7 March 2020
News Update from Rolland & Heidi
We wanted to write you all after such a long time and let you know we are praying for you during this COVID-19 crisis. We know many of you have lost your jobs, and some of our dear friends have contracted the virus. We are praying for miraculous provision. Psalm 91:1 in The Passion Translation will be a great comfort to you:
Almost twenty-five years ago Heidi and I arrived in Mozambique, the world’s poorest country at the time. It had suffered through colonialism, slavery, civil wars, communism, natural disasters, rampant disease, and poverty beyond description. Seventy percent of its people lived in simple villages without modern conveniences of any kind. We came knowing only Jesus, and all we could do was point to the Cross. We came to test and prove the Gospel in one of the most needy places we could find on the earth. Would the Sermon On the Mount hold here? Does our Heavenly Father know our needs before we pray? Do we need to be anxious about anything? Can we trust Him for our daily food and not worry about tomorrow? Is seeking first His Kingdom and righteousness really our first priority? Do we have Good News for Mozambique? Are we different from unbelievers? Do we have the answer? Can revival come to such an unlikely place?
After twenty-five years we still face extreme need knowing only Christ and Him crucified. We are still preaching the same Gospel. And yes, we have seen revival. Untold numbers have come into the Kingdom. The poor of Mozambique have learned that Jesus is real, that He has power, and that He loves them. Signs and wonders around the country have testified to the Presence of the King.
But we keep learning. Every day we grow in the knowledge of God. Our focus is Jesus, the life-giving lover of our souls. We owe everything to Him. He alone is our Savior. We are His workmanship, created and designed to be His companions forever. He alone knows the desires of our hearts, and is fully capable of providing them as we delight in Him. Everlasting life is found only in Him, complete with joy unspeakable and full of glory. And so daily we betroth people to Him, spreading everywhere His fragrance.
As we learn, we mature. We gain wisdom and understanding through hardships, failures, weaknesses, and persecutions. We learn patience and endurance so that we can become perfect, lacking nothing. Our faith builds as we encounter and overcome obstacles, one at a time. We put no confidence in ourselves, but glory in Christ Jesus. We become nothing so He can become everything in us. Our aim is to make Him feel more loved than anybody or anything in this world. We revel in the chance to prove that our faith is real. We understand that we cannot keep our life on earth, and so we set our hearts on things above, which are eternal. God knows how to prepare us for death and Judgment Day. He gives us an eternal perspective, which alone makes sense of all we go through in this life.
With obedience to the First Commandment comes love for our neighbor. In such a place as this we have endless opportunity to demonstrate to the lost a love they have never encountered before. Again we are overwhelmed daily by the challenges of meeting such need. But it is our priceless privilege to be in a place like this where we are required to face the most critical issues of life in this world. These issues cannot be avoided, pushed aside, or forgotten. We are forced to acknowledge what real blessings are, as Jesus outlined in the Beatitudes. Poverty of spirit, meekness, purity in heart, hunger for righteousness, mercy, faithfulness under persecution—these are blessings that satisfy like no others, describing those who possess the kingdom of heaven.
As most of you know Heidi has journeyed throughout the world for a third of the time each year bringing this message to the churches in one hundred twenty-eight nations.
RHM is our personal 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, but we continue to lead and serve in Iris Global, a worldwide ministry with rapidly increasing locations in dozens of countries. Our home base remains in Pemba, Mozambique, where we are privileged to face some of the greatest challenges in the world in the power and presence of God. Heidi will not be traveling for the next four or five months, but will concentrate on the needs at home in Mozambique.
In Pemba we have our mother church, filled with a cross-section of our local community: children from the streets, the poverty-stricken elderly, new Bible school students from the countryside, fervent teenagers, young men, pastors and staff workers, our faithful missionaries, and foreign visitors. The first stages of our university are nearing completion at our property just south of Pemba on the coast after years of planning and preparation.
2 April 2020
Our news has been delayed by the onset of terrorism in our northern province of Cabo Delgado, and of course the threat of coronavirus spreading rapidly among the crowded towns and villages around us. Heidi and I ourselves are just ending our own self-quarantine as the government orders a country-wide lockdown. With the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in place, it’s been a joy and blessing to see all our larger churches multiply into groups of forty, allowing ten neighbors to join each of these new congregations, which we call houses of prayer.
Our response to this coronavirus should begin with the fear of the Lord, total humility, respect for His sovereignty, and a love for His eternal purposes and ways. He is not subject to our own desires and plans, or our own prayers, declarations, and prophesies. He is not intimidated by anyone, and is not in a desperate struggle with the enemy. He is utterly capable of changing our minds and hearts through experience and circumstances. He is able to look after his own reputation. His kindness and severity are both triumphant. It is we who must change, not he. The Kingdom functions under the government of God to the glory of God. It is not under our control. This world is completely at the mercy of God, which is precisely our hope and joy!
We’ll be writing you again soon, and praying for your challenges as well as we all face this pandemic together in Jesus! Thank you for your faithful friendship and generosity in all situations! Each of you is such a miracle. May our God take you deeper into his heart where the life of heaven begins!
Much love in Jesus, always,
Rolland & Heidi
Rolland and Heidi Baker Ministries (RHM)
Pemba, Cabo Delgado - Mozambique
7 March 2020
Dedicated to the support and fulfillment of Rolland and Heidi’s personal callings and ministries.