Rolland Baker: "Dad and his three girls drowning in joy! A perfectly normal conference..."

Soaking Prayer

Soaking Prayer on Facebook

Manifest Presence of God

How He Loves Us--Kim Walker / Jesus Culture

Christian Mysticism

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Revival Fire for the Poor in Spirit

I’m back in Africa after weeks of conferences in the West, and I’m facing another kind of conference: a gathering of the poor, hungry, ragged, barefoot, and sick from among our churches in the central region of Malawi. Carpets, air-conditioning and chandeliers have given way to dirt, blowing dust and the hot sun overhead. Hospitality rooms and coffee shops are replaced by iron pots of milled maize cooking over open wood fires. Hotel rooms with soft beds, clean sheets and warm showers have become grass mats under ripped and wind-blown black plastic coverings on a remote field with no electricity, water or relief from the night cold. Families huddle together in the dark to keep warm, without soap, toiletries or a change of clothes. Their threadbare shirts rip at a touch, and their teeth, hair and skin show the discolored ravages of malnutrition. They are weak. They hurt. And they long for ministry and love.

Malawi and northwest Mozambique are caught in yet more drought and famine. Four million people are in danger of starving. The world hardly notices. Shipments from aid agencies don’t make it to the remote villages where the need is greatest and where we have most of our churches. But we have called a “bush” conference to encourage our people, and Surpresa Sithole, one of our international directors, and I have come to preach the Gospel in this sea of need.

This has to be the poorest-looking conference the land has seen. Our property is off the main road outside the city of Lilongwe, a long journey on foot for many. We have a shaky platform of rough poles and boards, and we’ve strung some lights to use with a generator during meetings. There are no banners or signboards, no dignitaries in suits. As we set up and mix with the people, our clothes become covered with dirt. There is no parking lot full of vehicles and no handouts and no name tags. We are a band of human beings in the middle of nowhere, it seems, calling out to God for revival and the glory of His presence where all seems destitute and hopeless to the natural eye.

But this is what we live for, to preach the Good News to the poor and to bring life, love and joy to the saddest and heaviest of hearts. We present ourselves as instruments of righteousness to bring a foretaste of heaven into the least likely corners of the earth. We don’t come with fame and fanfare but instead arrive in weakness, with nothing to preach but Jesus and Him crucified. Nothing less than the power of the Cross will rescue and sustain these lives and hearts.

For three days we preach our hearts out, joined by David Morrison, our lead Iris missionary in Malawi. Hang on to Jesus! Never let Him go! Come to Him for everything! Don't throw away your faith! Bury yourself in His heart! Draw close to Him, and He will draw close to you. And this unspeakably wonderful Savior of ours will freely give you the Kingdom. Don't be like unbelievers, who worry about everything, but pursue righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, and you will have what you need. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not famine, not poverty, not anything!

And so the people move forward in waves to kneel, worship and receive more of His grace. The Holy Spirit brings healing to bodies and hearts. Tears and laughter are released. Emotions are set free. Bowing and falling, rolling and shaking in the dirt, the hungry of all ages become filled to overflowing with God Himself. He knows how to love His beloved until they feel loved.

The people are encouraged and overjoyed. Their testimonies flow. I still feel utterly weak and inadequate, seeing their needs, but I grow in confidence that the Gospel will triumph in their lives. What will God do in response? Open the hearts of His people around the world and give them the opportunity to learn the heavenly art of love all the more... Our only job is to love... And if love is real at all, it is practical.

We have to go, but we promise more visits and conferences. We are cheered with enthusiasm and affection. And I am praying that a supernaturally motivated and enabled wave of assistance from around the world will materialize out of the ever-increasing faith that we see before us. And that everything from weather patterns to politics will be transformed by an unstoppable spread of revival fire.

An excerpt from Rolland Baker from Expecting Miracles: True Stories of God’s Supernatural Power and How You Can Experience It by Heidi & Rolland Baker pp 61-62.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow...I want to hear more about this.