Praying Friends and Saints:
It's hard to believe how the time has gone shooting by so fast. We were very busy with visitors and preparations for spending the next four weeks in the USA. Ten days ago we landed in New York City where we stayed the weekend with our daughter Grace, and even went to a Yankees game. Gladys had never been in such a large stadium, and I hadn't been to a major league baseball for about 50 years. Hot dogs and home runs haven't changed much in all that time, including the man hollering out, "Cracker Jacks". It was like an adventure into the past!
The main reason for our trip was for our youngest son Richard's wedding this coming weekend, and just to take some vacation time. Last week we came out to Long Island where we have been staying with friends near Jones Beach, and spending some time relaxing and exploring. The contrast between here and West Wales is pretty staggering.
Some things, like this brightly lit diner, have been part of the American landscape since early in the last century, and so it's fun to see that there are still a few around. I was actually born not far from here on north side of Long Island, and although I was raised in Maryland, visits to our grandparents and aunts made some of these areas and names somewhat familiar.
Friends back home prayed that the Lord would guide our steps and open doors, and it has been amazing to see those prayers fulfilled. Two times in Brooklyn our first weekend we unexpectedly ran into members of our extended family in public places: first in an open market, and then in a train station! And yesterday we were the only ones in s small restaurant in Connecticut, and just as we finished an older couple came in. I could hardly believe it was a retired pastor and his wife who had been in our home 32 years ago in Guatemala. It just makes us aware how the Lord is indeed ordering our steps.
Another surprise blessing has been meeting a Mexican pastor. Enrique and his wife Loretta who are affiliated with our friends with the Cornerstone Church in Singapore, and we met with him last week just down the street from the house where I was born! We had such a great time of fellowship, and he asked if we could share a little bit with part of their Spanish-speaking congregation last Wednesday night. What a privilege and joy to find a vibrant Latino church here and share about what the Lord is doing in Wales. And it was a real delight especially for Gladys to suddenly be surrounded with people whose first language is the same as hers. Laughter and love have flowed so easily that we are feeling extremely blessed and thankful for such a rich time.
We will try to keep in touch, but expect that our communications will very likely be sporadic until we return to Wales in mid-October. May God's blessings and goodness surround and strengthen you, and may you also be aware of His grace guiding your steps and giving opportunities each day to share His amazing love,
Dick & Gladys
For quite some time Gladys has wanted to invite a group of musician
friends to come for a time of fellowship and playing together. And
Saturday of last weekend was the day that worked for everyone. And it was
also a dry and mostly sunny day in the middle of a rainy patch, so
God's grace was on us for that as well.
The idea was to share lunch and then just spend the afternoon making
some music. What made it especially fun was that none of these couples
had ever met each other, and they are gifted musicians and worship
leaders. It was wonderful to see how the Lord connected hearts within
minutes, and the time of sharing and briefly getting to know each other
was a real joy to behold!
There is nothing quite as rewarding as experiencing what the word
says in Psalm 133, "Behold,
how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in
unity! ...For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore."
And together we enjoyed the sweet fruit of Ephesians 4:16 that
describes how "...from whom
[Christ] the whole body, joined and knit together by what
every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every
part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of
itself in love."
It was this warmth of fellowship and newly discovered love for one
another that established the atmosphere we began to play. And oh, what
a rich time we had of it. We played some worship songs we all knew, and
learned a few new ones as well. It was not about performing, but
just enjoying the fun of playing freely together. This particular song
was such fun, and uplifting, I've posted a video at this link for you
There were several times when the goodness of God and His presence
midst was very evident. We didn't want to stop, and so we kept on
playing and singing until eventually, one couple had to leave so our
session came to an end. It was a wonderful time of refreshing for us
all, and seeing new friendships formed was an extra bonus.
The other two couples had never
been up to the chapel with us. So after a quick bite of leftovers for
supper, we came up for a "brief" time of prayer. It was a privilege to
install two new flags of Bolivia and Egypt, at
top right, and pray for them and also Wales
and the other nations. As so easily happens when the Lord is at the
center of things, it was well after dark by the time we each
headed home from a full and marvelous day.
Then on the following Monday, we were joined by some old friends
from Singapore. We first met Ben and Lillian here
seven years ago when they came with some relatives, and we have kept in
touch ever since. This time they came with another couple from the
church Ben pastors there, and once again had an exceptional time of
prayer. It just happened that the Singapore flag was just behind the
flags for the USA and Guatemala, and so we couldn't miss the
opportunity to take this photo together.
We are continually surprised to see how the Lord and organizes our
days and brings so many people into our lives who are dedicated to His
purposes. It is an enormous privilege to be here and watch as His new
mercies unfold before us each day. And we rejoice as see the interest
in, and prayers for this nation of Wales growing more intertwined with
so many saints around the world.
In Mark 13:28 Jesus said, "When
its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know
that summer is near.
Thank you for your prayers for Wales. It seems like something is going
Dick & Gladys