Dear Friends and Prayers:
We got a wonderful email last week from our dear friends Bryn and
Sylvia in Alberta, Canada. They first got in touch with us in
early 2014 and then came to spend six months here in Wales. They
had been involved in prayer ministry for several years and were
volunteers at Ffald-y-Brenin for most of their time here.
After their return to Canada, they opened "The Prayer House in
their home in Vulcan, Alberta. We had the privilege of visiting
them in June of 2017 and meeting several of their praying friends.
You can read about our visit in the June 7th entry of our update at this link and how our hearts were touched
by their prayers for the indigenous Siksika Nation Reserve nearby.
You can imagine how delighted we were when we got their email
with this photo! They said, "This sign went up on the Siksika
Reserve last week. Sylvia, Roy and I helped the pastor from the
New Living Waters Church on the reserve. We have been working on
it since May. The letters are 8 feet high and the sign is about
230 feet long. People are marveling at it. God is working in
incredible ways. There are too many stories to tell..." How
amazing and encouraging!
Last week Gladys and I
went to London for a few days to visit some old friends and
combine it with a little sightseeing. We took off without any
agenda other than just to have some free time. It was wonderful to
meet up with our friend Rosie, whose family graciously hosted us
fourteen years ago when we were still trying to find a place of
our own to rent. We hadn't seen her since she went off to
university, and it was so good to catch up.
We met up earlier at the British Museum with our friend Marce
from Guatemala, who we met last year. Her family had been part of
the Verbo churches there before moving to Spain many years ago. It
was a joy to be able to introduce them, and then discover the kind
of surprising common connections we all had that only the Lord can
And then it turned out that Marce is the niece of a Spanish
pastor who came to talk I gave for the Bible College of Wales
students here last month. And his wife was the aunt of the BCW
student from Guatemala who we met a few weeks ago and another
student at the Verbo school in Guatemala 40 years ago!
After visiting other dear
friends last Friday who we hadn't seen in nearly ten years, we
went to the airport early Saturday morning to pick up our youngest
son Richard who flew in from California on business. He arranged
his plans to spend a long weekend with us in Wales, and it was a
wonderful time indeed. After driving through four hours of rain,
when we got within an hour of our house, the sun had broken
through the clouds as if to welcome us home.
Then on Sunday we had an amazingly beautiful day and visited
Tenby on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. It seems hard to
believe that we have been living here 14 years now, but the
richness of our brief time together and the difficult goodbye this
morning made it obviously real.
We are comforted and encouraged by the words of Jesus in the
Gospel of Mark 10:29-30, "Assuredly,
I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or
sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My
sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now
in this time … and in the age to come, eternal life."
And that is our prayer for Wales and the nations, that they may
receive eternal life through the atoning blood of Jesus.
Dick & Gladys
Among our readings recently we have been going through Paul's letters to the Thessalonians. This portion in 1 Thess.4:9-10 says, "But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia..." What a great testimony of how the Body of Christ should work.
Then in chapter 5:8 and 11, he goes on to say, "But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation... Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."
With the many visitors that we continually receive, we are so glad to be able to say that this is our experience. We receive such rich blessings from each one, and we just can't keep it to ourselves. That is how God's love works and it overflows in gratitude to God and love toward others. Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 3:7, "So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase."
The beauty of all this is that it is God's working in all of His children. There are no super-stars, it's just us, all of us who call God our father, just being family. We realize time and again what a privilege it is to be here and receive and share God's love through those that He sends our way. People have asked over the years what has kept us on course here for so long, and the overwhelming answer is that it simply is His love.
This last week was no exception. On Tuesday we enjoyed the visit of two friends of our neighbors, one of whom we'd met somewhere before. She had come for a personal retreat nearby. After a special time of prayer at the chapel, she asked if she could come back later in the week for a visit and to hear the story of how we came to be here in Wales. On Friday when the knock came on our door, we opened to three people instead of just the one we were expecting. And we were going to need help eating the apple pie that Gladys had made just for the visit. Love times three!
Katja quickly explained that she had shared about her time with us on the Tuesday with Serena and Graham, who she met at Ffald-y-Brenin, and when they heard that she was coming for a visit they asked if they could come along. So the more the merrier, as they say, and it really was. Included in what they had heard was about the recently filled baptistry, and that did it for Serena. She had felt the Lord prompting her for some time to be baptized, and so asked if we might be able to baptize her.
To make a long story short, we spend the whole afternoon and evening together. After getting acquainted and sharing our stories, we went up to the chapel and, after a quick survey of the baptistry, we had an amazing time of prayer and worship together. Then we went to Cardigan for supper and made plans for the baptism the next morning.
After clearing it with a couple of members of the chapel, we met about 11:30 in the vestry to talk about baptism. We shared the basics from Romans 6, which she was familiar with already, along with a few examples, and off we went. We were glad to be joined by our neighbor Stan who came along for support and to share in this special event.
After making a few modifications at the water source, and plenty of rainfall in the last couple of weeks, there was an abundance of water. We were thrilled that the Lord would arrange this all so soon after everything was ready. I'd even considered emptying the baptistry before all the leaves fall, but He had plans for a "test run".
Graham had asked if anybody would mind if he were to film everything, and so he was taking part with an extra "eye" on things. When he sent me the finished product yesterday morning, I was amazed at its simplicity and beauty. It is very moving and I hope you will take the 2 1/2 minutes to watch it at this private link.
We are simply astonished yet once again at how the Lord coordinates so many things all in the background! This was like the "first fruits" of what we believe God has in store for this place. And each day is a discovery of His ongoing goodness.
Thank you for your continued interest. And as 1 Thess.5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Dick & Gladys
Dear Praying Friends:
Once again the last two weeks have flown by. Leaves are turning and falling now as autumn gets underway,
and change is in the air. Last Friday morning the National Prayer Breakfast of Wales was held at the Royal Welsh Showgrounds
in Builth Wells in Mid-Wales. This was the first nationwide breakfast held in several years. There's been a changing
of the guard and the new team of organizers did a wonderful job!
Of course, it was marvelous to see so many dear friends that we've not seen for a very long time, and
also a great opportunity to make new ones. There were people from many different backgrounds and denominations,
but the common ground was a universal longing for a fresh move of God throughout the principality. One of the prayers
near the end of the breakfast was very moving, and there is a copy of it at this link to encourage and guide your prayers for Wales.
The breakfast itself was the first segment of a two-day conference called "Healing The Land". It was hosted by the Christian
Centre For Rural Wales and organized to provide a dedicated time for fellowship, worship and teaching, and concerted prayer for
mercy and healing for our land.
There were exceptional teachings by our friend Roy Godwin of the nearby Ffald-y-Brenin retreat center, and also by Andreas Keller
from Switzerland. He has had years of experience in praying for the land specifically in farming communities in many nations besides
his own and shared some incredibly powerful testimonies of the power of prayer for the earth and its correct alignment with the overriding
rule of God and the order that He has established for our obedience and blessing. The dovetailing of the teachings of these two brothers was
extremely anointed and powerful. They had never even met before, and kept saying they had "stolen" each other's notes!
After an amazing weekend, today was another exceptional time for us. We were so blessed to be able to spend the day with the current
group of students from the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. This is their ninth group of international students for the twelve-week
School of Ministry and it was a joy and an honor to spend time with them.
We met this morning at the "Bend me!" chapel in Blaenannerch, known as the kick-off point of the 1904 Welsh Revival. I had been asked
by the College to share about the background and early beginnings of the revival and, in particular, Evan Roberts experience there when
the Holy Spirit empowered and directed him back to Moriah Chapel. It was there that the Kingdom of God exploded with transformational power
into the lives of local Welsh folk, and then swept the nation of Wales and touched the nations of the world at the start of the 20th century.
It is always a very moving experience to share about these events and it launched us into a prolonged time of prayer interspersed with
worship and hearts were made tender through God's love. Tears flowed freely, lives were touched, and it was an absolute treasure to be a part of such a special time.
When we finished there, they all piled into the bus and followed us over to our own Cilfowyr Chapel for a packed lunch in the vestry.
The floor of the 220-year-old chapel, now used only occasionally for fellowship and refreshments, held up well enough under the weight of the joy and camaraderie
that filled it. The 38 students and staff from nine nations carry a glorious portion of God's presence and grace, and the small space was
buzzing with life and fun.
After lunch, we went over to the main chapel where I briefly shared a bit of our background and our specific calling here to pray for the coming revival.
Realizing that in God's amazing ways, our presence here over the years had a small part to play in the re-opening of the Bible College and these
students being here today was a bit overwhelming for us both. And what made it even more precious to us was the fact that one of the students here
is the daughter of a pastor in Guatemala who had been a student in the Verbo Christian School that I started and directed forty years ago.
It was a massive privilege to be able to share with these beautiful dedicated saints, and encourage them in the indescribable destiny that God holds
for each one as they say "Yes" to His calling on their lives.
They will be launched like seeds into the wind of the Holy Spirit into places and nations they
might not even imagine as yet! Just as Jesus told Nicodemos in John 3:8, "The wind blows where it wishes,
and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Please join us in
praying for these sons and daughters of the King, and that the fruit of their lives will, in turn, reach many thousands more with the incomparable love of
Jesus our Lord and Savior.
As always, thank you for your faithful interest and prayers for us, for the people of Wales, and the nations that God is seeking to save,
Dick & Gladys