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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A special request for prayer...

crocus2014.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

More encouraging evidence that spring is coming are the crocuses that I spied among the grass this morning. It always cheers the soul to know the the end of winter is really drawing closer now. And instead of getting dark at four in the afternoon, we can still see our way around at six!

Because of so much rain, flooding has been a problem in many parts of the U.K. Thousands of people have been forced out of flooded homes in several areas and it has been a very difficult time. Please pray for those affected, that the hardship may cause many to turn their hearts heavenward, and that there be an effective Christian witness among those that are helping to provide relief.

Besides the heavy rains last week, violent winds brought down trees and wires in many places. This massive tree came down across the road just a quarter mile up the fallentreecarregwen.jpgroad past the chapel and forcing us to take another route. And driving along the small roads further on with our friends, we had to drag another and thankfully smaller tree off the road to get past. These are small problems when compared to the plight of so many others, sand we are thankful for God's protection.

We went with our Guatemalan friends to the Ffald-y-Brenin retreat center, and spent some wonderful time together in prayer. One of the things we prayed for is the situation of our health. Gladys continues to have problems with her digestive system. Thankfully the prayeratfybcross.jpgcapsule endoscopy she had done in November came back showing everything was fine, but that also means the medical profession has nothing more to offer. So we highly value your prayers for her in that respect. This has been dragging on for almost five years now, and at times is very difficult for her. I admire her courage and cheerfulness.

For myself, thankfully the problem with my vision was resolved last year through the use of steroids, but that in turn caused other problems. I feel totally recovered now and have been off all medications since late November, and we praise the Lord for that. But since then I have been having some issues due to withdrawal after seven months on the steroids. We are hoping that's all there is to it and that these things will disappear, but it is a challenge as the mind begins to wonder if something else is going on.

We are both now in a place of having to put our trust in the Lord for release from these physical problems. So we lean on the old rugged cross where Jesus bore our sicknesses and sins. We know His grace is sufficient for us, and are learning to rely of His truth rather than our symptoms. We have depended on Him in so many other areas and seen His amazing faithfulness, and so we take heart in that fact.

We also recognize that this phase of our journey should be no different. But we would like to ask you especially for your prayers at this time for us both. We need health and strength for the work yet before us, and look forward to glorious times to come as God increases the outpouring of His grace over this precious land of Wales. As the saying goes, "the best is yet to come!"

Thank you very much. And we wish you and your loved ones every blessing as we lean upon Him in hope, not just for our own temporary needs, but the needs of so many in this world without Jesus.

In His steady hands,

Dick & Gladys


Friday, February 07, 2014

Daffodils already? And a visit from Guatemala!

sheep-fishguard.jpgDear Praying Friends and Saints:

Clear days like this are a rare treasure in what has to have been one of the wettest winters in years. Even the animals seem to have perked up a bit and taken an interest in things around them.

By lunchtime the sun was behind the clouds again, but even a few hours of sunshine can make a big difference in how things feel in general. All too easily we can forget the natural beauty that surrounds us because of gloomy weather. But when the sun shines again how glorious things become to us, when in fact they've been beautiful all along!

Of course there's a little insight for us here. How many times do we find ourselves just sort of coasting through our days without really appreciating God's presence with us. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." garciasinwales.jpgAnd in John 8:12 he also said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." So when our days are grey, whether inwardly or outwardly, natural sunshine is wonderful, but His light is far superior, and doesn't come and go!

We have been enjoying a visit from our old friends Mario and Angelica from Quetzaltenango in the highlands of Guatemala where we helped start a church in 1984. We hadn't seen them for ten years except for a few calls on Skype. Our families were very close, and it has been wonderful to just spend time together. We've also had some great times of worship and prayer, besides plenty of time sharing experiences and lessons learned. And above all we've rejoiced seeing God's marvelous faithfulness throughout the years to us and our children.

For several years he pastored the church we left behind and so it has been heartwarming to hear news of so many people that we loved and served in the past. And hearing about so many of them that are still walking with stdavidsdaffodils.jpgGod and serving as leaders in the multiple congregations there now has been especially joyful!

When we have visitors it is always a pleasure to show them around a bit and enjoy the beauty of this land that is so much home to us now. Tuesday we went to St. Davids at the western tip of Wales and I was surprised to see the daffodils so tall, and the first ones stdavids-small.jpgalready open. In another week or so this field on the cathedral grounds should be just spectacular!

We look forward to what seems like might be an early spring. Our calendar is also filling up with visitors and other happenings so we anticipate everything the Lord has in store for us and for this nation!

Many blessings and abundant grace in Jesus' name,

Dick & Gladys


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