The first time most people encounter Heidi Baker, they don’t know what to think. She lives in a place of complete surrender to Jesus. Not necessarily a sweet, demure surrender but a fiery, powerful tornado kind of surrender. This abandonment of selfish desire has enabled her life to look extraordinary. Anything Jesus tells her to do, she steps out in obedience, and because of that, she lives in a reality where the miraculous becomes the everyday. She is marked by deep friendship and intimacy with our Heavenly Father. She is so intimate with God that the power of the Holy Spirit pours out in healings, multiplication, visions, and tangible encounters with the Lord in her life and her ministry. She is not at all what most people think of when they hear the word, “Christian;” however, she looks remarkably similar to Jesus’s disciples in Acts. She is helping our present-day culture understand that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the miraculous is a place available to all God’s children.
She is often so overcome by the Spirit when she travels to speak that she delivers sermons glued to the floor. She speaks in tongues randomly in her teachings and even breaks out with “Holy” or “Whoa” as the Spirit moves through her while she speaks. At first, this almost frightened me. I had never heard anything like it before. I felt Jesus in her, and over time, I learned the quirky character of this amazing woman. She talks of visions, prophecies, and miracles happening right before her eyes. She is a woman to know and a teacher to learn from, that is for sure. Click here to go to her YouTube channel.
It all began on March 13, 1976, when Baker was radically saved during a revival service on a Navajo Indian reservation in Mississippi. She was volunteering as an American field-service student. In response to a gospel presentation, at the age of 16, Baker received Jesus and became a child of God. The next day, she was invited to another church service and was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in water. After the baptism, she was worshiping and praising the Lord when she received a vision from God. Her physical body was frozen there on the floor, and church members say that she stayed glued to that spot in that position for over three hours. In the spirit, she heard Jesus tell her, in an audible voice, that she is a missionary and minister to Africa, Asia, and England.
She went back home at the end of the summer and was so overwhelmed with the good news of Jesus that she started speaking about His truth to almost anyone who would listen. She would go out on street corners and talk about His love. She would travel and speak at churches. She took groups of people overseas on mission trips. Her ministry was building almost as soon as she received Christ. She knew from the very beginning that God had big plans for her.
Heidi was engaged to a young man, and six weeks before their wedding, God spoke to her that she was not to marry him. She spent the next three hours crying and calling out to God in a small chapel at Vanguard University, where she attended college. She laid the engagement ring on the floor and told the Lord, “I just want to follow you,” even though her heart was breaking. Little did she know that God had handpicked Rolland Baker to be her husband. Rolland is a third-generation missionary. He brings an incredible vision to their marriage and a much-needed balance to Heidi. She laughingly says that her and Rolland “got lunch together once and then got married.” It is truly a remarkable story. You can watch a video where they talk about their relationship here.
They were married in 1980 and asked for no wedding presents, just money so they could fly to Indonesia. They got just enough to buy two one-way tickets to Indonesia, and they left the states with thirty dollars in their pockets. They had no plans once they got there; they were just eager to be obedient. They were radical, and they were setting out to change the world. They were both hungry for deep intimacy with the Lord and to live unwaveringly devoted to Him. In 1980, they also founded Iris Ministries and took it overseas with them when they left. They had no idea what that small ministry would grow into. Click here to read more about the history of Iris Ministries.
During the next seven years, Rolland and Heidi did various music and drama events across Asia. The gatherings were large, and people were encountering Jesus. The Lord then led the Bakers into a season of living among the poorest of the poor. Heidi, Rolland, and their two children, Elisha and Crystalyn, moved into a slum house. They lived next to the poorest of the poor and ministered to them for four years. Heidi became very ill and chose to seek a restful season with some of her friends in Alaska. She spent four months mostly in a dark room in seclusion regaining her strength. It was in Alaska, during this time, that the Lord told her to take her family to London, England to study Theology.
Read Heidi Baker: Let the Children Come to continue their inspiring journey.
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