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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Royal Welsh Show & Celebration for the Nations

Dear Friends and Prayers:

While at the Royal Welsh Show last Tuesday, we received some great news from our daughter Grace. She was offered a one year internship with Feed The Children and will be moving to Rome, Italy to work with their office there! She is so excited, and relieved to find work at last, because she finishes her year with World Vision this Friday. And then we were further delighted to hear from her again to say that they've asked her to spend a few days with their staff in London, so we'll get to see her in a couple of weeks. Thank you Jesus! And thank you for praying for her - the Lord is so faithful, and never too late!

Our four days at the show were really good fun, and we met some wonderful people. It was by far the largest crowd that we've seen all in one place in Wales. The town of Builth Wells, whose population is less than three thousand, was overrun by 220,000 people who visited the show during the week. This picture shows just one "block" along one of nearly twenty avenues. The grounds are massive, but even with so many places to be, it was still crowded everywhere as you can see here.

There was certainly plenty to see and do for entertainment. Several arenas were busy all day with diverse activites, and there were huge livestock displays. There were things to buy from hundreds upon hundreds of stands selling everything under the sun, and eating places on every corner. Several times as I wandered among the throngs of people I was reminded of the verse in Matthew 9:36 "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."

And so it is for the vast majority of people here. They are wandering through life with no knowledge of a loving Saviour whose desire is to bring them to Himself and give them eternal life. The busyness of life is like an endless chain of activities and diversions, with its accompanying joys and sorrows. But without the relationship with Jesus Christ as the foundation for their lives, it is all just "vanity and grasping for the wind" as Solomon says in Ecclesiastes.

Among all this hustle and bustle there were four different Christian outreaches to the crowds. We took part in this hospitality tent, where people were welcomed to have a hot drink and just sit down and rest after endless walking throughout the grounds. It was an opportunity to just be friendly to folks and offer easy conversation or a listening ear. There were opportunities to pray for people and share the gospel as led and many seeds were sown. It was also a blessing to share encouragement and comfort with believers came in to chat.

Gladys' easy way with people and boldness to speak what Welsh she knows with people made for many fun encounters. And my "American accent" almost invariably leads to the (loaded) question of "What brings you to Wales?" So there is an open door to talk about Jesus and His workings in this "Land of Revivals." I'm still amazed at how many church-going people know nothing of the mighty move of God here just over one hundred years ago.

Though we did see some beautiful sunny weather, mostly it was raining and wet. Today I had to smile when I heard someone refer to "Welsh liquid sunshine". By the end of the show, things were pretty sloppy. The thousands of cars were parked well outside of town in different farmers' fields and people were bussed in to the showgrounds. Here you can appreciate how muddy things got. Nary a problem though as tractors were on hand to tow cars out of (or into) the parking fields!

Thursday afternoon we drove down to Llanelli in South Wales to take part in the third Celebration For The Nations. After the press of the crowds and the noise of the Royal Welsh Show, it was a wonderful change of scene. Here were hundreds of fellow believers gathered together to worship the triumphant Lord of Lords and to pray for His kingdom to break into Wales and the nations this needy world.

Once again there was a large contingent of mostly young believers who came from South Korea for this event, as well as many from other nations. Although we missed most of the eight day event, it was a great blessing and encouragement for us to catch the last couple of meetings. Friday's final meeting was a time for special prayers for groups going out from here on different mission trips. Those being prayed for here were being sent to China and Tibet. Among the groups prayed for were those living here in Wales. And so we were really blessed to not only pray for others, but to receive prayer from these saints so filled with the presence of God and the determination to be tools in His hands wherever he choose to lead them.

Thank you again for your continued prayers as God unveals His plans for the nations. And please remember those whose lives were touched by God's love in both of these events, and especially for those that are going out from here on missions trips in the days ahead.

So glad to be a part of His family on earth,

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, July 19, 2009

A funny kind of email!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Here is Blaenau Ffestiniog again. I just want to ask you to please remember to pray specifically for this town. We know something is going on - it came up again today more than once. Look at an email I received this morning from some other "strangers". I just had to pass it on!

Dear Dick and Gladys,
I am sitting here absolutely gob-smacked. By an amazing God who weaves the threads and never ceases to amaze us! We have been back barely a week from Spain - the country that God has really laid on our hearts - and my husband was watching the "Transformations" DVD again this afternoon, and in particular commenting on Guatemala..... and again encouraged by the way God answers fervent prevailing prayer.
A phone conversation with a friend last night led me by a very circuitous route to your website, and immediately we felt a spiritual kinship. We too go back to 1972! The Jesus movement!!! Those days of fervent intercessions and seeing God moving in answer to prayer; learning to walk in the Spirit, the excitement of living in heaven on earth. And the names from then, Arthur Burt, ....
... Now 37 years on my husband has just retired, and for some time we have been being led back to that place of deep intercessory prayers which we 'grew up' in, and excited at finding so many others also being led the same way, KNOWING and SEEING without shadow of doubt that God has this nation (Wales) on His heart for such an outpouring of His Spirit.
And now we find you in Wales!!! Just today we were talking about friends who moved to BLAENAU FFESTINIOG at the end of last year feeling that was where God wanted them...........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We watched your video an hour ago, and just knew your heart -
I have now that funny kind of feeling of "Divine Appointment" that comes when God causes two cells to cross paths........
This is a funny kind of email, but am sure you understand that I just had to make contact, I don't know where this is leading, but I sure sense the Shepherd here! Blessings, In Yeshua,
Jill and Mike

So as you can see, there are more connections happening and it is just amazing to watch the Lord continue to put things in place. This week is the Celebration for the Nations in Llanelli, and afterwards we will be having a few young Koreans staying with us for four days to share in what we are doing. These kids are simply on fire for Jesus and wanting to go "do the stuff." Besides praying with us in the chapel, we are planning to take them up to Blaenau Ffestiniog on the first weekend in August and walk and pray in the town, talk with people and see what else the Lord leads us into, so we covet your prayers for this.

Tomorrow after the monthly meeting at Cilfowyr, Gladys and I head north to the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells. It is like a glorified old-fashioned county fair but is nationwide and draws well over 200,000 people. A large portion of the farming population attend and it has everything there that has to do with Welsh life.

Last fall we were invited to take part in a team of Christians that do ministry during the four days of the show. They have a large tent on the grounds and they give hospitality, a listening ear and offer prayer to people. A number of people gave their lives to Jesus last year and many people received prayer for healing and also for the Lord to meet their particular needs. This outreach is a wonderful opportunity to witness of God's love and plan of redemption, so we are grateful for all your prayers for this activity too.

Later on in the week we plan to be in the final meetings of the Celebration also, so we trust it will be a busy and fruitful time.

Thank you so very much for your prayer support.

In His unceasing grace,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, July 13, 2009

Another visit to North Wales

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Once again we have been encouraged and strengthened by visits from "strangers" and rejoice to see how the Lord is calling so many praying saints and intercessors into active duty. This group got in touch with us a few weeks ago and so we met up last weekend at "Thunder on the Mountain" in the Preselis. After that prayer and worship event finished Sunday at noontime, they came to our house for a visit. They also did a video conference with their congregation who were in their Sunday morning meeting in Sarasota, Florida. We were even asked to give them a greeting also!

Then we took them to visit our chapel, and had a really wonderful time there praying and singing. It was a blessing to have such a fervent injection of crying out to the Lord for His intervention in this land of Wales. From there we went to the nearby chapel in Blaenannerch where Evan Roberts cried out "Bend me, oh Lord" in 1904. This chapel has a steady stream of visitors because of what took place there so many years ago.

And so we joined in the flow of heartfelt prayers and longing after God that has been deposited here over the years. We were all deeply moved and invited the Lord to continue to bend us and make us useful vessels of His mercy to a needy world. Karise, one of the group, shared a powerful song that helped set the tone for our prayers together.

After an amazing weekend, Gladys and I drove north again on Tuesday to the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog that I've mentioned before. We didn't really know what to expect, and mainly we went just to explore a bit, and try to find what more, if anything, the Lord would show us about the experience I had there just weeks earlier. Not knowing where to start, we drove though the town center and then found a place to park on the far end of the village.

Drawn to a very old chapel near where we stopped, we found that it had been converted into a sculptor's studio some forty years earlier. There was a man working inside who kindly showed us around and told us of this chapel's demise. I asked him if he grew up in a chapel-going family, and he said yes. When I asked if he was believer, he said he hadn't been to a chapel in years. I repeated my question, and he said, "I suppose I am", with a bit of uncertainty. I told him that God hasn't forgotten his village, and that we believe He is poised to do something remarkable in this village and this nation once again.

I had another conversation with an elderly gentleman I met. He still goes to chapel, and commented that more people should do so. But he didn't seem to understand when I talked about having a daily relationship with the living God rather than just weekly attendance to a chapel meeting. He is one of a relatively small group that still bother to go at all. Please help us pray for those that have given up chapel but haven't given up their faith.

In the photo above, Gladys and I are standing at the first flat place of one of the old mining "inclines". Interestingly enough, we climbed up past this very place when we were here on a month-long exploratory trip over six years ago when we came to seek the Lord about moving to Wales. I remember going up through these abandoned places, literally surrounded by mountains of evidence of long-ceased labors, and pondering how the vitality has all but vanished from here. Little did I know then that the Lord would bring us back to this very spot, and have us crying out for the breaking forth of His grace and glory that I saw so clearly just three weeks ago.

One precious connection the Lord made for us was with Ken, standing with Gladys lower down on the same incline. (In the heyday of mining here in the late 1800's, men and materials would go up and down on sledges or trams.) Ken lived in this village for thirty years, and knows everyone and they all know him. He has prayed for and preached the word to practically everyone here at some time or another. Being a runner most of his life, he trained by running up and down these hills for years and knows the whole area better than most.

It was a real privilege for us to go up into these areas and pray with him. And he was greatly encouraged also to hear what the Lord had shown me, and was all too glad to spend time with us praying and proclaiming God's word over the town and its inhabitants. He knows most of the believers in the village and that may prove a real asset in times ahead.

We spent our second night with Ken and his wife where they recently moved on the coast about ten miles away. And that evening we joined them and a small but fiery group of prayers in a church hall in the village of Llanbedrog out on the Llyn Peninsula. It was delightful to hear such hearty singing coming from the building as we approached, as well as surprising to find just a few inside! It seemed like heaven must have sent reinforcements for the choir! I know that the prayers of this small group of saints are having an impact in the heavenly realms over North Wales, and we found it wonderfully refreshing to discover such a company of stalwart troopers!

Although we still don't have any clearer understanding about the "cloud of revival glory" the Lord showed me hanging closely over this area, it is clear that God is preparing the way through prayer! This is just one more group with whom we've come in contact and who are tenaciously crying out to the Lord of the harvest for the manifestation of His Kingdom on earth.

Pressing in for His blessing on Wales,

Dick & Gladys


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thunder in the Preselis!!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

In spite of a few showers, clear skies prevailed above and clear cries of worship, intercession and prophetic declarations prevailed in this farmer's field below. With marvelous views of green countryside in central Pembrokeshire, the heavens resounded with worship and warfare, dance and triumph of God's glorious Kingdom in this land.

This 24 hour event is going on through the night as I write this, and helps bring the wind of the Spirit to fill the sails of our Caption's ship. Organized by a local church and a group of worshippers and intercessors from the U.S., together with a host of worship teams from south and west Wales, well over a hundred people turned out to give this event a powerful impact on the land. The mood was jubilant and the music uplifting, dispelling any doubt that God is sovereignly at work in this place once again!

Gladys and I were delighted to find that among the groups that came from America there werea few people from Argentina, and a young man from Mexico whose parents are misisonaries! It didn't take long for us to connect with the ones from Argentina, whose English was very limited. After nearly a week, they were overjoyed to find someone they could really talk with.

They clung to us like glue after being in a strange land with a strange tongue! It was really healt-warming to find ourselves like a refuge for them as they poured out their hearts about things the Lord has been showing them while here, and how they were drawn to Wales in the first place. We are continually amazed how He moves people around and has everything perfectly coordinated, and it is such a joy to encounter those that He puts in our path.

Perhaps to some of the local people in the area think this is just another event taking place here today, like another larger one a few fields away from here. But we know that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..." 1 Cor.10:4-5. There is a lot more going on here than meets the eye, and it's fruit is very sweet to the taste!

Next week we will be going back to North Wales to spent a couple days praying in and around the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog that I mentioned in my June 25th update. So we cover your prayers as we seek the Lord about what His plans are for that place. The Lord has already given us few connections there, and so want to be a blessing to them, and take them some much needed encouragement. We greatly appreciate your prayers that the Holy Spirit guide our steps and give us His words and wisdom for each and every encounter.

In the great love of Jesus for you and for Wales,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Another Week of Blessings!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Another very full week has flown by, and I hardly know where to begin. First, I'd like to share a little more about our weekend in North Wales. There is now a report about the prayer gathering in Cwystwyth on June 20th at the Wales Awake! website. Then on that Sunday night, we stayed with our friends Wynn and Netta who have a farm with sheep and beautiful shire horses. Her great grandfather, Dafydd Morgan, was instrumental in the 1859 revival that swept through Cwmystwyth Valley.

It wasn't just domesticated animals that we saw either. I didn't know there were elephants in North Wales, but did manage to catch a shot of this colorful one trying to hide in the flowers on the hills overlooking Penmanmawr! Isn't the Lord's artwork amazing?

Then last weekend we had a wonderful visit by Tim and Cheryl from Iowa. In March they returned via London from a trip to Israel, and when they flew over Wales and Ireland they were both impressed upon by the Lord with a strong sense that they needed to come here. On their return home, they looked up the Welsh Revival and found out about our intercessory work here, and felt compelled to get in touch with us. And the result was that we were their first visit a series of contacts in Europe.

They arrived Friday and we took them to St. Govan's Chapel that we visited in April with our South African intercessor friends, and they received a mighty blessing there as did we. It was precious to see the tears flow freely with a longing for God's grace once again pour out on this land and the other nations of Europe that God has laid on their hearts. It was a great blessing and encouragement for us to meet more of God's people with His heart for the nations!

While visiting with friends when we passed through Chicago on our way home, The question came up of why God chose Wales for so many revivals throughout the years. At the time, I didn't know the answer, but as we sat praying just below the chapel in glorious sunny weather, I suddenly received the answer. It was because of the sincere and intense sacrifices of prayer for Wales that started in this very place nearly 1500 years ago!

This coming weekend is another busy one with a large 24-hour prayer and worship gathering in the Preseli Hills that will attended by a large group of folks from the U.S., so we're looking forward to even more reinforcements. There is no doubt that the intensity of prayer is growing, and we are so thankful to be here at a time such as this!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for and interest in this tiny nation.

In His grace and care,

Dick & Gladys


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