What a month of change!! This is certainly a year of uncertainty and opportunity. In one week here in the UK we had a new Prime Minister on Tuesday, a new King on Thursday and a new Chief of Police and Security for London on Friday….and his job on Monday was to organise the largest funeral with the most dignitaries and leaders ever known!! Unscripted and uncharted were two of the words God gave us at the beginning of this year and little did we know how accurately they would describe what we would be living through. September has marked a major transition of national leadership here in the UK. We began the month with the announcement of a new Prime Minister. Just 48 hours after the Queen invited Liz Truss to form a government, we heard that Her Majesty had gone to be with the Lord! After 70 years of what we are now calling “the second Elizabethan age”, we have a new King and a whole new era in British history is beginning. The last few weeks have been punctuated by moments of both grief and gratitude as we have celebrated the life of our Queen who was such a committed and vocal follower of Jesus.
As we have been reflecting on this national shift in the context of ongoing international turmoil, we have been reminded so much of Isaiah 6 where it says, “in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted and the train of His robe filled the temple…”. Uzziah had been a leader and international figurehead who had symbolised stability and poise and brought so much diplomatic security and cohesion amongst the smaller fractious nations of his day. With his death a shift occurred and, suddenly, many felt bereft of their main reference point and anchor. Queen Elizabeth II has been a similar symbol of constancy for us in the UK. I was so struck by a London taxi driver who was interviewed by the news media and, weeping, he confessed to feeling utterly lost now that the Queen had died, saying that she was the only source of security he had ever known in his life. Tragic though this may seem, the phenomenal outpouring of national mourning and international honour have emphasised just what an echo this is of Isaiah’s time. People need a message of hope and constancy – they need to hear the true Jesus story. In the midst of the mess of life, there are always miracles waiting to happen: so often when people become aware of their own emptiness, they look for answers to the big questions of life. So now is a good time to be bold in proclaiming Jesus as the hope for the nations and the only source of true wisdom and security. Perhaps we will have occasion to invite a friend to the Alpha course this autumn and help them discover Jesus for themselves. It was such a joy to witness a state funeral which was rooted so movingly in scripture where the Gospel was preached unashamedly to an estimated audience of 2 billion around the world! Let’s pray that the words of truth and comfort would cause many to look up and see the King of Kings for themselves in these days!
In the midst of living through these shifts in our nation, the Heartcry team has been privileged to preach in several churches across the UK, leading prayer and speaking hope. In one church in Rotherham, after the women’s meeting, we decided to start a “hashtag #grateful” social media thread to reverse the curse of negativity and “gossip the good news” about all the ways we were experiencing the provision and care of Jesus for us. Let’s make people curious and hungry to discover the source of our joy and watch as Jesus turns even our mess into a message of hope!
We also travelled to Bergen, Norway, and were delighted to connect again with our friends at Jesusfellesskapet. It was such a joy to be back in Bergen and hear the miracle story of the provision of a fantastic building for this church that we have journeyed with for so many years. God opened a relationship between an older church that had a building but an older, smaller congregation with Jesusfellesskapet who have a larger family community but no building! During COVID they built a relationship of trust and friendship and are now partnering together to be one church together. The Sunday service with everyone together was a delight and Jesus was so present. Unfortunately we were unable to stay for the evening service as our flights were changed due to the Queen’s funeral on Monday and we needed to return to the UK. But although short and sweet it was so fabulous to reconnect!
Gordon and I have also had the privilege of being in Hull and then at UCB for the Foundation Day in Stoke. As we travel the nation and meet with people we are so touched by the way God speaks and encourages in this time of uncertainty and shaking. It is always so good to watch the power of the Holy Spirit just touch people and speak right into their circumstances and give them hope.
As we look ahead to October and the first half of November, we are in major logistics mode, planning a four-week ministry trip to USA. We would so appreciate your prayer cover for a smooth trip on every practical level as well as inspiration and anointing for the many ministry opportunities. Here is an overview of where we will be speaking:
Ministry Dates For October 2022
2 Oct Letchworth Garden City Church, Letchworth, UK (Rachel)
2 Oct Filadelfia Church, Kristiansand, Norway (Helen)
8-9 Oct Life Bible Church, Harrisburg, OR, USA (Rachel & Helen)
10-19 Oct Victory Faith, Spokane, WA, USA (Rachel, Gordon & Helen)
12 Oct Helen’s birthday 🙂
20-23 Oct Seattle, WA, USA (Rachel, Gordon & Helen)
24 Oct – 2 Nov East Coast USA Prayer Journey, USA (Rachel, Gordon & Helen)
2 Nov – 6 Nov San Antonio, TX, USA (Rachel & Helen)
7-8 Nov Global Prophetic Consultation, Dallas, TX, USA (Rachel & Helen)
Thank you for all your ongoing support, financial investment and prayer. We appreciate you so much!
With our love and appreciation,
Rachel & Gordon and Helen