Dear friends and prayer partners,
This month we are writing this newsletter having just returned from Hamburg, Germany, where Gordon and Helen were privileged to attend Reinhard Bonnke’s farewell conference in Europe (Rachel was unable to come at the last minute due to a dental emergency – of which more below). After a long and fruitful ministry in which the work of Christ for All Nations has seen over 78 million people come to faith and be discipled, Reinhard handed on the baton to his successor and commissioned a whole new generation of evangelists and revivalists to carry the torch. It was a moving time.
As I (Helen) reflected on the experience of honouring a great man of God, I was struck by the integrity of character and consistent track record which everyone referred to as they spoke of this great leader. Leadership in any sphere of life is a huge privilege and also a great responsibility. Great leaders are frequently forged in the furnace of adversity and it is often surprising who God chooses to use at these times: from David, the shepherd boy, to Churchill, the unlikely war hero, it is at times of crisis that some of the greatest leaders arise. I was encouraged by this thought as we observe the many crises of leadership in our nations around the world at this time. Rather than be overwhelmed by our circumstances, this is a time to seek God for His Daniels, Josephs, Esthers and Deborahs to be raised up … and there may be some unlikely Cyruses in the mix as well. All around the world there is a sense, both in the political arena as well as in church leadership, that this is a season for the changing of the guard. Many men and women of faith have gone home to be with the Lord over the last year, including Jean Darnall and Billy Graham, and in natural government many leaders we have come to be familiar with on the world stage, such as Angela Merkel and Theresa May, appear to be coming to the end of their tenures. Who will God raise up in their place? Let’s be praying with expectation and be open to God’s surprises!
With this theme of leadership in mind, we are excited to host the second of our Heartcry Legacy Days in Oxford on Saturday 15 June. We are delighted that our friends, Craig and Monie Lotze (pictured below), who lead Victory Faith Church in Spokane, WA, USA will be with us for this time and will bring a unique perspective on leadership as we spend a day together thinking about this theme. We will also have Trebor Angerman (also from Spokane), Sue Rinaldi and David Vincent with us along with the Heartcry in-house team. This will be a day of challenge and encouragement with plenty of opportunities to engage with each other in discussion – if you haven’t yet booked in, there are still some places but be quick to avoid disappointment! You can book online and find event information here https://heartcryforchange.com/product/legacy-days-ticket-refuel/
On the home front, May has been a month of much travel with Rachel and I in Slovenia and Croatia ministering on prayer and encouraging the churches. We loved walking the streets of the capital cities of these nations and were moved to discover the foundations of faith which had been planted so long ago and shaping the culture and language not only the spiritual climate. The Gospel has played such a strategic part in the formation of so many of Europe’s cities and it’s time to agitate the seeds of legacy again! We’ve also been on the road in the UK with ministry in Portsmouth, Ashburnham and London. We have continued to travel into London at least once a month to join in prayer for our nation’s government at this critical time of transition and change.
Amidst all the travel, Rachel has suffered with a tooth abscess which has caused terrible pain and has had to visit emergency dentists while abroad. Last weekend the dentist was very concerned about possible sepsis and so Rachel was forced to stay home and be treated and so was not able to come to Germany. Thankfully the infection seems to be responding to the antibiotic at last but it’s been a battle! We are aware that health challenges have abounded this year for all of us and we would be so grateful for your prayer cover in this season.
Looking ahead to June, we will be mainly in the UK but also returning to Italy for a weekend conference in Turin. Although our weekend schedule is fully booked, we are increasingly finding that our diaries are filling up with several weekday meetings with leaders. We have increased our time mentoring individuals and are juggling time zone shifts to connect on FaceTime and Skype with churches around the world. With this kind of ministry increasing, we are prayerfully considering how we shape Heartcry for the coming years so as to play to our strengths while ensuring that we do not spread ourselves too thinly. We would also like to strengthen our financial base by increasing the number of monthly giving partners. Regular monthly gifts of £5, £10, £25 (or whatever you can afford) greatly help us to budget and plan more long-term and release us to generously serve churches in nations with very limited resources who are unable to cover our expenses. Would you consider becoming a monthly giving partner for a season and help accelerate us into the new things God is calling us to? If the Lord leads you, you can set up a regular donation easily online https://heartcryforchange.com/support-us/ and give in GBP £ or USD $. Thank you for considering partnering in our adventure of faith!
HEARTCRY ITINERARY FOR JUNE
1-2 Portadown Elim Church weekend, N. Ireland (Rachel & Helen) Info:
6-10 Missione Cristiana “Monte Sion”, Torino, Italy (Rachel & Gordon)
9 Cumnor Parish Pentecost Sunday, Oxford, UK (Helen)
15 “Refuel” Heartcry Legacy Day, Oxford, UK
21 Rise Up Now conference, Luton, UK (Rachel, Gordon, Helen)
22 Kingdom Advance Network, Burton, UK (Rachel & Helen)
23 Solid Rock Church, Derby, UK (Rachel & Helen)
29 Sawbridgworth Evangelical Congregational Church Women’s Conference, UK (Rachel & Helen)
30 Foursquare Church, Dunstable, UK (Rachel)
As ever, we are so grateful for all your support!
With all our love and appreciation,
Helen Azer and Rachel Hickson.