Dear Heartcry Friends,
Here we are in December. Can you believe it – the last month of the year! The wintry chill has arrived with the beauty of frosty mornings with mist and fog rolling in over the fields. What a crazy and challenging year 2020 has been! None of us would have expected our holidays, celebrations, everyday life and family relationships to be so impacted by this pandemic. This year it could be easier to talk about the negative situations, disappointments or the hardships we have faced. But recently I read this verse from Colossians: Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:15 TPT). I realised it is understandable that we have felt anxious, concerned and worried but God wants to guide our hearts into PEACE this Christmas time. He also wants us to remember…ALWAYS BE THANKFUL! So, during this Christmas season, let us stir up this powerful “weapon” of thanksgiving and remember that, even in the midst of this strange year called 2020, there is still so much to celebrate. Thanksgiving has the power to help us overcome every negative atmosphere of stress and anxiety and to renew our spirits with peace.
At Heartcry we have been so thankful for the goodness of God over this last year and His provision in unexpected ways. Many of you have been sources of that blessing and support and we thank God for each of you. This has enabled us to continue to minister and sow into the missions’ projects we support as well. We have just had an amazing Thanksgiving update from Moldova with news of continued progress with the building projects and the launch of new entrepreneurial initiatives to train the young women in the refuge homes and start small businesses. If you would like to see what your partnership has done, please read the update on our Moldova Project’s page.…it’s so great to read good news! In December we will be sending a further financial gift to Moldova to help with the winter aid effort of taking coal and food parcels to families in the villages. This winter will be particularly harsh, especially for those who have lost jobs in Europe due to the pandemic and can now no longer support their families. So it will be a privilege to be able to partner in this work.
Back at home in Oxford over the last few weeks we have spent quite a bit of time on zoom calls with leaders and networks, offering mentoring and strategic input and helping to support them as they navigate leadership in these challenging times. We have also continued with our online messages of hope with a series studying the book of Philippians for our weekday messages. On Sundays we have preached a series on “Standing in uncertain times”. All of these messages will remain on our Heartcry for Change Facebook and YouTube channels where you can access the series playlists. We have also been busy preaching for various churches, conferences and home groups including the Women’s Bible Study Conference which is usually held in Torquay. This year it was an online event and Helen and I preached on the prayers of the Bible. If you’d like to listen to those talks, you can access them through YouTube as well – look for the playlist called “Women’s Bible Study Conference Torquay”.
As we approach Christmas 2020, we will be continuing our morning Messages of Hope with a series of Reflections for Christmas. There have been many varied discussions in the media wondering if Christmas will be cancelled this year but, guess what, the birth of Jesus can never be cancelled! God is with us and we are invited to make room for Jesus. Even as the angels announced the good news to the shepherds and told them not to be afraid, we need to be ready to speak peace into anxious hearts this Christmas and help people discover that God is with them. Let’s make sure that we are carriers of this message of hope over the next month!
While news of possible vaccines offers some hope for the future, we do not anticipate that we will be back on the road with a full travel schedule until after Easter 2021 at the earliest so we anticipate continuing to prepare online content in the meantime. If there are particular themes you would find helpful for us to cover, please do email us. If you are a church leader and would like to book us to preach for online services or events, we are taking bookings for 2021 and you are welcome to email us at email@example.com or use our online booking form.
Thank you so much for your partnership and friendship. We have so appreciated those of you who comment on the Facebook page, send emails of encouragement and financial gifts to support us in this season of mission. You have been incredible. So we, as the HEARTCRY TEAM, wish you all a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a GOD-FILLED, blessed 2021. Do watch out on the 25th December for our Christmas greeting on our media platforms with special guest BELLA – our black Labrador puppy!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Every blessing and with our appreciation and love,
Rachel & Gordon and Helen.