START AT THE BOTTOM
By Dave Earley
The older I get, the more I like people who just take God at His word and go for it. I am coming to especially like people who go to the poor. Our God is a God who delights in starting at the bottom with the poor, helpless, hopeless, and broken.
Rolland and Heidi Baker are people who take God at His word and go for it, starting at the bottom.
After doing evangelistic ministry in Asia and completing their Ph.D.’s in England, Roland and Heidi Baker accepted the calling to take the Gospel to the most challenging situation they could find. The believed that “the most likely place to see revival is among the most unlikely.” So they went to Mozambique, Africa in 1995 because at the time it was officially listed as the poorest country in the world.
Starting with nothing but dependency on God they have seen God miraculously raised up a global ministry known as IRIS Global. They have always targeted the poor and weak beginning with a soon-to-be-closed, dilapidated orphanage. From that unlikely start God granted revival leading to a ministry that includes orphanages, well-drillings, free health clinics, feeding programs, primary and secondary schools, cottage industries and now over 5000 churches in Mozambique and a total of over 10,000 churches in over 20 nations. http://www.irisglobal.org/abounations. http://www.irisglobal.org/about/core-values
Their impact flows out of five core values:
1. INTIMACY WITH GOD. They state, “We understand that we can find God, and can experience intimacy, communication and companionship with Him in His Presence, if we share His love for righteousness.”
2. DEPENDENCY UPON GOD. Rolland writes, “We are totally dependent on Him for everything, and we need and expect miracles of all kinds to sustain us and confirm the Gospel in our ministry.”
3. REVIVAL FROM THE BOTTOM UP. “We look for revival among the broken, humble and lowly, and start at the bottom with ministry to the poor. God chooses the weak and despised things of the world to shame the proud, demonstrating His own strength and wisdom. Our direction is lower still.”
4. SUFFERING FOR LOVE’S SAKE “We understand the value of suffering in the Christian life. Learning to love requires willingness to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Discipline and testing make saints out of us, and produce in us the holiness, without which we will not see God’s face and share His glory. With Paul we rejoice in our weaknesses, for when we are weak we are strong.’
5. JOY. “The joy of the Lord is not optional and far outweighs our suffering! In Jesus it becomes our motivation, reward and spiritual weapon. In His Presence is fullness of joy, and with Paul we testify that in all our troubles our joy knows no bounds (2 Cor. 7:4). It is our strength and energy, without which we die.” http://www.irisglobal.org/about/core-values
Pray for Us
- Please pray for us as we strive to pursue Jesus in greater intimacy and trust Him with greater dependency.
- Pray also that the Lord will especially bless us as we start at the bottom, pursuing the young, the poor and the addicted for Jesus.
- Pray as we are opening our Grace City Flamingo Outreach Center as a second worship site on Sunday nights. We had 85 people last week.