Dear friends and prayer partners,
August has been busy. In fact, Gordon and I have travelled extensively and I think we have only had 3 nights in our own bed! We have been in Canada, Montana (USA), Northern Ireland, Birmingham (UK), Malaysia and Sydney, Australia…and somehow also managed to squeeze in a week for Helen and I to go to Seattle (USA) in between as well! God has been so good to us as Heathrow airport has had problems with computer glitches and threatened strikes by the ground staff and by British Airways pilots but somehow Jesus has helped us dodge every issue and get to our destinations on time without delays. We have been blessed and are so grateful.
2019 is a preparation year and we are so aware that God is challenging people’s lives, asking them to declutter and then take time to refocus for the new decade in 2020. As we have ministered, we have been increasingly conscious of the important role of prophetic instruction at this time. We need the eyes, ears and voice of the Church body working well to help direct us at this time. Unfortunately, it has been fashionable to push the prophetic gift to one side in many churches but now they are realising that they feel blind, deaf and dumb! People are hungry to find their voice, see more clearly and hear from God accurately about their future. We are entering the 2020 decade – and we need to find our 20/20 vision!
Much of our time has been given to speaking at various summer conferences together. Gordon and I travelled to Calgary, Canada, and ministered at the Life Links family camp in Montana at the Glacier National Park. It was a time of reconnection for us with many friends that we have known over the last 15 years. It was incredible to see teenagers we knew in those early camps now married with their own children, leading churches, and now significant leaders in their own right. Gordon and I were asked to speak on the theme “Unshakeable” but I think God shook many paradigms and stretched our hunger for Him. So many lives were touched with Jesus and especially marriages were touched and restored. We have been asked to return and speak again next year at this camp and, after prayerful consideration, we have decided that we will do this and continue to build on what we started this year.
After the beauty of Montana, we then travelled to the north coast of Northern Ireland. Gordon had ministered at this Blble week in Coleraine the previous year but this time we were invited to speak together. Again, the beauty of the surroundings was stunning and several friends took the time to drive us along the coast so we could admire the Giants Causeway and the rugged coastline of Port Stewart. This ministry time was different but also deep. Many who had become discouraged and lost their hope due to tough times were revived with fresh vision. There is something so special about the kindness and generosity of the Northern Irish and I always love being with them. Before we set off again on our travels, we had one day in Birmingham with our friends from Betel, a ministry which is involved in the rehabilitation of those struggling with addictions. Gordon and I took a day to minister together on the subject of parenting. Both of us felt very inadequate and wondered if our kids should have done this instead but the honesty and times to connect and talk about the real challenges of life were precious and, I believe, gave many a new sense of permission to really talk about the joys and challenges they face. Gordon and I left so encouraged that we were able to help people talk even if we could not answer all the questions.
While Rachel and Gordon were in Canada and Northern Ireland, I had the privilege of representing Heartcry at the Global Watch gathering in Germany where approximately 150 intercession and missions leaders from over 30 countries gathered to share what God is doing in their nations. As we met, there was a sense of birthing new missionary movements fuelled by passionate, fervent and consistent prayer just as the Moravians had done 300 years previously with their 100 years of 24/7 prayer from which so many reformers were launched out into the nations. Encouraged by this inspirational time of networking, I connected with Rachel to fly out to Seattle where we spent time connecting with groups of strategic intercessors. It was exciting to see how God had called together significant leaders from church, community and commerce, all with the purpose of not only praying together for change in their city and nation but also preparing to be sent out to transform their communities and be the answer to the cry of the land. A documentary film had just been released by one of the local media networks with the title “Seatte is dying”, exposing the depth of addiction, homelessness and social breakdown in Seattle. As we met with these groups of strategic leaders, there was a profound realisation that the answer to these social needs was within their grasp if they chose to take up the challenge that God was entrusting to them as His Church: missions is sometimes right across our streets and not just overseas! There is a deep heartcry for change in our communities and we hold keys of life and hope.
After a very long flight from Seattle I arrived in Sydney, while Gordon flew to join me from Malaysia. We came to be with the C3 Central City Church again, one year after they had had a difficult transition. It was so encouraging to see the leaders smiling and hope-filled once again, with the atmosphere in the church more relaxed and happier. The worship on Sunday morning was excellent and it was a good connection time with these precious people as they rebuild after this time of shaking. The weather in Sydney over the weekend was fabulous too and so Gordon and I took time to walk and enjoy this amazing city. We of course had to walk along HICKSON Road and think about the Hickson Irishman who was the Harbour Master in 1929 who supplied the materials for the building of this great icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
As we write, we have just completed our weekend in Sydney and will be flying to Malaysia next. Below is an outline of our itinerary. Thank you for your prayers!
HEARTCRY ITINERARY FOR SEPTEMBER
4-8 Sept DUMC, Malaysia (Rachel & Gordon)
8 Sept Edward Road Baptist Church, Birmingham, UK (Helen)
10 Sept Box Methodist Filling Station, Box, UK (Helen)
11 Sept Stanford in the Vale Filling Station, UK (Helen)
13-15 Sept Oasis Church, Perth, Australia (Rachel)
15 Sept Aylesbury Vale Church, UK (Helen)
25 Sept New Wine Leaders Regional Network, Northwood, London, UK (Helen)
25-29 Sept Filadelfia Church, Kristiansand, Norway (Rachel & Gordon)
27-28 Sept “She Leads” Network meeting, Cambridge, UK (Helen)
As you will be aware from our summer video greeting, we have taken the decision to cancel the September Legacy Day and will now instead host our next gathering on Saturday 25 January 2020 in Oxford to KICKSTART the new decade. More information will be available soon on our website and we anticipate that bookings will also be open by the middle of September. Do look out for an announcement on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
In the UK, the new school term is about to start and, with it, a sense of life picking up pace again after a summer break for some. We trust that those of you who will be starting back at work, school or college/university will have a deep sense of God’s presence, peace and purpose.
With all our love and appreciation,
Rachel Hickson and Helen Azer.