Love the one in front of you

cell2bphone2bbasketHeidi Baker with her husband Roland founded and leads an organization called Iris Ministries. One of their primary functions was to establish an orphanage for the unwanted children of Mozambique Africa. Heidi’s mission statement at the time was to simply, “love the one in front of you.” Because of this strong intentional love for the people around her Iris experienced explosive growth throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. More and more children found a home in Iris. Iris currently feeds well over 10,000 children a day, as well as various members of many other communities.

In America, the children of our generation are known as the “always on” generation. It is said that children born after year 2000 when coming of age will be connected to the internet virtually seamlessly, this is not far from the truth. Even today, at the halfway mark you see our youth walking down the street together, ignoring each other and texting someone else. On the bus, youth are each plugged in with their personal iPods, iPhones, and other listening devices ignoring the natural conversations around them. Even family dinners and most social events digress to each other face-booking, texting, and youtube sharing instead of allowing real interaction.

This new generation is fighting a unique form of a timeless battle, isolation. Even more than before, as the divorce rate increases and broken families become the majority, this generation craves belonging.

So let us learn from Heidi and make an intentional effort to reach out and love the people around us. Let us spend less time texting our friend across the country and more time focusing on the the people that God has given to us, right here, right now. Let us revolutionize this generation with the love of Christ by simply unplugging from our devices and loving those in front of us.

If you would like to learn more about Heidi Baker and Iris ministries watch this short clip as well as the movie called “Mama Heidi”