Dear Friends and Partners of Heartcry,
Spring-time is bursting through with colour but winter still has a firm grip on the temperature! At the end of March it will be Easter and once again we have the joy of celebrating Jesus who is alive. On Easter Sunday I will have the joy of speaking at my nephew’s baptism and we will also have the dedication of my grandson, Jeremy, on Mothering Sunday (11th March in the UK). So March will be a month of family celebrations!
February has been busy and as we write this letter we are flying to Canada for a women’s conference in Lethbridge, having just returned from Norway. It is with a great sense of expectation that we travel to Canada and then to the USA for this next 10 days. So, having started the year ministering mainly in the UK, we are now back on planes and traveling extensively over the next few months. However, February did start in the UK with a weekend women’s retreat with Betel. It was such a joy to be invited to speak into the lives of over 120 women at various stages of their journey of recovery and freedom from addiction. There is something profound about those who know their need and are prepared to allow God to access their pain and struggles. Our theme for the weekend was “Masterpiece” from Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” As we explored this scripture together, God gave us the picture of a master art restorer who skilfully and painstakingly removes the added layers of paint and dirt to uncover and reveal the original hidden masterpiece underneath. As we talked and prayed with the girls, God began to remove these layers of shame, guilt and pain and show them His original design for their lives. It was such a moving time and reminded us that each one of us needs to give God time to restore us in order for our true purpose and destiny to be revealed! One of the most powerful sessions was as we talked about the Master Restorer working in the dark to restore the image and redeem the night hours. For so many the night time was the evil time and to watch them embrace a new expectation of creativity in their dream life and the confidence to dream again with pure imagination, untainted by trauma, was wonderful. One girl had such an experience of Jesus that although only on the programme for a few weeks she knew she had to give her life to God as she now knew He was real.
Our time in Kristiansand, Norway, was also very special. We were delighted to return to Filadelfia Church and spend time with them, the Bible school, the Elders and be part of the youth ministry. Then on Sunday we were with Salem Church and had the challenge to preach as part of their sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed. Preparing to speak made me aware that so many of our churches, denominations and networks have statements of faith but we have lost the sense of authority and purpose in our rehearsing of these truths. God spoke to me and said that in this season it is so important that we know what we believe and are clear about what we declare. But it is not enough to just give mental and verbal assent and say “I believe”; this is the time to understand that true belief means that we BELIEVE and TRUST. The language of the mind is “I believe” and the language of the heart is “I trust”. God wants a people who believe and trust; a people who love Him with all their mind and all their heart! Then we will not only believe in a God who is our provider, healer, creator…but we will also lean into His provision, healing and creative power with greater trust and dependency. As we discover the depth of our beliefs and grow in confidence in articulating them, I believe we will also speak with a greater passion and authority too. So, as we remember the legacy of Billy Graham who has just entered his reward in Heaven, let us be challenged afresh to stand up and speak out about our Jesus in whom we trust and believe.
Here is an overview of our itinerary for the next few weeks:
HEARTCRY ITINERARY FOR END OF FEBRUARY & MARCH
23-25 FEB VIA CHURCH, LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, CANADA (Rachel & Helen)
27 FEB HEARTCRY USA PRAYER, STRATEGY & PLANNING DAY
1-4 MAR NW INTERCESSORS’ CONFERENCE, SONRISE CHRISTIAN CENTER, EVERETT, WA, USA (Rachel & Helen)
6-7 MAR THE SPIRIT & WORD LEADERS’ SUMMIT, REVIVE CHURCH, HULL, UK (Rachel & Gordon)
8 MAR OXFORD OFFICE DAY
10 MAR LEADERS MENTORING DAY (Private event) (Rachel & Helen)
13 MAR HEARTCRY TRUSTEES MEETING
14 MAR LONDON PRAYER DAY (Private day)
16-18 MAR BREATHE CONFERENCE, C3 CAMBRIDGE, UK (Rachel & Helen)
19 MAR PLANNING & STRATEGY DAY (Rachel, Helen, Gordon)
20-28 MAR HELEN ON LEAVE
23-25 MAR HITCHIN CHRISTIAN CENTRE LEADERSHIP TRAINING & SUNDAY SERVICE (Rachel & Gordon)
As part of our time in the USA we will be taking time, together with our Board, to pray and strategise about the next season for Heartcry USA. Please pray for us that we will hear clearly God’s heart for this aspect of Heartcry’s ministry.
With all our love and appreciation,
Rachel Hickson and the Heartcry for Change team.