Dear friends and prayer partners,
Well, what a new season! NEW certainly does mean NEW!! We are praying that you are keeping healthy in your body, mind and soul! Here in Oxford we are in a “lockdown”, initially for the next 3 weeks with a review to see if it needs to continue for longer. So everything has changed in a moment. A crazy busy schedule is now empty and my suitcase can go in the attic and I get to sleep in my own bed for weeks rather than a few days. We cannot go outside our houses except in emergencies and for essential groceries. As I thought about the word LOCKDOWN, it seems so negative and prison-like. But then I prayed and felt God say, “this is a matter of perspective, Rachel – What do you see?” So I asked God, “what SHOULD I see?” He said to me, “take this as a time of enforced rest – change your rhythm of life and have 12 weeks’ sabbatical with your family and me. I can teach you to rest, refresh and have times of revelation in the midst of this storm or you can continue with your mentality which will lead to a routine laced with anxiety and fear.” So I cried out to God, “please teach me to win in this season!” I pray that through this season you will be able to sing – IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL! I pray that you will find rest, comfort and strength and the joy of Jesus will shine through you. I pray that you will know God as your personal provider and financial help in this time. Be calm but DO NOT carry on!
As a ministry, we had a very full itinerary scheduled for the next few months with a lot of UK and international travel planned but all of these appointments have been cancelled until at least June and could even be beyond. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that the Heartcry team has been “grounded” – we are unable to travel to fulfil any ministry invitations due to the current travel bans and advice from our governments to stay at home in a lockdown situation. We are so thankful for the power of online media and the ability to use the airwaves at this time to send out a strong message of hope right into your homes! We have felt that it is so important not only to be well informed and socially responsible in heeding the advice of those in authority but that we should also encourage one another to adopt and maintain a faith-filled perspective in these tough times. It is easy to let our hearts become fearful as we hear the reports of sickness and death all around us but we must fix our eyes on Jesus and learn to take refuge in Him. Like many of you, we have been praying Psalm 91 over our lives daily.
Believe it or not we did have a life before coronavirus and in early March we were able to travel to Northern Ireland, meet with a prayer team in Stormont (the Northern Irish parliament), minister at the Rose Conference in Ballymena and meet with friends. We had an amazing time in the presence of Jesus and were so aware of Him strengthening us to stand in the wilderness. Now, with the global effect of the virus beginning to impact everyone, these times of ministry and impartation seem so poignant. God goes ahead to prepare us to stand with joy in tough times.
Those of you who have heard Rachel preach at the start of this year will be aware of the word that she has carried from Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT): “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Many prophetic voices have sensed God say “new means new” but very few of us would have imagined what we are currently experiencing worldwide to be the catalyst for that new move. And yet the story of the Bible and Christian history illustrate that it is usually in the wilderness that the new is birthed and we are given the privilege and responsibility to partner with God in crafting the new path that will lead us through the desert. If you have not listened to Rachel’s reflections on this key Scripture, we would encourage you to do so. A recent version of her message can be found on our Facebook and Heartcry for Change YouTube channel in the message Rachel preached for UK Mother’s Day on March 22.
As we’ve prayed about how to continue to bring messages of hope and encouragement to you, God has given us a 21 day strategy leading up to the feast of Passover which, in the Hebraic calendar, is one week long starting on April 8th and ending on April 16th and incorporates Easter. So for the next 21 days, starting this Friday, March 28th, we will develop a rhythm of a daily “3 station watch”: Rachel will bring a message of hope each morning at 8am; Helen will share a nugget of truth from the Bible for our midday stand, and we will continue to share an evening reflection using Rachel’s audiobook, Pathway of Peace. This will be our Monday – Saturday rhythm. On Sundays, we will share a longer message at 8am. Rachel’s Mother’s Day message from Sunday March 22nd is still available online if you missed it. This Sunday, Rachel will give a prophetic overview of this season.
Below you will find links to these resources. If you are on Facebook, the simplest way will be for you to access everything from there. For those who follow us on Instagram only, please use Facebook for this season. For those who do not use Facebook, our video messages will also be posted on our YouTube channel and the evening audio reflections can be accessed through the Resources page of our website. Please pray for us as we adjust to this new way of ministering and fulfilling our mandate to be a prophetic voice with a compassionate heart. We trust that the mix of prophetic and pastoral encouragement, along with biblical perspective, will be a help and strength to you. Here are the relevant links:
- Short “thought for the day” messages at 8am and 12noon to encourage you from the Word of God will be available on our Facebook page and You Tube channel. The evening reflections, which are audio only, will be accessible through the link on our Facebook page or directly from the Resources page of our website.
- Longer messages will be released on Sundays. You may like to subscribe to our You Tube Channel to be notified of new content when it is posted.
- We are also delighted that Gordon Hickson’s book Harnessed for Adventure is now available in audiobook format through our website’s shop. This audiobook, narrated by Gordon, is FULL of powerful stories of God’s miracle working power which is guaranteed to boost your faith in these challenging days. We are making it available at a special sale price (please select GBP £ or USD $ on the shop site for your chosen currency).
- Finally, although shipping services may not be the most reliable in these days, we would like to remind you that all of our books are available in e-book format through our website including Rachel Hickson’s latest book I Love Prayer. Maybe you know someone for whom a good book would be a real blessing while we are all in lockdown!
We pray for you today that you and your families and friends will know God’s peace and angelic protection and that you will see good fruit and a bountiful harvest come out of this season. Thank you also for praying for the Heartcry Team – we so appreciate your support and encouragement. Financial gifts can be given through the website’s donate button at this time (click the “support us” tab from the homepage) or by emailing email@example.com to request our bank BACS details. We have needed to close our offices at CMS House so please use email for all correspondence. We are not able to collect mail and cheques from the office at the moment due to the government lockdown. We are so grateful for those who have sent gifts and messages of encouragement.
Thank you for your partnership and generosity.
Rachel & Gordon and Helen.