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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wedding Bells & family in sunny Louisiana...

Dear Friends and Prayers:

In beautiful warm Louisiana under a canopy of blue skies and puffy white clouds our son Michael and Lauren became husband and wife. It was wonderful to see their joy and excitement, and I was very blessed and honored that they asked me to marry them. So we are now officially "suegros" (in-laws) and have a beautiful new daughter!

It was wonderful to see many friends and meet more of her large family. We all enjoyed some delicious home-made gumbo and other great Louisiana cooking right there at Lauren's family home where the wedding took place. You can see a few more pictures by clicking here!

One very special touch was that Mike sang a song he wrote for the occasion as Lauren's father walked her down the aisle. We couldn't have been prouder parents. And many others couldn't have had wetter cheeks!

We had really hoped to see our oldest son Peter, who we haven't seen for six years. He wasn't able to attend because of his USMC recruiing duties. But on Sunday, God in His amazing and bountiful goodness provided us with the funds to be able to fly out to west to visit him! So after visiting a church in Shreveport this weekend that helps support us in Wales, we'll fly into southern California next Thursday. Isn't God just amazing?

Another exciting bit of family news is that our daughter Grace has found a job with Mercy Corp, and Monday flew from New Orleans to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! She arrived last night, and tomorrow flies to the interior of the country to do field evaluations teach a workshop in nutrition and food security projects there. She is really looking forward to a totally new experience, and gaining new skills that will help develop her career. Please remember Grace and other team members in your prayers!

It has been a great time so far, and anticipate more to come. We hope to make contact with several old friends on the west coast and share about the amazing adventure God has had us on in recent years. I also think it will be somewhat of a culture shock from rural west Wales to southern California. Surely two weeks in small Louisiana will help soften the blow!

Thank you for your prayers that God use us to bless and encourage those we meet!

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back in the U.S...., back in the U.S. of A.!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

It's hard to believe it, but we are actually back in the U.S.A! We arrived Tuesday night. and jet lag has taken it's toll, but by tomorrow I think we'll just about be recovered. It has been so great to see our son Mike and his fiancé Lauren, and they are counting the days until the wedding is a week from this Saturday.

I really miss my mornings in the chapel, and so yesterday morning I went off to find a place to have my quiet time. I drove down a small road nearby and found this little church. I liked the what the sign says, and so pulled into the parking lot to pray and read and feed!

This morning I went back again, and had an opportunity to meet the pastor. It was a real blessing sharing with him, and I was encouraged to discover that he is quite familiar with the Welsh revival! It even turned out we have friends in common that he knew from years ago in Alaska. What a small world when the Lord directs our steps!

Monday morning above the chapel, I was admiring this plowed field, like I do every year. I was just leaning on the gate and praying, when suddenly the Lord brought to mind this verse in Isaiah 28:24 that says, "Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?" Our time of praying here in Wales is like a plowing of the spiritual soil. And what the Lord blessed me with here is the statement that plowing is just for a season, and then come the next steps and eventually the fruit!

Verses 25 and 26 go on to say "When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?
For He instructs him in right judgment, His God teaches him."
This clearly shows how it is the Lord that gives specific instructions for each kind of seed.

Then verse 29 finishes off by saying about all the processes from start to finish, "This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance." Isn't that a wonderful truth to know? He who is excellent in guidance is eager to steer us in the right direction - to make us productive and beneficial for His kingdom and His people! Our part then is to just be attentive and obedient to His voice.

That may not always prove easy, but it will bear fruit because of Him who leads us. What a blessing to know He can be so fully trusted! And now as we are away for a time from the work we have been doing, we can rejoice in the fact that our Wonderful Counselor will continue to guide our steps. And not only ours, but the steps of all who strive to make Jesus the Lord of our lives and thoughts from day to day and moment to moment!

May the grace of His presence be with you more each day,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, October 04, 2010

God, give us Wales for Yourself!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Friday during my morning prayer time I was reading through chapter 3 of 1st Kings. Verse 5 says, "At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, 'Ask! What shall I give you?'" I was stopped in my tracks by such an amazing offer!

I paused to wonder what would my request be if the Lord were to appear to me and ask me that question. I found myself immediately crying out, "Lord, give me Wales for Yourself" over and over! Thoughts of the countless people we've seen here flashed through my mind as I cried out - the farmers, the families, the multitudes lost youth of this land.

It seemed a bit bold, but why shouldn't we ask for big things? In Psalm 2:8, the One enthroned in heaven says to His Son, "Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession." Aren't we the Body of Christ on earth today? And so we have every right, and the responsibility, to ask Him not only for Wales, but for the nations of the world as well. There is nothing too hard for Him!

Saturday morning was the comissioning service for more than 125 missioners that are here now in Cardiganshire for Walk Saint David. This is the last week of three in which dedicated men and women from around the U.K. have walked around the coast of West Wales to share the Good News of Jesus in towns and villages and farms.

We had the blessing of being accompanied by a few of them Saturday night as we walked the streets with the Teifi Pastors. We had some wonderful conversations with people, and got to pray with one older gentleman and see tears streaming down his checks as God's love touched Him in a special way.

Yesterday afternoon I was asked to guide a short tour with a dozen of the Walk Saint David missionaries. We went to the chapel in New Quay where the first sparks of revival were kindled in February 1904, and then on to the chapel in Blaenannerch. This is where, later that year, young Evan Roberts was moved so powerfully upon by the Holy Spirit and cried out, "Bend me, Lord!" In less than one month after that, the fires of the Welsh Revival were burning brightly throughout South Wales and spreading fast!

Re-reading a little of the history the day before, I found this bit about Seth Joshua, who was preaching when Evan Roberts was "bent" by God. His son had skipped school one day and was playing in a park with a friend when to his horror his father came walking along. They jumped into a hedge to hide. "As he came near I was frightened as I heard that he was crying (something I thought never my Dad would ever do) and as he went by he was saying, 'Please God, give me Wales', and kept saying this as long as I could hear him."

During our prayer time in both chapels hearts were touched and tears flowed in cries for Wales. So would you please join in with us, along with the plea of those noble souls that have gone before us, in crying out to God with all our hearts, "Please God, give us Wales and her salvation for Yourself and the glory of Your Name!"

Expecting great things through Christ our Lord,

Dick & Gladys


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