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Friday, January 27, 2012

Update on Gladys - thanks for your prayers!

Dear Saints and Praying Friends:

Thanks to so many of you who have asked about Gladys and prayed for her health situation. We just want to bring you up to date and let you know what is happening now. Your prayers have been working, and please don't stop!

Overall Gladys has been much better, for which we thank sincerely God for His mercies! She has been able to gain back a little weight, which has been a real help during the colder season, which thankfully has been very mild this year, so far.

However she still has frequent pain and discomfort in her stomach and elsewhere, and has to keep a very restricted diet to avoid flare-ups. We changed to a different specialist in September, and he confirmed that the helicobacter pylori infection is still there. It is a resistant strain, having survived two rounds of multiple drug therapy a year ago.

After eliminating the possibility of it being a colon problem, next week she will be going in for an endoscopy and biopsy. They will culture the samples to establish what drugs will really knock it out. It is difficult because she is allergic to penicillin, which is one of the main antibiotics usually used it is treatment.

So we would like to ask you to please keep Gladys in your prayers on Tuesday morning for the procedure itself, which is not at all pleasant. Then please pray that the medical staff would be given grace to successfully grow the culture and the wisdom to discover what exact antibiotics will positively eliminate this long-standing infection.

Also please help bless her by praying that the administration of a multi-drug therapy for two weeks will not have any adverse effect on Gladys' system, but that it will have a totally lethal effect on the bacteria. It has been over three years now, and we are really looking forward to her being free of this infestation of nasty little bugs!

On a lighter note, we are making plans to travel to the U.S.A. to visit family and friends in mid-March. We will be based near New Orleans for three weeks, and are looking forward to seeing Michael and Lauren, now into their second year of marriage. And it will also be wonderful to see so many friends and loved ones in our home church where we shared ministry for over sixteen years, as well as friends and supporters in northern Louisiana and Texas.

From there we will fly to Washington D.C. and stay with our daughter Grace, and with my niece and her husband while Grace is in Scotland with work. Gladys also has relatives around Washington who are so much fun to be with. Dicky will also be around for a few days too. Then we'll go to New England to visit my sister in Connecticut and brother in Boston, and other friends in the area.

It will be a busy six weeks, and we hope to encourage many people in prayer. And not only prayer for Wales but also for our beloved America whose people so desperately need a touch from God.

It seems funny, but as much as we really look forward to seeing so many loved ones, we don't like to leave Wales. Our hearts are now so bound up with this land and its people here that we would rather just stay. We don't want to miss anything that God is doing! But we can't do both, so we will joyfully land in warm Louisiana weather in just over six weeks!

Thank you so much for your care and your prayers,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Changing reflections of God's goodness

Dear Praying Friends:

There is something about the world of nature that always draws my eyes and interest. Perhaps it is the fact that there is constant change everywhere - in the cycles of growth and seasons, the skies and the landscapes.

We are surrounded by such admirable beauty, and it all seems to highlight God's infinite love and majesty. And as much as the natural world reflects this, it seems to speak continually of higher beauty and a deeper wisdom when it comes to His dealings with men.

Nothing on this earth can compare with God's plans and designs for those He loves and for whom He sent Jesus to redeem from their sin. The scriptures are full of visions and descriptions of things far greater in His kingdom. And we are living in times in which we see the fulfillment of His plans drawing ever closer.

Romans 8:18-19 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God."

As the year begins to unfold before us we also find ourselves entertaining this earnest expectation. I think it is an important element of our lives and prayers. It is a curious balance because in and of ourselves we can't do anything to make something happen any more than these camellia buds can shake off their icy cladding and push out their flowers.

Like the scripture says, it is a waiting game. But it is how we wait that is important. That is where we do have some sort of control. We can temper our attitude by constantly and conscientiously allowing the word of God to renew our mind. With the Holy Spirit as our helper we can steer our words and thoughts towards being pleasing in His sight. And if they truly please Him, there's a good chance they will please us, and others as well.

We have just gotten in from the monthly meeting in Blaenau Ffestiniog. We stay with friends here who bless us with wonderful hospitality and make it trip here possible each monthly. We were delighted to have three new people join us, and had a really good time of intercessory prayer for this town and the area.

We also heard some very encouraging pieces of good news. The first was that Christina, one of our first-time visitors shared that this Friday she is starting a Christian Union here in the secondary school in Blaenau with more than 16 students. This will be the first time in many years that there has been one in the local school. Please remember Christina and the students in your prayers this coming Friday!

Another was that last night there was a joint meeting of the three local church councils where the new minister is coming in the spring, and there is joy and anticipation in the camp. After several years of waning attendance and interest, that is really wonderful to hear. It evidences the fruit of the prayers, not only of our small group but others who have been praying here far longer than us!

We can see a tinge of color through the coldness that has held Blaenau in its grip for years. The hardness is starting to soften, and believers from the area can sense the coming of change! Thank you for joining us with your prayers for this town and for the rest of this small but significant nation.

We thank our faithful God for all His goodness,

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Amazing words from Israel!!

Dear Friends and Praying Saints:

A thistle gets a head start on the new year, spreading out its tender leaves in what looks like a furry but prickly white winter coat. It is quite small and delicate now, but by mid-summer grow quite tall and will definitely force you to change your course!

This year is still brand new like this plant, and as it develops before us, it may also oblige us to make some changes. I think those changes will help draw us closer to the Lord.

It is awesome see how the Lord keeps encouraging us on with gestures and expressions of His amazing love and purposes for us, and for Wales. These past weeks have been filled with some unexpected blessings from the Lord.

One particularly powerful source of encouragement and exhortation is a recent prophetic word. It was sent from Israel to our friends at Ffald-y-Brenin, and I am taking the liberty of sharing it here.

My beloved Welsh people. I sit in my little apartment in Ashkelon, Israel and just weep over this email about a stirring of the Holy Spirit in Wales.
May you be mightily moved to prayer and may your voices again be raised in song. May the Holy Spirit brood over you even as the fog hovers over your hills and valleys.
May the old men dream dreams and the young men have visions and may your sons and daughters prophesy again.
May the passionate prayers of your forefathers be answered and the 3rd and 4th generations be stirred to be mighty men and women of God.
Listen, can you hear that sound? 'Tis the sound of many waters - 'tis the sound of voices praying and crying aloud to God for another mighty visitation
And I can tell you that as sure as I sit here and weep and type, that there will indeed be a visitation that will shake the nation. You shall again have such anointed choirs singing that people will be broken and moved upon as they listen to you sing. Your young people will be burning fires going all over spreading the fires of revival - faster than a forest fire - mightier than a hurricane - swiftly will they run and all will be consumed by their anointing
Your precious kids with their piercings, tattoes, punk dress and hair - the most anointed of all! Your elderly who thought themselves consigned to nursing homes, will instead be on fire for God and truly their latter years will far outshine their early years.
Catch the vision, proclaim it, believe it for it shall surely come to pass.

We are glad to note how the Holy Spirit highlights the importance and power of prayer. We continue to meet or hear of others the Lord has been calling into "active duty."

We see how God is waking and wooing His church, and reaching deep into people's hearts and fanning embers into flames. We also know He is starting new fires with the light of life where there has been none before!

"More, Lord Jesus" is our cry! "Come and rain righteousness down upon the nations of the earth in our day."

May God bless, strengthen guide us all for the glorious task before us,

Dick & Gladys


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