What a month of contrasts – we had snow and freezing cold winds and then the hottest day on record for February all within 10 days! Somehow this feeling of being stretched between hot and cold, good news and challenging stories, also seems to be playing out in the lives of many I know this month. As in the natural so in the spiritual. It seems that many people are experiencing both the amazing and the difficult running along together on these twin tracks of life. I was just ministering in a church in the UK where, after a prolonged battle of prayer, a young boy died and went to be with Jesus. Then within the hour of hearing this news another family contacted me to say their miracle baby had been born – she was alive and well. Life and death, weeping and rejoicing! Somehow, I do feel that God is stretching the heart of the church in this season to be able to handle both well, even at the same time. So often we feel that we are having an amazing time and being blessed – or this is a hard season and we are being stretched. However, I have really felt the Lord challenge me to have eyes to see both and in every season. Every day when there is a setback or hardship there is also the kiss of God and blessing. Again and again I have found myself being stretched between tears of joy and tears of pain. It is not an easy place to live but I feel God is stretching our hearts to carry kindness and strength in this season. Can we develop an attitude of gratitude, even in the fog of everyday life which can be challenging? Can we be those who carry a genuine joy in the midst of trial? Are we able to see the blessing or are we too distracted by the hardship? These are some of the questions I find I am asking myself! As I was praying about this season I felt God say to me – Rachel I am going to upgrade the navigation skills of the church. You will be able to find a way through difficult circumstances with new grace. I will show you the way when there seems to be no way! Often you have felt you have reached a DEAD END but I do have a way for you. I will be both the lamp to your feet in the everyday and will reveal the broad path of the future. Do not fear. There are new skills of navigation for the church and YOU WILL FIND YOUR WAY!
So, Father, right now we pray for everyone reading this newsletter and ask that your encouragement and strength would fill them; bring comfort where there is sorrow and pain and understanding where there is concern and confusion. I pray that you will upload into our spirits a new grace to find the will and the way of God in this season. Direct our steps and satisfy our hearts. Thank you, Father – Amen.
Well February was a busy month but satisfying too. I have managed to have time with the grandchildren, Jeremy and Annabelle, and celebrate our son David’s birthday. I have had flu and recovered – thank you, Jesus! Gordon has been having various tests for ongoing health issues and will be having surgery on his eye next month. I have been with my family in San Antonio for 5 days to have time with my Mum as she handles the more challenging life of caring for Dad who is now in a care home. So there has been family and general life demands this month but even so we have still been able to minister and been busy. We have attended two prayer days; preached and had conferences in Thundersley, Southhill and Southwell in the UK; had our UK Trustees’ meeting and our USA board gathering; had phone calls with mentors in Canada; travelled to Bergen, Norway to minister and set apart a new leadership team; had a time of retreat and study leave to prepare material for speaking; preached in the North West area of Washington State about 14 times at a variety of services and places…so life has been very full!!
In March we will finish our current USA ministry trip and then return for a week’s ministry in the UK before traveling overseas again. Here is an outline of our itinerary:
HEARTCRY ITINERARY FOR MARCH
1-2 March RAINIER HILLS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP WOMEN’S CONFERENCE, BUCKLEY, WA, USA
(Rachel & Helen)
3 March SONRISE CHRISTIAN CENTER, EVERETT, WA, USA (Rachel & Helen)
5 March SONRISE CHRISTIAN CENTRE’S LEADERSHIP TEAM, EVERETT, WA, USA (Rachel&Helen)
6-9 KINGDOM ADVANCE NETWORK PROPHETIC GATHERING, BURTON ON TRENT, UK (Rachel,
Gordon & Helen)
10 MAJESTY CHAMPION CENTRE, UXBRIDGE, UK (Rachel)
13-18 OVERSEAS MINISTRY (Rachel & Gordon)
16 BREATHE CONFERENCE, CAMBRIDGE, UK (Helen to attend)
20 HILLSONG EVENING COLLEGE THEOLOGY SEMINAR, OXFORD, UK (Helen)
22-24 REDISCOVER CHURCH PROPHETIC ENCOUNTER WEEKEND, EXETER, UK (Rachel & Helen)
24 RIVERSIDE CHURCH, EXETER, UK (Gordon)
25-26 LEADERS MENTORING TIME, BARNSTAPLE, UK (Rachel & Gordon)
29 UK BREXIT DATE!
30 PREMIER RADIO WOMAN TO WOMAN CONFERENCE, LONDON, UK (Rachel & Helen)
31 ALL NATIONS CHURCH, READING, UK (Rachel)
Our next two Legacy Days will be “Refuel” on Saturday 15 June in Oxford and “Refocus” on Saturday 21 September in Peterborough. BOOKINGS FOR “REFUEL” ARE NOW OPEN! Click here to book your place.
We are grateful to all of you who pray for us on a regular basis and for those who take the time to email us your words of encouragement. Thank you too if you have chosen to make a regular monthly donation towards our work. While one off gifts are always special, regular monthly giving helps us to budget and plan and so we are especially thankful for those of you who choose to partner with us in this way. As Heartcry’s influence grows and diversifies and we give more time to small groups, schools and mentoring, rather than just the big conferences, we are embarking on a new adventure of faith and are blessed by those who choose to become partners with us in this season.
With all our love and appreciation,
Helen Azer and Rachel Hickson.