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Monday, January 28, 2008

Wrestling with God and hanging on!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Domestic life for us has gotten tastier since our return from Louisiana! With dried corn husks for wrappers and special corn meal brought from Louisiana, Gladys made "chuchitos" last week. A typical Guatemalan savory treat, we enjoyed sharing them with some Welsh friends and were delighted to have them enjoy them as much as we did!

On another bright note, we have just had four consecutive days of sunshine, which has been a delight to everyone. The river than runs below our house is almost back down to its normal level after been very high since we got back, even closing the nearby bridge for a day. Temperatures have been mild, though we may get frost these next few nights, and we have lots of daffodils coming up in our garden, which is a nice surprise. We'll see what else appears throughout the spring, and hope to get started on a new vegetable garden soon.

The other day I was reading in Genesis 32 about the night Jacob was left alone and wrestled with God until morning. As I was praying about this incident, the Lord began to show me that this is the kind of prayer we are after here. We are hanging on tight to His promises, and not letting go until the blessing comes. This is the kind of prayer that we are praying for other believers and prayers throughout Wales and beyond - tenacious, efficacious nation-changing prayer that won't let go. As I prayed I found myself crying out loudly for us, His body - the church, realizing with agonizing clarity that all we really want and need is for Him to make Himself known to this lost world. What greater joy could there be than seeing people rush to the Saviour?

Jacob's demand, "I will not let You go unless You bless me", could seem selfish, and perhaps it was. But the blessing we seek is the blessing that comes when the people of God get ahold of Him in prayer and keep on keeping on, pressing in, and not letting go until His blessing comes -opening blinded eyes, melting hardened hearts and saving lost souls. Please pray with us that this kind of tenacious prayer become more and more the "daily bread" and "midnight snack" of praying people everywhere.

Saturday we went to a conference entitled "What Is God Saying To Pembrokeshire". There was a panel of prophetic people who shared things the Lord had been laying on their hearts about this large county in West Wales where we live. They all came from others areas of Wales and England, and have relatively little contact with folks here, but the words they brought were clear and very accurate. There was much more said than I can relate here, but it was glorious to hear confirmed so much that we have been seeing and praying for since we've been here. There is a lively and growing sense that God is up to something. A key scripture was Isaiah 62:4, "You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah and your land Beulah, for the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married."

Hanging on to glorious Hope,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, January 21, 2008

Learning from Sarah's laughter

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Greetings from wet Wales. We have had rain every day but one since our return, though we know the sun is still up there, and have actually seen it once or twice! In fact, we did have a beautiful clear day Wednesday which cheered everyone up enormously, although most people seem to have forgotten it already.

Here you can see the towers of the castle from the cemetery, over a mile and a half away, and just past our house. Also notice the genuine Welsh blue sky in the background! And so we really appreciate the proximity to our house, which is thankfully warm and dry. Being this close to the chapel now is such a blessing, and we are so thankful for the Lord's amazing goodness!

We also have received permission again from the chapel folks to put up our temporary "prayer booth". It does seem a bit strange to be inside this little enclosure, but the small electric heater makes a huge difference here, and gives us the freedom to stay as long as we like. The chapel is usually in the low 40's and very damp, so this is a welcome refuge after walking and praying among the pews.

This past week we heard another very encouraging prophecy about Wales through our friends at Celebration For The Nations. It was given recently by Mark Stibbe at a conference in England, and in a nutshell said, "My team and I have this strong and strange discernment in our spirits that the Lord is stirring up His church in Wales, and that He is imminently going to re-open some wells. ... I really believe that what's coming to Wales is immensely significant in the days ahead. My team and I have felt very strongly in the Spirit the Lord is stirring up His people and preparing you for reopening of the wells and for the sound of singing once again, and it's the songs of the harvest that I'm talking about." You can hear the word in its entirety at:

We are glad to see others hearing such words, and we pray the church at large indeed be encouraged and prepared for what is to come. One morning at the chapel I was reading in Genesis 18 when the Lord appears to Abraham in Mamre and tells him that Sarah will give birth to a son. As I read how she laughed in disbelief, the Lord spoke to me about this same attitude in parts of the church today concerning the coming revival, and I was deeply stirred to prayer. I believe this is a serious issue, and recognize that there are some believers that aren't believers when it comes to things like this. I'm sure we all struggle with areas of unbelief at times. But Sarah's didn't stop God's plans, and neither will ours! So let us be praying for help from the Lord for the unbelief in our own lives and churches which hinders effectual prayers of faith for that which we know is coming!

In His strength alone we stand,

Dick & Gladys


Saturday, January 12, 2008

So glad to be back in Wales!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

We arrived back home in Wales Thursday night, and are very thankful to our awesome God for giving us such a wonderful time with friends and family. From the swamps of northern Louisiana to the bayous and marshlands of the Gulf coast, we enjoyed the natural beauty of our old home state to the max! The weather was even warm enough to go fishing last Sunday, and that was an unexpected treat, thanks again Kirk! We savored some great Cajun and Latin American cooking again too, and got home a little bit rounder than when we left. That will help some with the Welsh winter that is far colder and wetter!

Although we have many loved ones in Louisiana and enjoy its attributes, we are very glad indeed to be home again. The old saying "Home is where the heart is" proves true in many ways. Our hearts are in the love of God, and so we are at Home here in His heart for Wales. Yes, of course there was a twinge of sorrow saying goodbyes to our kids again, but we were born up with joy at returning to this land of our calling.

We are continually reminded of His plans for this nation and look forward to the next steps in our "Mission Invisible." One of our friends from our home church in New Orleans went to the One Thing conference at IHOP in Kansas City, and told me with great excitement that there had been a prophetic word spoken about Wales. He told me that, "... the Lord had been bringing people into Wales to specifically pray for another Welsh revival, and that He was establishing them in several key areas. Also, the word said that this coming revival would dwarf the Revival of 1904, and have a huge and unprecedented effect for the Kingdom of God..."

He told me that he was amazed by this, and that we are in exactly the right place. Isn't that encouraging? We are still amazed, even after two and a half years, that we have been set aside to live and to pray here for this coming move of God. Thank you for standing with us and praying for and with us for His grace to be released upon Wales, and the multitudes around the globe!

Blessed in His gracious goodness,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda - Happy New Year on the Mississippi

Dear Friends & Prayers:

We have really enjoyed our time here in Louisiana with family and friends. We spent Christmas Day together at our son Mike's house in Pontchatoula and enjoyed company and a bonfire and the warm weather here. We are soaking up what warmth we can before heading back to Wales next week.

Yesterday was my 60th birthday, and we had another nice time together with our kids, and then rode a streetcar into downtown New Orleans last night to see the new year roll in to dropping of a massive "Gumbo Pot" on top of one of the historic old French Quarter buildings. Of "old" has taken on a new depth since living in Wales, but we'll let them think this is old here anyway!

Throuch a friend of our daughter's, we were with a small gathering right on the Mississippi River with a great view of the fireworks and river trafiic. Here you can see one of the old riverboats that once made this enormous river the lifeline of American economy. A "good time" was had by all, as masses of people turned out for the festivities. These things are what the world looks forward to and makes a great to-do about. But we look forward to Far Greater Things than the tick of a clock, and hope for the Day when eternal things are acclaimed and celebrated in spirit and truth.

We wish you all a Very Happy 2008! We look toward a New Year filled with His glory in, through and around your lives and loved ones. We also look back in wonder at His amazing grace.

In His everlasting love,

Dick & Gladys


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