The Power Behind The Miracles in Mozambique

A couple of months ago I posted on Healing Miracles in Mozambique, noting the healings of blindness and deafness that were documented in a medical journal.  These reports raise the question: why are such things happening with Heidi and Rolland’s ministry in Mozambique, but not generally elsewhere?  In their most recent newsletter  ( here ),  “Core Values at Iris: Simple, Controversial and Not Optional!,” Rolland and Heidi explicitly address this question.  I recommend going to the newsletter link above for the full story, but will post some excerpts from Rolland below the astericks here.  My main take-away is that they keep as first priority an experiential personal relationship with God, a relationship that is so positive and passionate that they describe it as “romantic:” Jesus is a spiritual lover, our perfect and ultimate companion. Our first value is to know Him in a passionate relationship with a love that is stronger than death.        In a nine-minute video here, Heidi shares some miracles and her view of what lies behind them (“fruitfulness flows from intimacy”).

******************************  EXCERPT:  **********************************

But we have discovered that some key elements of our lives and ministry in Jesus are controversial, although absolutely necessary. We think they should all be normal in the Christian life and in Christian ministries everywhere, not special and unusual. Heidi and I began naively in these areas, but now realize we must prize, protect and nurture these values in our hearts, and impart them to others. …

1) We understand that we can find God, and can experience intimacy, communication and companionship with Him in His Presence, if we share His love for righteousness.

Missions has often been taught as unromantic; it is disciplined obedience to the Great Commission. Prayer is hard work, feelings are irrelevant, getting the job done is what counts. We don’t need spiritual experience to proclaim the Gospel…

We feel the opposite. We’ve gone through enough fire and hardship to know that without actually finding God, in fulfillment of Jer. 29:13, we cannot do what we do. We cannot love with supernatural, unstoppable love unless we actually experience the love of the Father for us first. As the radiance and exact image of the invisible God, Jesus is a spiritual lover, our perfect and ultimate companion. Our first value is to know Him in a passionate relationship with a love that is stronger than death (Song 8:6). We major first of all not on mission strategy, methods, projects and fund-raising, but having the life that the world needs and craves.

But neither are we attracted to mindless, impersonal mysticism, experience without content and relationship. We pursue passion and truth, not just eastern balance and serenity with no actual basis for happiness. We relate to God with our minds and hearts both; we engage with Him, and find life and joy in our interaction. …

2) We are totally dependent on Him for everything, and we need and expect miracles of all kinds to sustain us and confirm the Gospel in our ministry….We don’t apologize for seeking and valuing power, because without it love is incomplete and ineffectual.

Heidi and I began our life of missions with the dream of living out the Sermon on the Mount, taking Jesus at His word that we did not have to worry about tomorrow. We imagined addressing extreme human need by example, living without anxiety, free to bless always with pure motives, looking to God alone for what our hearts and bodies need. We turn neither to the left nor to the right to gain support.

3) We look for revival among the broken, humble and lowly, and start at the bottom with ministry to the poor. God chooses the weak and despised things of the world to shame the proud, demonstrating His own strength and wisdom. … We waste our time on the uninfluential and the few, stopping for the one.

4) We understand the value of suffering in the Christian life. Learning to love requires willingness to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Discipline and testing make saints out of us, and produce in us the holiness without which we will not see His face and share His glory. … Under great pressure we learn to rely on God, who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9)…..There is no shortcut to our heavenly inheritance. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom. 8:17).

5) The joy of the Lord is not optional, and it far outweighs our suffering! In Jesus it becomes our motivation, reward and spiritual weapon. In His Presence is fullness of joy, and with Paul we testify that in all our troubles our joy knows no bounds (2 Cor. 7:4). It is our strength and energy, without which we die.

The supernatural joy of the Lord may be the most controversial of our core values! But our aim is to impart so much of the Holy Spirit that people cannot stop bubbling over with love and joy! … We are not cynical and downcast about the world and the church, but are thrilled with our perfect Savior, who is able to finish what He began in us. … Joy, laughter and a light heart are not disrespectful of God and incongruous in this world, but are evidence of the life of heaven.

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About ScottBuchanan

Ph D chemical engineer, interested in intersection of science with my evangelical Christian faith. This intersection includes creation(ism) and miracles. I also write on random topics of interest, such as economics, folding scooters, and composting toilets. Background: B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, a year at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a year working as a plumber and a lab technician. Then a B.S.E. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Since then, conducted research in an industrial laboratory. Published a number of papers on heterogeneous catalysis, and an inventor on over 100 U.S. patents in diverse technical areas.
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5 Responses to The Power Behind The Miracles in Mozambique

  1. Pingback: Healing Miracles in Mozambique: Medical Journal | Letters to Creationists

  2. Arkenaten says:

    If intercessory prayer was a genuine option then every medical institution would have Christian faith healers/ prayers on hand, ready to dash to the aid of surgeons at the drop of a surgical mask or scalpel.

    For similar reasons, if the the pilot of an aircraft does not want to induce an aircraft-wide infarctions he won’t announce over the radio to his passengers that he is going to land the aircraft by praying to Jesus to, ”take the wheel”.

    Such claims are irresponsible, and under certain circumstances potentially dangerous and life threatening.
    Think of those idiotic Pentecostals and their snakes or those fanatics who have withheld medical attention for their kids..

    If Jesus felt the need to ”Help Out” the very last thing an omniscient being would have any need of would be somewhat pathetic entreaties, and if this was what it really took to get His (sic) attention then it suggests Jesus is capricious and not a very nice god at all .

    Regards
    Ark.

    • Ark,
      You are, of course, quite correct to say that it would be irresponsible to neglect natural medical capabilities in favor of prayer. That is not something that the New Testament advocates, either. Paul advised his young associate Timothy to drink some wine, in addition to water, for the sake of the stomach. He acknowledged that physical exercise was beneficial, etc.

      We live in a space-time world with normally predictable cause and effect, which makes moral choices possible. This is a world of pain and pleasure, joy and horror, the world which produced you and your loved ones. It is our choice whether to complain or be grateful for it.

      It is worth noting that the New Testament perspective is that eternity matters more than this life. This is only logical, since compared to eternity, this life is hardly the blink of an eye. Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the world and to lose his soul?”. Paul clearly acknowledged, “If we have hoped in Christ for this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” (I Cor 15:19).
      That does not give us license to act irresponsibly or unkindly in this life because it is so short; on the contrary, we will live forever with the moral implications of our deeds (“their deeds will follow them”, Rev. 14:13) so the eternal perspective furnishes provides additional motivation to whatever natural inclinations we have towards treating our fellows well. (I realize that this eternal perspective can be abused and lead to atrocities, but so can a this-worldly worldview, so let’s not get into an atheist/theist debate of comparing body counts; I am merely trying to explain to you how a Christian can deal consistently with the issue of pain and disappointment in this life).

      If you are totally focused on this life, then maximizing pleasure/minimizing pain therein can be a supreme virtue. Paul acknowledged the logic there: If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (I Cor 15:32). If you do not look beyond this life, I can certainly understand your annoyance at a God who does not always heal or otherwise minimize pain. It is perhaps worth noting that (in the Christian understanding), in the person of Jesus, God himself entered fully into this life of suffering.

      Paul was no stranger to unanswered prayer. Nor was Jesus. There are no guarantees here. We present our requests to God, and it is up to him to answer: yes, no, later, something better, etc. This is a complex and poignant topic, which I deal with in https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/prayer-for-healing-at-bethel-church/ and in the comments there.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You acknowledge I am correct in my assertion then fly off on a theological tangent to try to justify prayer?
        Templeton sponsored the most extensive ”experiment” on intercessory prayer and is was a complete failure, some patients even suffering negative effect when made aware that others were praying for their recovery!

        You are a clever bloke. I am serious, and I applaud your efforts regarding YEC, but please stop trying to suggest there is any evidence for any of the claims you are making.Rather say ”I have faith” and I will accept this,
        I won’t ever agree, but i will not argue your right to believe it.

        (Paul was no stranger to unanswered prayer.) Nor was Jesus.

        And who exactly was Jesus praying to, he being god, of course, yes?

      • Not “clever”, just trying to let the facts speak instead of imposing my opinions on them.
        Again, you are bringing up issues that I addressed already, so let’s draw this dialogue to a close here. I already explained why the type of impersonal, distant reading names off the list in the Benson study is a very different animal than personal, proximate prayer (PPP). You just don’t seem to want to understand that.

        This Mozambique study, conducted by a team from a US university, and published in a US medical journal, showed significant results from PPP. My blog also has a link to a YouTube https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/healing-of-nearly-deaf-boy-on-youtube/ where you can see a boy in Brazil having his hearing dramatically improved as a result of PPP . In the Bethel church link I just provided you previously, I give several more instances that I have personally observed.

        Any objective observer would (absent reason to believe that everyone involved reporting these events are pathological liars) acknowledge these as “evidence” that PPP can (sometimes, not always) help bring about unexpected healing. Which is all that I am claiming. If you insist on discounting all these instances, that is your business, but it is a matter of your worldview versus real world observations.

        I will note again what I have said repeatedly before, that I am not claiming that all of these instances of significant healing as a result of PPP are supernatural miracles. There may be a psychosomatic element, where the person senses the love and the hope of the person praying with them and that has a positive effect. But of course this interpersonal dynamic would take place only with PPP, not with reading names off a list 100 miles away.

        Trinity = 3 persons (who can interact with one another), 1 essence. If I were going to invent a God, it would be a nice simple unitarian one. But, as with modern physics, reality is sometimes more complex than we would think. As usual, I try to accept what is, instead of rail against it.
        Best wishes….

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