Saturday, December 17, 2011
My Hero- Heidi Baker
Seven years ago Jason and I lay in our bed in La Mirada reading aloud “There is Always Enough” by Heidi Baker. As we read we wept. We were broken by the heart wrenching stories and descriptions of laid- down love in Mozambique. Since then it has been a dream of ours to understand more what that kind of love looks like. I was nervous coming to finally visit Heidi (and Rolland) at Iris Ministries, fearful that I would discover that she was not for real or that her stories were exaggerated or no longer happening. Now, after three months under Heidi's teaching, my heart is overflowing to have found that while she is very radical, she is also for real. Here's a bit of what I've observed. . .
Radical Worship- Jesus is truly Heidi's greatest delight. She loves to be in God's presence and draw others into the secret place. She never speaks without first worshiping Jesus (usually on her face). She said once a church told her, 'worship as long as you want before you go up to speak'. She took them literally, until finally at 11:30 pm they tapped her to go up and speak. (:
Radical Obedience- I heard Heidi say once, “If God told me to walk off a cliff I would. By the way, I do it all the time”. Her life and ministry are so infused with faith and obedience that she is not afraid to step out in faith. Heidi has been shot at, stoned, shipwrecked etc. She lives her life in a place where she is daily dependent on miracles just to survive. Heidi has inspired other missionaries to run into some of the darkest places in the world. Right now there are Iris teams in the red zones in Congo, child brothels in Thailand, and drug dens in Brazil. Inspired by Heidi, they go joyfully because they know who they are in Christ.
Radical Power- Love has to look like something and often it looks like bringing God's power from heaven to earth. Heidi displays God's power through signs that point others to Him. She has seen many blind eyes opened and consistently (I wouldn't be telling you this if it wasn't true) sees deaf people healed. Several times God has multiplied food in their ministry and they have seen the dead raised. This is so surprising to some of us in the West, but should it be? Jesus said, you will do greater things than I.
Radical Generosity- Although Iris was having a financially tight month in November God told Heidi to give all of the money from one of her conferences away to another ministry working to stop sex trafficking. Here is Mozambique she is challenging us to share the food we have in front of us with the poor because “we stay poor when we don't give”
Radical Love- Heidi has taught us to ask “what does love look like?” Because love has to look like something to people. It is fun to watch Heidi love on her “kids” at the children's home. When we were meeting in her office some boys climbed over the wall into her office because they knew they were welcome in “Mama Aidia's” house. As she met with our group she held kids on her lap, cuddled them and reminded them how precious they are. Every weekend she has a slumber party at her house with 10 kids from the home. I just love that practical, tenacious love in the midst of so much fame.
Radical Joy- The joy of the Lord is one of Heidi and Rolland's core value as they live out the verse “in all our troubles our joy knows no bounds.” They are very honest that they could never have endured this long without a river of life and joy flowing from their innermost being. I have learned from them that in His joy we are all the more capable of compassion for others, unfettered by our own sorrows.
Radical Peace- I have observed over the last few months that Heidi Baker has one of the most insane, demanding schedules of anyone I've ever met. She speaks around the world half her life, has 10,000 children “under” her care on a daily basis, pastors a church, has 3,000 foreigners a year to her mission base in Mozambique (including 2 missions schools), trains hundreds of local pastors, plants thousands of churches etc. . . Yet, she truly knows that it is not her, that she is a “tiny paint brush in his hand,” just a “little lady in the dirt”. One thing that most hit me when I've been around Heidi is the way she is 100% in the moment. When she talks to you or hugs you, you feel like she is all there, focusing entirely on you. At graduation she called all the kids from mission school up on the stage and hugged them and gave them gifts. Although there was a lot of chaos going on, she was so peaceful and calm. She looked Josiah straight in the eye and could tell he didn't want the wooden box she first offered him so she traded it for an African drum. Heidi's motto is “stop for the one”. If you are the one in front of her, you can fully feel that she has stopped for you.
I am not saying that Heidi Baker is perfect- of course she is not- but God has touched my life so much through getting to watch her's.
**Family News- In case you are wondering what we are up to these days Jason has been on an outreach in the Bush Bush Bush Bush for 7 days now and has 3 more to go. He is in a village, as his leader told me “3- 12 hours away.” Very specific. I have got a couple texts from him. He said they planted a church and are discipling 70 new believers. He also asked me to text him a cake recipe that he was going to cook over the fire today for a girl's birthday (: I love Jason. The kids and I are on base living with a lovely missionary named Danielle. The days have been slow, but we are trying to enjoy an unhurried pace and our final weeks in Mozambique (we fly out Dec 26). If you are reading this we miss you and love you ****