Rolland and Heidi Baker are known for the impact they have made in Pemba, Mozambique. Here Rolland shares what gives them the motivation to keep feeding the hungry, taking care of orphans and working on development in such a desperately poor country. It really makes sense to me, but it’s not what you’d expect him to say. People come from around the world to study their “program”, trying to understand what makes it so successful. His answer is unique.
Our years in Pemba, Mozambique have been tumultuous, intense, filled with demonic attacks, violence, threats, opposition from the government, discouragement, theft, loss, disappointments, failures, staff turnover, and the constant, unrelenting demands of extreme poverty and disease all around us. It almost always seemed that our capabilities and resources were no match for the challenges we faced every day, resulting in a level of chaos and stress that literally threatened our health and lives. Heidi and I remember many times when we did not know how we could continue. What motivates us to keep going? How do we stay patient and upbeat when the outlook seems bleak, yet again? It is not found in anything external. It is found in the secret place of relationship with Jesus. Without relationship we are the living dead. When we turn away from relationship to pursue anything else, we lose. We have no strength to give or love anyone.
Relationship is all that Jesus cares about, all that motivates Him. He could do many more amazing miracles and dazzle the world with His powers, but He is interested only in relationship. The entire creation, all the grandeur of the physical world, and all His works are designed to serve one thing: Relationship.
There is no pressure in genuine relationship. It brings the utmost peace, and washes away all tension. It is the point of living, the substance of existence, the atmosphere of heaven. It motivates to heroic heights, bringing out our best.
As our Perfect Savior, Jesus provides us with relationship. For this He died and rose again on our behalf. And from this tree of life, we can branch out into more and more relationship with those all around us.
We were never meant to be alone for a moment. Our whole motive is to live life and do everything together with our God, to take pleasure in His company always. Our power to live comes entirely from our satisfying relationship with Him.
His presence pursues us. He Himself follows us, responds to us, and takes pleasure in making us happy, for we make Him happy. We care how He feels. We satisfy His longing. To stay close to Him is no effort, but a relief, a release, a door to freedom. – Rolland Baker
Excerpt from Iris Newsletter posted July 16, 2014, www.irisglobal.org