Friends and Prayers:
Last week Gladys and I had the chance to visit the Royal Welsh Show
again after five years. We had served with a hospitality booth there
during the show for several years until that outreach was phased out.
however, two other organizations provide a Christian witness at the
show where nearly 250,000 visitors attend during the four day event.
Now also the Christian Centre for Rural Wales has a permanent office
there, and there was prayer there each morning, led by different
groups. It was good to see some old friends there and make some new
ones as well.
wonderful part of the show was actually organized for exhibitors
and the general public the Sunday evening before the show opened. It is
called "Moliant y Maes", which means "Worship on the Show Grounds."
were three choirs from the hosting county of Carmarthenshire, and
everyone that wishes to can just join in.
The last hymn was "Guide me,
O thou great Jehovah", written originally in Welsh by William Williams
in the 18th century. I posted a video of the last stanza at
Here are the complete words. What a wonderful declaration of our
sure hope in Christ!
Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.
Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell's Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you.
also invited to come to the International Pavillion, and pin
tiny flags into a world map on Guatemala and the USA. It is a good
place to meet visitors from other countries, and
the question always seems to come up about what brings us to Wales.
That is always an opportunity to share about our prayer for revival,
and engage people in conversation about the Lord, and their future.
There's something about leaving "reason" behind and taking that "leap
of faith" that people find so difficult. It can also take a "leap of faith" on our part to talk openly with others about Jesus and God's gift of salvation. And that is where the Holy
Spirit is more than able to do His part!
May the Lord give us all frequent opportunities "...to give a defense to everyone who
asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."
1 Peter 3:15
Dick & Gladys
Praying Friends and Saints:
In my update of two weeks ago, I mentioned having received a few
impressions that I wanted to eventually share. Before things get
rolling too fast here again, I want to pass along another one.
While in Canada in early June, one day we visited the Blackfoot
Crossing Historical Park near Cluny, Alberta, as I mentioned briefly in
our June 7th update. As I sat looking out over the valley, I began to
consider the historical situation of the incoming settlers and the
peoples. This is a far greater issue than I'm equipped to deal with,
was one aspect of it I felt the Lord really highlighted to me.
When the white men came in and basically took over the land, the
Gospel came along with them, and over the years the native people were
evangelized and some were converted. However they had to adapt to a
Western style of Christianity rather than be shown a way of following
Jesus that fit in better with their culture of tribe and community.
most likely taught a "Sunday go to church" form of religion that takes
at specific times and places in the week, rather than their own
indigenous spirituality that was involved in most aspects of their
other point that became really
clear to me was that of their
strong community lifestyle. Their lives and activities involved each
other in almost everything. They lived in tepees right next to each
other, colaborated with one another in community tasks, and surely
conversation and story telling were abundant, and both would have
included spiritual matters. Their tribal communities served to nurture
and strengthen their identities and traditional worldviews, right or
Then my focus was drawn to similarities in the historical
Christian church. What
began as a very community-oriented, "breaking bread from house to
house" relational church gradually devolved into the same "Sunday go to
church" format that would have been taught to the Indians. And in light
highly connected and information-addicted society, it is no wonder
that the traditional church format has so little impact on the world
around us. Something is sadly and seriously missing.
Further reflection on this brought home to me the importance of
relationships, and their role in keeping individuals and their
healthy and strong. In fact, this is high up on God's priority list
too. Jesus Himself has an older-than-the-ages tribal connection, being
the Lion of the tribe of Judah. When one of the scribes asked Him what
was the first
commandment, He replied in Mark 12:30-31, "'... And you shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the
second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no other commandment greater than these."
I believe that "love
our neighbor..." here means real relationships, and that
means quality time spent together in a significant context. This is not
just a nice idea, it is actually
more important than all the other commandments but one! I highlighted
that first commandment in the June 25th update.
But it is this interpersonal application of "all of your heart, soul,
mind and strength" in "building one another up in love" that is so
vital to our spiritual wellbeing and effectiveness.
countless thousands of us that were saved during the 1970's Jesus
Movement, it was this tribe-like community practice of our new faith
that nurtured and established us in the Lord's ways. Without this
intensity of close relationship, I don't know how many of us would have
survived. There was a cost to real discipleship, but good fruit remains
after 45 years in the lives of many thousands of wonderful saints
around the globe. And this is not only true of our own lives and times,
but throughout the centuries, God has kept us by His amazing grace.
All those "Love one another..., care for one another..., serve one
another..." scriptures that we learned and practiced have kept us
strong, and together. Though paths and ministries may separated us
physically, we all have experienced seeing old friends and
acquaintances after a great many years, and it seeming as if it were
just a short time. We have remained together in Him, and He is the
significant context of our lives. Jesus said in John 13:34-25, "A
new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have
loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that
you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
We are living in a world that seems to be racing toward the abyss of
total godlessness, immorality and personal insignificance. We have an
enormous privilege and responsibility ahead of us as believers. And it
is our obedient practice of both of these commandments, with "all of
our heart, soul, mind and strength", that will keep the us, Christ's
church, vital and effective until His return.
Our prayer is that we all be encouraged and strengthened as together
we follow Him.
Dick & Gladys
We have been back home now just over a week. Thanks to those of you
who have followed our steps and prayed for us. We really saw the Lord
provide for us in His marvelous way. And through His goodness we
accomplished exactly what we had prayed for–to see our family!
our time in Canada we got to spend almost a week with our oldest son
Peter and his girlfriend Allie in Billings, Montana. He was transferred
there by the Marine Corps from South Korea almost a year ago. A big
change of culture, but they are enjoying it, and the wide open country.
Peter has just passed the 15 year mark and is headed for 20. He has
been accepted at Tulane Universityback in New Orleans to start in 2022.
Allie is in a master's program at Montana State University Billings.
We enjoyed just spending time together and doing some exploring. We
took off one day headed for Yellowstone Nat'l Park, but got turned back
at a 9200 foot high mountain pass in Custer Nat'l Forest by a
snowstorm in June! We hadn't been in a place Peter has lived since he
joined the USMC so it was a special treat for us.
next stop was New York City, as you may have guessed from our last
update. We had been wanting to visit Dicky and Grace when there were
leaves on the trees instead freezing cold, and the Lord granted this
petition of Gladys's heart too! Here we are with Grace and Dicky, and
his girlfriend Emily in front of him, at a wonderful concert in
Prospect Park. We met up with her parents for a picnic supper with many
hundreds of others and had a great time. One of my nephews showed up
with his family, who are great friends with our kids, and that made it
extra fun for us all.
It was a real treat to just hang out with the two of them in their
apartment, do some adventuring in the big city, and just be family
again. Gladys cooked up some of their favorite meals, and we made the
most of being together. Among other things we did was a wander through
the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which was absolutely bursting with
flowers and leaves of every imagineable shape and color. Then another
day the four of us visited the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. The
Immigration Museum there was a very educational and moving experience.
I hope to share a little more about that in another update.
next and final visit was Louisiana to spend time with our son Mike and
his wife Lauren in Hammond, about 50 miles northwest of New Orleans. We
lost a day when a connecting flight was missed due to some rough
weather, but we did manage to have almost enough time together. That
weekend was Lauren's dad's 70th birthday party, so that was a special
time with a large extended family get-together and plenty of delicious
Mike is loving his daytime job designing and drafting with CAD
software in the highway department. My father was a landscape
architect, and would have been fascinated to see just how much things
have changed. I used to help him a little bit doing titles on plans
with an old Leroy lettering set and India ink. (They're antiques now.
Does that mean I am too?)
Our time flew by all too quickly, but we couldn't be more delighted
to have had this wonderful opportunity. Both Gladys and I still tear up
now that we're home again and think back about this incredible trip. We
realize how faithful God has been to us over the years, and are
infinitely grateful for His care and tender mercies extended to us time
back at the ranch... After just three days home and most of the jetlag
behind, things are back in full swing. We had three visitors from
Birmingham, Alabama, with us several days as part of their assignment
to pray around the perimeter of Wales. On Wednesday we were joined by
two ladies from South Wales, and were praying blessings over the nation
in English and Spanish. Just as I was having a go at it in Welsh, a
a couple from Swansea visiting a family grave stopped to have a look
inside the chapel. After a brief introduction they joined in the prayer with us, and even prayed a blessing in
genuine beautiful Welsh where I could not.
We have all just been amazed at God's perfect timing in so many ways
each and every day. I'd need way too much time to tell it all here.
Suffice it to say that God is so very clearly at work around this land.
Please continue to pray for our American friends as they complete their
assignment this week. Also pray for an evangelistic outreach around
Wales this week called "The Turning." Many churches are working
together in nearly 25 communities and in the first 4 days have seen
almost 1,500 people pray to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior!
Thanks you for your continued interest and prayers. May God's will
be done in our lives and communities around the globe,
Dick & Gladys