In 1997, besieged missionaries Heidi and Rolland Baker journeyed to the Toronto Blessing to receive desperately needed rejuvenation and prayer. Although both were struggling, God met them in a unique way. What happened to Heidi—in particular—was extraordinary.
She was so desperate for God's touch that, in the middle of [Randy] Clark's message, she ran up to the front of the church—before thousands of watching eyes—knelt at the altar, lifted her hands and started crying out in desperation. Clark ... saw what the Holy Spirit was doing in this woman and responded. He asked Baker, "God wants to know, do you want the nation of Mozambique?" She screamed aloud, "Yes!"
The power of God hit me like lightening. I vibrated and screamed ... for seven days and seven nights after that. I felt the presence of God so intensely that I was disabled. I was unable to walk, talk, or move ... many people laughed. ...There was nothing funny about it to me. It was a powerful and holy time.
I would literally go out and look for every blind person I could find. Living in one of the poorest nations of the earth, they're pretty easy to find.... I must have prayed for 20 blind people, and none of them saw. But I kept praying. I kept remembering those prophetic words that the Holy Spirit poured into my heart. There was such a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit as those words were spoken over me. I just said, "I'm not giving up. ... One day they're going to see."
Everyone who needs healing, come forward! Especially the blind and deaf! Jesus is here to heal!" A small crowd shuffles to the front, not exactly knowing what to expect. Heidi finds a blind lady and starts praying softly and gently for her. Minutes go by. Let the faith and love flow. Contend for the healing. Stand firm. Relax in His power. Soon the lady can see, but how clearly? Keep praying. Hold up keys, fingers, other things. She identifies them all. Now she can see clearly. She is really happy, and the news spreads through the crowd. We are getting very excited. A deaf-mute shows up. Again, Heidi and all of us are praying. Patience. Don't stop. Keep praying. Starting talking, prompting. Can he hear? Can he repeat words? In a few minutes, he can! And then he starts to repeat whole sentences clearly and easily. The people find out and erupt with joy. It has been years since anyone heard him speak—they can't remember how long. The whole village knows these two and what Jesus has just done for them. Now, who wants to follow Jesus? Everyone!! Right now! The village has come to life and will never be the same.
"I want anybody who is deaf to come to the front. Anybody who can't hear. God is going to heal tonight." Heidi Baker, with short, swept-back blond hair, hawk-like blue eyes and Teutonic features, speaks over a powerful sound system into a pitch-black African night. ... Attention focuses on Antonio, a somber boy of perhaps 12 who, as a young child, it is said, lost his hearing completely. Antonio cannot explain himself because he cannot hear or apparently speak. Baker asks the audience for help. "Do you know Antonio? Is he really deaf?" Only a few people seem to respond. But Baker is satisfied and proceeds to lay hands on Antonio and pray. Then she gives Antonio a microphone. "Ba-ba!" she shouts, her voice booming through the sound system loudly enough to make the deaf hear. "Ba-ba," Antonio repeats in a strangled, calf-like mew, "Ma-ma!" Baker shouts, "Ma-ma," Antonio repeats, "Jesus." Baker cues, "Jesus." Baker announces jubilantly that Antonio is completely healed, and that, in fact, all four people on stage have been healed of deafness.
In June 2011, we held a regional conference at Mieze and at least 3,500 people gathered for three days, many sleeping on the ground overnight. ... An 8-month-old baby ... had been born without pupils in her eyes and was totally blind ... Heidi began to pray for little Albertina, who by then had closed her eyes. Heidi held her facing her mother and told her mother to call her name. Little Albertina opened her eyes; she had beautiful brown pupils in both eyes and could see her mother for the first time!
Since being touched by God in Toronto during the revival, there they have led about 1 million people to the Lord. They have started 10,000 churches, have compiled testimonies of about 450 people who've been raised from the dead and are affecting the culture as they minister to the poor, the orphans and the widows.
J.D. King, director of the World Revival Network and co-pastor at World Revival Church, is writing Regeneration: Healing in the History of Christianity. King is a sought-after speaker, writer and author.
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