Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ground breaking news!

Rolland and Heidi BakerIris Ministries, Inc.Pemba, Mozambique
12 September 2008
Photo gallery
(photos of the drill rig and dedication):<http://www.irismin.org/12september2008.htm>

Victory: after years of praying, planning, crying, working and networking, today -- Friday, September 12 -- we broke ground with our enormous well drilling rig in Pemba, Mozambique! Rejoice with us! We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this incredible well-drilling water project. We know hundreds of thousands of peoplewill be affected by this development as we can now bring water from theearth as Jesus brings living water from heaven to the desperate peopleof Mozambique. I cried today as the huge drill rig broke through solid rock and dirt. The joy never ends. Words cannot express the gratitude and delight in our hearts towards all of you who have helped make this dream come true. Just like Jesus brought dignity and eternal life to the Samaritan Women when he stopped and asked her for a drink of water from the well, Jesus will bring dignity to the poor and eternal life to the lost as we drillwell after well and bring His holistic good news into the villages. Many of our Mozambican friends walk for two hours to an entire day just toget one container of water. Many people die each year from diseases connected either with their lack of clean water, or contaminated water.Our heart's desire is to drill a well in every village. Having our small drill rig and now an enormous drill rig with a blaster will cut the cost of drilling bore holes by nearly two thirds. Not only was it a bizarrely expensive to hire outside well-drilling companies, but it became impossible in northern Mozambique to even find companies to hire. So Jesus provided our own Iris well drilling rigs!!!! Just this week I met with a top government official who told me that even the government was unable to find any company to drill wells in this desperate province of Cabo Delgado. They were thrilled that these rigs were actually in Pemba. This dream has been inside of me for years. I had a heavenly vision of our Iris teams going village to village, drilling wells, offering Living Water, planting crops, providing for orphans, while preaching the gospel through signs and wonders. We would then plant local mud hut churches every five kilometers wherever there was a population. We would train several Mozambicans per village in our bible schools. They would receive the Father's heart and each care for one to twelve orphans in their own villages. The wells would provide for the orphans' needs. I have had a vision to see Jesus care for one million children in my lifetime. Through God's power and provision, the well project will make thisvision a reality. I talked to four village chiefs today about the well drilling project and villagers trading small amounts of food for water to feed the orphans in the village, and they are thrilled by the idea.The local church loaded our Land Rover with sacrificial love offerings which included a goat, chickens, peanuts, cornmeal, tomatoes, peppers,sweet potatoes, coins, sifters, eggs, handmade ropes, sugarcane,potatoes, and more. I wept as they joyfully laid such an extravagant offerings at our feet. They wanted to provide for our orphan children inPemba. Today has been a truly beautiful day. The journey of this project started long ago. After years of praying for drill rigs to bring water from the earth while we minister the water oflife, on Oct 17th, 2006, Shara and I flew to Denver, CO, for a prayer breakfast. We had a dear friend who had wanted me to preach to a smallgroup of Christian business men. Shara looked through my 2006 calendar and realized that there was only one free morning for the rest of the entire year. She found a window in my schedule on Tuesday Oct 17th am.Peter responded, "Perfect, Tuesday Oct 17th morning is the exact time when a small group of business leaders all meet to pray." I shared the story of the Good Samaritan and Jesus stopping for the one. The Lord spoke to some business leaders and Bill Johnson and his family at Bethel Church about helping adopt this vision. After two years of negotiating with the Mozambican government, bringing in an Indian well drilling expert, paying duty, working through endless paper work, finding a crane in Cabo Delgado big enough to lift this enormous rig, bringing in an engineer from America, and pressing through tremendous spiritual warfare, we have now officially broken ground. Even as I write this news-flash, we are drilling through solid rock. Jesus is our Rock upon which He is building His church in Mozambique. Village to village, He is bringing living water to the poor. Rejoice with us as He answers His prayer, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters,and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost... Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you my faithful love promised to David" (Isaiah 55:1, 3). We want to offer aspecial thank you to Peter, John and Kara, Bethel Church, Rich, Hal,David and their friends for their extreme generosity. Our dreams are beginning to come true. Thank you so much for remembering the poor.Please rejoice with us! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love in Jesus, Rolland and Heidi

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Message from Heidi and Rolland

Living on the edge
Rolland and Heidi Baker
Iris Ministries, Inc. Pemba, Mozambique
7 September 2008

These are exciting times. Despite the worst Satan can do, we and ourchurches in several provinces continue to grow in number and strength.The Kingdom of God is upon us. The power of the age to come is breaking into our world on earth. We stay filled by feeding on the Word of God, and then doing what it says. In so doing we draw close to our Savior, so close that even all our imagination cannot keep up with the wonder ofour connection with the Son of God. Each day, and through each trial, the Holy Spirit carries us closer still to our perfect companion, the precise image of the Father, whose Son has become our greatest joy. Yes, Jesus forever will be our destination, our purpose for living. "How can we know Him better?" has become the constant cry of our hearts as we increasingly partake of His heavenly nature. From glory to glory we are being transformed by the power of the Cross, becoming prepared for aneternity of perfect fellowship with our God. People ask us how to follow us to the mission field, how to be prepared-- "how to do it?" Our pursuit of His Kingdom has always taken us to the"edge." We have never been able to survive by backing away from the edge and leading a more "normal" ministry lifestyle. Sometimes our flesh cries out for more time out, more time to organize our lives and possessions, more time to battle the chaos in our surroundings. But our daily crises demand an awareness of the schemes of Satan and an ever-increasing trust in our perfect Savior. That means time -- lots of time -- with Him, talking over everything in our lives. And from our walk with Him we receive the urgency to press on, to run the race, to love our God with all our strength. And so by every decision, every expenditure, and by every project we start we move closer to the edge. We already live in an impossible realm. But Jesus sends us teams, support, ideas and initiative, and so on we go, pressing forward to what lies ahead no matter how close to the edge we get. Our journey takes us to those who have just fallen over the edge and need rescuing. The poor and destitute know they need help; they are not too proud to receive. And once they see love, real love from the Master Himself, in our lives, they will come to the King. Entire villages will come to Jesus when they see that He heals the deaf and blind with just a touch and a word. When we bring a truckload of food for a feast, or solar panel-powered hand-held units that play recordings of the Bible, or new Bibles for the pastors, or clothes, or plastic to rain-proof their thatched roofs, the love of God flows freely. And then Heidi and I can find ourselves right up against the edge ourselves, and our spirits need replenishing again. We cannot leave the edge because we see that so much more is needed.These villages are parched. People walk for hours to get water, carrying it in jugs on their heads. We finally have well-drilling equipment, but need qualified engineers to supervise the drilling process. One engineer from the States is arriving this week for this purpose. Our older youth need simple block houses to live in now that they have outgrown ourchildren's homes. We need to buy property and a building in downtown Maputo for a church center. We need honest and capable construction workers who can build our primary school before our rainy season. We need to diffuse and heal the serious tribal tension that exists between northern and southern tribes in Mozambique. And we need to demonstrate to the Moslems all around us that we are here for love, pure love from God. We are here to demonstrate the Kingdom in every way we can. We need to be so full of the Spirit that our service to the King is exhilarating. For that we need provision of every kind, the kind of provision that we don't see unless we are on the edge. We invite our readers to live on the edge too. That means something different for each person, but I pray you will know what that means for you. Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength will takeyou to the end of yourself, and you will find yourself looking out over a precipice. Only God can keep you from falling. Only faith working through love counts. Let's never leave the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus. All we know when the pressure becomes great is Jesus and Him crucified. We exist by the power of the Cross, safe and secure.From our position at the foot of the Cross we warn and persuade to the limit of our ability the multitudes that pass by. Those who turn andfollow us into the heart of Jesus will be our joy. We thank you with all our hearts for supporting us faithfully and lovingus so much from a distance. We thank and love those of you who have cometo visit us in Africa. And we treasure the prospect of seeing you againback on your own home turf. May Jesus bind us together in His service until we are truly one in Him! Much love, Rolland and Heidi

P.S. For those of you who want to know more about us and our spiritual"DNA," Heidi has a new book out, "Compelled by Love." In it she uses actual testimonies from her ministry in Mozambique to illustrate the Beatitudes, and it is a beautiful window into God's work among the poor. This and our other two books, "The Hungry Always Get Fed," and "There is Always Enough" are available on our administrative web site. My grandfather's classic book, "Visions Beyond theVeil," also at our web site, will reveal much of the spirit behind ourwork in Mozambique.

From Heidi: We have had a very challenging and powerful month. So much has happened that when I consider the past few weeks it feels like a year has gone by. We have dealt with tribal conflicts and governmental controversies.We have joyfully built and dedicated several new churches and also had achurch and home confiscated by local corrupt government officials. Three of our pastors were beaten for the sake of the gospel. A group from another religion was so furious that we were sharing our faith that eventhough we were ministering just outside our own church on our property,they started to stone our trucks and pulled pastor Carlos off by the neck to beat him! One of our youth leaders, Dilo, ran in front of theangry group coming after me so I could get away with Rolland, Georgian and Winnie in our Land Rover. I felt the power of God's love through our brave young leaders! After long hours of discussion and days of prayer things have begun tofeel a little more peaceful. Sunday, as I shared how we chose as achurch body to forgive those who attacked us because of the love ofChrist Jesus, a Muslim man came to the front to say he wanted this Jesus because he had seen this love. He then called his wife and five children in plain daylight forward to receive Christ as their savior. The policelater captured some of the angry mob who had beaten our pastors andcalled us into the station so they could be put behind bars. We let themgo instead, pleading with them not to burn our church down. Love covers all things. We believe His love will fill us even in the most difficult of circumstances. The next night we went right back out on another outreach, and four deaf people were healed. One of the men was older and had been totally deaffor over twenty years. Word of his healing went back to the religious leaders of the village who were astonished by such a miracle. They then welcomed us into their village. Wherever we go in Cabo Delgado thechildren seem the most hungry for God. The Banovs and their awesome team paid for a big goat feast, and all the children squeezing in the mud hutchurch enjoyed the tasty meal. There are days when I don't think I can make it for another moment, and then I build myself up in the Lord by remembering all he has done, and by looking into the eyes of a preciouschild redeemed by His love whom I have the privilege of holding in my arms. Jesus is good all the time, and he has called us to pour our lives out in this very challenging and fruitful nation Mozambique. Thank you for standing with us dear friends. Please keep praying for us and keep in touch. Much love in Jesus, Heidi

-- Food multiplication! Testimony from Juliana Calcado, a Brazilian onstaff with Iris, now working in Tete Province, a hot and dry province upagainst Malawi's arid southern border: This is about the village of Thapo near the border of Malawi. This areais very dry and there are no water wells. Water must come from theriver, 30 minutes' walking distance away. The people are extremelydesperate for food and water. Thapo has no electricity or cellphone service, so we couldn't givenotice that we were coming. This is a truly isolated area of Mozambiquethat is tremendously needy. We thought we had loaded 18 bags of corn in our truck, but on the way wediscovered that we had only 14 because of miscounting. There was no foodto buy in Thapo, and we did not have enough fuel to go back to the storehouse. Being 4 bags short would mean many children would have to gowithout. As we started giving out the food we focused on the task at hand. In theact of giving God did multiply the corn and each child received theirportion! We even had an extra portion to give to a widow who came up tous begging for leftovers. It is amazing how God showed up in this desperate situation and how Hetruly loves His children. His ways are so creative, and He even allowsus to be His hands and feet in this world! Juliana Calcado--

U.S. office for mail, support and information:Iris Ministries, Inc.PO Box 493995Redding, CA 96049-3995, USATel: 1 530 255 2077Web sites: and Email: info@irismin.org