Early experiences of God
I was born into a family who loved God. My parents taught me from my earliest days what it was to have intimacy with God; to know him rather than just know about him. They taught me and my siblings (I have three brothers) that prayer was a two-way conversation. I had asked my dad if I could become a Christian but he wondered how much his six-year-old daughter fully understood of the big decision she was making and suggested that I wait until I was a little older. I accepted that, but God had other plans.
A few weeks later, when my mum was at church and my dad was putting my younger brother to bed, I was alone in our lounge when I had an amazing experience of God. Suddenly I lost the power to stand and fell to my knees in front of the couch. I couldn’t understand what was happening so tried with every bit of strength I had to push against the couch and try to stand up, but I couldn’t. I thought to myself: “I will have a little rest and then I will try again.” After a few moments I tried to lift my head from the couch but couldn’t move it at all. It was as if a big hand was over the back of my legs and a big hand over the back of my neck. I then heard the voice of God say: “Nancy.” I immediately knew God was speaking to me and that he wanted me to become a Christian. You see I realised that I was in a praying position. This was the way I prayed every night before going to bed.
Although I knew he wanted me to become a Christian, I didn’t know how to do that, so I said my first ever real prayer (up to then I had repeated a prayer from my parents). I said: “Dear God, I’ll tell my daddy!” Immediately the pressure lifted, I stood up and my dad entered the room. I told him what had happened and he told me how to become a Christian. I repeated a simple prayer, and something supernatural happened deep inside me. The joy of knowing the Lord was so incredible – that joy has never left me. I immediately wanted to tell everyone what the Lord had done for me. In short succession, I led my parent’s friend, my brother and my cousin to the Lord. That same enthusiasm is still with me many years later.
The beginnings of a musical ministry
My dad was very musical – he played the organ in church and we had a piano at home. I have three brothers and one of them used to sing at many church events. I used to sing in church too. My husband, Ray, came from even more of a musical family. He was a drummer, his eldest brother a guitarist and his middle brother played the piano and became a head teacher in music. Ray was in bands from the age of 14 whereas I only joined my first band around the age of 20. I was in a band in Scotland called Unity where I was a singer and also a narrator.
God called Ray and I in 1980 to leave our beloved Scotland; to leave our home, our jobs, our car, our families, church, friends and go to England to start a band/team to reach the youth culture of our day. So, at first, we joined British Youth for Christ and it was within our first year there that we started Heartbeat. We wanted musicians whose heart and desire first and foremost was to see God transform lives and change our land. Through prayer, God provided four other people and Heartbeat was born. In 1983 we left the staff of BYFC and set up our own ministry under the name of Heartbeat in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Seeing the miraculous
We travelled all over the UK and beyond and saw some incredible things happen in the 80s. We went into schools, colleges, universities, prisons telling anyone who would listen about a God who was real and alive and who wanted to change the darkness within them to light. We also led worship at various camps, tours, churches and church events.
We were and still are a prayer and praising community. In the Heartbeat days, we would spend a third of our day when on mission praying and praising God. Before Ray and I started Heartbeat, we went to see a lovely man of God called Alex Buchanan and asked his opinion on whether it was right to start this ministry. He told us not to start the band unless we were going to make prayer a priority. We took his advice and made prayer a priority and as we did miracles started to happen.
Over a period of ten years we saw thousands come to know the Lord. We would go to one town or city and for a week visit some schools in the area, give out tickets to our free concert and pray like crazy that people would come along – many hundreds did and every week we would invite people at the end of our event to give their lives to Jesus and hundreds did. Hundreds were healed of various diseases too. What we saw was touches of revival – we thought it was ordinary, but looking back I can see it was anything but ordinary! I am writing a book right now that will be released in 2020 called, Who Would Ever Have Thought? It is about what happened to two people when they gave their lives to Jesus and what we saw happen from 1980 until now.
In our Heartbeat concerts we often played a worship song called ‘Praise him on the trumpet’ and, when we did, often God would do something special. I remember one time, a couple who were not Christians and who were into the occult in a big way, suddenly found themselves down the front repenting before God. That night some of us went to their home and they threw out and burned the many documents they had on the occult. They used to heal people through the occult. They told us it was the praise song that finally broke the chains on them.
Nearing the end of the 80s we changed our overall name to ngm (New Generation Music/Mission) as Heartbeat had grown so much – we had a dancer, a youth worker, a couple of engineers as well as the band members. Heartbeat finished in 1991, but the work of Nancy Goudie Ministries (NGM) continued and has grown and developed throughout the years.?
Trust in the tough times
It was many years later that God taught me about trusting him through the hard and difficult times of life. I have written a book about what happened to my husband when he was told he had pancreatic cancer. He had an operation to remove loads of his insides and then went through chemotherapy and then radiotherapy. He was told he was cancer free at one point but he died seven months later. It’s a story of trust and faith – a story of miracle upon miracle, but without the miracle we were looking for.
When my husband died, I could not understand it. So many international Christian leaders had said he would live and not die. Many thousands all over the world were praying for him. When Ray became ill, I posted on Facebook twice a day to begin with and then once a day thereafter asking people to pray and what happened astounded me. People became Christians through my blogs, others came back to God and many others commented how their faith in God had grown as they read our honest yet faith-filled posts.
When my husband died 20 months later, I couldn’t understand it. The enemy told me: “God has turned his back on you, so turn your back on him.” I have to say all this really threw me. After struggling for a few hours, I stood beside my bed, the bed my husband had just died in, and I spoke to God. I told him: “I have a hundred and one different questions Lord and I don’t understand what has just happened, but I want you to know that I have made up my mind to trust you. I’m not called to understand everything that happens in life, but I am called to trust and so trust is what I am going to do.”
That night, while my heart was breaking, God gave me two gifts: one was the peace that passes all understanding and the other was what I called a bubble of joy. I hesitated to tell people about this joy as I couldn’t understand how I could have joy in mourning. I was mourning my beloved husband of 43 years. He wasn’t just my husband; he was my best friend and my partner in ministry. To say I miss him is a huge understatement yet, through my tears, while suffering from a broken heart, God gave me these two gifts and they have never left me.
I believe that many of us need to develop trust in the midst of heartache and pain. So many turn their backs on God when trouble comes along. I want to tell people that there is another way – a way of trust that leads to peace, joy and freedom. I have gone through pain and heartache and I can tell you the only way through it is with the Lord. Let’s trust in our mighty God and see him do so much more in this next decade, more than we could ever ask or even imagine. He has done it for me – and I know he can do it for others who dare to trust him too. n
To find out more about ngm visit ngm.org.uk
You can read more about Nancy, and buy her books, at nancygoudie.com