Praying Friends and Saints:
When we came up to the chapel two weeks ago the gate into the field
was standing wide open like an invitation.
It was clearly giving the message that the harvest was now ready. The
combine and tractors could roll in to take up the crop of barley at any
We have watched the harvest take place every year, but this is the
first time we've seen the gate opened in advance. It just seemed like
the Lord was giving us a sign of readiness, a fresh promise of His
intention to bring revival to this land of Wales.
In John 4:35 Jesus said, "Do
you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'?
Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for
they are already white for harvest!" This is Jesus' exhortation
to not lean on our own understanding, and to look to the fields of the
world through His eyes. Just like this one, the fields on the hills in
the background are also ready. It is the invitation to open the gates
of our hearts and our understanding to embrace His view of things.
view of the heads of grain helps show us the scale of what we are
really praying for when we pry for revival. How many grains of barley
are there on each plant?
And if we consider how many plants there are in just this one field
alone, what might those numbers add up to?
A little investigation and some quick math shows that this 15-acre
field could produce about 500 million barley grains. That seems like a
good-sized harvest of souls. It's no wonder Jesus said in Matthew
He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the
laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into His harvest.'"
Last week Gladys and I went to the Royal Welsh Show which takes
place here every year in late July. We stayed for two of the four days
it lasts, and the Lord gave us several opportunities to speak with
folks we met. Inevitably people ask us what brings us here to Wales and
that opens the door to share about our prayer mission here. And that in
turn makes it easy
to talk about the good news of God's love and power of the gospel to
save people from there sins and receive eternal life in Jesus.
always enjoy watching the sheepdog trials and this year was no
exception. But this time I saw something about it I'd never seen
before. The shepherd has to get a small group of sheep to go through a
series of gates standing in a field. There are no fences, just the
gates in middle of an open space. You can see a short sample at this
The shepherd has his dog, his staff, and a whistle. The sheep are
out in the wide open area and don't have a clue where they are supposed
to go. The dogs are highly trained, and obey the commands of the
shepherd's whistle. This takes a great deal of patience, and a lot of
the dog's running back and forth. Butthe shepherd coordinates his own
and the dog's movements to get the sheep where he wants them to go.
As I watched, I was deeply impressed that this was like trying to
bring people into God's kingdom. Jesus is the good shepherd, we are
like the sheepdog, and the whistle is like the Holy Spirit who
instructs and guides us. Only God knows the way with each person's
heart, and without the guidance of His spirit, we are uncapable of
bringing the sheep through the doorway of life.
So as we pray and follow His leading, God does what only He can do.
Zechariah 10:8 says, "I will
whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they
shall increase as they once increased."
What joy is ours to work along with so many others around the world
to see God's desires fulfilled. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The
Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but
is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance."
May God's grace and guidance strengthen each of us for His purposes,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
A week ago yesterday our chapel congregation joined with the Baptist
chapel in nearby Star for a special joint meeting. The son of one of
our families and a girl from Star were baptized by immersion as they
made a public declaration of their faith in Jesus.
This was the first time Gladys and I had seen anyone baptized from
our chapel, and that was a real blessing. What made it even more
special was that at the end of the service, they set fire to their old
clothes as a symbol of leaving their old life behind them. Apparently
one of the ministers had seen this done in Israel, and they decided to
introduce it here.
What a great object lesson here! Not only do we go through the
waters of baptism and leave our "old man" buried with Christ, but this
represents an important next step. All the external trappings of our
lives must be renounced as well in preparation of the "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he
is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have
become new." of 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The little girl in the foreground of the picture above reminds us of
what Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are
converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the
kingdom of heaven." We need to continually come back to this
place of simplicity and trust in our Savior's finished work.
The sermon that Sunday also made reference to the group of Thai
students who were trapped in a cave due to flooding. Their only means
of rescue was much more than a simple immersion difficult passage–they
had to be taught how to use scuba gear and were extracted by
professional divers through very long and twisty flooded tunnels. That
delicate rescue operation was started last Sunday as well. Perhaps we
were all gripped by the seriousness of the message and its implications
for us as believers.
rest of our week somehow became very full with several
spur-of-the-moment visits added to one we already had planned. One of
the visits came with the call from a brother who came with a small
group from Holland nine years ago! We met them at a Ffald-y-Brenin
prayer day and they came to visit with us and spend some time praying
at the chapel.
We lost touch with each other after a couple of years, so it was a
real surprise to hear from him and to learn that he was here in Wales
again. He told us with delight how God had so deeply touched him during
his time at the chapel during their first visit, and how that had begun
a long process of transformation in his life. The change in his
countenance since we first met was evident as he glowed with excitement
and the joy of the Lord.
came this time with another friend from Holland who has been doing
missions work in Myanmar (Burma). It was fascinating to hear of his
call to a specific region bordering China that is actually almost
impossible to enter as a foreigner. We had a wonderful time of
fellowship together, and it was a tremendous blessing to be able to
pray for him and the work in Myanmar the Lord has called him to. It was
also a real joy and privilege to pray again for Holland with the two of
them holding up their nation's flag that was brought by other Dutch
friends last autumn!
We are continually surprised and encouraged at how the Lord keeps
bringing us in touch with so many wonderful saints from around the
world. We grow more and more confident the God has an amazing plan for
this nation, and that somehow we find ourselves being a part of it.
What an amazing gift that His grace doesn't depend on our performance
but on His great love for us, for Wales, and for all the nations of the
How we long to see His plans fulfilled, and that countless
multitudes turn to God and embrace His unfathomable gift of love,
forgiveness, and eternal life through faith in Jesus' atoning work at
Thank you for praying for us and with us that "...the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9
During the long and very wet winter, there must have been a lot of
people praying for the rain to stop. We have had one of the longest dry
spells since we've been in Wales, and have seen more sunshine and hot
weather than we can remember here. But not it's all good news,
especially for the farmers.
The Teifi River usually runs with a healthy amount of water, but the
low water level is very evident here at Cenarth Falls just upstream
from where we live. The photo below was taken from close to the same
spot in the springtime a couple of years ago, so you can see what I
When we saw this the other day, Psalm 63:1 quickly came to mind, "O God, You are my God; Early will I
seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and
thirsty land Where there is no water." Now many people that were
praying for dry weather not so long ago are now longing for some rain!
natural realm, changes come with the seasons. But the spiritual drought
here has dragged on for far too long. The overall influence of the
Gospel has been on the wane since the war years of the 20th century.
Many unused old chapels and churches continue to be converted into
private dwellings or put to commercial uses, while others are just
abandoned and left to ruin.
So this scene is a good reminder for serious prayer. Happily, we do
see evidence of change, and many of God's people are encouraged, but
the need for an outpouring of God's Spirit is massive. Words like these
in Isaiah 44:2-4 are great fuel for prayer. "...Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And
you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is
thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your
descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; They will spring up
among the grass like
willows by the watercourses."
God's many promises throughout the scriptures are an enormous source of
strength, and keep us going and keep us on track. We don't depend on
what we see around us but rather we depend on what God's word says. And
we learn to be patient and to rest in the fact that the times are in
His hands, and not ours!
This photo from just below the falls shows again how low the water
is just now. A few years ago the water was so high that it reached the
tops of the arches and was running through the "eye" in between them.
That was put there to help ease the pressure against the structure when
the river is at flood stage.
In a similar way, we know that as God continues to prepare the land
here for the coming revival, and that He is also building structures
into the church that will hold firm when things really get going.
Networks of prayer being established and more people are getting
involved, healthy relationships are being developed across
denominational lines in the church, and different groups are working
together on projects to serve communities and wider areas across the
first Tuesday of each month is the Ffald-y-Brenin Prayer Day. The time
of worship yesterday morning was exceptional and went on uninterrupted
for longer than usual. This provided more evidence of a growing hunger
for the coming move of God, and His response was the sweet lingering of
His presence during the long silence after the music stopped. It is
exciting to see that as the desire to be with Him increases, and we
make our time available to Him, so do the precision and the power of
our prayers increase through the grace that He imparts.
During the noon break, we walked down to this little bridge over the
Gwaun River with some friends and enjoyed our lunch in the shade and
the warm breeze above the murmuring water below. It wasn't quite as
wonderful as His presence had been with us earlier, but almost!
In your own prayers in the coming days for our needy world, remember
the words of Isaiah 55:1 that say, "Listen! Every one who is thirsty,
come to the waters. And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come,
buy wine and milk without money and without price." (NLV) As we
draw ever closer to Him, we can ask boldly that many would come to know
His great love and plan of salvation.
Dick & Gladys