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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blown away by Extraordinary Provision!!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Spring really seems to be getting underway now, and colors are appearing everywhere. Here are a few samples of God's handiwork - beautiful reminders of His design and provision - glorious testaments of new life and promise!

A few weeks ago I mentioned our upcoming visa renewal and a test we need to take. We have now scheduled the test for April 14th. Please put that date on your calendars and pray for us, we'll need all the "help" we can get. Thank you!

When we first found out that the visa was going to cost nearly £1000 ($1500) we had no idea where that extraordinary amount would come from. Covering each month alone is enough of a challenge for our faith.

The Lord has blessed us with a friend named Michael who is also an intercessor, and has been praying for us with his family daily for several years now. He prays especially for our provision, and has been a channel of blessing. He asks the Lord to provide for him so that he can help us, and this year has been sending us £50 monthly towards our rent expense.

I shared with him about our upcoming visa expense, and he asked me how much we needed. I told him it was about £870. So he said he would pray with us, and believed the Lord wanted to enable him to bless us with what we needed, but that he had no idea how that might happen.

A few weeks ago we had visitors with us, and I was just telling them about this friend, when the telephone rang, and it was Michael! He asked me if I had a minute or two to talk, and when I said I did he then asked me if I was sitting down. He told me that a few days before he had met an elderly friend who said she had something to give him. She said it was for the Lord's work, and although she didn't know where to direct it, she knew that He would.

She gave him an envelope, saying how she had been saving this up in her wardrobe for a long time. Now the Lord had prompted her that it was time to give it to him. He told me that when he counted it out, it was 18 £50 notes and one £20!! That was exactly the amount he had been praying for - £870 for the visa and £50 towards for our rent. I was glad I was sitting down!

So he has transferred that into our bank account and we now have enough to pay for the visa next month. "THANK YOU JESUS!!!!" What an awesome and loving God we serve!

As you can imagine, we are thrilled and amazed at His constant goodness and faithfulness to us. In one sense, we probably shouldn't be, because He is true to His promises. But in the daily living and experiencing His goodness, how can we not be amazed and worship Him with our lives as Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

Encouraged by His lovingkindness and grace,

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lost Sheep and The Lamb of God

Dear Saints and Prayers:

Last weekend we drove across mid-Wales into England for a get-together with our old friends the Elsaessers and the Hewats to celebrate their thirty years in the Lord's work in the UK. We all were saved on the Lord's Land in Mendocino, California in the early 70's. It was a fun opportunity to remember old times and be thankful for all God's goodness through the years.

Saturday afternoon we went into town to have a look around. In one of the side passages of the Gloucester Cathedral I found myself captured for a few moments by this touching display.... The only reason any of us are here at all is because of what Jesus has done for each of us. Without Him, the last thirty seven years of our lives would have been "a chasing after the wind" as Solomon puts it. But because of Him, we can have great joy in knowing that His eternal purposes are being fulfilled in and through the events of our lives.

We all have so much to be thankful for, and it is always good to remember together with others His lovingkindness towards us. A backwards look at where we came from, and seeing this treasure in our lives because of Him, can also be great encouragement as we look towards the future He has prepared for us!.

A few days earlier when we were in Blaenau Ffestiniog, I snapped this shot near the edge of town. It was pretty funny watching these explorers nonchalantly navigate the streets as if they were right at home! But a deeper look reveals the sobering truth about us all. Without Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, we find ourselves described perfectly in Isaiah 53:6. "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,"

What an amazing and precious gift we have received, that we can come we come boldly before the Lord because of Jesus, the Lamb of God! And what a poignant reminder of the needs that surround us in this land of Wales. The vast majority of people here are like these sheep, cruising through life and making the best of it they can. Sooner or later the sheep will be caught and returned to their pasture, but the people?

It is for this cause we press on in our calling with joyful confidence in Whom we have believed. Jesus came to take upon Himself the burden of our sin and give life to all that will believe in Him. We count it an enormous privilege to live our lives here as a prayer for the lost and hopeless. God has given us some extraordinary encouragement lately, and continues to confirm in our hearts, as well as in the hearts of a growing army of believers, His plans for Wales and the nations!

Thank you for praying with for us, and with us for God's coming move on the peoples of the earth. Let us cry out that multitudes would turn to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls.
We bless you in Jesus' precious name!

Dick & Gladys


Friday, March 12, 2010

An Infant's Prayer of Tears

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Yesterday morning a young couple from Cardiff came to visit us with their two young children, and afterwards I took them up to the see the chapel. When we got inside, their three month old baby started crying because he was hungry. It was such a beautiful sound!

This was the first time I had never heard an infant's cry inside the chapel, and echoing in the silence it was almost like a song of prayer. I was so deeply impacted by his tender crying that I began to weep too as I realized that this is what is missing here - people need to learn to cry out to the Lord with the same simplicity and honesty as this little child cried out for his mother's milk!

It was such a clear and clarion sound, and it almost seemed that much like this would be the sound of revival breaking out, with people crying out to God because of the sudden spiritual hunger coming upon them. Truly, our condition before our Creator is no different than that of a helpless baby, yet our absolute need and total dependence on Him gets quickly covered over with life's busyness and our reliance on "our own" abilities which we have received from Him in the first place.

I spontaneously prayed out that as people come into this place they would be convicted of their desperate and continuous need for God's mercy and grace. The simple truth of Jesus' words in Luke 18:17 says it very clearly, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

All of us as believers need to have this child-like crying out to God working daily in our lives, because apart from Him we can do nothing. How much more so then, for those who have never known Jesus? Most people can manage to get through their lives somehow or other, although impoverished without God's love. But as their end draws near, what then?

So it is like this starkly honest crying out to God that we can be praying for revival - for ourselves, for the church at large, and for a lost and dying world "having no hope and without God in the world."

Hungering that the lost might hunger after God,

Dick & Gladys


Friday, March 05, 2010

St. Davids Day, Revival Songs and Flaming Coals

Dear Friends & Prayers:

On my way into Cardigan on Monday, I was surprised to find traffic crawling along, and quickly discovered the reason. March 1st was St. David's Day, who was the patron saint of Wales. And school children were hand in hand around the Cardigan Castle singing songs and having a great time of it. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures!

We've had some interesting feedback from our last update. First I got this email from a friend last Sunday and want to share a couple parts of it:

"I've been contemplating a trip to Wales to pray for revival in the land. The topic of revival has definitely been on my mind. I finally decided to email you when I saw your latest email update; something leapt in my spirit. What the lady in the church told your friend was truly amazing. I have been sensing that God wants to pour out His Spirit upon Wales again, on a massive scale. And I just recently discovered the song 'Here is Love' which was sung in a church which I just happened to be visiting for the weekend. When they sang the song in church I didn't know it was the known as the Love Song of the Welsh Revival, but the lyrics "Heaven's peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love" just jumped out at me. The other thing that happened recently at my overnight intercessory prayer group, the prayer leader told us that at the very first prayer meeting they held, one of the intercessors had mentioned Welsh coals being fanned into flames."

Only two hours later, I got another email from friends in England:

"Thank you so much for the update. Praise God indeed! When Mike was praying for you, the breakfast (Saturday) and revival this morning, I had a vision of a pair of bellows just like this one!"

These are just a couple of examples many things we hear from people, and are such confirmation and encouragement to us as we go along!

We'd like to ask for your prayers for our meeting next week in Blaenau Ffestiniog. This will be our third time going up specifically to pray with a group there for what the Lord would have happen there. You perhaps recall my sharing an experience I had while driving through there with Gladys last June.

Another important matter that needs prayer is that our UK visa comes up for renewal soon. We will have been here five years (!!) in May, and have to apply now for an "indefinite leave to remain." Due to new immigration rulings, we will have to take a "Life in the UK" test which covers a LOT of information. It is a big challenge especially for Gladys, as it is all in English, and the multiple-choice type questions can be confusing even for me. Please just ask the Lord that we might receive grace to pass this hurdle of 24 questions out of hundreds of possible combinations!

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement,

Dick & Gladys


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