This past month has marked some satisfying breakthroughs for us in so many ways. Most importantly is the revelation that we are resting in God’s Presence first, then from that we are moving out to do something for the Kingdom. We recently went on a retreat in Wales for the purpose of learning how to start a House of Payer. This is a grass roots kind of prayer meeting with a core group of committed people who meet on a regular basis to pray and worship together. God has put it on our hearts to start a house of prayer and creativity – a place where artists (and other people!) can come and worship for hours while painting, playing their musical instrument and resting in God’s Presence. We will use a rhythmic prayer schedule, similar to the Celtic model of morning, midday and evening prayers. Michael and I have started already and are praying for the right couple to form a core group with us, and we are also praying for a space which can be permanently dedicated to prayer. We want people who need to be in God’s Presence to have access to it 24-7, and be able to pray when in need.
We are planning on renting a space in a building where Christine and other artists will have studios. We feel that by renting the space in a creative setting we will attract other creatives who might not otherwise go to a church to pray.
We are beginning to understand more our calling as Cultural Revivalists, who want to bring God’s Kingdom through the arts. Christine has started teaching painting in a secular setting to a group of older adults and she is also teaching Prophetic Art at a really great church in Bristol called Elim, as part of their evening school of transformation. She’s continuing volunteering at the Wellspring Center, drawing young mothers and their babies, as well as assisting Michael in Chaplaincy times.
This is a view of Chrst Church in Bristol’s art walk celebration with one of Christine’s icons of the Crucifixion hanging on a column amidst brightly colored leaf shapes. These leaves had prayers written on each one and were heartfelt testimonies to their hope in restoration and healing.
What’s not immediately obvious here is Michael’s beautiful photography making it all possible. He has one more trip back to NY for work this month. We’re praying that God will place him in some good work situations here in the UK, but we are also grateful for answered prayers of work in NY. Michael is getting more excited and experienced in videography and is making some short documentaries of how God is working in our midst. We will post them on the blog when they’re ready!
This is a detail of an 8ft x8ft prophetic painting Christine did for Elim Church’s One Thing Celebration. The Scripture reference was Psalm 24:8 “Who is this King of Glory? the Lord God Almighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.” It was an awesome night or prayer and worship, and we prayed for Bristol to be full of God’s blessings. I believe that Revival is coming in to the UK like the ocean tide – slowly, almost imperceptibly at times, but steadily inching forward.
Our friends the Morrisons have completed the 501-3c application for the charity “Unto Life” which we are blessed to be part of. Now, if God moves any of you to contribute financially to what we’re doing, it will be tax deductible if you: make the check payable to Unto Life and write on the memo “For Michael and Christine Hales”. You can send it to: Unto Life, 411 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. If you have a purpose you would like it applied to, just send us a note or email and we will earmark it for that purpose. We want to do a lot of outreach once we have the prayer house established so that we can bring God’s love to people who are hurting and in need in various ways. The retreat we went to about the House of Prayer was a Trans Med Vision – houses of prayer spriging up in nations around the Mediterranean. We asked if Bristol could be considered as being on the Med 🙂 and God’s favor on us charmed them into it! So we are now part of a team of English and Welsh people with a vision for establishing Houses of Prayer in England and Europe. Very Fun!
We send you our love and prayers – we are praying several times a day now, so if there’s anything specific you want us to pray for let us know! Love, Michael and Christine