I just got this email from one of the staff members in Pemba:
“We thank God for each of you who have so covered us in love, support and intercession. We have felt that we could stand on your prayers. Heidi flew out to join Rolland a week ago. Rolland received one week of intensive prayer along with solid and sound medical attention. His heart has calmed, he has begun to regain the weight he lost, gaining strength and is feeling much better. In our time of deepest need, God has really given him a breakthrough.
However, the doctors are insisting Rolland take a three-month sabbatical or furlough in the US. Therefore, Heidi and Rolland will be in the US for the next three weeks. Rolland will rest in the US for Nov through Jan 2008. Heidi will also take the month of December completely off from ministry after our Holy Given Iris International School of Missions Graduation. The Bakers will be together laboring to “enter rest” as Heidi wrote in our last update. Therefore, Heidi will not be speaking more during this time as her focus and priority is Rolland.
Both Bakers express intense appreciation and thanksgiving for the depth and breadth of love and care. Certainly we do not feel alone in times of trials. Perhaps the greatest redemption of attacks like these is Jesus’ love shining so brilliantly and beautifully through the lives of our family of friends. We see Him in each other and thank our God daily for you. We request prayer also for the transition in administration as Rolland takes a time of rest. We pray for the fullness of rest and restoration. The best is always yet ahead in Him.
“Onward we go” as Rolland often says.”
Glory, friends! Please be praying for the Bakers and this much needed time of rest!!!!! We just spent a few days with the Bakers at the Voice of the Apostles Conference in Harrisburg, PA. Here a testimony from Heidi which sums up the past week:
“To Finish Well”
November 1st, 2007
This is a short update to thank you for your love, prayers and standing with us during our time of greatest need. As most of you know during these past three months, we have experienced fierce trials. Jesus has recently spoken to me about finishing well. I am fixing my eyes on Jesus. I am looking away to Him. I am coming forward with boldness to the throne of grace in my greatest time of need. Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
In this time of reflecting, The Lord came to me and asked me, “If I had known ahead of time all that this calling would cost, would I still be willing to receive the call.” And still my cry is yes. I have nowhere else to go. I have no one else to run to. Jesus is my life and He is altogether lovely. Through everything, it is still my joy to say that I gladly give my life for Him.
Yesterday, we had a surprise birthday party for Rolland. Dear friends flew in from other countries and all over the United States. We felt so loved and supported. Our Revival Alliance brothers and sisters, Bill & Beni Johnson, Che Ahn, Randy & Deanne Clark, Georgian & Winnie Banov were all there blessing us, cheering us on, lifting up our arms and fighting for us. Even John and Carol Arnott sent in a special birthday greetings on a dvd. Charles and Anne Stock spoke beautiful scriptures of life over Rolland and blessed him with Rolland’s favorite chocolate cake. Mel Tari, the best man in our wedding and one of our closest friends helped led the festivities. His wife Joyce spent months putting together an incredibly anointed and touching dvd of Rolland’s life. We all cried. Crystalyn and Elisha both laid hands on their father and blessed him as his children. The party would not have been possible without the beautiful efforts and great love of Norberto, Will, Shara, Jinyoung, and Angela. Darrel and Mariyln carry such a mama and papa anointing. Betty, our Toronto friend, drove all night to be with us. It was a delight to have them with us. We want to thank everyone who was involved and all of you who have been praying for us. We are forever grateful.
It is my great joy to celebrate with with Mozambican sons and Iris missionaries who flew in from Sudan, France, and Mozambique. God is still speaking to me about releasing my sons and daughters to carry His heart for the lost and broken into the greatest darkness. I know even as we enter a season of rest, God will increase the movement by carrying it through the lives of many. I love watching our these amazing young people from so many races, nations and backgrounds, run forward carrying the light of His glorious gospel. They are truly my heroes, my friends and my family. There are no words to express how grateful I am for the love and prayers of so many. We do not feel alone.
Our International Director Surprise Sithole also flew in to be with us from South Africa. He recently went back to the very village where our dear pastor Ezekiel Sithole was martyred for the gospel. They cut him off his tongue and lips to silence him. They said our movement Partners in Harvest/Iris Africa would be silenced. Surprise’s went back into the village in love and humility releasing forgiveness to those who killed his cousin. Thousands gathered to hear him preach. And hundreds were saved. Please pray for Pastor Ezekiel Sithole’s wife who is deeply troubled, very, very thin and left with many children to raise alone. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” Matthew 5:11-12.