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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Good news times two!!  And with our sincere thanks! 😊

Tresaith beach at low tide

Dear Friends:

Here we are almost in November and the end of the year, and we have some big news to share—we are going to America! We haven't been out of the UK for nearly three years and, as you might imagine, we are thrilled at this opportunity to travel again. We fly to New York and will stay six days with our daughter Grace, and then head for Portland, Maine to Richard and Emily's home for a few days. Then off to New Hampshire to visit some old-time friends and a church group that has faithfully supported us since we first came to Wales.

Then we'll go back to Portland for Thanksgiving where we'll be joined by Grace and their cousin Maly from Maryland. It will be the same crew that was all together here at our house last year, so we are looking forward to being together again and in new surroundings in Portland.

I realized that this is the longest time we have not visited the U.S.A. since I left as a young missionary for Guatemala in 1976! And so we're already making plans to travel again in the summer to see our son Mike and his wife Lauren in Louisiana, and hopefully, our oldest son Peter who lives in California. And from there on to Guatemala to see Gladys' family there. We'll also be making up for lost time since we had to scrap the plans for an old-timers reunion there in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Iris Ministries' Harvest School of Missions at MwntThis also highlights another wonderful piece of news ... Gladys' health and strength have been restored thanks to God's amazing goodness and grace. Just three months ago her situation was very bleak indeed when Covid caught her at her weakest point. We are so thankful for His faithfulness and mercy, and we especially want to thank you for your prayers for her healing.

Being able to hike up into the local hills has proven yet again that God is greater than our obstacles and difficulties, and as the word says in Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"

In our readings the other day, these words in 1 Timothy 3:16 really spoke to us. "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up in glory.
" It is this one remarkable fact, that Jesus was "believed on in the world", that has brought our own lives into partnership with His glory, and providesHarvest School of Missions at Cilfowyr the only stable context for living securely in a very disjointed and transitory world.

The continuity of God's kingdom from one generation to the next is the fruit of his being "believed on in the world" down through the ages. And an important key to tapping into this powerful source of hope and faith is laid out clearly in Psalm 111:2-3. "The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever."

Obviously, the Word of God should be our primary subject of study to keep our hope and trust in His promises growing fresh and strong. But it is also wonderfully important to stay connected with others and share and hear testimonies in our daily lives of God's interactions with and among us. He is always at work, and for every one of us, hearing "stories of glory", both great and small, is like the rain and the sunshine on a newly planted field.

Thank you again for your continued interest and prayers for us, for Wales, and the nations. And may you "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." (Colossians 4:5-6)

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

A changing tide for changing times... Repent and believe the Gospel!

The hour before the new tide comes in!

Dear Praying Saints and Intercessors:

We have been feeling within ourselves, as well as hearing on several fronts, about a new season in the Lord. Change is in the air, and these verses in Ezekiel 36:8-10 really struck home this morning. "But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt."

Not unlike ancient Israel, the church of Christ has practically been in a state of ruin in the midst of a secular world around us. Its influence has decreased exponentially over the past fifty years. We've been on the farthest back burner for far too long, and perhaps even fallen behind the stove completely. But change IS coming. Ezekiel's words are for us, the church, now. The tide is coming in!

The hour before the new tide comes in!Nearly 18 years ago Gladys and I came to a part of the centenary celebrations of the 1904 Welsh Revival, and I had the following experience I'd like to share with you here. 
October 29, 2004: "After a good night's rest in Island House, Evan Roberts' old home, I awoke quite early and came across to a park alongside the River Loughor to pray. It was still very much nighttime, and the full moon was shining through curtains of racing clouds.

"The reflection of its light on the movement of the river, which is very wide at this point, was a beautiful sight to behold. The second largest tidal fluctuation in the world, after the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, the current sweeps everything upstream with it. And it looked like a vast host of shimmering diamonds, brightening and dimming with the moonlight, being propelled inland by some invisible force.

"As I strolled along the pathway watching and praying, I felt somehow quite close to the prayers of Evan Roberts himself. Besides playing and exploring here as a child, he surely passed many hours in this very spot overlooking the river. He spent nearly thirteen years praying and crying out for a meaningful manifestation of God. He had come to recognize the church of his day as a failure, for its lack of impact on the world.

"Standing on a prominent point overlooking the estuary, as I prayed I began to realize that the people of this country, now so far removed from any relevant contact with Christianity, have no source of real hope for their lives. It seems that life is about making the best of it that you can; sort of a fatalistic "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die" mentality. Sure, everyone can hope for a better future, a more comfortable life in this world, but that is all.

Sun setting on incoming tide"The lively hope we have in Jesus is different. It is SO much more! Because it is not of us, it is of God, the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is full of glory and grace. It is the hope and assurance of eternal life, and joy in the Kingdom of God forever. While I sang into the wind that beautiful old hymn, "Place your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His beautiful face. . .", I realized again what wealth we have in the Saviour, and how destitute this land is without that knowledge.

"Then later in Moriah Chapel, where the revival broke out 100 years ago, the deacon who showed us around told us about the river's tide. He said that just as it empties out the river so completely, so has the life flowed out of the chapels and churches of Wales. But with his eyes afire with hope, he said that indeed just as the tide goes out of the river, it surely is coming back in. 

"Just now I sit here watching the tide flowing in, when only a while ago when I sat down to write this it was still going out. Besides the main course right in front of me, the half kilometer wide sand flats are being invaded by great tongues of the river as the tide sweeps in before my eyes . . nearly 50 yards since the beginning of this paragraph. The resting seagulls leisurely enjoying the ride!

"And so, please pray with us, 'Let Your tide come upon this land, Lord Jesus! We know that the rivers of living waters are waiting to be poured out once again. May the Holy Spirit be poured out upon our lives and our lands.'"

And may people heed the words of Jesus in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Dick & Gladys


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