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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A few last thoughts about Israel...

jerusalemmarket.jpgDear Praying Friends:

We are still trying to assimilate all that happened in Israel, and are so very grateful to the Lord for giving us such a wonderful opportunity. I think that one of the most important changes in my heart concerns praying for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel.

As we all know, the main content of international news about Israel for as long as we can remember has been political turmoil and unrest. And so we tend to pray for peace in those terms - for an end to fighting and terrorism, etc. But the only real and lasting peace is that which comes from Jesus, our Prince of Peace. So our most effective prayer is that people come to know Him.

Solomon famously once said, "There is nothing new under the sun." And when it comes to how people groups and nations have related to one another over the centuries, it is the same sad story. The human experience is incomplete and incapable of a lasting peace with one another until there is a heathy fear of and relationship with our heisrisen.jpgCreator. And that is part of what we came away with on the temporal sphere.

However in the big picture, the eternal realm of things, there is a much brighter and incredibly hopeful message. Jesus has risen, and has told us exactly what that means to us, and any who will sincerely turn to Him, in Juan 16:33. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Again in the words of Solomon, he sums up everything quite well in his final exhortation at the end of Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil."

Wars and rumors of wars, and discussions and speculations about politics and international relations will undoubtedly go on until the Lord returns.

But meanwhile, what an amazing gift from our loving Heavenly Father that He sent Jesus to be our overcoming and all-righteous savior and King. 1 John 4:10 says, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." And through this priceless gift of salvation, we can have peace with God, and eternal life in His Kingdom forever! Now there is something worth talking about and discussing for hours on end, writing about and even singing about!

Bringing that into a very present focus, today I had the opportunity to speak about this with our landlord, Chris. Two months ago I asked you to please pray that we might have an open door to talk about God's words of life and hope. And today was that opportunity, and he was happy to receive prayer as well. He is extremely weak and can't walk, but said he seems to feel more alive internally than before. So please continue your prayers for him and his family. We know that he could still receive a miraculous healing, but even that would be temporary. We are asking for the greater miracle - that he become grounded in God's truth, and so be able to face his eternity with joy, and also the knowledge that his family are on the same pathway to eternal life.

Thanks so much for your prayers.

Dick and Gladys


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Large intercessory worship gathering on Mt. Carmel in Israel!

celebration-mtcarmel1.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

We spent our second week in Israel on Mt. Carmel at the 10th Celebration for the Nations, an event that started here in Wales in 2007. It was seven days of intercessory worship together with saints from around the globe.

Anointed worship groups from many nations led each segment, and it was wonderful to see such variety of expressions from different cultures all exalting God's glory and sovereignty, and yet all with one heart to call down revival for the nations of the earth, and especially Israel!

The sounds, the colors and pageantry were majestic. There was a pervasive joy of His presence that was gloriously tangible, and there were many times when the travail of hearts for His visitation to the unsaved was deep and powerful.We knew that the heavens were moved by the worship of God's people in this strategic place.

It was in this mountainous area just south east of modern day Haifa that Elijah prayed his bold prayer in the presence of Ahab and the 850 prophets of demonic false gods. "... Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it celebration-mtcarmel2.jpgbe known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." 1 Kings 18:36-37celebration-mtcarmel3.jpg

And this indeed was the same plea of our hearts and our worship, that the nations might know that He is God, and there is no other. Acts 4:12 says, "... for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


The worship itself was spirited and varied. You can see a sample at this video link. And there were plenty of opportunities at meals and other times to meet and fellowship with people from many places. And we ran into several friends we've met over the years. It was also a delight to connect people with one another and see how the love of God just moved so celebration-mtcarmel5.jpgopenly. Prayer flowed spontaneously as people shared hearts and needs, and it was really special to see that happening so freely.

It was also a treat for Gladys and I to see the flag of Guatemala in among the many others. And although there was nobody else actually present from there, on a morning excursion to small monastery built on celebration-mtcarmel6.jpgthe supposed spot where Elijah had his encounter with Ahab and the prophets, we actually met an indigenous couple from Totonicapan very close to where we spent our last five years in Guatemala!

There was much more that we experienced in the two and a half weeks in Israel, and I will follow up with a further update soon, before things happening back home in Wales take over again!

As always, thank you so much for your continued interest and prayers for Wales and the nations. And now with a much fuller heart, we can boldly say, pray for the peace of Israel!

Dick & Gladys


Monday, August 01, 2016

Going up to Jerusalem - the heart of the Holy Land!

pentecost-baptism.jpgDear Friends:

It's almost still hard to believe that here we are in Israel! We arrived nine days ago and were very warmly received by our new friends Chaim and Ruthie Singerman at their small Hotel/B&B, the Jerusalem Hills Inn on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. To be outside the bustle of the city itself with such wonderful hosts whose love for Israel is contagious, and biblical knowledge about every place they show us is so insightful, helps make this place a real spiritual oasis, and we can't recommend them highly enough.

I have wanted to visit the Holy Land since I was saved 43 years ago. And now that we are actually here it is almost surreal. Just the experiences of the first couple of hours would fill far more space than I have available here.

At this point we have seen so many things and met so many wonderful people and experienced so much that there's no way I can ever catch up! I hope that these few photos will convey something of the essence of this place, but it just seems like anything that I could say would be a gross understatement.

Gladys at the Dead SeaOur first day out took us to the Dead Sea where you couldn't help but float in the water that is one 1/3 salt and minerals. I knew that it was below sea level but I had no idea it was 1400 feet lower! From this overlook you can get an idea of size and the beautiful colors of this amazing body of water.

From there we visited the nearby Qumram where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the late 1940s. Quite amazing to look at replicas of parchments written so many centuries ago that provide unequivocal material evidence of the veracity of the scriptures that we have today.

Dead Sea Scroll segment.jpgThere is an excellent website at this link that you will no doubt find interesting.

Jordan River BaptismOur next stop was at the Jordan River baptism site, one of several proposed by historians over the years. What seems to be the important matter about these places is not so much the specific location but rather what happened here that really counts. And it is precisely what happened here nearly 2000 years ago that continues today happening around the world, changing lives and eternities forever!

At the hotel we met our new friend Zoe, who came along with us on our first excursion. She, along with our friends Stan and Sue who we are traveling with, were all baptized while we were here.

The amazing joy and miracle of salvation and eternal life is the unspeakably glorious fruit of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus our Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach as he is called here by Jewish believers. This city at the heart several millennia of the turbulent history, and where Jesus will return to rule for a thousand years at the end of the age, makes this land a very special place indeed!.

So let's blend our hearts and prayers with those of the prophet in Jeremiah 22:29 "Oh land, oh land, oh land, hear the word of the Lord!"

Dick & Gladys


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