Our home in West Wales is just so beautiful at this time of year, it's hard to leave for even a few weeks. Fresh discoveries of God's endlessly amazing creation are reminders of His new mercies every morning. But this year the Lord had even a better surprise for us - a visit to the U.S.A. and Guatemala!
In January we were talking with some wonderful friends the Lord has given us and they asked if we had any travel plans this year. When we said we planned to visit our family in the States, they asked if Gladys still had family in Guatemala, and how long had it been since we visited there. When we said, "eleven years". Their response left us with tears of wonder and gratitude rolling down our cheeks - they said to make our travel arrangements to Guatemala, and they would find the funds to cover all Of our expenses. Wow, Jehovah Jireh's mercies are endless indeed!
So as you can imagine, we were thrilled beyond words, and after the shock wore off we began making plans. When we called Gladys's family in Guatemala at her oldest sister's house, it "just happened" that many of the family were all there together, and when they told everybody the news we could hear all the shouting of excitement and joy in the background! So we will be spending three weeks in Guatemala starting this coming Monday. We will be a week in Guatemala City with Gladys's family and visiting a few of our many old friends. Especially fun will be getting together for supper with the members our home group 31 years ago. I wonder if any of us still look the same?
The next week we will spend at Lago de Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. We will be spending time with two of the couples who, with myself and others, went to Guatemala in 1976 to do relief work after the massive earthquake there. This will be a very special time because we have been friends and co-workers for over 30 years in the ministry where they still continue. The following week we will spend in the highland town of Quetzaltenango where we helped start a church and spent our last five years in Guatemala before moving to New Orleans in 1984. There too we will be together with very dear old friends and we look forward to sharing together the amazing blessing of God's love that unites us all in His forever family.
We left home Monday morning and stayed overnight with our friends Stan and Sue near London. They had some friends over after supper and we had a great time of worship and sharing and some awesome prayer together. We could not have asked for a better send-off, and we're so thankful to have had that special time. We flew out of London Tuesday morning and arrived in New Orleans in time for supper. God is so good to us.
On our return to the USA we will be getting together with all four of our children for the first time in 12 years. That is just another extraordinary blessing that the Lord has given us. Gladys will have her birthday during that time too. Just a few weeks after that our oldest son Peter is being sent by the US Marine Corps to Seoul South Korea. The timing couldn't have been better arranged, as the Lord has this all worked out beforehand. From there we will carry on to visit friends in Texas and then family in Washington, Baltimore, Connecticut and Boston before we arrive home again in mid June.
We will try to keep you posted as best we can along the way. We will be seeing so many beloved friends and family we're not sure we can take it! I guess all that love will be good practice for heaven. We wish each one of you every blessing, and may you also find yourself surrounded by the goodness of God's love each and every day.
Dick & Gladys
Praying Friends and Saints:
As spring continues to unfold so
beautifully around us, it almost seems like we've never seen it before.
Here all around us is the wonder of creation at its best and brightest.
We are always amazed at the splendor of nature awakening to newness of
life and fresh growth. There is a wonderful chorus of colors and and
smells and sounds.
This time of year always provides us
with a great picture of the goodness of God, but without the seasonal
fluctuations. His love and care for us is like an eternal springtime –
it just goes on and on, and never ceases. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "Through the Lord’s mercies we are not
consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness."
Another nice thing about springtime for
us are the visitors the Lord brings our way. Our young friend Anna, who
we met very briefly three years ago, came and spent the better part of
a week with us. Her joyful heart was a precious gift to us and all who
met her. It is so wonderful to meet young people whose hearts are so
hungry for more of God, and filled with a disposition to learn and
serve. Please pray for her on her 4 month mission to Eastern Europe.
end of her visit last week overlapped with some new friends. Mark and
Debbie, at the left in the chapel door below, contacted us through
mutual friends, and spent two nights with us. Their hosts in Wales, Jon
and Anne, who have been receiving our updates for several years, and
turned out to be old friends with our friends the Elsaessers, where
they stayed. The many connections with people we all knew just made us
We find great encouragement in the
constant flow of people that come to Wales to touch the ground that has
spawned so many revivals in centuries past which have impacted the
nations. The hunger for more of God on a personal level, and a longing
to see another and greater outpouring of His presence here and in the
nations is marvelous to see and experience. We had some wonderful times
of fellowship and prayer together.
A wonderful part of the privilege the
Lord has given us here in this "land of revivals" is to receive and
encourage and bless those that come. Our prayer is that each one that
comes to this nation, whether we meet them or not, take away with them
a deeper desire for God in their own lives and greater commitment to
see His purposes worked out in and through each one of them.
past Sunday at our chapel we had a rehearsal for the upcoming "Cymanfa
Ganu", or Hymn Festival, held jointly by several of the Baptist chapels
in our area. Since January they have held a rehearsal in different
chapels, and on May 4th the main event will be held at the chapel in
It was a real blessing for us to take
part in preparations and the event itself for the first time as
members. Gladys really enjoyed the time serving tea and snacks to the
guest with the other ladies of our small congregation, and we were both
made aware of being a part of them rather than just long-term visitors.
The first rehearsal session was for the children's part of the Cymanfa,
and it was fun to recognize several of the songs, although admittedly
the Welsh lyrics were not at all familar! You can hear the children
singing a familiar song at this link
, and if you recognize a few words you'll
be doing better than we did!
The adult singing was wonderful indeed.
The performance of the main anthem, "Ye Kingdoms and Nations", written
by J. Ambrose Lloyd in the 1890's, was deep and stirring. The lyrics
are taken from Psalm 68:32-35. "O
kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord,to him who
rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his
voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is
in the skies.
Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who
gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God"
May the essence and truth of this
declaration empower us, His children, to manifest His mercies and the
reign of His kingdom to those around us each day!
Dick & Gladys
Dear Friends and Prayers:
Hallelujah, the tomb is empty!
|An Easter Poem
in the Tiber
on an Easter afternoon,
a million fluffs of sycamore
are sailing towards the moon.
Rolling roundly strolling by,
a lady sings above my head,
her voice flies high and tells her joy
that Christ is risen from the dead.
He's floating in the Tiber and
He's sailing in the sky
He's jumping on my eardrum and
He's dancing in my eye,
He's wrapped inside of everything,
the trucks and buses too,
and roaring soft He hopes you'll see
He rose to live in you.
We wish you a joyous Easter, and may you
know the power of His resurrected life in yours,
Dick & Gladys