Well-known American missionary Heidi Baker has appealed for prayers as violent Islamic militants edge closer to her ministry base in Pemba, Mozambique.
Baker, who leads Iris Global ministries, recently took to Facebook to update followers on the current situation. She wrote that “recently a number of Christians have been killed here,” adding that “women have been raped and many homes have been burned” by Islamic terrorists.
“Our enemies are not men and women, but the dark spirit of the enemy who desires to kill, steal, and destroy,” she continued. “We forgive those who do not understand what they are doing, and we ask for peace to flow from heaven into the hearts of our neighbors, and to surround our people like a wall.”
Then, in an official statement released by Irish Global on June 10, Baker offered further details surrounding the perilous situation:
“Since October 2017 there has been a group of militant extremists responsible for scores of attacks against government institutions and civilians in the north of Mozambique where we live. They are targeting anyone who opposes their brand of terror. In the last few weeks these attacks have intensified in frequency and brutality. Each attack has involved killing and burning houses. People were beheaded in at least six villages, two of which are within two hours drive of our Pemba base. Villagers are fleeing for their lives, carrying nothing with them, and have become refugees in the bush or on offshore islands.”
“We are praying for peace in Mozambique and our hearts mourn for the families who have lost loved ones,” Baker wrote. “Our leadership team is in constant prayer, daily evaluating the situation to determine the best precautions for our staff. Based on the current situation, we feel confident to remain home in Pemba with our missionaries and Mozambican team.”
However, due to the grave situation, the Iris missionary school, “Harvest” has had to move to South Africa, with all the students having their visas revoked from Mozambique for security reasons.
“Please pray with us in this troubling time for God’s strength for our brothers and sisters living all over our province of Cabo Delgado, that we can all shine more than ever in these dark days. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our admin team in California,” Iris stated.
According to human rights organization Amnesty International, over the past two weeks, 37 people have been killed by the militant Islamic terror group known as al-Shabab.
“At least 10 people were hacked to death in the latest appalling attack in Cabo Delgado, where an escalation in violence has left civilians at the mercy of this brutal militant group and forced many to flee their homes,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa. “The gruesome ways in which these killings are carried out shows this group’s intent to sow fear among civilians. The Mozambican authorities must take immediate and effective action to end the killings.”
Pemba is more or less safe. We are taking precautions with curfews and the Harvest School students are going to continue…
“Pemba is more or less safe. We are taking precautions with curfews and the Harvest School students are going to continue in South Africa,” Baker posted on Tuesday. “Please continue to pray for the people of the entire province as many many villagers have fled their homes in fear. Thousands have been displaced. Many are sleeping outside without supplies. We are praying night and day for the right strategies to bring aid and comfort to our neighbors in such terrible distress.”
Heidi and Rolland Baker formed Iris Global in 1980, running health clinics, schools and feeding programs for the poor.
Please pray for the Bakers, their team and all those under threat from these brutal militants.