Thanksgiving in the bush
Written by Heidi & Rolland Baker
11/27/2014 | Pemba, Mozambique
To our worldwide Iris family!
This week, like every other week, on Thursday afternoon we piled into my Land Cruiser with four bright-eyed children, joyful Mozambican leaders and friends from around the world uncertain of what they were getting themselves into. We bounced along dusty dirt roads, and even our guide got lost trying to find the proper winding pathway barely wide enough for our truck to pass through. We were off to share the Gospel. We will go anywhere and do anything to spread this deep gift of love that we have received. We drove up and our fabulous team had set up the Jesus film in Makua. Hundreds of people gathered around captivated by this man Jesus. After the film I preached a message of love and salvation calling people to give their lives to Jesus. He is worth it all and He is our everything. I looked out and saw hands lifted high to the Lord under the beautiful light of the moon and brightest star-filled sky I had ever seen, and faces shining with new hope. God’s love manifest was so clear that night and our hearts rejoiced. Pastors from ten provinces and missions students from nations around the world made a prayer tunnel together, stretching their hands out to pray as multitudes ran forward ready to receive love and healing. The team declared prophetic words, many were healed by God’s mighty power, alcoholics were set free pouring their beer on the ground. It was a night of liberty. Jesus paid the highest price for our freedom.
The next day we had breakfast with our team of Mozambican Bible school students, Harvest School students, leaders, the chief and queen of the village, guests and missionaries. We squished into a half-finished church that the community is building together. We told all our ten thousand churches that if they build their own walls with local burned bricks, we will build them a roof. We hope to complete 20 roofs this month before the rains start. So we sat on that dusty ground with sweat pouring down our faces and sang in all of our languages. God brought each one to this moment as a picture of His unity and grace. The chief of the village and the queen were given our best seats and served first. Breakfast is always a bread roll with peanut butter and jam — and Starbucks coffee. Something from each of our worlds, again, demonstrating that God sees us and loves us perfectly. We spread a colorful cloth capulana wrap around the queen’s shoulders to honor her, and she beamed with delight. She said we must come to her home. What a privilege to be welcomed in.
Twenty of us crammed into her mud home and she borrowed chairs from all of her neighbors to host us properly. As we were praying for her and fellowshiping, her husband walked in smelling of cigarette smoke and wearing a hat from another faith. He had a curious look in his eyes as he sat down by his wife’s side. One of our friends, Duncan, and I shared the Gospel with him telling him how he could be set free and follow our precious Savior.
As we shared, one of our young boys, Pacheco, tugged on Laura’s arm saying he had something to declare over this man. He is already an intercessor and a young evangelist and loves outreach more than anything. I’m so proud of these boys, rescued from the deepest darkness, starving, abandoned, forgotten, and now beloved sons who know who they are. Pacheco stood up and boldly said, “I see an open door in heaven and God is saying you have an opportunity to walk through it now.” The man was so touched and gave his life to the Lord. He immediately went to the church construction site and started helping our team to build the church!
As we visited the queen, our amazing well drilling team was putting the pipes and pump on a brand new well. We waited and watched for hours until suddenly they began to pump and water gushed onto the ground! Children crowded round screaming and pushing in to touch the water. Their dusty, dirty faces were washed in the sparkling, clear flow as they splashed around and jumped for joy. They slurped down gulps and gulps of this free gift. Normally women walk for hours to get water with buckets, and it is a precious commodity. These very women whose backs were bent from so many trips to the faraway rivers danced and sang in circles around the well, so grateful for this life changing gift. Men brought cups and bowls and tasted the water, smiling, “owrera” (it’s beautiful, clean water). Water brings health, cleansing and life. It tangibly demonstrates Jesus’ provision and goodness every day. Love looks like clean water for the thirsty today. As waters flow in village after village, we are so thankful for your love and support, and most of all for Daddy God’s deep love!
We pray you are overwhelmed with thankfulness this season and you fall more and more in love with Jesus.
Love and Blessings!!!
Heidi Baker, with her assistant Laura Taranto