Friday, June 02, 2006

Update on Prayer For Heidi & Rolland Baker

The victory...

It's absolutely amazing to be receiving so much support from all over the world as a result of your spreading our news through your networks and connections! Clearly, Jesus has some creative options, and is using them in response to the prayers of so many!

We were trying to meet with the Frelimo political party chief in Pemba for days, but we were refused and ignored, even when Heidi and our staff waited in his office for hours. Finally one afternoon his secretary was gone, and Heidi and our provincial pastor just marched up to the chief's office and persuaded him to listen.

On the way she met the author of the article, who was very ill at ease and embarrassed.The party chief did not respond well at first, and in fact kept threatening us, saying that not only would they not retract their story, but that they were going to print even more against us in the newspaper.After quite a long time, though, there was a sudden big shift. Heidi had been explaining our hearts and work, softly and in tears. We are for the country, have nothing against the party, and simply want to love and help. She explained what we do with children and education, and Pastor José boldly told of our evangelism all over the province. We have no political agenda, and want to do good to everyone we meet, in the name of Jesus. As they kept sharing our motivation and purposes in Mozambique, the chief softened and broke.

He believes us, he said, and confessed to having a hard knot in his heart over all this. He said he was so relieved to be free of this hardness, and that this had become a great day in his life.It seems that some pastors or people in our Iris churches somewhere had been stirring up some political activism under our name without our knowledge or involvement, and word had gotten back to the capital. The president of the country himself became concerned, and had ordered the country's justice department to investigate Iris. He also was the one who asked the newspaper in Pemba to publish this article! A lot of people got inflamed, using the incident as a means to resist our presence in Mozambique.But this chief of the Frelimo Party (the party we were accused of undermining) in Pemba melted before Heidi, and now has promised to have another article published correcting the previous article. We haven't seen that article yet, however, and are waiting for the result.

The situation right up until almost five o'clock on Tuesday was actually very critical, and looking very dangerous for Iris, more than we had communicated. The chief's reversal was huge.But Jesus had something else up His powerful, creative sleeve. Yesterday Heidi arrived at the Pemba airport to fly out on another speaking trip, and very uncharacteristically was early. But she was there at the airport just as the president's wife and entourage landed for a big Frelimo political event in Pemba. As the provincial governor and others who has been attacking us looked on, Heidi connected with local leaders who were putting on a dance at the airport to welcome the VIPs. Heidi was enthusiastically asked to dance with the children in their Frelimo t-shirts, and soon was blending in comletely with their program, all of which was broadcast on national TV. She got on famously with everyone, and clearly showed that she and Iris had no problems with the party and the people of Pemba. All this, of course, will get back to the president.

Our Moslem friends in Pemba have been seen meeting with the instigators of the anti-Iris reports, but they are dealing with huge pressure from their families and the Moslem community.We do need very much to address these issues among our pastors and church people. As in China, believers need to build a reputation for being the best citizens, the most reliable, honest, hard-working people around who will be good for the country. We have only one life to give, and in such situations we need to give it for the Gospel and not for secondary issues... We are sure that the vast majority of our church people have no desire to use Iris for political purposes.So, Jesus is doing what only He can do, as usual, and we trust Him to be with us always in everything...

We love all of you for the way you have lifted us up before the King, and have encouraged us so overwhelmingly... We will keep sending you updates...Much, much love in Him! --Rolland and Heidi


At 7:59 AM, Blogger MaryAnn M said...

amazing Love...that is the God that I love.


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