loose! We were completely shocked when what we thought was a fairly solid relationship with the government broke down overnight. We were deep in the long process of negotiating a joint venture with Maputo’s Department of Education that would allow us to develop Chihango into an all-around ministry center for Mozambique. Not only was our proposed contract rejected, but the government also issued us conditions for our continued work at Chihango. All religious activity at the center was to be suspended immediately. Our children were not allowed to pray, even under a tree. There was to be no Christian teaching, no gospel singing and no worship. We were told we could not employ older children who were out of school and had nowhere to go. We could no longer bring in street children, give out clothes or dispense medicine. We were given pages of restrictions, all aimed at removing spirituality from Chihango.
We were told that if we prayed, worshiped or sang, we would have to leave immediately. The children of Chihango reacted with intense prayer and worship, even singing and dancing in defiance of the orders. All the children united with us and said they would rather camp out with us in tents in the fields, with no water and electricity, than remain behind where they were beaten, starved and prevented from worshiping Jesus.
The community told me I needed to leave as quickly as possible with my family, because there was a twenty-dollar contract out on my life. After the war few were willing to give up their guns and ammunition, so AK-47s and grenades were common. Finding someone willing to kill me was easy, but I have always insisted that I’m worth more than twenty dollars!
Our Chihango family was given 48 hours to vacate. The children knew that anything they left behind would be stolen and sold. Our staff tried to save whatever they could—especially beds, mattresses, clothes, tools and medicine. We had put so much money into Chihango, preparing for new teams and street children. It was a melancholy sight to see long lines of children moving bed frames—so expensive to buy and transport—across the grass into our storage container.
On that last day Chihango never looked more beautiful. It was bright and breezy, the clouds so awe-inspiring behind our stately rows of rustling eucalyptus trees. As sunset drew near, and as I remembered all the power and joy we had experienced there, I understood that God had placed us where we wanted to be—at the battle line between heaven and hell. How could responsible men bring such cruelty on these children? But we knew our story in Mozambique was far from finished. Our King, the Creator of the universe, was still our loving Heavenly Father; He would have His way in the end, and we would exult in Him.
To get out of Chihango, our staff worked day and night packing up and cleaning out building after building. In the rain and mud, and until three and four o’clock in the morning, they loaded our trucks and trailer and hauled our belongings to storage in Maputo wherever friends offered us space. All of us had only one place to go at first: our little office flat in Maputo, which had a bit of a patio, a crowded garage and a laundry workroom in the back.
We were inundated by our very most needy children, the youngest street orphans with absolutely no relatives or friends to whom they could go. They had walked barefoot fifteen miles into the city and streamed into our flat. They told us they had been beaten with large sticks for singing. They said they would go where we go because they were going to worship the Lord. When I told them we had no place for them, their simple reply was, “But, Mama, you said there would always be enough!”
What could I say? They kept piling in, maybe a hundred of them. We stuffed bunk beds in our dilapidated little garage full of grease and cobwebs. Loaned army cots were all over our yard and driveway. Urine ran in our hallway. We hosed the kids down to try to wash them. All our doors and windows were full of faces!
We didn’t know how to cope. We had nowhere near the food or the cooking and sanitation facilities we needed. Boxes, clothes and suitcases were piled high everywhere. Everyone was totally exhausted; everything was in complete chaos. And more children kept gravitating to our gate. We ran out of strength, crying as we watched our sea of faces gather. I wondered seriously, even after Toronto, “Does God really care? What is He like anyway?” I never thought He would leave us in a situation like this.
Our daughter, Crystalyn, began to cry because she was so hungry. I thought I was going to snap. We didn’t have any big pans for cooking. We weren’t prepared in any way to feed all those children. A precious woman from the U.S. embassy came over with food. “I brought you chili and rice for your family!” she announced sweetly, with just enough for the four of us. We hadn’t eaten in days. I opened a door and showed her all our children. “I have a big family!” I pointed out tiredly but in complete and desperate earnest. My friend got serious. “There’s not enough! I need to go home and cook some more!” But I just asked her to pray over the food. Now she was upset. “Don’t do this!” she begged. But she prayed, quickly. I got out the plastic plates we used for street outreaches, and also a small pot of cornmeal I had. We began serving, and right from the start I gave everyone a full bowl. I was dazed and overwhelmed.
I barely understood at the time what a wonderful thing was happening. But all our children ate, the staff ate, my friend ate and even our family of four ate. Everyone had enough.
Since then we have never said no to an orphaned, abandoned or dying child. Now we feed and take care of more than one thousand children. They eat and drink all they want of the Lord’s goodness. Because He died, there is always enough.
Our eviction from Chihango left us and our more than three hundred children suddenly homeless. With nowhere else to meet, we gathered under trees in a beautiful, wind-swept field a mile from Chihango. Tears flowed freely all around as we remembered our times together and all that God had done among us, and as we interceded brokenly for the children. But our kids had learned. The Holy Spirit had taught them, and they would lay hands on us and comfort us. “Don’t worry, Mama Aida,” they would say to me. “Jesus will take care of us!” And He did.
We built thatched huts for our older boys on land quickly donated by local villagers. Two mission agencies offered us temporary emergency housing and daily school lessons for a limited number of children as long as we provided food, fuel, supplies, clothes and supervision. Then a fervent Christian and leading councilman of Matola, a nearby town outside Maputo, donated fifty acres of land to us in the country district of Machava. Thrilled to help us, he made us feel welcome and wanted. He said, “This is what Mozambique needs, and giving you land is the least we can do!”
We bought used army tents for dorms. For months we carried water from a mile away on a cart pulled by a donkey. The ground was sandy and full of worms and snakes, but the children didn’t complain. We needed a place to meet, so I went off to a camping store in South Africa and asked for a big circus tent to cover a thousand people. That was a rare, special-order item that took six months to make. But for some reason a big group had ordered such a tent and never picked it up, so it was available immediately. We just needed ten thousand dollars. That very day an anonymous donor in California put ten thousand dollars in our account, and I came back with a beautiful, blue-and-white striped tent that we used for years. There is always enough!
We kept improving Machava, our beautiful land covered with shady cashew trees. A visiting construction team built cement slabs under the tents. We dug a well with a simple hand pump that provided clean, cool water. Our children laughed, danced and cried with gratitude. “Look at what Jesus has done for us!” Soon we had a tent city, and nearly every day brought in more orphaned and abandoned children.
Children as young as five years old wander through Maputo in blackened rags, scavenging in dumps, cooking entrails from garbage cans, crashing out on cement pavements in the hot sun or huddling under cardboard in pouring rains. Every child we meet is desperate for a piece of bread, a bit of change, a smile or a touch of love. We see them and take them in one by one.
Rolland and Heidi Baker: Always Enough, Grand Rapids: Chosen Books 2003, p74-76: In January of 1998, Randy Clark was there preaching about the apostolic anointing, laying down our lives and the holy fire of God. He pointed to me and said, “God is asking, ‘Do you want Mozambique?’“ I experienced the heavenly fire of God falling on me. I was so hot I literally thought I was going to burn up and die. I remember crying out, “Lord, I’m dying!” I heard the Lord clearly speak to my heart, “Good, I want you dead!” He wanted me completely emptied of self so He could pour even more of His Spirit into my life.
For seven days I was unable to move. Rolland had to pick me up and carry me. I had to be carried to the washroom, to the hotel and back to the meeting. The weight of His glory was upon me. I felt so heavy I could not lift my head. Some passing by thought it was funny to see someone stuck to the floor for so long. If I was put in a chair, I would slide off onto the floor again. I was utterly and completely helpless. I was unable to speak for most of the seven days. This holy, fearful, awesome presence of God completely changed my life. I’ve never been so humbled, never felt so poor, so helpless, so vulnerable. I even needed help to drink water. There was nothing funny about it. It was a most holy time. I learned more in those seven days than in ten years of academic theological study.
The Lord spoke to me about relinquishing control to Him. He showed me the importance of the Body of Christ. It had taken us seventeen years to plant four churches, and two of them were pretty weak. As I lay there engulfed in His presence, He spoke to me about hundreds of churches being planted in Mozambique. I remember laughing hysterically, thinking I would have to live to be two hundred years old before that promise was fulfilled!
God showed me that I needed to learn to work with the rest of the Body. He put Ephesians 4 on my heart:
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
I was a type-A, driven person, and God had to break and humble me. He showed me my total inadequacy to do anything in my own strength. Being unable to move for seven days drove the point home as nothing else could have ever done. I remember several times hearing people whisper with pity that I was crippled, a quadriplegic. I never liked being dependent on others. I have been a leader as long as I can remember. My mother told me that even as a young child I used to line up all the preschoolers and lead them around. God had to remove so much of me from me so that He could do something in and through me.
I thought I had been depending on Him to plant churches, when in reality I depended a lot on my own abilities. Naturally, things moved pitifully slowly. It’s comical to think we can do God’s work for Him. It’s all grace. He allows us to participate with Him, and so there is always enough. He showed me how much I needed Him and the Body of Christ. He is calling us to complete humility and gentleness. It is never about us; it is always about Him. We need patience for every person we encounter in ministry, that we can be long-suffering, bearing with one another in His love, able to love the unlovely.
He is our only hope. He is our Lord. Our faith is in Him. We are baptized into Him. We lay down our lives. We die to ourselves in baptism. We are raised new creations in Christ. God is calling each of us to walk in the mercy and grace He has given us. He prepares us for works of service. Do we see what He sees? Do we feel what He feels? Can we hear the cry of His heart for the lost? This is poverty of spirit. God is calling us to be poor in spirit. When we are poor in spirit, we no longer compete. We no longer jostle for titles. When we have no drive to be noticed and known, we are not offended by lack of attention. We find no satisfaction in ministry status. Then we can walk in unity, preferring others above ourselves. Our only desire is to live the life of a humble servant-lover of our Lord Jesus.
After that transforming experience, everything in my ministry changed. He brought me to a place of utter dependence on Him. When I returned to Mozambique I began releasing people in ministry. I began to recognize potential ministers even in children as young as eight. I began relinquishing control and delegating responsibilities. The Lord started bringing missionaries from many nations to help us. Young men and women were called into ministry from all over Mozambique. I saw that it wasn’t important if I spoke, but that I could release others to fulfill their potential in God. As I became less and He became more, the ministry grew at a phenomenal rate.
April 11, 2007 – Heidi Baker: “A CUP OF SUFFERING AND JOY--JESUS DIED SO THAT THERE WOULD ALWAYS BE ENOUGH”
Always Enough – The Vision: Years ago, I had a vision of Jesus surrounded by a multitude of children. Jesus looked at me with His intense, burning eyes of love, and I was completely undone. He told me to feed the children, and I began to cry out loud, “No! There are too many!” He asked me to look into His eyes, and He said, “I died that there would always be enough.”
Then He reached down and broke a piece of flesh out of His right side. His eyes were so magnificently beautiful, yet His body so bruised and broken. He handed me a piece of His flesh, and as I took it and stretched my hand out to the first child, it became fresh bread! I gave the bread to the children and they all ate.
Then He put a simple poor man’s cup next to His side and filled it with blood and water. He told me it was a cup of “suffering and joy,” and asked me if I would drink it. I drank it and then started to give it to the children. It became drink for them. Again He said, “I died that there would always be enough.” Since that day, I have taken in every orphan child He has put in front of me, and have asked my co-workers to do the same.
For the next ten years, I learned a lot about provision for the poor. With delight, I have watched God place bread in our hands for the children to eat. By His grace, everyday--there is somehow always enough food. Since the vision, Iris has gone from caring for 320 children to over 6,000. My heart is so full of praise and gratitude to God for how He has blessed us with all these beautiful children. I have stood in awe as God has grown us from a few churches to over six thousand in ten years’ time.
Jesus has given us fresh bread from Heaven. We live to be in His glorious presence. He has poured out His love to us without measure. He has called us to bring the lost children home. I love him more than life! Every breath is for Him.
In 1995, Rolland and Heidi Baker first arrive in Mozambique.
17 years of hard missionary work (eighteen hour work days, battling corruption) produced three churches (two of them struggling).
In 1996, Heidi visited Toronto Airport Church for the first time. [She went after Rolland came home from this place loving her like never before.] Jesus healed her [Heidi had been on antibiotics six times in a two-month period and then developed double pneumonia] and he appeared to her in a vision and commissioned her to take in thousands of orphans, saying “I died that there will always be enough.” [Fiery eyes of love / broken body of Jesus turned into bread in her hands / cup of suffering and joy]
On her return, the largest donor of their ministry stopped supporting them because of their connection with the Toronto Airport Church. This cost them $1,000,000 a year.
The communist government evicted them from their orphanage and ministry buildings. [“But, Mama, you said there would always be enough!” “Does God really care? What is He like anyway?”] Government workers beat the children for worshipping God. An assassination contract was put on Heidi for $20. There was a year of wanderings from place to place.
On the day of their eviction, Jesus multiplied food for the orphans and Jesus called (angry) Heidi into deeper intimacy with him.
In 1998, Rolland and Heidi Baker returned to Toronto for a second visit. She heard God say, “Hundreds of churches” and laughed hysterically at the thought. Heidi experienced the fire of God which “burned her up” and God was pleased with her “death” to self. Randy Clark prophesied that Heidi would have an apostolic anointing for Mozambique (healings, miracles, revival, churches). Under the power of God, Heidi was unable to move for seven days. God wanted her to learn dependence on the body of Christ, the church.
The Bakers returned to Mozambique with high expectations but they lost all their buildings, beds, trucks and equipment, and they lost their health. Heidi was hospitalized three times for near-fatal blood poisoning, was almost killed during a hijack attempt and started collapsing without warning because she had contracted multiple sclerosis. Rolland contracted severe malaria. Heidi would have MS for ten years and had to minister from a wheelchair.
God told her to rejoice in tribulation and worship him.
With Jesus, there is always enough. [$10,000 tent]
Mozambique experienced most severe flooding in 2000 and God used Rolland and Heidi Baker to provide relief effort to 12,000 flood victims and revival broke out with thousands of churches planted in less than ten years and more to come.
The calling into revival was tremendous and the promise of provisions was stupendous – “there will always be enough” in the poorest country on earth – but the testing of the prophetic promises and their faith was equal to the greatness of their calling. Yet, God proved to be faithful. We can see that now. And we will see it in our midst.
Know what God has spoken over your life – over this church. Know the spiritual nature of everything we do. And share the joy. In another church, I heard amazing testimonies from Fiji (miracles of raising the dead and nature miracles) but then also overheard that one local Toowoomba businessman had been financing the entire work in Fiji which means that he had extra special reasons to rejoice in all of the testimonies. He did not lay hands on people and raise the dead. But he provided for the pastors and teams that reached village after village and brought repentance and new life in Jesus Christ. He shared in the spoils of testimonies that proclaimed God’s goodness. He was as important as anyone else.
God promised abundance to us. If you are running a business or pursue a career, then you will be in the frontline of experiencing the testing of this promise and you will have to step up in your faith and faith practice but we are in this together and it will come. Jesus said: “I died that there will always be enough.” Amen.