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Monday, May 27, 2019

A visit to Mallorca, more prayer in Wales, and a live conference video empowering intercession

mallorca-may2019.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

The last couple of weeks have just zoomed by as Gladys and I have gone and returned from two beautiful weeks in Mallorca, the Spanish island in the Mediterranean. All of our trips in the last several years have been involved around our direct family, and this is the first time just the two of us actually been away for quite some time.

It was such a blessing to be once again in a place where all the people speak Spanish, and especially for Gladys. Because that is her first language, in a sense it was almost like coming home. We hadn’t visited Mallorca for nearly four years, and it was a real delight to just be surrounded by the familiar culture and the warmth of the people—not to mention that climate was an ideal temperature as well!

mallorca-may2019-familia.jpgWe certainly did have times for just the two of us alone, which was wonderful. But the beauty about God’s family is that we are never really alone. We returned to see some old friends in Mallorca that we have known since 2011. And just to meet up with and embrace this wonderful Brazilian family that we have known since our first trip in 2011 was absolutely precious.

One of the things that we really love is just the fact that God‘s family is everywhere. And once we have made connections, we always just belong to each other in spite of years of being apart. It never really matters where we are or how long it has been since seeing one another, that sense of belonging never changes, because we all belong to the same Father.

Our brothers and sisters, like ourselves, are always in a state of flux—sometimes enjoying great intimacy the Lord, sometimes dealing with difficulties, just as Jesus promised. But by His grace we can be growing through it all. It was a real joy to be able to encourage them in the Lord, and in a small way help them to deal with mallorca-may2019-market.jpgchanges that have been going on in their lives. 

Mallorca is a place of such phenomenal natural beauty that we couldn’t help but think wouldn’t it be nice to be here in the long wet winter months rather than Wales. But we have actually run into snow here in November once in the mountains. The fact remains, however, that as easy as it is to think wouldn’t it be nice to do this or to do that, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the very best place for us to be is right where the Lord has us. We even thought to ourselves, "wouldn’t it be fun to stay for an extra week." But we are so glad to be home again, and we are already delighting in what God is doing here in our left.

A couple from Denmark that got in touch with us a few months ago have come to the Bless Wales conference that started this morning in Swansea. Live videos are available through Wednesday night UK time at this link.

They had wanted to meet up, so yesterday afternoon I spent some time with them at the chapel. They wanted to hear about our experiences here over the years. I learned about their calling to intercession for the nation of Denmark for many years. denmarkvisitschapel.jpgThey brought us a flag from their country which we installed with prayers among the other host of flags that we have. It still overwhelms to us to realize that Christians from more than 40 countries that have come to pray for their nations with us. They all firmly believe that Wales has a key part to play in the move of God in their own people! All this of course is of great encouragement to us as we continue on watching God‘s amazing plan develop.

They shared that the heart of their calling this verse in Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus says the Lord: 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it."'" They are praying that their Danish people come to see God‘s grace and that He bring them into a place of being connected with the Lord and his ways. We talked, prayed, and wept together about the situation with church  today in Denmark, and elsewhere. We prayed for the need for individual believers to have a personal connection and time with God, to sit in his presence, with his word, and to receive the anointing that makes tears flow and that can change hearts and nations.

Thank you for praying with us that God's kingdom touch the earth with power and saving grace,

Dick & Gladys


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Friday, May 10, 2019

An exraordinary privilege... And some great family news!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

This Monday was the annual “Cymanfa Ganu”, an event when several local chapels get together for a joint session of hymn singing. The morning session for is just for the children, then an early afternoon session for the children and adults together, and a final session with just adults. This is very much a part of the Welsh culture and the singing is wonderful and moving.

To our great surprise, at the end of the monthly meeting in April, I was asked to represent our Cilfowyr Chapel and do the opening reading and prayer for the children’s morning session. And of course it must be in Welsh! I politely declined because my Welsh is very limited, but they said I could think about if I changed my mind they would be most pleased.

I felt prompted by the Lord to accept the challenge and also was reminded of being asked to share the word briefly last October, and felt that somehow this might be “a next step” to something. After a chat with our pastor Gareth, who said I could just read it off rather try and speak spontaneously in Welsh, I went for it. He kindly helped me by composing a prayer fitting for the occasion and coaching me a little.

Praying in Cymanfa GanuSo Monday morning, with nerves ajangle, up I marched into the pulpit and read aloud my contribution. I was pleasantly relieved to hear some positive feedback afterwards, and so thank the Lord for his goodness!

I include both Psalm 23 and the prayer here for your enlightenment and so you can get an idea of the challenge.

SALM 23
1 Yr ARGLWYDD ydy fy mugail i; mae gen i bopeth dw i angen.
2 Mae'n mynd â fi i orwedd mewn porfa hyfryd; ac yn fy arwain at ddŵr glân sy'n llifo'n dawel.
3 Mae'n rhoi bywyd newydd i mi, ac yn dangos i mi'r ffordd iawn i fynd. Ydy, mae e'n enwog am ei ofal.
4 Hyd yn oed mewn ceunant tywyll dychrynllyd, fydd gen i ddim ofn, am dy fod ti gyda mi. Mae dy ffon a dy bastwn yn fy amddiffyn i.
5 Rwyt ti'n paratoi gwledd i mi ac mae fy ngelynion yn gorfod gwylio. Rwyt ti'n tywallt olew ar fy mhen. Mae gen i fwy na digon!
6 Bydd dy ddaioni a dy ofal ffyddlon gyda mi weddill fy mywyd. A byddaf yn byw eto yn nhŷ'r ARGLWYDD am byth.

On the home front, our recent and very happy family news is that last Wednesday our oldest son Peter married his fiancée Allie Cohen at a small civil ceremony at the Courthouse in Billings, Montana. So there are now three (3) Mr. & Mrs. Funnells among our children.

It was a doubly special week because just three days later Allie received her Masters degree from the University of Montana in Billings so we are so very pleased and proud of them both.

We look forward to another big family celebration next year when they are well settled in San Diego where they will move in July. In all likelihood Peter will finish the last stint of his 20 years with the US Marine Corps there, and pursue his further education as a youngster of 42, thanks to the G.I. Bill.

God has been so good to us and faithful to look after our family over the years. Indeed we have much to be thankful for.

With love, grace and blessings in the wonderful name of Jesus,

Dick & Gladys


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