I’d like to tell you how I met Heidi Baker! God has been so kind to introduce me to his eagles in earth—some hidden and some famous. Each person is a treasure and I hope that eternity will show that I’ve recorded their lives with truth, love, and honor to our King! C. Hope Flinchbaugh
1960 to Present American America’s Greatest Missionary
The first time I “met” Heidi Baker, I interviewed her on the phone about her IRIS Ministries in Mozambique, Africa. Randy Clark, the man used as a fire starter of the Toronto Blessing in the mid-1990’s, introduced me to Heidi. Although Heidi and Rolland Baker were not well known in America at the time, they were famous in the Kingdom of Heaven. Since my assignment from God is to write about His eagles in the earth, I was eager to talk to her!
Heidi doesn’t often share this with people, but she actually grew up in a beautiful beach home in California, right next to famous actors and actresses such as Zsa Zsa Gabor. Although her family would be deemed “rich” by most Americans, the love of money could not find a root in Heidi’s heart. Her sister told me in a later phone interview how Heidi often came home with a lost or sick animal and relentlessly dedicated hours into nursing it back to health. She had a heart for the underdog, the sick, the desperate, and threw herself passionately into whatever need was in front of her. As a young girl, Heidi was an accomplished dancer and choreographer with shining blue eyes and long flowing blonde hair.
When I was on the phone with Heidi that first time, I wanted to hear her testimony. So I asked Heidi, “How did you come to know the Lord?” I typed while Heidi talked. Here’s what she told me: I was an American field service student in central Mississippi. There were 500 Indians (Native Americans) in a revival in an Indian reservation. I was the only white person there as a junior in high school. I wanted to look at people from inside and love all people. I sure found out how!
The preacher said, “I hated all white people.” As he went on about how he hated all white people, I wanted to get up and walk out ‘cause I was the only white person there among 500 Indians.
Then he said, “I wanted to learn how to love them. A man came into my heart and taught me how to love all people and see them from the inside. That man was Jesus.”
That was my exact prayer! I wanted to learn how to love people from the inside. He had an altar call. No one moved in the whole place. I went forward. I was the only one. I bawled my eyes out and they tried to calm me down. “It’s okay.” I said, “No it’s not, I’m a sinner.”
A Pentecostal holiness woman played the organ in that Baptist church. The next night she took me to her church and I was baptized in the Holy Ghost, spoke in tongues.
Five months later I was caught up in a vision and bright light. God said, “Be a minister and a missionary and go to Africa, Asia, and England.” I’ve certainly done that! Twelve years in Asia, three years in England and now four years in Africa. I train pastors and teach them how to plant churches.
I told her, “I’ve always wanted to be a missionary in Africa. I always thought that was the most I could do for God, but he wants me to stay here and raise a family and write.”
Heidi answered, “Well, Hope, if that’s in your heart then God will let you go to Africa.”
“Really?” I questioned. Then I laughed. “I’ve never even been on a plane before.”
Heidi didn’t back down. “If that’s in your heart, then I think God will give you the desire of your heart. He loves to do that. Come and see us!”
Six months later I was carrying pizzas to our kitchen table after paying the pizza delivery guy. The phone rang. It was Randy Clark. “Hope, if you will write Heidi’s story, I will pay your way to Africa.”
I nearly dropped the pizzas! I didn’t tell Randy, but I’d been fasting for a few weeks, seeking God concerning His will for my life. All of my life, Africa seemed like a fantasy dream. Now it was being offered to me, all expenses paid! After I talked to my husband, he agreed that God was in this. I said, “YES!” and the rest is history. Hope Flinchbaugh FINALLY went to Africa! Oh! And as God would have it I met TWO eagles in the kingdom, face to face—Rolland and Heidi Baker. (I’ll tell you about Rolland in a future blog).
I am so honored to tell you part of Heidi’s story in this blog today. You may read my most recent article on Heidi at this E-zine article by Destiny Image!