A Cup of Suffering and Joy
a Word from Heidi Baker on the administrative page of Iris Ministries, April 04, 2007
"Trouble has come to our nation, and we have opened our eyes and seen the pain. We have opened our ears to hear the cry of the desperate, and so we drink His cup of suffering. We drink His cup of joy knowing we can be His hands extended in the midst of it all, and knowing He died that there would always be enough."
Heidi Baker, Iris Ministries, Inc.
(April 8th, 2007)
|Years ago I had a vision of Jesus surrounded by a multitude of children. Jesus looked at me with His intense, burning eyes of love, and I was completely undone. He told me to feed the children, and I began to cry out loud, "No! There are too many!" He asked me to look into His eyes, and He said, "I died that there would always be enough." Then He reached down and broke a piece of flesh out of His right side. His eyes were so magnificently beautiful, yet His body so bruised and broken. He handed me a piece of His flesh, and as I took it and stretched my hand out to the first child, it became fresh bread! I gave the bread to the children and they all ate. Then He put a simple poor man's cup next to His side and filled it with blood and water. He told me it was a cup of suffering and joy, and asked me if I would drink it. I drank it and then started to give it to the children. It became drink for them.|
For the next ten years I learned a lot about provision for the poor. With delight I have watched God place bread in our hands for the children to eat. By His grace, every day there is somehow always enough food. Since the vision Iris has gone from caring for 320 children to over 6,000. My heart is so full of praise and gratitude to God for how He has blessed us with all these beautiful children. I have stood in awe as God has grown us from a few churches to over six thousand in ten years' time. Jesus has given us fresh bread from Heaven. We live to be in His glorious presence. He has poured out His love to us without measure. He has called us to bring the lost children home. I love Him more than life! Every breath is for Him.
In the last few days, I have learned more than I ever imagined about the cup of suffering and joy. Our nation Mozambique has been hammered with floods, cyclones and monster waves. Pemba, Cabo Delgado, was hit with cholera. Finally a few kilometers from our Zimpeto children's center in Maputo, a large ammunitions dump blew up, spraying mines, missiles and shrapnel for thirty kilometers around. Hundreds of people were killed.
Houses were leveled leaving the victims crushed beneath the rubble. I have never seen such suffering as I have seen in the last thirty days. As I stood in the ruins of a house leveled by a missile and held a weeping woman in my arms, I drank of His cup of suffering. As I embraced Marcelina, 14, Edwardo, 15, and Carvalho, 12, orphaned by the blasts, I drank His cup of suffering. After driving all day through the mud and potholes of Zambezia to minister and deliver food to a distant village devastated by floods, I rocked a tiny, starving baby in my arms and tried to find milk to no avail, and I drank the cup of His suffering.
After arriving in Caia, a town with a refugee camp on the flooded Zambezi River, I spoke to the director of a large non-governmental organization as he was evacuating his workers and helicopters because he could not get past all the corruption and red tape. I drank of the cup of suffering knowing those very helicopters could have fed many precious people stranded in the flood zones starving for weeks. I opened my eyes wider still to see and drink the cup of suffering.
I also drank the cup of joy. God opened the door for us to provide food for fourteen refuge camps in Zambezia Province. I drank the cup of joy watching my Mozambican son, Norberto, lead the relief effort for the province. I drank the cup of joy seeing the faces of hopeless, desperate people run to meet King Jesus and thank Him for saving their lives.
Worship of our beautiful Savior reached Heaven in Zimpeto when the children, co-workers and missionaries gave glory to God for sparing their lives as missiles and bombs flew in every direction above them and around them. I listened to the testimonies of children who were rescued from the streets thanking Jesus for holding them in His arms as the terror of the blasts continued all around them. Pastor José spoke of the amazing opportunity God had given all of them to worship in the middle of the frightening chaos. Missionaries shared how they would gladly give up their lives to protect the children, and I drank the cup of joy. We offered a home in our center to Marcelina, Edwardo and Carvalho, and watched their tears turn into laughter. God made a way to bring the children into families.
Truly we are filled with inexpressible joy knowing we dwell in the shelter of the Most High God. We rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress. We put our trust in Him. He covers us in His wings of love and we find safety in Him. We have opened our hearts to Him and He is our dwelling place. He loves us, He rescues us and commands His angels to surround us. We have called on Jesus. We have acknowledged Him. Trouble has come to our nation, and we have opened our eyes and seen the pain. We have opened our ears to hear the cry of the desperate, and so we drink His cup of suffering. We drink His cup of joy knowing we can be His hands extended in the midst of it all, and knowing He died that there would always be enough.
Love in Jesus, Heidi
Rolland and Heidi Baker
Iris Ministries, Inc.