Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learning to Love by Heidi & Rolland Baker

This is essentially a book about Iris Ministries, which is centered out of Mozambique, Africa.  The Bakers share their passion for the poor and show what it looks like to stop and care for the one in front of you.  While there is some teaching and application to be taken from the book, it is mostly an account of God's power and miracles being displayed in Africa through this ministry.

On a positive note, the stories shared are eye-opening.  Miracles such as healings that we Americans find so hard to believe in are very common in a land of desperate need and strong faith.  To think that the deaf hearing and the blind seeing are "normal" occurrences simply amazes me.  While I don't feel the call to be an overseas missionary, it is so encouraging to hear how entire villages are hungry for the Word and have been transformed due to the Body of Christ.  I also really enjoyed the pictures throughout the book.  It helped me to visualize the land and the people who are being reached.

My only critique is that the text didn't flow well.  It seemed like a series of ministry newsletters stacked together and bound into a book!  I'm not even sure if there was a chronological order to the chapters. 

Heidi writes "I realize that reading this account of what God is doing in Mozambique can seem terrifying, overwhelming, and somewhat detached from the day-to-day reality of life for many.  Or is it?  If there is one thing I have learned it is this: Poverty and desperation do not always look the way we expect.  There are countless thousands in our world who need someone to stop for them, someone to show them God's kindness and mercy...There are people in need where you are, just as there are people in need where I am".

The main message here is to pay attention to those who are right in front of you and be obedient to do what you can do - so that God can love others through you.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.

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