and Heidi Baker's visit to Barbados in 2007 established major links
within the Body of Christ. Their meeting with Marcia
Weeks of Praise Academy, Jenna
Hunt from the Living Room and Jenny Tryhane Founder of United
Caribbean Trust has resulted in the Holy Spirit forging some
devine connections and we are excited to see how His will be done
in this island.
Rolland and Heidi met at a small charismatic church
in Southern California and married six months later after realizing
they were united in their calling and desire to see revival among
the poor and forgotten of the world.
Rolland and Heidi spent twelve years in Asia. The first six years
they led Christian dance-drama crusades in Philippines, Taiwan,
Indonesia, and Hong Kong. They made use of their backgrounds in
creative media and the performing arts, and saw thousands come to
After meeting Jackie Pullinger-To and working with her ministry
to drug addicts in Hong Kong, however, they had a strong feeling
that the Lord wanted to change the direction of their ministry.
Their hearts were increasingly broken for the poor and unwanted.
They wondered about their crusade converts and wanted to concentrate
more on the specific daily needs of those to whom they ministered.
This was a time of change. They began to plant works among the poor--first
in the slums of central Jakarta, Indonesia, and then among forgotten
streetsleepers and elderly in the most crowded urban area in the
world, central Kowloon in Hong Kong. God was giving them his heart
for the poor and abandoned.
In 1992 they left to do their PhDs in systematic theology at King's
College, University of London. At the same time they planted a church
among the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics who lived on the
streets in central London.
In 1995, after twenty years of praying and waiting, they arrived
in Mozambique, the poorest country in the world. The government
offered Iris Ministries a horribly delapidated and neglected "orphanage,"
and with no promised support such a project they simply said, "Yes,
we'll take it!" They began with eighty children, but their
hearts were broken for the lost and abandoned children still on
the streets of Maputo. After many years of brutal civil war, thousands
left orphaned, displaced and abandoned. The Mozambican and foreign
staff of Iris Ministries began to pick up and take in these lost
children. God poured down his love and provided food day by day.
They grew to 320 children. They planted a church in the community
and began to see hundreds turn their hearts to the Lord.
The former communist directors of the government orphanage were
furious ever since the Bakers took over, since their extreme corruption
and thievery had been stopped. Scheming together with an equally
corrupt faction of the government, they concocted accusations and
issued a legal decree to Iris Ministries forbidding prayer and worship,
Christian singing, etc., and all forms of "unapproved"
food and clothes distribution and medical assistance. If they and
their children did not obey these new rules, they all had forty-eight
hours to leave. Heidi was also told that there was a contract out
on her life, and that she was not allowed back on the property.
Overwhelmed and exhausted by the fight, they had to evacuate to
their office in the city.
At the center the children entered the dining room, which had also
been used as a church, and began singing praise and worship songs
at the tops of their lungs! They were beaten and told they were
not allowed to worship God! One-by-one they began to walk the twenty
miles to the city office. They told Papa Rolland and Mama Aida that
they would go wherever they were because they wanted to worship
God! Not knowing what to do, they all cried out to God in total
desperation. They had lost everything. There was no place for them
to go. There was not even a pot to cook for all these children!
A friend, Nelda Lawrence from the U.S. Embassy, came over with some
chili and rice for the Baker family. Heidi said, "We have a
very large family!" Nelda said, "No, no this is only for
you and your two children." Heidi said, "We have a lot
of children and the Lord said there would always be enough!"
They prayed over the pots of food and told the over fifty children
to sit down. Everyone ate and was full, including the Bakers!
Two other missions, hearing of the situation, offered the use of
some unused buildings for three months. As the time ended the Lord
graciously provided a piece of land. The children prayed and interceded
with the whole staff and believed God for another miracle. Like
always God came through and provided a huge circus tent and some
used army tents in which the children could live. Holes were dug
for toilets and everyone prayed for months for water from the earth
(a well) and spiritual water from heaven (more of the Holy Spirit).
God answered both prayers and provided a well with clean, fresh
water, and poured his Holy Spirit out on the children in a powerful
way. Through the trials all have grown stronger in the Lord. The
greatest joy for the whole center is that they are now free to worship
The challenges of providing physically and spiritually for so many
children under unspeakable conditions of poverty and evil are being
met in Jesus. Time after time as discouragement and exhaustion have
threatened to collapse the entire ministry effort in Mozambique,
the Holy Spirit has poured out more grace and mercy on the ministry.
For example, at one point Heidi came back to the States to attend
a renewal conference (being in drastic need of renewal!). She was
exhausted by the work and the responsibility of over three hundred
children who all called her "Mama Aida." The enemy tried
everything to stop her from making the trip. It looked financially
impossible, and two doctors told her she absolutely could not make
the trip because she had pneumonia. Stubborn as she is, she got
on the plane for the thirty-some-hour journey. Mercifully, at the
start of the conference God opened up her lungs and allowed her
to breath freely. Each day her strength increased. She spent many
hours receiving prayer from loving people on the ministry team.
It was difficult, and at the same time deeply healing to simply
receive after preaching and teaching for so many years. One night
she felt she was in birth pains and was groaning in intercession
for the children of Mozambique. There were thousands of them coming
towards her and she cried, "No, Lord, there are too many!"
And she felt Jesus say, "Look into my eyes. You give them something
to eat." Then he took a piece of his broken body and it became
bread, and she began to give it to the children. Then again the
Lord said, "Look into my eyes. You give them something to drink."
He gave her a cup of the blood and the water that flowed from his
side, and she gave this to the children to drink. The Lord spoke
to her heart and said, "There will always be enough bread and
drink, because I paid the price with my life. Don't be afraid. Only
believe." She returned to Mozambique healed and strengthened.
Today Rolland and Heidi cry out for a continuation of the visitation
of God experienced by the children of H.A. Baker's orphanage in
China long ago. That is beginning to happen, and more testimonies
are accummulating than can be communicated! May the Word of God
spread in power to the remote corners of the world, and may the
the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, people who have
never before tasted the goodness of God, be drawn the King's great
Since this background article was written, Iris Ministries has expanded
to over 5,000 churches all over Mozambique and into neighboring
countries. The disastrous flooding of 2000/2001 catalyzed an overwhelming
hunger for the things of God in the refugee camps where we ministered,
and the Gospel continues to spread like wildfire. We now care for
almost 2,000 children at our centers, and our churches are taking
in orphans as well. Jesus is revealing Himself through signs and
wonders, visions and dreams, and we have never seen such a harvest
before us. May the Lord of the harvest send us workers!]