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Monday, July 25, 2011

A miracle on the Royal Welsh showgrounds!

Dear Saints and Praying Friends:

Once again the Royal Welsh Show was a summer highlight for us. This year the weather was wonderful and our time there was a real blessing. The hospitality tent is a welcome find for people who have walked for hours, and provides many opportunities to share with people.

One of the members of our team met a friend just outside our booth. While talking about the show, her friend mentionedshe was in terrible pain in her neck, and could hardly turn her head.

She refused an invitation to receive prayer, but did come in for coffee. In the middle of her conversation, she stopped to say that her pain was gone! And by the time she stood to leave, she was able to move her head freely with no pain. Isn't God amazing?

Gladys and I spent part of the time just playing some background music in the corner of our tent. We really enjoyed that, and it worked as a drawing card also. One gentleman came in with his family, and just glared at us the whole time. A sister who served and chatted with them thought he was quite upset by the songs for some reason. Much to her surprise, when they left he commented to her how he would like to be able to play the harmonica like that!

People from all walks of life come to this event. Young and old alike flock to the show, as well as from many countries. And there is so much there to interest everyone. There are a few other Christian outreaches on the showgrounds, and we had opportunities to share with some of them too. Gladys lent her guitar to a Korean group that played in another tent, and then they came to play in our booth as well.

Besides lots of livestock and activities in the large central arena, which was beautifully turfed instead of a field of foot-deep mud like last year, there is an enormous tent to exhibit plants, flower arrangements and massive vegetables. Everywhere on the huge grounds was filled with people looking at exhibitions, buying everything from gigantic tractors to high-heeled shoes, and eating typical and not-so-typical food on every corner. That's what you do with 230,000 people over four days!

We got home Friday, exhausted but content with all that transpired. Apart from catching up with old friends and making some new ones, it was great to get away for a little break. It was the first time we've been away for more than one night since we were in the U.S. last fall, and we are so thankful to the Lord that Gladys is feeling well enough to take on such adventures!

On a more down home note, our friends Meirion and Phyllis Williams are retiring after being the caretakers of this chapel for over 36 years! The members of the chapel presented them with a gift and this photograph of the old bridge over the Teifi River as a token of their appreciation for so many years of faithful service. .They are moving to a small house in a nearby village, and we will miss them greatly. They have been good friends to us since we came here, and there was always a welcome and a cup of tea if we stopped by for a visit.
(Notice the banner in the background. In 2004, the chapel celebrated its 300th anniversary!)

Time inevitably brings changes, and we look forward meeting and making friends with whoever the new caretakers will be. We also anticipate more of what the Lord has in store for us here in the coming weeks and months. There is much more going on around Wales than we realize, and it is exciting and encouraging to hear the bits and pieces that do reach us!

Thank you for continued interest in our work here, and your prayers for the coming move of God in this tiny but significant country.

Looking forward to greater blessings because of Jesus' perfect love,

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer busyness with glad hearts . . .

Dear Praying Friends:

Suddenly we find ourselves happily very busy. We had visitors with us over the weekend, a very special young couple from Singapore. Caleb is the worship pastor at a large congregation, and we had such a great time with him and his wife Hannah. There were wonderful times of worship and prayer, and we were sorry to say goodbye!

It is always a blessing to have company for prayer in the chapel, and so most of our visitors get dragged out of bed early for prayer. Here we are accompanied by a friend from our village who is involved in Teifi Street Pastors with us. He and another brother have been coming along frequently in the mornings, so that is an interesting development.

This Sunday we go off to Builth Wells for the Royal Welsh Show from July 18-21. This will be our third year helping out at a hospitality booth there with the Christian Rural Network. It has been a great way to meet people by offering them a place to sit down for a while with free hot or cold drinks. Conversation is easy and gives us an opportunity to talk with folks and offer them prayer and encouragement.

The day after the show ends the Celebration for the Nations begins and runs through July 29th. We hope to go for a couple of days at least. This will be the fifth year for the Celebration, and having a whole week of worship and prayer has been a precious investment into what the Lord is doing in Wales - and the hearts of those that attend!

Also can you please pray for a special event this Saturday that a friend of ours is hosting in North Wales. It's called Diwrnod o Hwyl, or Gloves Off Family Fun Day. It is an outdoor outreach with live music and we'd love to see lives touched by God's love.

Just a quick update on Gladys' health. She is much better overall, for which we are very thankful, and happy to be able to do things again. But the stomach problem persists, and she's scheduled for more testing ten days from now. But we know where our trust is, and so we would appreciate your continued prayers for her.

Psalm 143:8 says, "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.."

We send you blessings in Jesus' mighty name,

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Taking hold of God in prayer . . .

Dear Friends and Praying Saints:

It always amazes me to discover how many glorious promises are tucked away throughout the scriptures that point towards revival. In morning prayers last week this verse practically jumped off the page and about had me jumping up and down for joy!

Isaiah 61:11 says, "For as the earth brings forth its bud,  As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
      So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."

This is the kind of news we are praying for and looking for, and what the world really needs in these days. When we pray, we need to pray big! We should set our sights high because the God has big plans for this world. He clearly says he "will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." That is no small potatoes!

Sometimes it seems that we can only dare to ask the Lord for small things, or perhaps medium-sized things. But His concern is for great things - the nations! The nations are a drop in a bucket for Him. And so we continually find encouragement in God's word to forget our own limitations and trust Him for far greater things.

In this old photo of threshing the wheat, the guy with the tractor has this great look of confidence in his "modern" machine. And if we are trusting in the Maker of the universe for a massive harvest, we have far more to be confident in than he does!

Another scripture that grabbed my heart earlier this week is also in Isaiah, chapter 64. This is the one that begins,
"Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—"

How's that for a big prayer?

But it's verse 8 that got to me crying out to Him.
"And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities."

It got us praying harder for more and more people to get stirred up and take hold of God. But we also realize that this prayer of Isaiah is actually being answered in our times. We continue hear from people we've never met that God has called into action in the field of prayer. And we are hearing more news of how God is moving and drawing people to "fight the good fight."

May He stir your hearts and empower your prayers,

Dick & Gladys


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