Spring is finally in the air in the UK! The birds have found their megaphones and are singing loudly. It is always such a joy to see these first signs of life after the long, dark winter months…our garden is full of bulbs ready to burst into colour and bunches of daffodils and tulips are once again filling vases in my home. Sunnier days are on the horizon at last and our puppy, Bella, seems eager to play outside and escape if possible!
Here in England we are also taking the first tentative steps out of lockdown restrictions: schools will re-open this month and at last we will be able to mingle a little again! We will be allowed to meet real people and talk. The Government has published its cautious “roadmap out of lockdown” and we can begin to dream of holidays and family hugs once again. As I listened to the announcements, my attention was caught particularly by this phrase “we want the way ahead to be irreversible”. Just as the Government does not want any repeat lockdowns so I believe God is encouraging us and saying “you’ve come too far now to turn back! Trust me to lead you into the new.” We need to step forward with confidence – GOD HAS A PLAN! Just like the Israelites in the wilderness, we must not walk in circles but know that God has a blueprint for our way FORWARD…there is a way marked out for our lives and our nations which will satisfy our longing for the new. God is such a detailed and creative architect. I believe that in these days ahead we will each discover what heaven has been preparing behind the scenes with amazing intricacy. Get ready for surprises!
Gordon and I have had one such incredible surprise for our family. On February 14th Hillsong had their Vision Sunday and announced there would be new leaders for the Hillsong UK and London campus. Imagine our joy when we heard the news that these leaders would be Nicola and Tim Douglass. So precious Nicola and Tim with our three grandchildren will be moving from Melbourne to the UK to take up the role of lead pastors of Hillsong Church in London and oversee the UK network. After 14 years of pioneering in Australia, with 9 years in their Melbourne church, they feel it is time to come back to the UK and we expect them to arrive around May. This month my Mum will also move back to the UK permanently from Texas, USA, after 30 plus years so I will suddenly have all of my family back together in the same nation! A huge surprise and so unexpected!
In Heartcry we are also aware of this change of season and that God has a “good way” which He will make clear for us in the days ahead. For the last few years we have had offices in the CMS buildings here in Oxford and just recently they wrote to us and asked us if we would be willing to move upstairs to a new location. At first the inconvenience of moving made me hesitate but I felt God say this was a sign for us. We were not moving nations or cities but we were re-aligning and repositioning in this new season. So Heartcry offices will move up a level in March! As international travel still looks likely to remain impossible for the foreseeable future, we continue to ask God to show us how to minister in this different season and remain sharp and relevant. All through this time we have been amazed how God has enabled us to remain connected with the nations as we have served them through virtual meetings and pre-recorded broadcasts. Our messages of hope continue to be accessed weekly by people from 45 different nations. We feel honoured and privileged that we can play a role in mentoring, training and discipling so many in this season and shaping the leadership of churches and Kingdom enterprises through our blend of strategic prophetic wisdom and teaching ministry gifts. As we enter the new season for Heartcry, we would love to give you an opportunity to partner with us financially and help us build with new resolve, purpose, resilience and momentum. We will have an opportunity to participate in a Gift Week for Heartcry from 7 March and culminating on 14 March which is UK Mother’s Day. You can give a one off offering or, for those who feel called to longer-term support, you may also like to consider becoming a monthly giving partner and help us strengthen our financial base as we build in this season. Gifts can be made anytime through our website www.heartcryforchange.com/support-us or you can request our bank information by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org We are honoured by your investment and thankful for your generosity.
Looking ahead, once in-person gatherings are permitted in some measure, we are considering hosting Heartcry Legacy Days in Oxford again. We would love to provide a place of refreshing and refuelling where we could connect, worship together and pray for one another. We would most probably only be allowed to have a 50% capacity to comply with ongoing precautions and restrictions and we will keep you posted as the way ahead becomes clearer. Do let us know if this would be something you would be interested in.
Thank you so much for everything you do to encourage, strengthen and support us in these days. We long to be able to hug, meet, pray and talk to you again and trust that this will be soon.
With our appreciation and love,
Rachel & Gordon and Helen.