We'll both be speaking at this outreach rally this weekend.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Cathie has ministered with Heidi and has been part of the healing miracles that happen in the mission field on a regular basis...God healing the deaf and raising the dead. One thing is for sure: She loves the poor like no other in this forgotten corner of the planet.
"I want anybody who is deaf to come to the front. Anybody who can't hear. God is going to heal tonight." Heidi Baker, with short, swept-back blond hair, hawk-like blue eyes, and Teutonic features, speaks over a powerful sound system into a pitch-black African night.
We are in the dusty village of Chiure, Mozambique, the 11th poorest nation on earth. No electricity or running water is available here. From their ragged clothes and bare feet, you can see that the people are destitute. Two trucks have brought students from Pemba, Baker's mission center. Setting up open-air screens and generator-powered projectors, they have just shown the Jesus film. Preaching followed. And now, a crowd of several hundred has gathered on the bare ground in front of the trucks for the climactic moment.
Heidi Baker, known worldwide for her healing miracles, spends a third of every year on the charismatic speaking circuit, where people routinely fall to the floor in unconscious bliss or shake and laugh uncontrollably. They come, enthralled, to hear of Baker's miracles in places like Chiure.
In recent years, she says, 100 percent of the deaf in the Chiure area have been healed through prayer. Not only that, she claims, scores have risen from the dead, food has been multiplied, the crippled and blind have been restored, and the gospel has spread like fire. Baker's church association now numbers 10,000 congregations, maybe more.
Responding to Baker's call, four people straggle to the front, standing uneasily. The audience crowds forward around them, blocking the view. Most of what happens is relayed over the booming sound system in Portuguese and translated into Makhuwa, the local language, with occasional explanations in English. One can hardly see through a blinding floodlight on the truck.
Attention focuses on Antonio, a somber boy of perhaps 12 who, as a young child, it is said, lost his hearing completely.
Antonio cannot explain himself, because he cannot hear or apparently speak. Baker asks the audience for help. "Do you know Antonio? Is he really deaf?" Only a few people seem to respond. But Baker is satisfied and proceeds to lay hands on Antonio and pray.
Then she gives Antonio a microphone. "Ba-ba!" she shouts, her voice booming through the sound system loudly enough to make the deaf hear. "Ba-ba," Antonio repeats in a strangled, calf-like mew. "Ma-ma!" Baker shouts. "Ma-ma," Antonio repeats.
"Jesus," Baker cues.
Baker announces jubilantly that Antonio is completely healed, and that, in fact, all four people on stage have been healed of deafness. She invites the crowd to praise God, but the response is weak. Later, when asked about the subdued reaction, she says, "It's always that way in Mozambique. They never show much reaction." Her assistant Antoinette, who has seen many Mozambican healings, agrees. "It seems odd," she says. "We would be jumping around."
Was it a miracle? Unless you knew Antonio before and after, you couldn't say for sure. Baker, though, has no doubt, and nobody else seems to either.
After the healing, Baker asks for villagers with bad backs to raise their hands so that members of the outreach team can find them and pray for them. Then come those with stomach problems. Finally, she invites drunkards who want healing prayer to identify themselves, and a few do. The evening program concludes with outreach team members circulating through the crowd laying hands on and praying for anyone who wants it. Plenty of people seem eager. Some indicate that prayers have been answered.
If that's not a living example of the Great Commission I don't know what is.
It was during this time of prayer, Baker later says, that the village chief approached her. "Did you see Antonio healed?" she asked him. He said he had seen it. He then announced that...
Posted by First Love Missions at 10:04 PM
Saturday, December 1, 2012
During the past 7 years, we have seen an increase of 400% in persecution on the mission field. The all-out attack on Christians in Orissa in 2008 is just one example. Hundreds of believers there had to flee into the forest for their lives, and 1,000 of our believers' houses were burned to the ground. Praise the Lord that by the grace of God we were able to help rebuild those houses. But over these last years, not a week goes by that I don't hear of missionaries being beaten, broken bones, pastors hospitalized and churches destroyed. These afflictions are no surprise. If we follow the Lord, we will face persecution. (See 2 Timothy 3:12). They go together.
But to be honest with you, I was quite surprised to find ourselves in the middle of an entirely new type of persecution. It was a well-planned, well-funded media misinformation attack on Christian work. The premise was to cause people to stop giving to these ministries, so the work of God could be halted.
We Were Not The Only Ministry TargetedAlthough we were not the only ministry who was targeted, we were one of the ministries this group sought after most, because of our focus to let people know about the love of Jesus. For the past few years, there were hundreds of emails, blogs, YouTube videos and websites stemming from India that were dedicated to malign and hurt the ministry of Gospel for Asia. The hope was that they would cause doubt in our donors' minds and, as a result, limit resources to the field.
Although we never discussed it publicly, I wondered if some of our friends like you might have gotten confused by the negative media. But what could we do? The Lord knew our hearts, and it would be up to Him to defend us. We sought the Lord. We prayed. We fasted. Slowly, step by step, the Lord went before us.
At first we had no idea that all the false information out there was originating from one source or what we could do about it. Gradually we were able to figure out a little of what was happening, and last year we found out we could appeal to the government of India and the High Court in Delhi to look into these cyber attacks on us. Then during this past year, the various government departments investigated Gospel for Asia's activity in detail to see if any of these accusations were true.
Grateful To The LordI am grateful to the Lord that what was meant for evil, God used for good. After studying us, these departments decided that we are one of the most upright groups in the country who are truly improving the nation. The High Court of India in Delhi thus issued a verdict, directing the social media services to remove and stop uploading any negative attacks on Gospel for Asia and our various ministries.
Those who put up the negative information about us were arrested. The negative information they uploaded for the web and social media sites has been removed. I thank God for His grace, mercy and answer to our prayers. He came to our rescue and defended us.
Because you have been with us on this journey, I wanted to let you know what has transpired. And if any of the misinformation ever caused doubt in your mind, I wanted you to have the opportunity to hear the truth from us. Below are links to articles about the legal verdict from the Indian High Court in Delhi.
And honestly, these things are not so new. Nehemiah had to deal with opposition and misinformation. Paul said, "as servants of God ... through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything" (2 Cor 6:4, 8-10). In it all, our God is faithful, and whatever He allows us to go through for His glory, let it be.
One day we will all stand before Him. He is worthy of it all. Thank you for standing with us in this journey. Our Lord is faithful, and He will establish His work.
The Lord bless you and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you.
In His grace,
Posted by First Love Missions at 11:42 AM