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Monday, April 26, 2010

A Time in North Wales & More Encouragement!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Spring is really underway now, flowers are everywhere, and birds are singing with gusto at the brilliant weather we've been having. Over two weeks of sunshine and no frost since last Monday means the outside has drawn us into another growing season. We've started work in the vegetable garden and the fruit trees are in bloom. What beauty the Lord has created all around us, an amazing testiment of His goodness. How it makes us long for hearts and eyes to be opened to see how great is His amazing love and forgiveness and salvation!

Last Tuesday we drove north again to Blaenau Ffestiniog forwhat has become a monthly prayer meeting there at our friends Eric and Jane's house. To everyone's delight, there was a wonderful surprise for us - they lead us in worship, Eric with the accordion and Jane on the guitar. You may recall my asking you several months ago to for pray for healing for her from chronic fatigue syndrome, and she has improved enough to play guitar and sing aloud. Thank you, Lord! And please do keep praying for her too, for total recovery.

This was our fourth meeting there, and it was a blessing to have both English and Welsh flowing in prayer. We were also blessed to learn that there are a couple of other small groups that are praying there too, so we hope to make contact and bring encouragement to them as well. We still don't have much more clarity as to what the Lord wants to do since He gave me such a strong impression of impending revival coming again to that area, but prayer is certainly a good place to start!

In keeping with the Lord's wonderful goodness and care of us, a friend provided us with two nights at a bed & breakfast near Llandudno on the north coast of Wales. After the month of studying for our test and getting all the paperwork together for the visa application, which is now in the hands of the authorities (please keep this in your prayers), Gladys and I needed a little break. The timing was perfect and we enjoyed just exploring a little of this part of the country, which is breathtakingly beautiful.

Thursday we drove out to Holyhead, at the northwest point of Wales, and climbed up a large hill where a staggering amount of rock was quarried to build this breakwater that goes out well over a mile into the sea to form a large harbor. I took this photo on our way to the top, where we enjoyed a rest in the sun with just the sounds of the wind and the sea birds, and an occasional ferry on the way to Ireland or back.

Now we are settling back into our "regular" life again and looking forward to some of the special events coming up during the summer. Besides the Royal Welsh Show, where we will help man a prayer and hospitality booth for the second time, and the Celebration for the Nations, there will also be a men's gathering in early June called Mighty Men Cymru. Besides these events we will be having visitors come and spend time praying with us in the chapel and other places as well.

So as the land is being productive all around us, so in the spiritual realm too we will be sowing into the fertile soil of this small nation that is pregnant with a mighty move of God. We continually receive assurance and encouragement from many sources as people bear witness with our conviction that God is stirring things here in a powerful way, like this email we got recently:

"I'm sitting in a McDonalds restaurant in the middle of Kansas, waiting for an evening service nearby in which I will be sharing the deep spiritual need of the Welsh people. Your newsletters are further confirmation of that which I already know: God is up to something in Wales. Numerous people from several denominations and movements are stirring for Cymru, Wales-focused prayer movements are popping up all over the world, and more and more people are hearing the call from God to pack up and move to that beautiful land. Thank you for your prayer work. Yours is a tough work, but you are plowing the fields for the seed to be broadcast. It gives us great comfort to know that there are people like you in Wales right now, paving the way for us and other laborers."

Psalm 37:3-5 sets our lives in the right perspective and stirs us onwards.

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass."

Trusting in His growing grace for Wales and the world,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We PASSED our test. Now for the REAL ONE!

Dear Friends & Prayers (and some of you Brave Test Samplers!):

We passed! "Thank you, Jesus!" And thank you for praying for us today too. We know many of you were, and it made all the difference. We just got home from Bristol in England where we had to go to take the Life in the UK Test - and we both passed. So did the four others that took it with us - two from Brazil, one from Uganda and one from the U.S.. So everyone was relieved and glad, and there were even a few hugs of joy between total strangers!

The next step is to fill out the rest of the paperwork for the visa application and mail it off with the large payment that the Lord so graciously provided! (A couple people rightly said that if He had provided for the cost, he would surely give us the grace needed to pass the test too!) The Service Standards of the UK Border Agency says that they decide on 95% of the applications received within six months. Hopefully ours will be a lot sooner than that, and again, your prayers will be appreciated!

On our way home we took a little detour to visit the 12th century Tintern Abbey, pictured here. As I entered the massive courtyard, I could almost feel the devotion and intensive labor that went into establishing this monastic community. The rigorous discipline and emphasis on self-sufficiency through agricultural work that made possible the building of these huge houses of worship are quite inspiring. This Cistercian community thrived for several hundred years until King Henry VIII severed tied with Rome in 1536 and ordered the closure of these communities.

Had these churches been correctly built of living stones rather than cold, hard building stone, the spiritual climate here would be vastly different than today. 1 Peter 2:4-5 instructs us, "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

Hopefully we can learn some lessons about work and discipline from these old but misguided building programs, and apply ourselves to the work of the living church the world needs to see. And as Ephesians 4:15-16 says, "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

You can see a larger image of this artists conception of how the church looked five hundred years ago by clicking on this picture. Also there are extensive photos and more history about Tintern Abbey here.

As you look at all the intricate details and envision the amount of work that went into building such a temporary earthly structure, imagine what could be accomplished if we applied ourselves in like dedicated fashion to loving God and our neighbors as Jesus taught! This is the real test!!

As we continue pressing into prayer for revival, this is the kind of living and loving church that we believe will become "home" for the multitudes the Lord draws to Himself in the times to come.

Thankful and challenged by all His goodness,

Dick & Gladys


Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Power of Prayer on the Streets at Midnight!!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Once again we had the privilege of joining a group of intercessors at an inter-Welsh-speaking-church family camp and conference. This is the third year we've gone, and it was great to see so many young people involved! It was wonderful to see how God moved in the lives of some those that came to our prayer room during the three days we were there. And a very special treat was to see a sister who had suffered terribly for years from chronic fatigue syndrome. She came for prayer last year, and we learned later the God healed her in an amazing way. So it was a joy to see her carrying an armload of chairs to our room and hear her story!

We know the importance and power of prayer, and tonight we will be taking prayerful care out onto the streets of Cardigan from 9:30 until 3:00 a.m! But the real muscle behind our job is a group of committed saints praying together at a church basecamp the whole time we're out on the streets. I am part of a newly formed group of over 25 "street pastors." After several all-day training sessions in first aid, substance abuse, etc., our motto is "Serving – Caring – Helping". On a typical Saturday night, there are several hundred young people on the town to have a "good time", and they all really need to know Jesus!

We are not out there to preach but rather to show God's love in practical ways. However when needs are met and questions are asked we have an open door for ministry. This will be my first time out among two teams of four. Last Saturday another two teams went out for first time out and they had an amazing time! I want to share a couple of their testimonies with you here:

Dear Pastors
If you haven't already heard, we were greatly blessed on Saturday night/Sunday morning, it was a very successful first night out, some of the young people were quite emotionally moved that we had come out to love and care for them. We also had opportunities to help and encourage some of them.
On a more personal note....for some time I have been suffering from a incurable lung complaint "Bronciactasis", which basically means your lungs keep filling up with fluid which has to be cleared through the day....at 3am as we were walking back to the church the Lord touched and healed me, the prayer team had been praying for our health back at base. So I'm reeling at the moment at God's goodness to the chief of sinners!
One problem, it was a job to work out who was more blessed the Pastors on the streets, or, the Prayers at New Life. They basically prayed for the best part of seven hours for us, and God abundantly answered their prayers!
Every blessing, Alan
Dear Friends:
As you may know, last Saturday was the first "real" night out for Bugeiliaid Teifi Pastors. In order to ensure that every Street Pastor is out in the first month we have two teams of four out on the streets. To show his support for Street Pastors, Mark Cole, the Mayor, accompanied us throughout the night.
  Not only are the Street Pastors out there on the streets but there are people praying for us back at base. Ideally, you would like to see more than one person fulfilling that role and various people had said that they would come. When 9pm arrived, we couldn't get all the Pastors in the room as so many people had come to pray! The front room was full! Wow! How amazing it is! People are hungry to pray regardless of denomination. Their hearts were united in their desire to see Cardigan come under the blessing and Lordship of Christ. This is miracle number1 as it wasn't too many years ago where this would not have happened.
  As we left the building, they prayed over us. Had we had any nervousness, trepidation or apprehension beforehand, this was now lost in the confidence of knowing that we were going out clothed in the compassion of Christ and the full armour of God. As we came across various people, we offered them a lollipop and news spread quickly that there were free lollipops available. As people transferred from one establishment to another they would ask us why we were out on the streets and as we shared the message of serving, loving and caring, their response was truly touching. Even young people who I had supported some years ago were thanking us for caring and telling us that Cardigan was in need of this service. Some people could not believe that the Mayor was out with us and were so pleased that they requested photos!!! I love God's sense of humour.
  The openness that we were received with is miracle number 2. After this were countless conversations with various people with the Pastors. Each Street Pastor has their own testimony of how God used them to touch people's hearts. It was the most amazing time and instead of feeling tired and drained at 3am standing in Finch Square, we felt alive and full of grace.
  When we arrived back at New Life just after 3am, we heard singing. We walked in the building and the praying people had entered into a depth of Worship that was so anointed. They had been truly blessed. Now we were witnessing miracle upon miracle.
   Mark Cole, the Mayor stayed throughout the night and witnessed with us the blessings of God. We had the welcome of Holy Spirit to go out on to the streets but we also had the local authority's blessing which represents the secular authority. I believe God would honour their welcome.   Please pray for those in authority over Cardigan
  Every blessing, Mandy

Thank you for your prayers for tonight's outing and for each Saturday night as this exciting outreach develops. Also, please do remember to pray for us this Wednesday as we go for our Life in the UK test at 12 noon. Want to see what it's like, you can have go at it here!

Wishing you all the best of God's blessings in this beautiful springtime,

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Glorious Resurrection Sunday!

Dear Saints:

          This says it all!

"...concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:3-4


By His grace alone,
Dick & Gladys


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