Dear Friends and Partners of Heartcry,
April has been a month of blessing for us here at Heartcry but with all this blessing there is also the challenge of change. Gordon started a three month sabbatical on the 1st April as he has felt he needed to step back, seek God afresh, and confirm what the best path is for us in the future. Already he looks more relaxed and refreshed as he has taken time to rest from endless administration and connect more with his friends and ministry partners. He has also had time to research the purchase of a replacement car for me and I have been spoilt with a nearly new Nissan SUV which Gordon managed to purchase at a great deal. This is a huge blessing as my last faithful car had certainly done the miles and was beginning to show her age! So I feel blessed. Also I recently entered some offices here in Oxford and was shown some vacant office space that was available for rent and immediately felt that these are the premises we have been looking for as a new home for the Heartcry offices in Oxford. So please pray as we negotiate this journey. I believe it will open up new doors and opportunities for us here in the UK and Oxford. I also believe it is time to move out of our small space and make room for an administrator and assistant for Helen as she continues to move into her own ministry alongside me and needs to be released from so much administration. So there is change and growth happening but it is so good and for a wonderful purpose. If you are aware of anyone living in the Oxford area who is an excellent administrator and loves paperwork and emails and needs a part-time job we are really praying for the right support at this time. So thank you for praying and supporting us as we walk into this new season.
Ministry in the month of April started in the most wonderful way – a baptism service. April 1st was Easter Sunday, Resurrection day and I had the honour of speaking at the 5pm service in London where my nephew, Benedict, was baptized along with 14 other people. It is always so wonderful to hear the stories of why people love Jesus and nearly half of the people being baptized were Iranians that had found Jesus here in the UK. It was such a celebration of joy and there is nothing so contagious as the enthusiasm of new believers. It was a special day.
Gordon and I were due to travel to Russia for a leadership training week with some new churches but this was cancelled due to the recent international difficulties. However, this free time did give us some unexpected bonus time at home to prepare more thoroughly for the upcoming conferences which was such a blessing. The first conference in Lyndal, Norway, had the theme “Thy Kingdom come!” and as I spent time reading all the scriptures and studying the Kingdom life, attitudes, value system and culture, a deep cry began to stir in me too – “Oh God Let YOUR Kingdom come!” I felt such a growing dissatisfaction with our usual experience of His power in our everyday life and a new longing to see MORE of God flow through our lives. Helen and I had a powerful weekend where God used us to speak prophetically into the heart of the church and strengthen the leaders. It was such a privilege. On the way to the airport later we were met with stationary traffic after a road accident and thought we would definitely miss our flight as we were at least 90 minutes away from the airport. But God helped us find a detour and we made it to our flight even with time to spare and without running madly through the airport. It felt like a huge miracle as we boarded our flight without issues. God was so good to us!
The next conference was in Slovenia, and was at a gathering for women from across the Balkan region who came together in Čatež, with the theme COURAGE! Again as we took time to prepare I was struck by the courage we need to fulfil the call of God. We need to be courageous in our relationship with God and people. We need to courageously take hold of this God-given call and live it fearlessly. But we also need to stand up in our culture and be “Jesus people” with a clear message of hope and leadership. It takes courage to show an alternative way!
After these special ministry times, it was time to go home and welcome my daughter, Nicola, who is over from Australia, to visit the family.
In May Gordon and I will be traveling in the southwest of England in Devon, helping to lead prayer and resource the churches and their leadership teams in Barnstaple, Okehampton, Torquay and Exeter. Please pray for strategic wisdom for us as we input these groups.
Thank you for all your investment and prayer support.
With all our love and appreciation,
Rachel Hickson and the Heartcry for Change team.
Here is an outline of our itinerary for the coming month: