Missionary Heidi Baker fills Norwich Cathedral
The charismatic American missionary, Heidi Baker, spoke to an audience of over 500 people in Norwich Cathedral on Saturday evening as the Fountain of Life Network Church launched a new Christian network for the region. Jenny Seal reports.
The Fountain of Life Network Church, Ashill welcomed the American missionary, author and co-founder of Iris Ministries, Heidi Baker, to their 3-day ‘The Father’s Heart’ conference on the evening of Saturday 19th May at Norwich Cathedral.
Dr Mark Stibbe, the founder of the Father’s House Trust and author of over 30 books, spoke to the other four conference sessions held at the Well Christian Centre, Ashill and St Andrews Church, Gorleston.
The conference launched the new Fountain Network, a non-denominational Christian network for East Anglia. The network seeks to connect individuals, teams, groups or churches who are excited about mission; sharing resources and organising events which attract speakers who can share what God is doing in other parts of the world.
Heidi Baker is a prime example of the high-profile, mission-focussed speaker they will seek to attract. Rev Stephen Mawditt, Leader of the Fountain of Life Network Church, welcomed Heidi to the conference saying: “Something happens when someone like you visits somewhere like this”.
The introduction was echoed by Mark Stibbe who prefaced Heidi’s talk by saying: “They carry I believe, Rolland [Heidi’s husband] and Heidi, something that we badly need in Norfolk, in Suffolk and East Anglia, which is a radical, extravagant love of the Father, which is outworked in an extraordinary, compassionate form.
“And if we can capture that, and I’m sure we will get a flavour of it tonight, then I’m sure we will see miracles.”
There had been fears that Heidi would have to cancel her visit to Norwich due to illness. However having been discharged on Friday from a 10-day stay in a Canadian hospital where she had been on intravenous antibiotics, she flew in on Saturday afternoon and spoke with passion, humour and humility for over an hour.
Heidi summed up her own style of preaching with characteristic simplicity and engaging modesty, by saying: “I’m a storyteller. I like stories and I like how God uses little people”.
She went on to tell stories that provided an insight into the intimate dependence on God that sustains her inspirational work with Iris Ministries.
Heidi co-founded Iris Ministries with her husband in 1980. Based in Mozambique, they now serve the very poor, including thousands of orphaned children, across Southeastern Africa and beyond. Her stories, told to an appreciative audience at Norwich Cathedral, were peppered with both rousing miracles and heartbreaking glimpses of extreme poverty.
Heidi asked the conference: “Do you think God can use anybody?” She summed up her message by answering: “I’m an example of that. I’m a little woman in the dirt. I’m a little woman who just got out of the hospital yesterday. I’m a little woman who has no strength in myself but, in God, all things are possible. So I should be an encouragement to you.
“God can use anyone. There are no lesser sons. There are no lesser daughters. Every single person in this room is called by Daddy God to be filled with the glory of God and to bring glory to the One who is the One. “
The evening concluded with hundreds of people surging towards the front of the Cathedral for prayer, eager to carry out that calling.