As a kid, I grew up under the influence of Heidi Baker, one of the founders of Iris Global. The first time I saw her was in a film made by Darren Wilson. (The person who inspired me to go into media.) That was nearly six years ago. From the moment I started listening to her and learning more about the work she and her husband were doing, I knew I wanted to get involved. She inspired me immensely that the desire to learn from her was growing rapidly.
Her relationship with Jesus encouraged to draw closer to God, and to work on my own spiritual life. As I started listening to teachings and reading her books, I knew that this American lady understood my heart and the deep yearning for the world to experience the love of Jesus. Which is one of the reasons I was so drawn to their ministry.
The story of how they started is remarkable. Iris Global was established in 1980 by Heidie and Roland Baker, a married couple who both have a powerful calling on their lives. The first six years of being married was spent leading evangelistic dance-drama teams around Asia. Through this they came into contact with the brutal truth of poverty affecting the continent. With this reality staring them in the face, they realized that they wouldn’t be satisfied with large meeting and quick visits to various locations. They began stopping for one person at a time, working with the poor in the slums of central Jakarta, Indonesia and then moved on to the people of the streets. A very big influence on both my and their lives was Jackie Pullinger, who worked among drug addicts in the Walled City.
In 1992 they left Asia to do their PhD’s in Systematic theology at King’s College, University of London. The fact that they were getting degree’s didn’t stop them from ministering poor. It resulted in them establishing a church community for the homeless in down town London.
Evidently, they were drawn to a country where proving the Gospel would be challenging. Cue, Mozambique. During Roland’s first visit to Maputpo, he was offered a neglected orphanage with orphans in rags. Alone and without support, Roland and Heidie, offered to take the centre and provide for the children in return for the opportunity to bring the Gospel to them. Within months, the children were all saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus provided miraculously and provided for them in every way possible. They brought in teams, improved the centre and took the children to the streets to testify to more abandoned children.
Suddenly, after 320 children, the government evicted them and denied the children permission to pray on the property. There wasn’t a back up plan, which led to the children returning to the streets. Heidie and Roland lost everything. They also lost a lot of support because they welcomed the Presence of the Holy Spirit in their meetings…
It wasn’t the end. Only the beginning
They weren’t giving up cause they knew this was only the beginning of the Power of God. They’ve only had a small glimpse of what He is capable of. Land was donated by a nearby city, and they got tens and food from South Africa. Supernatural Provision manifested. Soon they started building their dorms.
Revival was fuelled by the desperation in hearts after the tragic flood in 2000. Three cyclones came together and brought torrential rain for forty days and nights. The flood caused more damage than the civil war. A cry for God rose up like pillars of smoke, and He answered. He provided a bush airplane which was used to spread the Gospel in remote areas in Mozambique.
Today, all ten provinces of Mozambique, have a network of churches and orphanages. Each year, thousands of people help them at their various bases in Pemba. Here, they combine teaching, worship and spiritual impartation with every day application to minster among children and the poorest of the poor.
Iris has spread to having over 35 bases worldwide in 20 nations led by teams of missionaries and local leaders. Iris has been expanding each year, and with each new base, I feel excited for what God has in store for them.
Love and Blessings