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Welcome to Wales Awakening
Monday, January 02, 2017

Some clear thoughts for the New Year...

With kids in New York CityDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

Welcome to 2017! Traveling from the farms and fields of West Wales to the heart of Brooklyn, New York has been quite a change of scenery! But we have been having a wonderful time with our daughter Grace and son Richard here, exploring a very different world. Last night we watched a fabulous fireworks display in Prospect Park to usher in the new year!

I have been re-reading the last sermon preached in Welsh by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a well loved and respected Welsh pastor and teacher, that a friend gave me several years ago. He is addressing the need for every believer to have direct personal encounter with God. Among the examples he gives is that of Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French mathematician, physicist, inventor and Christian philosopher.

Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662At one point in his life he had an extraordinary encounter with God, and kept a written description of it sewn into a piece of clothing he always wore, as if to constantly remind himself of this all-important event. I thought it was brilliant, and that it could be a good focal point for our own lives as we look ahead to this new year and the inevitable ebb and flow of current events.

Pascal found himself for about two hours surrounded by "the fire of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not the God of philosophers and scholars. Certainty, certainty, feeling joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ, forgetting the world and everything except God. It can only be received in the way it is taught in the gospel. The greatness of the human soul. O Holy Father, the world does not know you, but I know you. Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy…. He concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: 'I will not forget thy word. Amen.'"

As we look forward to the many changes and challenges this year will surely bring, let us keep in mind this wonderful truth that, "... in Him we live and move and have our being..." Acts 17:28

Dick & Gladys


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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Happiest News ever!

anunciation-ann.sanders.jpg

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Of all those wonderful stories of old, this is one of the best ever, and very likely the most well known and favorite throughout history. It comes from Luke 2:8-15.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another,
"Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."            

May you have a joyous Christmas and may you and your loved ones be filled with His glorious light and peace,

Dick & Gladys


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Church joyful in its hope, and holiday travels!

llanellichurch.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

Walking by this old church last week impressed me with a sobering reality. The massive structure, that no doubt sheltered a thriving congregation in bygone years, now has more light on the outside of it than the inside, both physically and figuratively. However the cross in the foreground and its message of redemption is still as potent today as when an extraordinary birth and an old wooden cross started our Christian Era nearly 2000 years ago. (For a fascinating overview watch this 90 second video!)

In spite of the fact that we don't see the Christian church making any noticea impact in society at large here in Wales or elsewhere in the UK, we walk by faith and not by sight. These verses in Habakkuk 3:17-18 struck a chord with me the other morning,
   Though the fig tree may not blossom,
   Nor fruit be on the vines;
   Though the labor of the olive may fail,
   And the fields yield no food;
   Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
   And there be no herd in the stalls—
   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
   I will joy in the God of my salvation.

lidiainllanelli.jpgThe reason we came to be in town of Lanelli last week was our friend Lidia from Mexico. We enjoyed an extended visit with her over a long weekend. We have known her family for over 25 years because her father is a minister in one of the Verbo Ministries churches in Reynosa. This is the family of churches that grew out of small missions group that went to Guatemala to bring practical help and Godly hope after the devastating earthquake in 1976. It was through that amazing adventure in faith that God brought me together with my "coincidently" Welsh-named Gladys!

lidiainllanelli-2.jpgWe hadn't seen Lidia since she was a teenager and so it was a real joy to get to know her as a mature believer. She works for a large international automotive company based in Madrid, and was sent to south Wales, of all places, for ten days. We had a great time, and Gladys really enjoyed sharing with a native Spanish speaker, especially over black beans and tortillas!

It's hard to believe that this year has flown by so incredibly fast, but there it went. I realized a long time ago that each passing year seemed to grow shorter, but this is getting ridiculous! And so that of course means Christmas is almost upon us, and all the towns are decked out in colored lights and shops and stores brimming over with the usual commercialization, merchandise and music.

Our special news is that we are thrilled to be able to be with our daughter Grace and youngest son Richard again this year in New York! Their invitation came as a wonderful surprise, and we are getting excited about it now. llanellipublights.jpgI'm sure the big city lights will make even this festive traditional old pub in Llanelli look like pretty small potatoes.

A week from tomorrow we take off from London and with be sleeping at our kids' home in Brooklyn, NY. And then in January, thanks to another gracious surprise gift from visitors, we fly to New Orleans in early January for a few weeks to visit our son Mike and his wife Lauren, as well as our old Verbo church home and many friends and loved ones there. (I also am in need of some serious dental work so your prayers would be much appreciated!) So as you can well imagine we are really looking forward to our time in America.

As a final note, we would like to say a big "thank you" for praying about our housing situation. We were happily relieved to have spoken with our landlord Yesterday who said that she is as happy to have us here as tenants as we are to be here in our beautiful home, and that she has no plans to sell the property. So we thank and praise the Lord once again for His continual goodness and provision!

We wish you every blessing of joy and revelation in Him as we embrace the real reason for the season, Jesus our risen Lord and Savior!

Dick & Gladys


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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Cold weather visits, and a great graduation!

frostyhens.jpgDear Friends:

It suddenly seems like winter is really here now. We've had some very cold mornings with temperatures in the low 20's, and the frost hasn't melted off in the shade until today. But the cold hasn't kept these chickens inside. They are eagerly scratching around in the early sunshine looking for tasty snacks.

This is a good reminder for our mornings as well. David says in Psalm 5:3 and 7, "In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch... But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple."

As we seek His kingdom first thing each morning, and find this multitude of new mercies,  it helps us start our days with the right perspective. It is in Him and His word that we get the nutrition for our spirit that makes all the difference in our daily lives.

Now that the cold has arrived we have put up tenttime.jpgour winter "prayer tent" in the balcony of the chapel. It is not particularly nice to look at from the outside, but with a small fan heater the temperature is a whole lot more comfortable. Sometimes it seems like a warm little nest where we enjoy God's presence as we read and pray through the scriptures, worship and admire Him, and learn more of His ways.

We love bringing visitors into the the tent and surprising them with the warmth when the chapel itself is about the same temperature as outside. When prayers get going it feels like a little powerhouse, and becomes one of our favorite places.

Usually by this time of the year things begin to slow down a little bit, but this November has been quite busy. We recently had two young ladies with us, one from Singapore, who studied last term at the Bible College, and the other from Spulpitprayers.jpgwansea. We spent some wonderful time in fellowship, and shared some amazing times of prayer. They both have such a wonderful hunger for the things of God, it was delightfully refreshing to have them with us.

Another highlight for us last week was going to the graduation of the third cohort of students from the Bible College of Wales. We hadn't been able to attend bcw3rdgrad.jpgthe first two and were glad we could make it for this one. It was extra special because we had a few friends who were in the class. We had seen them during the 12-week course, and so we had more of a connection with it all. Along with all the other 30 students, they worked extremely hard, sat under some awesome teaching, learned about community in a new light, and had their lives changed forever!

It was a great blessing to hear some of their testimonies, and catch a little bit of the fervor they have acquired for serving the Lord in a greater capacity in their different places in life. There were a wide range of ages enrolled, and is was great to see how they all flowed together like a family. It made me wish I were 40 years younger so I could start all over again to help turn the world upside down for the sake of the Gospel!

Please keep these and all previous graduates in your prayers, as well as the College in its continued development and growth. If you or someone you know would be interested in attending one of the sessions, all the information is available on the BCW website.

We wish you every blessing and encouragement in Jesus' name,

Dick & Gladys


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

An exciting new development!

houses-fields.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

You may remember that during the past several years we've talked about the promise in Jeremiah 32 where he says in verse 15, "For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.'"

It was just over six years ago that the Lord spoke to me through this scripture about the ownership of the land. Wales once was a large majority of believers, and so most of the "houses, fields and vineyards" belonged to Christians. But sadly now through secularization, most properties currently belong to unbelievers.

What filled my spirit with joy then, and still does, is that God strongly impressed on me that as people come to the Lord in revival, all these properties would come back under the stewardship of God's kingdom through His church.

It was shortly after that I realized changes were already happening. The large farm in mid-Wales where Angus Buchan, the author of Faith Like Potatoes, preached two years ago had been bought under God-orchestrated circumstances. And then the Bible College of Wales was thankfully purchased in late 2012 for continued ministry, rather than being demolished for new housing.

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During the ensuing years we've known of other Christians that have been clearly drawn to Wales by the Lord and acquiring properties. They seem to know that it has to do with preparations for the coming revival. One couple recently bought a house next to the castle here in Cilgerran. And happily, there are others already here who are becoming Christians and forming part of the church body. 

What is really exciting for us now is that our friends Stan and Sue have just purchased this large house right next to us. The house easily sleeps 14 people, and they plan to use it as kind of a prayer and mission base, and are seeking God about what that might look like. Please keep them and this project in your prayers.

For us, the amazing part of this is when revival really begins to happen here, things are now in place for people to come and serve. Intercessors, worshippers and others coming to minister will have places to stay. We already have access to the cottage from where I took this picture which can sleep six people. And we can have four extra people in our house, which just behind and below this one.

clovertonishome.jpgAlthough we still don't have a clear idea of when or how revival is going to start, we know that it is coming, and is closer than when we first arrived to pray here in 2005! The river of God's spirit is rising across the land of Wales, and more and more people are fervently and expectantly praying.

jarofscriptures.jpgWe also have a special request for your prayers. The future of the house that has been our home for the last nine years is somewhat uncertain. After our landlord's funeral, his widow said that if we could just buy the house it would make things much easier for her. She hasn't given us any direct indication of her intentions, but it wouldn't surprise us if she puts it up for sale after making some necessary repairs.

Of course we don't have the means to buy this house, but we know that for the Lord nothing is impossible! We wrote Jeremiah 32:15 and other scriptures on slips of paper, put them in this little clay jar and buried them in the garden as an act of faith. We know how wonderfully God has taken care of our needs since we've been here, and have no doubts that He will continue to do so as long as we are to stay here. We know that our times are in His hands and that He will deliver us in time of need.

Thanks for your prayers for us, and for all that is going on here in these exciting times. And we send you many blessings in Jesus' wonderful name!

Dick & Gladys


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