By Mark Ellis –
Since Covid hit, Heidi Baker has only spoken twice outside her adopted country, Mozambique.
“These 18 months where there was no travel, I got to see my family and get a new tooth, that was it. I was back to what I did two-thirds of the time, which is preach in the dirt with no microphone, and just hold the poor,” she told a gathering at the Jesus Image Church in Orlando on September 19th.
The rise of persecution in northern Mozambique has devastated many of the pastors and churches affiliated with her ministry. “I’ve lost hundreds of friends,” she said. “I don’t know how many; they just died. They’ve been crucified and beheaded, their homes burned, this is in my province, where Rolland and I live.”
The Insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province, where the Baker’s headquarters is located, involves Islamist militants attempting to establish an Islamic state by violent means. They are opposed by Mozambican security forces. At least 3,593 have been killed and 400,000 displaced in the fighting through 2020, according to VOA News.
Heidi’s estimate is much higher — almost a million people internally displaced in her province. Unfortunately, people in the West are blind to the suffering because it is not covered by the mainstream media.
Recently, Heidi began groaning in the Spirit. When she inquired of the Lord about it, He impressed this on her heart:
You are groaning in intercession for America. It is 9/11. You are called to intercede and pray and fast and believe for another move of my Spirit in America. It is wake-up time for the church in America. Psalm 91:1. Come under the shadow of the Most High.
“Then I groaned for hours for America. I was groaning for the western church. I don’t know all that America will face…there is suffering and joy in the same cup, beloved. And Jesus asks you to drink it,” she said.
Initially, Heidi didn’t want to return to the United States. “I didn’t want to come to the West because I live in a war zone. On my team they all say yes. I said, ‘Lord, don’t send me to a place where they’re not hungry. Time is so short and there are so many people who have never heard the name of Jesus, and they are dying and being crucified and cut into pieces.’
“My pastor’s four-year-old son was cut into pieces by al Shabaab. ‘Lord, why would you ask me to leave this place and go anyplace else?’”
One of the educators in their children’s center is a man named Felizardo. The terrorists came in and told him, “You’re going to die like your God.”
“They put him on a tree and put nails through his feet. They ran out of nails and they tied his hands to the tree. They put a plastic garbage bag around him and poured fuel and put barbed wire around his neck and lit him on fire and said, ‘You’re going to die like your God.’
“He was screaming. His four-year-old ran into the bush. He never saw his wife again. His two-year-old was poisoned. Some Good Samaritans found him and took him off that cross and got him to the hospital. He had the worst burns I’ve ever seen.
“Guess who leads our logistic department now for feeding all those people? Felizardo, because the Lord saved him, miraculously saved him. He has the greatest scars, and his body is in a lot of pain.”
But he said, “I am not a victim. I will give my life to share the gospel and to help my brothers and sisters.”
Despite the threat of persecution, Felizardo and his team are willing to continue doing outreach to the villages, day in and day out.
“They said you can burn our house and burn our church and you can crucify our family members, but you can never burn Jesus out of our hearts. So they go with food, solar bibles, the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are not afraid. The guys on the other side are watching. They have killed many people we love. But I’ll tell you one thing: Jesus is worthy.”
After many prayers, Felizardo’s little girl was found and they now have a home in Pemba. “He goes out three or four days a week sharing the gospel. He can’t carry the heavy bags of rice because he is too scarred. But I learn a lot from that precious man,” Heidi said.
The Lord has given Heidi enormous compassion for her people’s suffering. “We weep with those who weep. We listen to their stories. They (the terrorists) let 70% go and say go and tell the other villages what we are doing. Their object is to strike radical fear in everyone, so that there will be no believers in Jesus.”
No bargaining with God
Heidi wrestled with God about her predicament. “I think I’ve grown in 47 years, then something like this happens and I do it again. I bargained again. I said, ‘Lord I don’t know how much I can hear, hearing this two times a day. What do I do Lord? We’re feeding 30,000 meals a day and it feels like a drop in the ocean. It seems like too much challenge.”
Then the Lord gave her a stark realization. “There is no bargaining once you’re dead. I do not want to bargain with God. I don’t want to tell him what to do with me.
“I looked for a moment at me. That’s the moment of weakness. The more things go wrong in this world you need to understand it is Christ crucified; it is Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus. He’s the prize, the purpose, the reason. Do not for a moment get your eyes on you and start bargaining with him about what He can and cannot do.
“Everybody that is yielded God can use, but you have to get your eyes off yourself and on to Jesus. Stop bargaining with God and give him your life.
“A lot of the body of Christ has backed off their radical obedience to Christ to keep it safe. The Lord understands your suffering, but he calls you to love him no matter what the cost, to stand firm no matter what. Whether your accounts get shut. Whether your friends forsake you, whether you are tortured and beaten.
“I give you my fear of man right now. I lay down the fear of death. I lay down the fear of being mocked. I lay down the fear of not having enough. Holy is the Lamb. I stop bargaining tonight.”
To learn more about the Baker’s ministry, go here