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Monday, September 27, 2010

"Buying" a Field for a Half-penny!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Last year in June Gladys and I were on our way to North Wales when we drove through Blaenau Ffestiniog. It was then that I had my initial experience of a cloud of revival glory hovering over the town (read about it here). So we returned in July to spend a few days there to seek the Lord about what it meant. When I parked the car next to this field, I suddenly began to weep but didn't know why.

A few weeks afterwards I began to understand a little more. Sharing with some friends about our experiences there, they told me that they had access to a tent large enough to hold revival meetings in! Also they were praying for an opportunity to go with their worship group and just camp out somewhere to hold evangelistic meetings.

Then last Tuesday while walking and praying through Blaenau Ffestiniog before our monthly prayer meeting, we had an amazing experience. We had two friends with us, and I explained the significance of the field when it came into view. So we decided to go out into the middle and pray.

While walking over the field, Sian suddenly asked me if I had any coins in my pocket. She explained that the Lord had impressed her that we should bury a coin in the field as a prophetic act. Like in the scripture that I shared a few weeks ago about Jeremiah buying a field, where chapter 32:15 says, "For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.'", so our planting the coin was to make a claim to redeem this field for the Lord's purposes.

When I put my hand in my pocket to see what coins were there, instantly tears began to flow as I realized that of the three coins, I had been carrying this half-penny around in my pocket for months without really knowing why ... until now! Gladys had unearthed it in our garden and I had just kept it with me instead of putting it somewhere safe. It was minted in 1920, when the fruit of the 1904-05 Welsh Revival was still flourishing here!

So we had a very solemn yet extremely joyous time of "planting" this half-penny in the field, declaring the Lord's ownership and dedicating it for whatever He plans to do here. Interestingly enough, the old chapel in the background was sold in the late 1960's to a local sculptor for his studio, and stands symbolic of the many chapels around Wales that have been sold for other uses. I believe all these buildings can also be reclaimed by the Lord through changing the hearts and lives of those owning or using them!

After our meeting that evening, one of the brothers who lived there then recalled some evangelistic meetings that took place in a large tent in 1980. There were many prophetic words given during that time, and one of them that Ken clearly remembered was that the Lord would move once again in a powerful way in a tent on the playing fields of Blaenau!

As you might imagine, we continue to be intrigued and amazed at what the Lord is doing in so many different ways and places around this land. And we know there are surely many more than the bits and pieces we hear or experience. May He bless you richly, and thank you for praying that His grace and mercy fall afresh upon this special land, and redeem places for His use which have always been His.

"Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt."
Psalm 74:2


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Divine Orchestration of Prayer!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Some exciting things have been happening. Two weeks ago I mentioned we were going to pray for a specific property for one of God's projects. There were going to be four of us. Well we were totally amazed at how God spontaneously brought other people together with us that day. We were joined by four other believers whose lives have been very directly involved in that very property during 32 of the last 36 years!

It would have been no less difficult for some artist to paint this cloud in the sky than to orchestrate that meeting. Most of them didn't even know of each other. Yet the Lord in His perfect order and timing made it happen in a way that left no doubt that His hand is on this project. Tears of wonder and thanksgiving flowed on many cheeks that day! Please continue to pray that negotiations can be finalized in the near future.

Last Friday we met with some friends for a gathering in Llanover Chapel close to the English border. A "son of the manse", the pastor's son, Robert Jermaine Thomas, grew up there, and in 1866 was martyred in Korea, known then as the "Hermit Kingdom", for preaching the Gospel and distributing Bibles when he was just 27 years old.

The memory of Robert's martyrdom made a great impression on many who witnessed it. A few managed to rescue some of the Bibles and brought them home to be used as wallpaper in their houses. As time went on, curiosity arose and people began to read this strange text on the walls of their houses. Gradually Koreans began to become Christians and today, the church in South Korea numbers many millions of Believers.

Our friends Steve and Stella Price have purchased the old home and are hosting gatherings to bless and encourage local believers as well as many Koreans who currently live or study in the U.K. This group of mostly young people from a Korean church in London, one of about one hundred Korean churches there, came to express their tremendous gratitude towwards Wales for their rich Christian heritage.

They also have formed a wonderful choir and performed some beautiful old hymns as well as a few contemporary pieces. Listen to a a sample here. Then Saturday morning we had a brief opportunity to share with them about our calling and intercessory work here, and encourage them in their pursuit of God's calling on their lives. Many have an interest in missions and it was an honor to pray for them and bless current and future their endeavors for Jesus' sake.

Gladys was also delighted to discover that one of the young ladies was actually born and raised in Argentina, and really enjoyed speaking Spanish with someone other than me!

We just returned tonight from North Wales where we had a fantastic time, but space and time here doesn't allow me to say more now, other than that we all were very encouraged. One of our praying friends emailed this morning saying, "Elizabeth and I were so blessed. Our journey home, and we both felt this, was as if we were carried home on Elijah's chariot of fire! I am not a confident driver so this was amazing for me." So please continue your prayers for Blaenau Ffestiniog, as evidence continues to mount that God has a special plan for that area. Specifically, please pray that He stir up more local people to prayer, and build love and trust among believers there.

Thank you for your prayers and interest!

Dick & Gladys


Monday, September 13, 2010

A Mighty Fortress is time with Him!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Some photos are just too interesting to not pass along! Proverbs 30:28 says, "The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces." This scaffolding pipe may not be quite so luxurious, but it certainly provides a "mighty fortress" in which this spider can wait for its dinner! And I'm sure there is a spiritual truth highlighted here also.

I've been reading through Ezekiel lately, and this morning at the chapel I was reading about God's judgment against Israel for all the abominations they committed. Then in chapter 9 what struck a deep chord in me is in verses 3-4 where it says, "And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.'"

In the next verses the fierce judgment is carried out but God says, "...but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So in the midst of all the abominations and worldliness that had crept into the temple and the city, there are those that had been set apart to "sigh and cry" and who were then spared from the judgment. They were as safe is this little spider in his iron fortress!

I believe the invasion of the church in recent generations by worldiness and comfort has made its influence in today's media-mandated society largely ineffective. However I also see the role of intercessory prayer as able to make a huge difference. It is not just for a few "special" people, but we are ALL called to walk as Jesus walked, following Him daily. He withdrew frequently to spend time alone in prayer with His heavenly Father. Shouldn't we do likewise? Must not our need be far greater than His?

Hebrews 7:24-25 says, "But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."

This is Jesus - our Savior, our teacher and our prayer-partner! There is no matter to small or too great that we can't come to Him with boldness and make our petitions known. We can lay our claims as far as the ends of the earth, that people everywhere will repent, turn from their sins and their worldy idolatries, and find that His mercies are new every morning!

In awe of His lovingkindness,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A rainbow in the storm!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Today was the monthly prayer day at Ffald-y-Brenin, and on our way up and over the hills from the coastal road to the Gwaun Valley, we saw this beautiful rainbow. The far end came up from beyond the hills and the other end was only visible in the middle of a local downpour in the sea in front of us!

Besides the reminder of His promise to Noah so many years ago, it also made me reflect on how sometimes God's glory is most present with us in what we might not consider the best of circumstances!

Frequently we find ourselves praying for people who are in the middle of trials and difficulties, and all they experience is the hardship or pain. But in such times as these, it is wonderful to know that the workings of God can transform situations and lives by His glory and lovingkindness.

What an amazing hope of glory we have in Jesus! It is such an awesome privilege and joy to have our trust in such a great and loving God whose desire is to bless His children!

On the home front, our garden is coming down the home stretch of its growing season. We are far from experts in this venture. But even though we didn't have great results this time around, it is always a pleasure to get our hands in the soil. Besides providing us with needed exercise, and not a few sore muscles, it is a rewarding experience to see how God's provision actually happens. (Thank God for farmers who know enough to actually feed us, and remember to pray for them too!)

We have been invited by friends to take part in a service at their church tomorrow night. They have asked us to share how God has led us to pray for revival here, so we are looking forward to that. It is always refreshing to re-tell our story, and be reminded of the amazing way the Lord has gotten us here and sustained us. Please pray that our participation will be greatly encouraging to them, and that we are all drawn closer to God's heart for this land.

Then the following day we will be praying with some other friends for the acquisition of a large property to be used for the service and expansion of the God's kingdom here. I believe this ties in directly with the word I received two weeks ago from Jeremiah 32:15, "Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land." They will be presenting their offer on Friday, and your prayers will be very much appreciated that Lord confirm their exciting step of faith!

Thank you so much for your continued interest and prayers. May God fill you each day with His presence and richest blessings,

Dick & Gladys


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