Dear friends and prayer partners,
We write to you from a gloriously sunny Oxford where spring has definitely arrived and we have been blessed with weeks of almost unbroken warm sunshine. It has been such a blessing and I have loved being home to enjoy my garden and watch springtime unfurl. This time of enforced lockdown has meant that in the UK we have been required to stay at home and only leave the house for essential groceries. We have also been allowed to take an hour’s exercise each day and so I have loved walking across the fields and seeing all the new life bursting out around us.
The last few weeks have been a mixture of blessing and sadness. On 8 April my Dad, known to many as Alan Vincent, went home to be with Jesus. As many of you know, he had been unwell for some time so I feel thankful that his suffering is finally over but also a deep sense of loss, especially in this strange season that we cannot be together as a family and comfort one another. Mum and my brother, Duncan, live in San Antonio, Texas, in the USA and my second brother, David, and I are here in the UK. On Monday 13 April Dad was buried in Texas and a graveside service was held with 10 people permitted to attend. Because of the lockdown and travel bans David and I were not able to attend Dad’s funeral. So this has been a hard journey and I know that many others are also going through a similar experience around the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic. After the limitations of this “virus era” are lifted, there will be a memorial service to honour my father in the USA and one here in the UK and we will keep you posted on that.
In the last few weeks, many people, especially leaders, have been asking what we are sensing prophetically for this time and how they should be using the time to plan and strategise for the next season. I have had such a sense that, until we know the shape of the new thing that God is birthing, it is hard to make strategic plans. There is tremendous pressure from our culture to be seen to be “doing” something that is effective in these days. Hence the pressure to be on many zoom calls trying to plan for the months ahead. I do believe that we need to continue doing what the Holy Spirit asks us to do but feel we also need the permission to just stop if we are unsure what we should do! I feel that God is inviting us to WAIT and not to rush ahead unless we know where we are going. Once we have the Spirit-led direction and our instructions for the next season then we can go but I sense that we need to have the confidence and courage to wait first. This waiting is not passive: it is the attitude of expectancy that eagerly awaits the birth of the new. So as you read this, we pray that you will allow God to incubate the new within you and that you will sense this “pregnant” expectation.
The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that the Heartcry team continues to be “grounded” in Oxford as we too wait for the restrictions to be lifted. All of our conferences have been cancelled and many churches are already taking the decision to also cancel events planned for the summer months. So even if restrictions are lifted before that time, it looks likely that we will not be traveling much before September at the earliest. We have adjusted our ministry over this time and as you may have seen Helen, Gordon and I have been sharing messages on our Facebook and YouTube channels over this last month. We had initially felt to do this 3 times a day for 21 days but, as the lockdown has just been extended for a further three weeks at least in the UK, we have felt God ask us to continue the daily messages until Pentecost Sunday on 31 May and from next week we will be starting a series on the Holy Spirit. Do let us know if there are particular questions or aspects you would like us to address. After the end of May we will review this and may use some of our time to begin writing a new book…watch this space! We are grateful to those of you who have written to us on Facebook or by email letting us know how these messages of hope have helped you…you have encouraged us to keep going! Thank you also to those of you who have been in a position to sow into us financially: your gifts have meant a lot to us in this season.
Here are the relevant links for the messages…please do share them with friends:
- Short “thought for the day” messages at 6am and 12noon to encourage you from the Word of God will be available on our Facebook page and You Tube channel. The evening reflections, which are audio only, will be accessible through the link on our Facebook page or directly from the Resources page of our website.
- Longer messages will be released on Sundays and these carry more of a prophetic overview.
- Finally, although shipping services may not be the most reliable in these days and we are currently unable to ship in the USA, we would like to remind you that all of our books are available in e-book format through our website including Rachel Hickson’s latest book I Love Prayer and Gordon’s book Harnessed for Adventure. Maybe you know someone for whom a good book would be a real blessing while we are all in lockdown!
Thank you for your love and prayer support.
Rachel & Gordon and Helen.