HEIDI AND ROLLAND BAKER
Heidi was called to the mission field when she was 16 and living on an Indian Reservation as an American Field student. She was led to the Lord by a Navajo preacher, and several months later she was taken up in a vision. For several hours she heard the Lord tell her to be a minister and missionary to Africa, Asia and England. Heidi met her husband-to-be, Rolland, at a small charismatic church in Southern California and married six months later. They left for the mission field two weeks after their wedding, with simple instructions from the Lord, one-way tickets and $30 in their pockets. They spent 12 years in Asia and saw thousands come to Jesus. In 1995, Heidi and Rolland moved their family to Mozambique, the poorest country in the world. The government offered them a horribly dilapidated and neglected "orphanage." They started caring for 80 children and watched God pour out his love and provide food day after day. The Bakers now watch God provide miraculously for well over 10,000 children every day and have a network of more than 10,000 churches, Bible schools, primary schools, and remote outreach programs.
Today Heidi and Rolland's ministry "Iris Global" has networks of churches and church-based orphan care in all 10 provinces in Mozambique in addition to their bases in main cities. In recent years they have concentrated on the Makua, a people group of 4 million in the north who were listed by mission researchers as "unreached and unreachable." With tremendous help from missionaries and nationals, around 2,000 churches have been planted among these people in the last eight years. Heidi is now "Mama Heidi" to thousands of children, and oversees a broad holistic ministry that includes Bible schools, medical clinics, church-based orphan care, well drilling, primary schools, evangelistic and healing outreaches in remote villages and a network of thousands of churches.
Heidi and Rolland have learned throughout their many years of ministry what it takes to live a life sold-out and passionate about their faith. They invite everyone to develop a radical love that thrills God's heart. They also realize that there is a cost to loving God with abandonment. However, Heidi reveals that if you love and you know how loved you are, the cost doesn't matter. The cost of following Him is insignificant if you are truly in love with Him; developing that radical love is simple. She believes that first you must allow God to love you by connecting with Him. Secondly, it's about stopping for the one in front of you and pouring out your love to others. By receiving and giving love, you can develop a heart that loves Jesus radically.
Heidi and Rolland have recently seen hundreds of people coming to the Lord from different faiths. They have also been facing great trials and persecution along with that breakthrough. They are in the midst of having over 100 of their national leaders deported because of political issues. Heidi went with their leaders to meet with the governor, and they experienced extraordinary favor. They felt something change and the animosity and political agenda dissipate. They believe that things are turning around and that their international workers are going to stay.
Heidi and Rolland go into the wilderness to minister to tribes of people who have never heard the gospel. They usually take children with them to minister. Heidi took one of their orphans named Enselmo to help minister. Enselmo is 13 years old and was abandoned because he was born with clubbed feet. While ministering to a tribe of people, Enselmo felt like he heard that God wanted to heal someone who was crippled. A mother came out and she put a crippled child who had no muscle tone on the dirt in front of Enselmo. Enselmo looked at Heidi happily and put his hands on the child, and the child got up in front of everyone. Rather than being bitter that God healed the child and not his clubbed feet, Enselmo rejoiced. Through a string of events, Enselmo received surgery that fixed his clubbed feet.
For more about Heidi's fascinating journeys of faith and her new book, check out this interview with CBN: