Our dear Heartcry friends,
July has been a month of connections for us here in Heartcry. Unfortunately, our planned break away was horribly wet and so the notion of romantic walks on the beach at sunset soon evaporated! It was cold, damp and windy. We were brave and ventured on several walks getting soaked a couple of times but the last evening the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the Norfolk coast. So, after completing a VERY WET few days away in Norfolk we were ready to see REAL people and spend time hearing their stories of this past 18 months.
Having spent months in front of a computer screen speaking endlessly on Zoom with leaders, churches and prayer meetings it has been wonderful to have the opportunity to reconnect and meet friends, pastors, leaders and influencers face to face. We have travelled to Leicester and connected with friends and leaders from Lincoln and Nottingham area, driven to Wales to reconnect with the leaders of a Prayer Retreat, travelled to Portsmouth and chatted with the leaders of a church on the south coast and been to Devon and the NDHOP and some leaders of a church in Exeter. After many conversations I have realised that this season has been a challenge for many, leaving them feeling uncertain of what lies ahead and weary after the effort of trying to keep momentum alive in these stressful days of uncertainty. There is a real cry for friendship and encouragement and the need to give time for long conversations so that we can begin to see more clearly. I feel many of us are carrying this cry for CLARITY!
As I have considered this season, I felt God say many of us have felt we have been walking on a very tight leash, on a short rein, and we have only been able to take one step at a time. We have not had the permission from God or the ability in the Spirit to see the full journey ahead yet. We have been walking in a time of God’s word being a lamp to our feet rather than a light to our path. God has been with us and is directing us but we cannot run as we cannot see clearly the path ahead so we have to walk slowly. But this season will change and we will have the ability to see more long term again and have the light to our path too. But, for now, we need to be patient and wait to see. In Mark we read this story of the healing of the blind man:
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
Here we see that Jesus touched the blind man and he could only see in part – he had no long range vision – men looked strange, like trees walking. But as the man waited and received a touch from Jesus for a second time, suddenly he had clarity and saw everything clearly. Jesus can be with us, touching our lives, healing us but still we are only seeing in part. I want to pray for MORE CLARITY to know the way ahead and an understanding of the longer journey out of this COVID season. I want to pray that God will open your eyes so that you can see completely and so that your vision is no longer indistinct and blurry. You will see and understand the days ahead.
I have also had an exciting time this month! I was able to preach to my first “in-person” church congregation in Northolt, London. It was so good to be back in the room with real people, loving Jesus and ready to connect and share life. This congregation had Sri Lankan families too and so I had to remember how to speak with translation – a challenge after no public speaking for 18 months. But it was a wonderful privilege too.
Finally, thank you for all the emails, texts and cards that arrived to wish me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 24th July. As always I was spoilt by my family and friends and had a special day on the Saturday able to connect and celebrate in the garden.
We are planning a few things in August and already September is beginning to look fuller with several connect opportunities with pastors and leaders. Please keep an eye on our website for details.
Most of our August engagements are informal with leaders with the exception of the following public summer preaching opportunities:
1 Betel Church, Anchor Point, Birmingham (Rachel & Gordon)
1 Heartcry’s Trumpet Call message online (Helen)
1 St Andrews Church, Dean Court, Oxford (Helen)
17 Mulberry House Ladies Day, High Ongar, UK (Helen)
Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing you in person over the next few months!
Our love and appreciation,
Rachel and the Heartcry Team.