A few weeks ago, Heidi Baker spoke at Bethel Church in Redding, California. I’m glad I heard she would be speaking, because I was able to tune into the webcast. Heidi and her husband Rolland started Iris Ministries in 1980, and growing up in Mozambique as God moved in and through their network of churches provoked me to desire to really know God. I remember hearing stories about how God was moving – about broken children encountering God and being transformed – about God multiplying food to feed hungry people – about Mozambican pastors running with the Gospel – about a man being killed at one of their meetings by some angry men, only for God to raise him back to life so he could carry the good news of Jesus into the jail cell of his murderers! Stories like those are the result of lives of abandoned surrender and trust in God, which all flows from intimate friendship with Him.
Heidi’s message two weeks ago has stuck with me. She spoke about hunger. Now, she differentiated between two kinds of hunger. In this world, there are many people who are physically hungry. Their stomachs swell. Their hair becomes dull and brittle. Their bodies are weak. They are malnourished and dying slow deaths of starvation, simply because they do not have the food they need. She said that 26,000 children die daily of hunger.
She spoke of another kind of hunger – spiritual hunger in those who have not tasted of Jesus. These people are born and live and die without knowledge of Jesus who loved them so much that He died to free them from death, hell, and the grave. Their lives are empty of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control that the Holy Spirit gives. They live in bondage to the one who steals, kills, and destroys – and they do not know the abundant life that Jesus offers. She said there are 4.4 billion people in our world who have never tasted of Jesus.
What does love look like to a hungry person? I suppose it depends on what kind of hunger they are experiencing, but I know that both kinds of hunger can be satisfied.
Friends, shall we go feed the hungry?