Dear Friends and Prayers:
all those wonderful stories of old, this is one of the best ever, and
very likely the most well known and favorite throughout history. It
comes from Luke 2:8-15.
Now there were in
the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over
their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of
the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you
good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is
Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in
swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there
was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was,
when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds
said to one another,
"Let us now go
to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord
has made known to us."
May you have a joyous Christmas and may you and your loved ones be
filled with His glorious light and peace,
Dick & Gladys
Friends of Wales
Walking by this old church last week impressed me with a sobering
reality. The massive structure, that no doubt sheltered a thriving
congregation in bygone years, now has more light on the outside of it
than the inside, both physically and figuratively. However the cross in
the foreground and its message of redemption is still as potent today
as when an extraordinary birth and an old wooden cross started our
Christian Era nearly 2000 years ago. (For a fascinating overview watch
this 90 second
In spite of the fact that we don't see the Christian church making
any noticea impact in society at large here in Wales or elsewhere in
the UK, we walk by faith and not by sight. These verses in Habakkuk
3:17-18 struck a chord with me the other morning,
Though the fig
tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the
Though the labor of
the olive may fail,
And the fields
yield no food;
Though the flock
may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no
herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice
in the Lord,
I will joy in the
God of my salvation.
reason we came to be in town of Lanelli last week
was our friend Lidia from Mexico. We enjoyed an extended visit with her
over a long weekend. We have known her family for over 25 years because
her father is a minister in one of the Verbo Ministries churches in
Reynosa. This is the family of churches that grew out of small missions
group that went to Guatemala to bring practical help and Godly hope
after the devastating earthquake in 1976. It was through that amazing
adventure in faith that God brought me together with my "coincidently"
hadn't seen Lidia since she was a teenager and so it was a real joy to
get to know her as a mature believer. She
works for a large international automotive company based in Madrid, and
was sent to south Wales, of all places, for ten days. We had a great
Gladys really enjoyed sharing with a native Spanish speaker, especially
over black beans and tortillas!
It's hard to believe that this year has flown by so incredibly
fast, but there it went. I realized a long time ago that each passing
year seemed to grow shorter, but this is getting ridiculous! And so that
of course means Christmas is almost upon us, and all the towns are
decked out in colored lights and shops and stores brimming over with
the usual commercialization, merchandise and music.
special news is that we are thrilled to be able to be with our daughter
Grace and youngest son Richard again this year in New York! Their
invitation came as a wonderful surprise, and we are getting excited
about it now. I'm sure the big city lights will make even this festive
traditional old pub in Llanelli look like pretty small potatoes.
A week from tomorrow we take off from London and with be sleeping at
our kids' home in Brooklyn, NY. And then in January, thanks to another
gracious surprise gift from visitors, we fly to New Orleans in early
January for a few weeks to visit our son Mike and his wife Lauren, as
well as our old Verbo church home and many friends and loved ones
there. (I also am in need of some serious dental work so your prayers
would be much appreciated!) So as you can well imagine we are really
looking forward to our time in America.
As a final note, we would like to say a big "thank you" for praying
about our housing situation. We were happily relieved to have spoken
with our landlord Yesterday who said that she is as happy to have us
here as tenants as we are to be here in our beautiful home, and that
she has no plans to sell the property. So we thank and praise the Lord
once again for His continual goodness and provision!
We wish you every blessing of joy and revelation in Him as we
embrace the real reason for the season, Jesus our risen Lord and Savior!
Dick & Gladys
It suddenly seems like winter is really here now. We've had some very
cold mornings with temperatures in the low 20's, and the frost hasn't
melted off in the shade until today. But the cold hasn't kept these
chickens inside. They are eagerly scratching around in the early
sunshine looking for tasty snacks.
This is a good reminder for our mornings as well. David says in
Psalm 5:3 and 7, "In the
morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my
prayer to You and eagerly watch... But as for me, I will come into Your
house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of You I will worship
toward Your holy temple."
As we seek His kingdom first thing each morning, and find this
multitude of new mercies, it helps us start our days with the
right perspective. It is in Him and His word that we get the nutrition
for our spirit that makes all the difference in our daily lives.
Now that the cold has arrived we have put up our winter "prayer tent" in the
balcony of the chapel. It is not particularly nice to look at from the
outside, but with a small fan heater the temperature is a whole lot
more comfortable. Sometimes it seems like a warm little nest where we
enjoy God's presence as we read and pray through the scriptures,
worship and admire Him, and learn more of His ways.
We love bringing visitors into the the tent and surprising them with
the warmth when the chapel itself is about the same temperature as
outside. When prayers get going it feels like a little powerhouse, and
becomes one of our favorite places.
Usually by this time of the year things begin to slow down a little
bit, but this November has been quite busy. We recently had two young
ladies with us, one from Singapore, who studied last term at the Bible
College, and the other from Swansea.
We spent some wonderful time in fellowship, and shared some amazing
times of prayer. They both have such a wonderful hunger for the things
of God, it was delightfully refreshing to have them with us.
Another highlight for us last week was going to the graduation of the
third cohort of students from the Bible College of Wales. We hadn't
been able to attend
two and were glad we could make it for this one. It was extra special
because we had a few friends who were in the class. We had seen them
during the 12-week course, and so we had more of a connection with it
all. Along with all the other 30 students, they worked extremely hard,
sat under some awesome teaching, learned about community in a new
light, and had their lives changed forever!
It was a great blessing to hear some of their testimonies, and catch
a little bit of the fervor they have acquired for serving the Lord in a
greater capacity in their different places in life. There were a wide
range of ages enrolled, and is was great to see how they all flowed
together like a family. It made me wish I were 40 years younger so I
could start all over again to help turn the world upside down for the
sake of the Gospel!
Please keep these and all previous graduates in your prayers, as
well as the College in its continued development and growth. If you or
someone you know would be interested in attending one of the sessions,
all the information is available on the BCW website.
We wish you every blessing and encouragement in Jesus' name,
Dick & Gladys