A Day in Our Lives
Written by Heidi & Rolland Baker
A DAY IN OUR LIVES
We went out on outreach again last night. It was a perfectly normal outreach. Which is to say, practically the entire village gave their lives to the Lord on the first night, and one young boy who had been deaf received his hearing.We fell asleep happy in our little circle of tents. The next day started for us at 3 a.m., when the children sleeping in the nearest mud-walled hut scrambled to sweep the dirt around the tents and peer through our netting. They were ecstatic to have visitors. I looked up to see stars shooting across the most incredible African sky – our own billion-star hotel! I came out to precious, smiling faces all around me, and thanked Jesus for the privilege of being in such a hungry place. I started boiling water for our most happy and comforting bush drink: Starbucks coffee.
After serving about 50 of our friends, I also had the joy of leading the police who had guarded our tents and vehicles on this outreach to the Lord. They prayed with me to receive Jesus with their AK-47s still slung at their sides. (This was known as a dangerous area. The last time we were there many of our things had been stolen; I lost my phone, camera, passport and clothes. My documents and clothes did eventually get returned after one of our oldest boys decided to pursue bandits through the night, though on this occasion the clothes came back with a bullet in them!)
After praying with the police we went to a place called Mariata, in the district of Mecufi, to attend a double wedding. The local mud hut church was too small for all the guests, so we went out under a beautiful, giant shade tree for the ceremony. The two couples sat on a grass mat, and all the local villagers worshipped with our pastors in celebration. We were then hugely blessed to be able to place gold wedding rings in each of these couples’ hands. One of the couples had a newborn baby, five days old, and we also lifted her up there to be dedicated to the Lord Jesus. Then we began to walk to a nearby river so that we could baptize all the new believers who had joined us.
As we went we came a cross a five year old girl, Joanna. She had never walked in her life, and her knees were crusted over with calluses from years of crawling in the dirt. I felt the Father’s compassion for her, and so I picked her up by her two hands and called her to walk. I steadied her spindly legs, and blessed her to come. Many of us cried when she did come, walking for the first time. There was also a lot of clapping and rejoicing. What a joy! Imagine, that we get to be alive for such a time as this!
Later, we walked for several kilometers through another very charming village, which was filled with friendly greetings. In fact, we were joined by so many more people that we soon became a parade of hundreds. When we finally reached the river – breathtakingly beautiful where it flowed into a lagoon just before the Indian Ocean – we began to baptize. Most of the baptized came up out of the water praying in tongues, with the Holy Spirit strong on them. The joy never ends! During the baptisms there were little boys doing backflips on the shore. After we had finished my daughter Crystalyn wanted to race me back to the lagoon, and when we took off swimming a little flock of these children were close behind. We noticed from their stickers that these boys had just been in our children’s service this morning, so we asked them if they too wanted to follow Jesus forever. Six more young lives followed the Lord Jesus in baptism.
After a long walk back to our vehicles, and a quick plate of beans and rice for lunch, we raced back up the rough dirt roads to Pemba for our monthly Iris birthday party. It is always such a privilege to be able to look each one of our children in the eye and speak to them about the glorious and special destiny that the Father has planned for them. Each one receives a gift, a lot of prayer, and some of our home-made cake. Some of our girls stay up all night, excitedly cooking for this. Every month, we so look forward to this magnificent day!
After a round of meetings to discuss some of our upcoming new programs for individual child sponsorship and combating poverty, three of the older boys, who have been with us at Iris since they were small children and are now leaders in our ministry, surprised me with a fish dinner! They had made the fabulous meal themselves, with great love. I do believe I’ve just had the perfect day.
All praise to the Father, Great things He has done. Truly, the joy never ends! Thank you for praying for us, loving us, and remembering us.
Much love in Jesus,