The Great Wedding Feast
Written by Heidi & Rolland Baker
FROM HEIDI: THE GREAT WEDDING FEAST
Thank you for remembering us as we stay hidden in our beloved Mozambique. Thank you for supporting all the hungry people Jesus has asked us to feed spiritually and physically. Even though months have gone by without as much communication as I would like, it amazes me how faithful you are to this ministry. You are our family. We so appreciate your prayers, extravagant gifts for the poor, and your love.
Recently, the Lord has been speaking to me from the parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14. I had the honor of hosting over four thousand guests at the wedding of our daughter Crystalyn Joy to Brock Human. It was a glorious, beautiful day with the sunshine shimmering on the stunning turquoise Indian ocean. Crystalyn and Brock stood under a massive bougainvillea wedding arch. The wedding was set on the beach right across from our Village of Joy. Sixty-four of our Mozambican children comprised our bridal party. They looked fabulously colorful in their blue and yellow kapelanas and African shirts. Shara, Elisha, and Marissa were fabulous sports and joined in the festivities wearing their Mozambican outfits. Rolland walked her down the sandy aisle. An ocean of our African children streamed down from the streets in their bridal procession singing joyfully. Pastor José from Maputo and Pastor José from Pemba helped me officiate our daughter’s wedding. The prime minister of Mozambique, business leaders and the poor all ate together. Hundreds of pastors and Harvest School of Missions students served at the wedding feast, dishing out plates heaped with rice, chicken, and salad with cold Coke to drink. Every one of our four thousand guests received a piece of cake. Many of them ate cake for the first time in their lives. What a delight to watch their smiles as all were fed. Food was served for hours. We had every Harvest student, missionary, and Mozambican cook baking cakes for days on end. We bought all the flour, eggs, and soda in Pemba.
The reception time was filled with Mozambican praise and dancing, as Crystalyn and Brock served their wedding cake. All of us felt to model this wedding feast after Luke 14:13: “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame and blind and they will be blessed.” We printed invitations for everyone. Just like Luke 14:21, “We went out quickly to the streets and alleys of the towns.” I was delighted to find out that we still had room, so we went out to the roads and remote villages, calling them to come so that our church would be filled. God longs for His house to be filled. He is calling His servant lovers to run out and call in the poor to His incredibly beautiful wedding feast. He paid for this banquet with His own Son’s life, so that all of us could eat. It was a delight to see our new church building filled to overflowing with everyone enjoying this great wedding feast.
I felt God smiling on the service as our daughter was married during the most stunning Mozambican sunset. It is a joy to have my natural born children and family with me this summer. Last week together, as one big family, we rode off to the “bush bush” to preach the gospel. Over potholes, through fields and unpaved roads, we bounced along for hours singing in my Land Rover. We love bringing the good news to the ends of the earth. Later, in the African night, we pulled into an unreached village where only sixty people had even heard the name of Jesus.
I climbed up on our four-ton truck as the night began. My spiritual sons and daughters performed a drama about the good Samaritan. I used this passage to invite the village to meet my friend — the One who stopped for us — King Jesus. I preached my heart out and loved watching the crowds raise their hands. They wanted God! A deaf girl heard, many were healed and the fame of His name went out from that village.
The village chief was overwhelmed with joy and asked us to open a children’s center. He called all the village elders together the next morning to meet with me. He invited us to open a new children’s center in this village. He himself had given his life to the Lord in his mud hut as I shared the beauty of Jesus. We camped out in tents and sleeping bags underneath the African stars, sitting around a camp fire as the Mozambican student-pastors shared their testimonies with our mission school students. Early in the morning we serenaded Brock for his 21st birthday. What a wonderful and unusual way to spend a birthday. The next morning we drove our vehicles to the beach to baptize the new converts.
On the way to the ocean my spiritual son Herbert got his Land Rover stuck in the mud. He had spent two months last year during our terrible floods driving this Land Rover across Mozambique to help feed the 50,000 people facing starvation. But today his vehicle was stuck in the mud for six hours. The tide was coming in, so it took a small village to rescue us.
Twenty-six new Makua friends gathered around our car for hours, working as a team to pull the vehicle out of the mud. If the Landrover had not been stuck, they might not have gotten saved. Jesus stopped for us. We stopped for them. But then they stopped for us. I loved not only giving to the village, but coming to receive. We needed their help. We all worked as one big family pulling the Land Rover out from the mud. We did it together in Jesus! Surely, He lifts us up from our miry pit to set our feet on solid ground. We left the villages with three solar-powered New Testament audio players which they will listen to every night.
I love simply being with my Mozambican friends in villages and mud huts. I love to learn from them. I come as a learner first. I love the simplicity of this lifestyle. It is my joy to watch them meet Jesus. Village after village is meeting Jesus and is being shaken by the power of His love. We want to invite an entire nation to this wedding feast.
Thank you so much for helping us send out invitations to the poor, crippled, lame and blind to come to the greatest wedding feast. In heaven you will surely see all the fruit of your labor of love. In heaven you will meet all those who fill the Father’s House. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for remembering the poor.
Much love in Jesus, Heidi
Well, it happened again! One week after the outreach Heidi described above, we went out in our Land Rovers and 4-ton truck, this time to a village that had never heard the gospel at all. No one in the village knew the name of Jesus. Somehow we missed this village, even after planting 670 churches in this “unreachable” province since we arrived five years ago. But once more a deaf mute was healed, and the entire village was electrified, turning to Jesus enthusiastically. In this case Heidi prayed for the deaf young man, and suddenly he could hear. He had never heard nor spoken a word all his life until then. With his newly found voice he began to imitate Heidi’s syllables, and the crowd went wild. Everyone knew this man, and they knew this had to be God. Clapping, laughing and cheering, the crowd hoisted him up on their shoulders. Hope came to this village, to every hungry, child-like heart.
The next morning we immediately got down to business and bought a piece of land to build a simple church building. We will send them a pastor, and bring potential leaders to Bible school. Now the village is part of a larger family, and we pray that mercy and grace, power and glory will rain down on its people without measure. They will need much teaching and discipling, something that happens when missionaries take time to visit villages and spend one-on-one time with people. Here is where the most spiritual progress is made.
We miss you, our friends and supporters. We wish you could all come visit and see what your prayer and support have accomplished through us. It is beautiful to see the Body of Christ working together as it should, creating lives of great beauty in the most unlikely places. Please continue to run the race with us!
In His great love,