Welcome to Wales Awakening
Thursday, November 07, 2019

First frost - the cycles of seasons and nations, and far-reaching prayer

melting frostDear Praying Friends and Saints:

An early frost surprised us last week, bringing with it the reminder that seasons come and go like everything else, ourselves included. Changing foliage and bare branches leave us no choice but to embrace the colder days, and one another to stay warm as we go tumbling down like the leaves into the years.

What can be the harshness of incoming winter also seems to be reflected currently in the political wrangling going on in nations around the world. People are struggling for position and permanence when the only solid ground is found in Jesus. 1 John 2:17 clearly says, "And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

It is only from our position through grace as heirs of God's eternal kingdom that we can pray correctly. There is some great guidance for prayer in this exhortation in Hosea 10:12-13, "Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you."

We can't produce righteousness on our human level, it can only come from above. And inherent in prayer for revival is the expectation of fruit in our time, but the real goal is eternal. We happily continue to have people come join us in prayer, and this is the very thing we all have in common. The desire among believers in the nations is for the outpouring of God's grace and mercy to touch their lands. Of course, we all long to see justice and peace in this world, but far beyond the cycles of seasons and nations, God is populating His kingdom forever.

Our last visitors at the chapel were from South Korea, and as they came up the stairs they didn't yet know that their country's flag was right above their heads. It just landed there when we rearranged things to make room for our winter tent. One couple has lived in London for decades working with people from China, and the other couple are part of a large congregation in Seoul.

Then last weekend, we were invited to mid-Wales to a small gathering of people for an extended time of worship and whatever more the Lord might bring about through that. It was a rich time in His presence, and some powerful and prophetic prayers were made on behalf of Wales and beyond. The turbulence in the temporal sphere came into proper perspective as we focussed on God's heart for a lost world.

God the Father says to His son Jesus in Psalm 2:8, "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession." What a joy to be able to join in with  prayers such as these! Read the whole Psalm for a glorious perspective and power for your prayers, and may God richly bless you,

Dick & Gladys


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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Awesome fruit of prayers in Canada, London friends, and a family visit!

Holy Spirit You Are Welcome HereDear Friends and Prayers:

We got a wonderful email last week from our dear friends Bryn and Sylvia in Alberta, Canada. They first got in touch with us in early 2014 and then came to spend six months here in Wales. They had been involved in prayer ministry for several years and were volunteers at Ffald-y-Brenin for most of their time here.

After their return to Canada, they opened "The Prayer House in their home in Vulcan, Alberta. We had the privilege of visiting them in June of 2017 and meeting several of their praying friends. You can read about our visit in the June 7th entry of our update at this link and how our hearts were touched by their prayers for the indigenous Siksika Nation Reserve nearby.

You can imagine how delighted we were when we got their email with this photo! They said, "This sign went up on the Siksika Reserve last week. Sylvia, Roy and I helped the pastor from the New Living Waters Church on the reserve. We have been working on it since May. The letters are 8 feet high and the sign is about 230 feet long. People are marveling at it. God is working in incredible ways. There are too many stories to tell..." How amazing and encouraging!

Friends in LondonLast week Gladys and I went to London for a few days to visit some old friends and combine it with a little sightseeing. We took off without any agenda other than just to have some free time. It was wonderful to meet up with our friend Rosie, whose family graciously hosted us fourteen years ago when we were still trying to find a place of our own to rent. We hadn't seen her since she went off to university, and it was so good to catch up.

We met up earlier at the British Museum with our friend Marce from Guatemala, who we met last year. Her family had been part of the Verbo churches there before moving to Spain many years ago. It was a joy to be able to introduce them, and then discover the kind of surprising common connections we all had that only the Lord can arrange.

And then it turned out that Marce is the niece of a Spanish pastor who came to talk I gave for the Bible College of Wales students here last month. And his wife was the aunt of the BCW student from Guatemala who we met a few weeks ago and another student at the Verbo school in Guatemala 40 years ago!

In Tenby with son RichardAfter visiting other dear friends last Friday who we hadn't seen in nearly ten years, we went to the airport early Saturday morning to pick up our youngest son Richard who flew in from California on business. He arranged his plans to spend a long weekend with us in Wales, and it was a wonderful time indeed. After driving through four hours of rain, when we got within an hour of our house, the sun had broken through the clouds as if to welcome us home.

Then on Sunday we had an amazingly beautiful day and visited Tenby on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. It seems hard to believe that we have been living here 14 years now, but the richness of our brief time together and the difficult goodbye this morning made it obviously real.

We are comforted and encouraged by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 10:29-30, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time … and in the age to come, eternal life."

And that is our prayer for Wales and the nations, that they may receive eternal life through the atoning blood of Jesus.

Dick & Gladys


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Monday, October 21, 2019

The amazing love of God... accompanied by an exhilarating surprise!

chapelfieldplowed2019Dear Saints:

Among our readings recently we have been going through Paul's letters to the Thessalonians. This portion in 1 Thess.4:9-10 says, "But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia..." What a great testimony of how the Body of Christ should work.

Then in chapter 5:8 and 11, he goes on to say, "But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation... Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."

With the many visitors that we continually receive, we are so glad to be able to say that this is our experience. We receive such rich blessings from each one, and we just can't keep it to ourselves. That is how God's love works and it overflows in gratitude to God and love toward others. Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 3:7, "So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase."

mushroom rain poolThe beauty of all this is that it is God's working in all of His children. There are no super-stars, it's just us, all of us who call God our father, just being family. We realize time and again what a privilege it is to be here and receive and share God's love through those that He sends our way. People have asked over the years what has kept us on course here for so long, and the overwhelming answer is that it simply is His love.

This last week was no exception. On Tuesday we enjoyed the visit of two friends of our neighbors, one of whom we'd met somewhere before. She had come for a personal retreat nearby. After a special time of prayer at the chapel, she asked if she could come back later in the week for a visit and to hear the story of how we came to be here in Wales. On Friday when the knock came on our door, we opened to three people instead of just the one we were expecting. And we were going to need help eating the apple pie that Gladys had made just for the visit. Love times three!

rainbow segment @ crossroads Katja quickly explained that she had shared about her time with us on the Tuesday with Serena and Graham, who she met at Ffald-y-Brenin, and when they heard that she was coming for a visit they asked if they could come along. So the more the merrier, as they say, and it really was. Included in what they had heard was about the recently filled baptistry, and that did it for Serena. She had felt the Lord prompting her for some time to be baptized, and so asked if we might be able to baptize her.

To make a long story short, we spend the whole afternoon and evening together. After getting acquainted and sharing our stories, we went up to the chapel and, after a quick survey of the baptistry, we had an amazing time of prayer and worship together. Then we went to Cardigan for supper and made plans for the baptism the next morning.

joyous baptism!After clearing it with a couple of members of the chapel, we met about 11:30 in the vestry to talk about baptism. We shared the basics from Romans 6, which she was familiar with already, along with a few examples, and off we went. We were glad to be joined by our neighbor Stan who came along for support and to share in this special event.

After making a few modifications at the water source, and plenty of rainfall in the last couple of weeks, there was an abundance of water. We were thrilled that the Lord would arrange this all so soon after everything was ready. I'd even considered emptying the baptistry before all the leaves fall, but He had plans for a "test run".

Graham had asked if anybody would mind if he were to film everything, and so he was taking part with an extra "eye" on things. When he sent me the finished product yesterday morning, I was amazed at its simplicity and beauty. It is very moving and I hope you will take the 2 1/2 minutes to watch it at this private link.

We are simply astonished yet once again at how the Lord coordinates so many things all in the background! This was like the "first fruits" of what we believe God has in store for this place. And each day is a discovery of His ongoing goodness.

Thank you for your continued interest. And as 1 Thess.5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Dick & Gladys


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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Healing the land, and seeding the nations...

National Prayer Breakfast, Builth Wells, October, 2019 Dear Praying Friends:

Once again the last two weeks have flown by. Leaves are turning and falling now as autumn gets underway, and change is in the air. Last Friday morning the National Prayer Breakfast of Wales was held at the Royal Welsh Showgrounds in Builth Wells in Mid-Wales. This was the first nationwide breakfast held in several years. There's been a changing of the guard and the new team of organizers did a wonderful job!

Of course, it was marvelous to see so many dear friends that we've not seen for a very long time, and also a great opportunity to make new ones. There were people from many different backgrounds and denominations, but the common ground was a universal longing for a fresh move of God throughout the principality. One of the prayers near the end of the breakfast was very moving, and there is a copy of it at this link to encourage and guide your prayers for Wales.

Healing the Land The breakfast itself was the first segment of a two-day conference called "Healing The Land". It was hosted by the Christian Centre For Rural Wales and organized to provide a dedicated time for fellowship, worship and teaching, and concerted prayer for mercy and healing for our land.Bales in the sunshine There were exceptional teachings by our friend Roy Godwin of the nearby Ffald-y-Brenin retreat center, and also by Andreas Keller from Switzerland. He has had years of experience in praying for the land specifically in farming communities in many nations besides his own and shared some incredibly powerful testimonies of the power of prayer for the earth and its correct alignment with the overriding rule of God and the order that He has established for our obedience and blessing. The dovetailing of the teachings of these two brothers was extremely anointed and powerful. They had never even met before, and kept saying they had "stolen" each other's notes!

After an amazing weekend, today was another exceptional time for us. We were so blessed to be able to spend the day with the current group of students from the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. This is their ninth group of international students for the twelve-week School of Ministry and it was a joy and an honor to spend time with them.

We met this morning at the "Bend me!" chapel in Blaenannerch, known as the kick-off point of the 1904 Welsh Revival. I had been asked by the College to share about the background and early beginnings of the revival and, in particular, Evan Roberts experience there when the Holy Spirit empowered and directed him back to Moriah Chapel. It was there that the Kingdom of God exploded with transformational power into the lives of local Welsh folk, and then swept the nation of Wales and touched the nations of the world at the start of the 20th century. It is always a very moving experience to share about these events and it launched us into a prolonged time of prayer interspersed with bcwstudentsatcilfowyr worship and hearts were made tender through God's love. Tears flowed freely, lives were touched, and it was an absolute treasure to be a part of such a special time.

When we finished there, they all piled into the bus and followed us over to our own Cilfowyr Chapel for a packed lunch in the vestry. The floor of the 220-year-old chapel, now used only occasionally for fellowship and refreshments, held up well enough under the weight of the joy and camaraderie that filled it. The 38 students and staff from nine nations carry a glorious portion of God's presence and grace, and the small space was buzzing with life and fun.

After lunch, we went over to the main chapel where I briefly shared a bit of our background and our specific calling here to pray for the coming revival. Realizing that in God's amazing ways, our presence here over the years had a small part to play in the re-opening of the Bible College and these students being here today was a bit overwhelming for us both. And what made it even more precious to us was the fact that one of the students here is the daughter of a pastor in Guatemala who had been a student in the Verbo Christian School that I started and directed forty years ago. It was a massive privilege to be able to share with these beautiful dedicated saints, and encourage them in the indescribable destiny that God holds for each one as they say "Yes" to His calling on their lives.

They will be launched like seeds into the wind of the Holy Spirit into places and nations they might not even imagine as yet! Just as Jesus told Nicodemos in John 3:8, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Please join us in praying for these sons and daughters of the King, and that the fruit of their lives will, in turn, reach many thousands more with the incomparable love of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

As always, thank you for your faithful interest and prayers for us, for the people of Wales, and the nations that God is seeking to save,

Dick & Gladys


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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The crossing over of the King, and prophetic nostalgia?

chapel in the sunlightDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

Sunday morning when I went to the chapel it was rainy and bleak, and for some reason, I parked in the field at the top of the drive to do my reading. After a while, much to my delight, the clouds behind me opened up for a few minutes and flooded the whole recently harvested field with sunlight. We love how the Lord always provides us with special moments when we set aside time to spend with him.

Something similar also frequently happens when we spend time in the word. We can be reading through a passage or thinking about a portion when something is suddenly made alive to us. It may be something we've read many times over the years. But when the Holy Spirit highlights it for us, a whole new area of understanding opens up before us as He reveals more of Himself.

Recently we’ve been reading the story of how Absalom rose up against his father King David in 2nd Samuel. And yesterday morning I found myself detained and tears started to flow as soon as I read 2 Samuel 19:39 that says, "David's Return" by James Tissot (1836-1902)"Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over…" I couldn't continue reading for quite a while and found myself overcome with joy and longing in my prayer. The words from Isaac Watts hymn, When I Survey The Wondrous Cross come to mind, "Sorrow and love flow mingled down..."

This became a marvelous picture of revival to me! It is like the Lord coming back to restore a personal and joy-producing relationship with his people, rather than an intermediary organization that so easily forms the dependence of its members on its religious activities. It is the Body of Christ returning to its roots as a Spirit-empowered, life-giving, love-sharing organism rather than the sterility of "membership" in an ecclesiastical organization. I suppose this is "the rest of the story" of what the Lord showed me several years ago in the previous chapters when David was forced out of Jerusalem by Absolom. For the complete picture, you can read "What does the Kidron Brook have to do with me?"

A few moments later it dawned on me that it was September 23rd, the very day that I got radically saved in Northern California. It was way back in 1973, and once again I found tears flowing freely as I remembered with joy and infinite thankfulness the experience of my salvation—the revelation and conviction of my sinfulness and the power of God's saving grace through Jesus. And that added another burst of depth to my prayers, that all might know the grace and power of God's astounding love.

Then the words "prophetic nostalgia" dropped into my mind. When we remember some wonderful experience in our past that makes us long to "be there again", like a particular event, a family gathering, or just a sweet old homesickness, that demonstrates our capacity for a deep yearning. I think God gives us that capacity chapel viewed from vestry doorfor His purposes. It's as if all those good things in our lives that can make us nostalgic and long for them are just for practice. Regular nostalgia can't really bring anything back. But "prophetic nostalgia" is applying best and greatest longing we could ever possibly have to the fulfillment of God's glorious promises of His coming kingdom.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."  John 3:16-17

"And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.'"  Revelation 21:3-4

We hope this serves as good fuel for prayer as together we yearn in prayer for revival, 

Dick & Gladys


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