Review | Learning to Love by Heidi and Rolland Baker

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Learning to Love: Passion, compassion and the essence of the Gospelby Heidi and Rolland Baker

Chosen Books | January 2013

Heidi and Rolland Baker’s newest book Learning to Love provides an excellent continuation to the narrative of their personal journey, and the development of Iris ministries in Mozambique. It spans several years worth of miraculous daily encounters as well as clearly articulating the reality of the hardship of dedicating one’s life fully unto the ministry of the Gospel. Written evenly by both Rolland and Heidi, this book provides a fresh view of the work God is doing in Africa. It tells poignant recent testimonies, and is filled to overflowing with the practical, basic and simple steps that that are so fundamental in this journey of learning to love. But even more than all of this, Learning to Love provides the reader with an understanding of the heartbeat and DNA of Iris ministries, and the core values that make us uniquely who we are.

Rolland takes the time to brilliantly articulate and record on paper what the fundamental elements of this walk of faith are. He shares the inseparable (or as he so fittingly puts it, “non-negotiable”) elements of his and Heidi’s journey with God amongst the poorest people on earth. Being a long-term missionary here in Pemba, I get the privilege of seeing this unfold before me on a daily basis. I never cease to be astounded by the degree to which the Bakers live connected to the Father, grounded in the Word and living this testimony out before me. In my opinion, this book provides the most complete perspective as to who and what Iris ministries is, in addition to a snapshot of how life in Mozambique functions.

The book is not only a narrative but it also provides a challenge. There are devotionals and reflections by Heidi and Rolland that provide a reader with portions of scripture to mull over, in keeping with the stories and principles discussed.

One of my favorite elements to this book is that both Heidi and Rolland reveal their inner theologians, and not only tell inspiring stories about ministry to the poor, but provide authentic biblical support and insight, intertwined with their revelation of God’s love. Rolland comes to the fore while discussing the core values of Iris. This book provides something for everyone, it has inspirational testimonies of God’s power and love, but also has intelligent discussions about God’s character and nature, and our relationship to him. It provides a unique perspective into the minds and hearts of Heidi and Rolland that is rarely seen from the pulpit, and is a wonderful snapshot of the wealth of wisdom and knowledge that both of these incredible leaders walk in.

Of all of the literature that Iris ministries has produced, Learning to Love has quickly become my personal favorite, as I have been driven back to it multiple times for re-reads. It is inspirational, challenging, and at times provocative. Provocative in that it challenges a reader to consciously examine their own relationship with the Lord with almost every turn of the page.

I would quickly recommend it to any person with a desire to be inspired in God, but for those with a desire to more fully understand Iris ministries, I would say it is a must read. 

Used by permission. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available from Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.