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Welcome to Wales Awakening
Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Happiest News ever!

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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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