Heart of a Warrior

Heart of a Warrior. I love how that sounds. Bold. Courageous. Daring. Like something out of the movie, Braveheart. Not like the name of a training on healing and deliverance. And I think that is why Tim and Olga Erickson chose this title to christen the training for Overcoming Strongholds, a ministry out of Kansas City that helps disciple people into truth and freedom.

Tim and Olga’s approach is incredibly refreshing: they threw out everything in the inner healing community that they couldn’t find scriptural basis for and went back to the Bible. Their training manual contains over 400 scriptures to back their approach.

Matt and I were incredibly blessed when we went out to Kansas City in mid-October to receive training from Overcoming Strongholds and we wanted to share a small nugget with you. The illustration shown below, The View of God Illustration, is one of five illustrations used by the ministry to illustrate Biblical truths and lead contenders into freedom.


Our view of God often will line up with something that we encountered when we were younger. Many times we believe that circumstances, the devil or the unknown are bigger than we are or are bigger than God is because we have the wrong view of God and of our new identity in Christ. We can become so focused on the situations that have wounded us, the devil or the things we do not understand that we feel defeated and lose sight of the power of God to free us. (1Co 14:33, Rom 8:15, 1Jo 4:18)


Our view of God is crucial! We must repent of the lies we have believed about who God is and who we are in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe on the Word of God to establish a refuge of truth for us (Ps 46:1). When we do, we will see the enemy of our souls as defeated, the situations we have encountered and the questions that have arisen in our souls as powerless and arise as overcomers.  We must remind ourselves of the truth that God is greater and He has made us victorious. (Rev 12:11, Isa 54:17, Luk 10:19, 1Jo 4:4, Psa 56:9, Rom 8:35-39)


Jedidiah just turned 9 months old on the first. We love our little guy so much! He loves exploring and is constantly on the go, has 2 sharp little teeth, says da-da and ma-ma, when we go out he gets all the attention and always smiles at strangers! He is full of life and we are so thankful for our little one.

We were blessed during the training to be reminded of how crucial it is to build our lives upon the truths seen in the Word of God. Many times, it is easy for us as believers to get so caught up in the struggles we face that we lose sight of the simplicity of the gospel to set free the soul.

We loved the focus in the Heart of a Warrior Training on using the Word to free the captive unto raising up and discipling wholehearted lovers of Jesus. We appreciated the simplified approach to the journey to freedom and deliverance. It really affirmed to me what the Lord had spoken to my heart years ago about bringing the ladyboys of Thailand into freedom – that if we just bring them to a place where they can encounter the Lord and the truth of the gospel they will be changed from the inside out.

We hope this has blessed you! Maybe this has stirred up questions for you – we would love to connect with you! Feel free to send us an email or give us a call at 970-405-0328.

Ruach (the breath of God),
Amy and Matt Baldwin



She came flying out of the bar in a flash so quick I was confident a bar girl had decided to up her attempts. Then the streak of blue landed and I looked into familiar eyes. The joy of seeing her quickly faded as I realized she had not come to see a friend at this bar… it was her new job. A deep part of me ached. Her children were at home in Isaan with her family who had encouraged her to return to her brokenness. And she had returned, alone, to seek a man and riches in a city that’s glittering lights offer false hope of such dreams becoming a reality. The freedom once within her grasp through a fresh start once offered through the loving care of a Christian organization seemed now to lie firmly in her past. She was moving forward now… back into a cage when she once was a bird set free.

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

– “I know why the caged bird sings”   Maya Angelou

Little Ones To Him Belong…

She is Cambodian. Probably 5 or 6. And incredibly sweet and mischievous. He is also from Cambodia… around the same age. They look like brother and sister. I heard they are, but I have no real way of knowing. Khmer and Thai are such different languages. She’s a quick one. She stole my Nalgene when I set it down to take their picture. But I guess I did let her. I couldn’t take it from her… not with the smile she wore. That was in September 2008.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was heading home late at night with a friend I saw her alone on the songtaew. Her brother, if he is her brother, wasn’t there. No parents. She can’t be much older than 7 or 8 now. I immediately recognized her. I don’t know if she remembered me or or not… but the entire songthaew ride home, we made silly faces at each other. And she copied everything I did. I never caught her name.

Later that week, I saw her in the downtown area begging. She remembered me this time for sure and her face lit up. I stopped for a few moments to say hello before heading on.

Then one day, as I was sitting in our office I saw her walk by with an older woman. Ying, one of my Thai teammates, immediately knew she was Cambodian, that she lived in the slum outside the city and that she came every day into town to beg in the area that I saw her in earlier that week.

My heart ached to do something for her. Though I’m saddened that she has no true childhood, I’m glad that she’s working as a beggar and not selling herself. I wonder what has happened to her brother though. I have not seen him yet.

There’s a child shrieking with laughter down the hall from my room as I write this. I wish that my little friend could share in this laughter for more than one songthaew ride. But I have to leave her and her brother in His hands, and trust that little ones to Him belong. Though they are weak and vulnerable, He is strong on their behalf.

Scrawlings in the Sand…

After being on the beach one day with prostitutes, drug dealers, abusive husbands, and battered women, I began to wonder, “What did Jesus write in the sand that day that caused the silence of the Pharisees? What was it about this Friend of sinners that left these accusations in the dust?” (See John 8:2-11)

Did He write, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord” (Hosea 2:19-20)?

Did He write from the prophets, reminding them of how their torn love from the Father was like being caught in the act of adultery?

Did He list out the laws… all the major and minor that we are not capable of keeping?

Did He write the secrets of men’s hearts?

Did He write of His faithful love?

Does it matter what He wrote? Or was it simply that LOVE, incarnate, was in their midst?

Many have wondered. I am wondering now because I feel as though I am sometimes caught by those, who though well meaning, are trying to set a trap for me. “In the law of Moses…” they say. Oh but what does the law of Love say? Does this Love demand that we lay down our sin before we can approach Him? Or does it take on our sin, knowing full well we cannot overcome our brokenness on our own?

Many point out that Jesus told this woman, “Go and sin no more.”

How many see that Jesus told the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7)?

I am not without sin. I refuse to throw a stone at these ones. I will let Him be the one to say, “Go and sin no more.” I will hear Him whisper this in my own ear. I will read His scrawlings in the sand until these marks of love are inscribed on my heart. But I let my stone fall to the ground. I will learn the way of love, from the One who came, not to condemn, but to save. And I will walk with Him in this way so that Love is made more manifest in me.

“So you will not take me?”

I heard this week…

A ladyboy stopped by a new training center, wanting to glean some job skills.

“Are you a Christian center?” she asked.

“Yes,” came the reply.

Dejected. “So you will not take me?”

“Oh, no! I will take you. You come.”

The ladyboy has not come.

Oh, God… What have we done?