This month I have repeatedly found myself waking up singing songs about the goodness of God. Again and again I have found my spirit is alive with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. God is so good and faithful – especially in the tough times. Even in the midst of challenging and busy seasons, where we are having to adapt and adjust all the time, there is a song in my heart – Oh my God YOU have been faithful – YES – you have been so, so good! I do believe that even though we are navigating seasons of stress, challenge and loss, God is awakening an expectation and hunger in the church and community that I have not seen for a long time in the UK and Europe. I have found myself echoing the cry of the Psalmist in Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the LIVING God. When can I go and meet with God? All the time I have this growing expectation that we are coming into a season of divine encounters. We will see God in our nations: in all His power and presence and His people will carry a new passion! Well, you have heard my heart…now what about what we have been doing!
May was a busy month with a variety of travel and meetings mostly in the UK. In fact, I found myself in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and then England…over four consecutive weekends, a different nation of the UK each week! We returned from Ireland so encouraged and Gordon and I felt a deep connection with the leaders and so appreciated our time in Discovery Church and with Bert and Val. After years of ministering into Ireland it was good to experience the shift in atmosphere and see the growing trust between leaders and churches. Then there was a weekend in Glasgow, Scotland. This was a precious time of being able to connect with friends and ministers in Scotland as well as speaking at a conference in Motherwell. What was so encouraging was to chat to women who came on the Saturday and hear their first-hand testimonies of miracles and salvations that had happened the last time we were in Scotland. People were hungry for the presence of the Holy Spirit and healings and deliverance took place as we prayed. The following weekend was in Cwmbran, Wales. This is a tough, challenged community where the church is making a difference. As I walked into the venue early on Sunday morning, the place was already buzzing with people having coffee and chatting an hour before the service. As I sat and talked with them, they told stories of how Jesus had rescued them from drugs, suicide and difficulties and the church had become their home. Again, as we ministered, Jesus touched lives, people were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and walked out smiling! My final Sunday on this mini UK tour was in Guildford with the Hillsong church. I had the privilege of ministering on the power gifts of the Holy Spirit. We shared about the gift of faith, the working of miracles and the gifts of healing. When I gave the response time, many people lifted up their hands and asked for Jesus to be in their life and when we gave the opportunity for prayer many came forward to the prayer team and received prayer. People are hungry for Jesus and want to know His power.
Helen and I had the privilege of being part of a prophetic team that ministered for a day to the CCX church planting teams in the UK. We all gathered in the London offices behind St Paul’s and spent the day listening to God and asking for prophetic wisdom and instruction for the staff from the admin and technical teams to the prayer and ministerial people. The feedback was so encouraging as people leaned into the presence of God, hungry to learn and listen, even if it was not their usual churchmanship. The reports have said that people are still listening to the recordings together as teams and are asking God to help them strategise and plan for the future more effectively. So wonderful to watch!
Gordon and I have also continued to gift our time and support to our Oxford Hillsong church at this time after Anna’s death. Gordon has preached in the church several times, speaking on a series about prayer. I have led a “Touching Heaven” prayer, praise and prophetic evening and supported the new team of girls as they hosted their first Sisterhood night. We saw people saved and many newcomers. We are also super excited that we will be able to host the church baptisms again in our hot tub at home this next month. There are 8-10 people at the moment, all ready to go for Jesus! So refreshing and wonderful to do this Jesus journey with them.
Then of course there have been the more mundane planning, financial and board meetings too. We had the Betel Trustees and the Heartcry Trustees meetings this month and both were able to report the continued miraculous provision of God in tough times. God has balanced the books and enabled us to be generous, with our giving to the poor and challenged increasing again this year. Thank you, Jesus! But it has not all been hard work: Helen and I took the opportunity to go to Venice for 3 days’ holiday together and celebrate 30 years of Heartcry. Helen has worked with me for 16 of those years! On May 23rd, 2023 – Heartcry officially became 30 years old! As we sat, reflected and explored a beautiful city we were able to give thanks for the many times when we thought we could not do what we needed to do but God surprised us with His goodness. So our hearts are full of gratitude.
In June we are hoping to go to Moldova and Ukraine and minister there. As you know we have supported them financially throughout this season but we would love to go and be with them on the ground too. We are not sure how much of this trip will be possible as the situation is constantly changing but we are praying that God will make a way for us. Please do pray for wisdom. Please do check out our itinerary below so that you can either join us at an event or pray more effectively.
Ministry Dates end of May and June 2023
28 May Fresh Bread message for June, Heartcry online platforms (Rachel)
3 June Flame Community Church women’s evening, Blackheath, UK (Rachel)
3 Heatherside Community Centre Ladies Breakfast, Camberley, UK (Helen)
4 Flame Community Church Sunday morning, Blackheath, UK (Rachel)
6 Worship & Encounter Night, Live Free Foundation, London, UK (Rachel)
9-11 Holme Christian Fellowship conference weekend, E Yorkshire, UK (Rachel & Gordon)
9-18 Helen overseas
18 Epping Forest Community Church, UK (Rachel)
21 Elim Leaders Summit Ministers in Training, UK (Rachel & Helen)
23 Limitless Conference Leaders’ Evening, Camberley, UK (Rachel & Helen)
24-12/7 Moldova trip (Rachel & Helen)
30-1/7 Limitless Conference, Moldova (Rachel & Helen)
Please also remember that we have the FRESH BREAD message this Pentecost Sunday (28 May 2023) on YouTube and Facebook. I will be talking about the Scent of Water – the expectation that God wants to awaken in our hearts.
Thank you so much for praying and being partners with us in these days.
Rachel & Gordon and Helen and our Heartcry team.