Heidi Baker is a well known Christian figure particularly due to her ministry efforts and accounts of miracle healing. Through years of hard work, struggle, pain, and reward in Mozambique and beyond, a story well worth reading (1), Baker is now the President and CEO of Iris Global Missionary. She is also an author of books on Christian spirituality as well as a popular speaker. Through these mediums she is able to communicate her truly unique experience and walk with God. What makes Baker quite remarkable, however, is that some of her miracles having been medically documented, as we shall review shortly.
Having heard of Baker’s ministry interested pastors have taken to visit her. Pastor Jose Lino explains that “It’s not just Heidi. I see the same miracles when I pray for healing. It comes from God alone.” Another pastor who brings teams of young people to Pemba observes, “Here, healings come easily. We’ve prayed for the blind all over the world, and only five times have people been healed. But here, it happens most of the time. To tell you the truth, I don’t understand it.” However, it wasn’t long until the claims surrounding Baker’s ministry caught the attention of western scholar and researcher Candy Gunther Brown. Brown is a Professor in religious studies at Indiana University who has since identified Heidi as being “a hero to young women.” (2).
However, Brown was so intrigued by the claims of healing that she looked to verify them scientifically. She travelled to Mozambique with a small team so that they could accompany Baker on her outreaches. Through this Brown and her team were able to test 24 Mozambicans before and after healing prayer with remarkable results. Her team detected statistically significant improvements in hearing and vision for those of whom Baker had prayed for and who, previously to being prayed for, had impairments. Brown has since published the results in the 2010 edition of the Southern Medical Journal, and it is also available online for all to access (3). One can further engage the study at the US National Library of Medicine (4) as well as interact with a PDF (5). Their conclusion was that there was medical, scientific evidence of “significant improvements” in auditory and visual function among subjects exhibiting impairment before receiving prayer from the ministry. It is, however, extremely unlikely that these documented improvements can be explained away as merely chance improvements. In nearly all cases the healing of vision and hearing in previously blind and mute individuals requires serious and costly medical surgery and intervention. The research team thus concluded that “Mozambican subjects did exhibit improved auditory and/or visual acuity…”
Beyond this evidence Baker’s ministry is further associated with other remarkable claims including the multiplying of food (6), to raising the dead which have led thousands to Jesus. Professor Craig Keener in his two volumes investigative tome on miracles explains that “Unless one works from controlling presuppositions that miracles cannot occur, most would consider the Bakers credible sources” (7). Keener has interacted with several eyewitnesses who have all affirmed miracles within Baker’s ministry. This included a “young filmmaker” who witnessed hearing being restored to the deaf. Amanda Hammill Kaminski, who had met Heidi Baker through YWAM, informed Keener that her roommate had spent some time working with Baker and during that time witnessed numerous conspicuously visible miracles. Another eyewitness, Kathy Evans, who works with the Bakers’ ministry, visited them with a team of students and witnessed a middle-aged man born deaf being fully healed. According to Keener there are multiple, credible “independently confirmed reports about the ministry of the Bakers and their Mozambican colleagues…”
According to Baker the formula is simple, “When we walk as Jesus walked, we will be blessed” (8).
1. Chan, P. 2012. Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned. Available.
2. Chan, P. 2012. Ibid.
3. Brown, C., Mory, S. Williams, R. & McClymond, M. 2010. “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Rural Mozambique” in Southern Medical Journal. 103 (9): 864–869.
4. Study of the therapeutic effects of proximal intercessory prayer (STEPP) on auditory and visual impairments in rural Mozambique. Available.
5. PDF. Available.
6. Biswell, C. Heidi Baker: Intimacy for Miracles. Available.
7. Keener, C. Miracles. p. 503-505 (Scribd ebook format)
8. Biswell, C. Ibid.