TORONTO, CANADA - Rolland Baker traveled to the Toronto Blessing and was deeply touched in the Spirit. So much so, that when he returned home to Mozambique, his wife noticed a great change in him. The romance returned to their marriage and he was a new man. The change was so powerful, that she began to have a tremendous desire to visit Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship herself. That particular trip would trigger a series of events, which would birth a work of God that would eventually touch an entire continent.
The story of Heidi and Rolland Baker begins long before they were touched at the Toronto Blessing. Heidi had been saved in a Pentecostal Church in Mississippi, but a young Missionary to China who had come to teach at Heidiís school in California had planted the seeds of missionary work. The images and the hunger of these Chinese children would touch a chord in Heidiís heart even before she was saved. She would eventually follow God in obedience with a man that was also directed to the mission field.
Heidi met Rolland Baker on a ski trip in Colorado and as they went to visit Rollandís mother, Heidi needed no introduction - it was Heidiís sixth grade teacher who first touched her heart about China! Heidi was on her way to an adventure no one could have ever planned and would not be completed until the two had touched an entire continent.
It was their dream to work as missionaries in the most dangerous parts of the world because they knew Godís power would manifest there. Heidi felt as if the greatest challenge would make the greatest difference in the Kingdom of God.
Rolland Bakerís whole family background was the mission field in a foreign land. His grandfather, H.A. Baker, had a tremendous experience with orphans in China, which he wrote about in a book called, ĎVisions Beyond The Veilí. The book told the miraculous story of orphans touched by revival. Conversing with angels, the children - who knew nothing about the Word of God - began to see visions of biblical events. As they related these visions to H.A., he knew these apparitions were coming from God since the children had no knowledge of the Bible. Several were overwhelmed by the power of God and when they came back to the norm they related events of walking through heaven, picking fruit off the trees, and actually conversing with Jesus. The book has been a source of inspiration to those who understand the working of the Spirit of God among the outcasts of the world. After Rolland and Heidi married, they served as missionaries in the slums of Hong Kong. One day Rolland read an article to Heidi about a place full of disease, war, and hunger, called Mozambique. Heidi began to feel a desire and a passion from God to go there. However, it would take a long time to finally enter the mission field in Mozambique.
During this time, the Bakers came to England where Heidi received a Doctorate in Systematic Theology. While they waited for the time and the opportunity to go to Mozambique, they began to read everything they could get their hands on about this part of Africa. Eventually, they made some friends that had connections to the area. Finally they were invited to speak at a conference in that country. It was an eventful trip. They drove through parts of South Africa, but as they got closer to the border of Mozambique, their vehicle began to stall and have problems. It seemed as if everything they had planned for would fall apart because of faulty transportation - until God revealed to them His divine protection. As the couple got to the border of Mozambique, they learned that robbers had ambushed a vehicle that they had seen earlier. The vehicle had passed them on the road while their vehicle was stalled. After finding out the events of what happened to the earlier vehicle, the transportation they were riding in began to operate perfectly. They would be late getting to the conference, but they learned a valuable lesson about being in a hurry as they traveled in convoy to their destination.
The trip would be the trip that would open another door of promise. They were taken to a rat-infested orphanage that had tremendous need. The children were not cared for and had very little to eat. However, what would look like hopelessness to some looked like a blessing to Rolland and Heidi. When asked if they would take over the orphanage, they didnít hesitate - but said, "Yes." These two were hungry to fulfill the vision that God had given them while in the
slums of Hong Kong.
The Bakers worked ten stressful years to establish a place of refuge. During their time of struggle in Mozambique, they were often harassed by Marxist Rebels firing off AK-47s outside their door late at night. They knew God had entrusted them with this vision, but as days grew longer in that country, so did the fatigue. Rolland then heard of a move of God in Toronto, Canada and desperately wanted to visit. As Baker came to the ĎCatch the Fireí, he didnít know that the touch on his life from this move would also have a
profound effect on his wife.
Heidi Baker was desperately ill at home. She was so ill that her doctors told her if she traveled it would be at her own risk, but she knew she had to go to Toronto. She arrived and was all the way in the back [of the church] when she was touched by the power of God. Immediately she had a vision of thousands of orphaned children. She cried out "NO" as the vision was too much for her to contain. She had come to this place to be touched and God showed her His will for her life. It was a healing conference and Heidi was made whole - but more than that, the vision was healed on the floor in Toronto. God came to heal and encourage this woman of God, but it would cost her more than she wanted to give.
As Rolland and Heidi came back to Toronto later, they sat in the back. The Bakers already had been warned by their denominational leadership that if they came to Toronto - or Brownsville - the organization would withdraw all their funding for their projects in Mozambique, which at the time represented $1,000,000 cash American. From the front of the church that night, however, the Bakersí names were called out and as much as they didnít want to be seen in this large crowd, they stood up. Heidi was immediately touched by the Glory of God and fell on the floor and began to roll. Rolland said she became a poster child for Toronto that night. Then sure enough, the leadership of their organization got the video of what happened and followed through on withdrawing the $1,000,000 in missionary support. It cost the Bakers everything to come to Toronto - but it would buy the favor of God. Everyone in a move of God that has any value to it soon comes to the place where they have to make a
decision to please God.
With all funding removed, the Bakers returned to the Airport Church one more time as God was leading them ever so slowly into a deeper Presence to establish a new work on the mission field.
John Arnott said before revival, "We prayed for revival but we didnít know what it looked like." Heidi came to the church and what God was going to do to her was very strange. Heidi was touched so deeply by God that she stood on her head for 40 minutes. While she was on her head, she heard the Lord say to her, "Iím going to turn your ministry upside down." Then, someone threw three bottles of water over her feet. "We didnít know what that meant, but we would soon see the new vision," recalled Heidi. "Randy Clark didnít know who we were, but he came and began to pray over us. No one knew who we were. We had lost everything and had 300 children depending on us in an orphanage in Mozambique! Randy pointed at me and asked the question, ĎDo you want the nation?í I responded, ĎYESí - thatís when the Power touched me so deeply I was out for seven straight days. I didnít come out of it for seven straight days and seven straight nights - people were picking me up and moving me around the sanctuary! "When the couple went back to Mozambique, they began to see blind eyes opened and the dead raised. Then Randy Clark came to the country and revival touched the land in a deeper way. Today thousands of new churches have been established through the revival in Mozambique, which has spread to 15 African nations. The water that was poured over Heidiís feet in Toronto represented the three cyclones that would hit the country. As people came to help, the couple was asked to help organize and run the relief.
Even though a personís dreams are fulfilled in ministry, they can never reach the highest call unless God adds into equation the right time for the right purpose. It was during that time that revival began to touch every area of Mozambique and a network of orphanages was established throughout the country. To God be the glory!