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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Adventures in uncertainty and faith...

BCW Italian Garden July 2021Dear Praying Friends,

We are now into our third week here at the Bible College of Wales and have really enjoyed our time here. The college is in between groups of students, so there are only four people on campus besides ourselves. It has been very peaceful and we get to spend lots of time in the gardens in the amazingly good summer weather.

I hope you have all read the book Rees Howells, Intercessor, and how he was led by the Lord into a challenging life of prayer and faith. Reading the stories of his experiences and growing relationship with God is a powerful source of inspiration and we can't recommend the book enough. You can read the first few chapters here on the publisher's website, and find new and used copies on Amazon or Abebooks as well. There is also an excellent overview of his life and work here on the Bible College website.

We count it an enormous privilege to be here during this time. There is an exciting energy connected with the prayers during the last hundred years, and more recently with the hundreds of students that have gone through the 12-week course of study. This is a real launching ground for the people of all ages who have been prepared and fired up to serve the Lord wholeheartedly either back in their home territory or wherever the Lord may choose to send them in the future. It reminds us of the times during the Jesus movement View of Mumbles Lighthouse from BCW gardensin the 1970s when people were sent into ministry after what in many cases were intense encounters with the Lord and His call into discipleship and service.

I like this view from a particular spot in the garden where are you can  just make out the white Mumbles Lighthouse on its rocky perch in the distance. It's a good reminder that Jesus is our lighthouse in times of turbulence and need. And He invites us to shine his light for others in the world around us who long for the certainty and hope that is only found in Him.

Psalm 119:105-106 says in The Passion Translation, "Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of your Word makes my pathway clear. To live my life by your righteous rules has been my holy and lifelong commitment." This is a great description of what it means to be a disciple, and how God's word equips us to shine His light and bear the good fruit for which He made us.

As we draw close to our last week here in Swansea, there are still some unknowns about when we will be able to move into our new house in Betws Ifan. Once again we have seen the Lord open doorsSome work needed here! to places for us to stay for the whole month of August if need be. However, we still have hopes to be able to actually move by next weekend.

It seems to be a matter of all the right documents getting into the right hands at the right time. We understand that it could all happen in a short matter of days... or it could still drag on for weeks. We are at peace with whichever way things go, but would once again like to ask for your prayers that things work according to God's design and not our personal preferences.

We visited the house last week and saw how the garden is getting overgrown. We found some shears and did some pruning in the hot sun. It was very nice to make a little headway on the outside jobs, and we felt like they were the first steps of making this place our home. Once again we gave thanks to the Lord for His provision of this lovely house which, by faith, we will be living in before too much longer. It will be nice to get settled in and get back to our times praying in the chapel which we have missed.

Thank you for your continued interest and your prayers for Wales, and the nations in need of His great light,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, July 05, 2021

From transition to position... a solid place in a quicksand world.

Last sunset from Hen FfynnonDear Friends and Prayers:

Two weeks ago today most of our belongings were moved from our home into a storage container nearby and we moved across the road. This is the last sunset photo from there. At a time when it was very hard to get any storage at all, God's provision opened a place up for us only two miles away. This was a huge blessing for us because the sale of our new house still is not finalized, and this is right on the way there when we get the go ahead to move in. It has also enabled us to organize and store the remaining items very conveniently.

Moving day - last few times up this hill!Gladys and I have been constantly aware of God's goodness to us throughout this whole process. We have both felt overwhelmed at times by the amount of stuff we have accumulated and have had to deal with, and our hearts overflow with gratitude for the Lord's care for us.

Garden at Stabal-y-Bryn, CilgerranWe are coming to the end of our first 20-day stay here in our friends' cottage in Cilgerran, and on Saturday we will be moving on to stage two. When I last wrote, we hoped that wouldn't be necessary, but once again have seen the Lord's faithfulness in opening another door for us. Our friends from the Bible College of Wales in Swansea have kindly offered us the opportunity to stay there on the campus for the next several weeks. Even the detail of the timing makes us admire God's handiwork—the current students graduate this Thursday and then vacate the premises on Friday just in time for our arrival on Saturday.

This is an interesting time of transition for us, and we are looking forward to discovering just how the Lord works all things out for His purposes. We have lots of friends in the Swansea area and will enjoy the opportunity to have times of fellowship that have been missed during the pandemic.

Unusual low rainbow in AberporthA phrase that comes to mind is "from transition to position." It seems that life itself is actually a constant transition from one stage to the next, from infancy and childhood on into adulthood and career, family, etc. It is a long and elaborate chain of transitions. But when a person comes to faith in Jesus, he or she comes to a place of permanence and position. God translates us into the Kingdom of His dear son, and that placement by His grace is forever. He seats us in heavenly places for all eternity.

During this very difficult year and a half, countless people around the world have suffered loss and heartbreak, and transition has come unexpectly and painfully for millions. It is our trust and our prayer that millions also will have come to discover that "Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!'" (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Dick & Gladys


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