Our dear friends and prayer partners,
Like many of you we complete this month of activity fairly exhausted and ready for a rest and the thought of sun, rest and holidays is very appealing! June has been a month of travel in Europe and the UK with quality time in smaller groups of leaders, church family, ministry partners and friends. It is always so good to take time away together and it’s often remarkable what can come out of a day’s retreat, a weekend away or a church family camp. Doing life together is part of that journey but it is also necessary to learn the discipline to STOP – STEP BACK- LEAN INTO GOD- DISCONNECT (from all other pressures and responsibilities) – DOWNLOAD- RELOAD and then RE-CONNECT with renewed perspective and vision. This is something I have felt the Holy Spirit is teaching us as individuals and leaders to practise in this season so that we learn a new and healthier rhythm of life. So it’s been a joy to have the opportunity to encourage many diverse groups over the last month such as the Christian Medical Fellowship’s Student Nurse representatives from across the UK who gathered in London for a half day retreat and time of refreshment and mutual encouragement.
We started the month with friends from Victory Faith Fellowship (Spokane, WA) who came to visit and spend time with us in Oxford and Torino, Italy. We had such a great time exploring the wells of revival in our nations and praying that God would start the new moves for this generation. It was good to have time to dream together, to start and finish conversations, and to look ahead to all that God would do with and through us as we partner together for the Kingdom in the nations.
Gordon and I travelled to Bergen, Norway, early in the month and had the joy of ministering to the Jesusfellesskapet church family at their church weekend away up in the beauty of the Norwegian fjords. After a few years of adjustment and change it was good to be able to watch the forward momentum and hope rising in many individuals and this church team. It was a time of lots of talking and relationship and then Jesus touching us deeply. The prophetic word was so strong and you could literally watch the power of the word reinforcing lives and dreams and awakening hope once again.
Helen and I have just returned from Scotland where we were privileged to be invited to be part of a retreat near Aviemore in the Highlands with 20 key women business and ministry leaders. It was wonderful to share together and input and resource them. We were struck by the calibre of these women and the amazing spheres of influence they are in – prison and rehabilitation services, business, church, health and nutrition, evangelism, among others. Facilitated by Emma Stark and the Glasgow Prophetic Centre, it was a profound time of networking these ladies together for purpose and investing back into them to equip them for the next leg of their race. We have now come away with our summer homework of writing down 100 dreams from the little thoughts to the larger projects to help expand our way of thinking and to learn to “think big”. What are the things about which you are always saying, “I would love to do this…”? Now write it down and begin to pray and action it!
As we come to the end of June, we are also getting ready to stop and step back for a time of rest, holiday and refreshment in July and then hope to take time to write in August. We have limited our ministry schedule to a couple of larger summer camps and gatherings, notably the Elim Summer Conference in Northern Ireland with its theme “Unshakeable” in July and Awaken the Dawn in London and the ONE Event in Lincolnshire with the theme of “Purpose” in August. We would value your prayer for us over the summer that we would be refreshed and replenished.
As I discern this season in the Spirit I feel it is a time of agitation and frustration for many in some areas of your life. God is stirring us to awaken what has become sleepy and unfocussed, to re-energize what has lacked momentum and drive, and to reposition that which has lost its way and is out of alignment. I feel this is an important time to STOP and reconsider what we do and how we are doing it. God really wants to help us upgrade to a new season and He has new gifts of wisdom and grace for us to enable us to do life with a greater level of satisfaction. There are new days ahead and it is important that we learn how to shift our rhythms of life and get in tune with Him. As we read in Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Will you take the time to strategically ask and imagine over these next months so that you are ready for the MORE of God?
Here is an outline of our ministry schedule for July/August:
1 JULY THE ARK COMMUNITY CHURCH CONFERENCE, WATFORD, UK (Rachel & Gordon)
2-16 JULY SUMMER BREAK – ON LEAVE – HEARTCRY OFFICE CLOSED
17-20 JULY “WONDROUS” ELIM SUMMER CONFERENCE, N. IRELAND (Rachel & Gordon and Helen)
24 RACHEL’S BIRTHDAY 🙂
25-27 JULY HILLSONG CONFERENCE, LONDON, UK (Rachel & Gordon and Helen)
6-8 AUG BETEL MARRIAGE RETREAT, NORTHAMPTON (Rachel & Gordon)
9-11 AUG AWAKEN THE DAWN CONFERENCE, LONDON, UK
25-26 AUGONE EVENT, LINCOLNSHIRE, UK (Rachel & Gordon and Helen)
We will write again at the end of August with our news and plans for September. Have a great time of rest and family over these summer months. We are grateful for all your prayer support, financial investment and encouragement.
With all our love and appreciation,
Rachel Hickson and the Heartcry for Change team.