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Monday, July 29, 2019

The joys of summertime in West Wales!

mallorca-may2019.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

Summer is definitely in full swing in Wales now with warm days, only occasional rain, and breathtaking sunsets. Countless shades of green are everywhere you look and flowers, birds, bees and butterflies help to complete the picture of this lush and glorious time of the year. All those wet and dismal days now behind us seem to be paying off handsomely.

Schools are out for summer vacation and so our towns, roads, hills, and beaches are filled with holidaymakers exploring and enjoying this beautiful part of West Wales we're so privileged to call home. In fact, most of Wales has a large transient population during this time, which is a boon for local economies that depend on the tourist trade.

The farming community adds to the busyness of this season with growing flocks and herds, as well as the fast-growing crops for feed that cover much of the countryside. "Making hay while the sun shines" takes on a South African visitors to Royal Welsh Show, 2019broader meaning as huge lights enable modern equipment to harvest throughout the night when necessary. Another summer highlight is the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells. We were able to go for one day last week, and join with friends from our county and others in prayer for the show and its many activities. you can read a more complete writeup about the show from 2017 at this link.

Among the nearly 250,000 visitors to the show during its four days, we met some men from the Zulu nation of South Africa who accompanied their King Goodwill on his visit to the show. His intention was to observe the many examples of good practice to further improve their own farming skills. Several of those we spoke with were believers too, so were enjoyed our moments of Christian royalty together.

It is also a time of increased visitors for us, as if the liveliness of summer also sparks interest in things spiritual. We've had some planned visits as well as some unplanned ones, both of which we delight in as people join us in prayer from other nations. We enjoyed a brief but precious time chapelfolkssummer2019.jpgwith a family from Switzerland, hungry to see revival come to their land. And last week we met a couple from California who were tracing their family roots back to our chapel. He was quite sure that his direct ancestor had been the first pastor of our Cilfowyr Chapel.

Even our monthly communion service was touched by the warmth of July as we enjoyed a time of fellowship in the sunshine after the meeting. Gladys seems to have a gift of making people happy to have their picture taken, and so this photo is another fruit of our lovely Welsh summer.

Our daily times of scripture reading and prayer continue as always, and a few things have touched and motivated us deeply. One portion, in particular, was in Jeremiah 3:21-22 that says, "A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God. 'Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.' [to which their response is:] 'Behold, we come to you, for you are the Lord our God.'"

The English Standard Version uses the word "faithlessness", rather than "backsliding" or rebellion" as more commonly translated, and it just jumped out at us. If there was ever one word to characterize our modern-day denmarkvisitschapel.jpgculture, "faithlessness" seems to fit like a glove. We had to stop and seriously and tearfully pray into this. The "developed" nations are desperately lacking a wholesome respect for our Creator—most don't even acknowledge Him.

As we pray for the Spirit of God to move upon Wales and the nations in revival power, we can specifically ask that He convict people of their faithlessness, and cause them to realize that they have "forgotten the Lord their God." James 11: 6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

May we soon see people begin to cry out, "Behold, we come to you, for you are the Lord our God." May the Lord open people's hearts to His Word, and may countless voices be lifted up to exalt the only One who is worthy of our praises forever, Jesus Christ the Redeemer and Savior.

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Visitors from afar, and a surprising discovery's challenge...

july2019visitors.jpgDear Praying Friends and Saints:

During the week after the Cross Walk commissioning at our chapel, we went to Swansea overnight to join a small group who had come to spend some time visiting a few of Wales' revival sites. We've known the couple standing between Gladys and me for about six years. They have recently moved to Germany, which made it possible for them both to come to Wales for the first time. They brought their close friends from India, a pastor, and his family, who have especially wanted to visit Wales for several years. It was a great opportunity to meet them and spend some time together in the context of hunger for revival.

Last weekend they came out to Pembrokeshire where they were very kindly hosted next door by our friends Stan and Sue. Besides taking them to a few of the historical places here, we had the privilege of spending some time at the chapel. We already have flags from both countries where they minister, and it was wonderful to pray together with them for each of their nations in turn. It seemed we could quickly "connect" with the prayers of others from their nations that have come to pray here, and it was a significant time with tears and groanings that surely moved things in the heavenly realms.

On a more earthly level, I've been working on the old baptistery here at the chapel. It has probably been about ten years since I last cleaned it out, but since last year I've felt urged to get it into working order again as a prophetic act of faith. Overgrown by weeds and nettles, I've sprayed and cut back and cleaned out debris from the large tank itself. Over the years the flow of water that feeds it has become less and less until now it was barely a trickle. So it was time to take a serious look into the situation.

I set about the job with pruners and shovel and hoe, spurred on by the leading I've had and also the memory of the miraculous baptism that happened here in 1932! (You can read about that event in the October 20th journal entry from my visit here 2002.) After clearing away the wild growth of ivy and vines from an old stone wall at the back of this little glen, I realized that I would need to dig out the little stream bed to lower the water enough to get down to where the filler pipe connected somewhere to the stream. It was a bit of a mystery as to how it actually worked, and so my curiosity also helped fuel my efforts.

During my next session working on it, I was delighted to find the answer to the puzzle. After removing about three inches of sand, gravel, and roots, I hit baptistrycatchbasin.jpgsomething hollow sounding. More digging gradually revealed a rusty old metal grate set into the cover of a chamber from which an old cast iron pipe carries to water to the baptistery. Probing with a stick showed the chamber was nearly filled with sediment. It hasn't been cleaned out for at least 60 years, so there is still work to do.

During this whole process, I've been praying and hearing from the Lord. It is a picture of how the church itself has been filled with "sediment" over the years, generation by generation. The course where the living waters should be flowing freely has been neglected and become filled in with distractions and lethargic "Sunday go to church" Christianity. Simply said, failing to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" has blocked the flow and impoverished the church spiritually, both corporately and individually. No wonder its influence in today's world has declined so drastically. Can people around us see any evidence of the Kingdom of God within us?

That's a big part of what re-digging the wells of revival is all about—not giving in to sedimentation! We can't neglect the essentials of our faith and relationship with Jesus. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?"

We hope this be good food for thought and fuel for prayer, and may God's abundant grace encourage us onwards day by day,

Dick & Gladys                               (Click here to read the ongoing story of the baptistry )


Monday, July 01, 2019

The Pembrokeshire Cross Walk is underway!

cilfowyrcrosscommissioning.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

On Saturday at Cilfowyr Chapel we held the commissioning service for the Pembrokeshire Cross Walk. Our pastor opened with a reading and prayer, and the time of worship in Welsh and English was brilliantly accompanied on piano by a long-time friend. Neither Emyr nor I knew that she had “coincidentally” visited Cilfowyr not long ago to have a look and pray while on a prayer drive around a few revival sites in our area. So when Emyr called to ask her to play for us, she just knew it was right.

Emyr spoke briefly about how the Lord got him involved in his ministry of carrying the cross as a public witness from St. David's to Mt. Snowdon three years ago. He has many wonderful testimonies of how the Lord has touched people's lives around Wales. He also shared how has been encouraged by other people being called into other non-traditional types of ministries, among which is our part in daily prayer for revival here. That was the reason he wanted to have the service here.

cilfowyrcrosscommissioning-2.jpgAnother very special segment was the participation of Isaías Grande, a Welsh-speaking Argentinian pastor. He shared the story of how his parents moved to Patagonia where there is a large Welsh population. God led him to learn the language as a young man, and then he trained as a minister with a love of Wales in his heart and pastored a Welsh chapel in Patagonia.

He told about an extraordinarily vivid dream which he understood was about God visiting Wales again with revival. Through many signs and confirmations, he moved here about two years ago with his Welsh wife and their two small sons. We have had the chance to visit a couple of times, all in Spanish of course, and discover how the things the Lord has shown him coincide with what so many others are seeing take place. He currently serves a couple of Welsh chapels in Llanelli and nearby.

Isaías' testimony was translated from Welsh to English by Geraint Morse, a Welsh pastor from the western side of Pembrokeshire. He then shared a bit of his own story how God called him back to Wales, after years pastoring in England and then Hong Kong. He has a vision to see his homeland once again touched by the kingdom of God and the church empowered by His spirit.cilfowyrcrosscommissioning-3.jpg He pointed out that we all carry our own cross and that the fruit of all each of our obedience to God's guidance all contributes to the fulfillment of His purposes for this nation and the world.

At the end we all gathered around Emyr and prayed for him and strength for his mission. There were some good words of encouragement and blessing. After some time of refreshments and fellowship, he set off on the first 16-mile leg of his journey to Ffald-y-Brenin Retreat centre in the Gwaun Valley. He will be updating friends about his itinerary and experiences on his Facebook page at this link.

Thank you for your continued interest in and prayers for God's people and for the unreached in Wales, and the nations,

Dick & Gladys


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