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Friday, February 16, 2024

Gladys's story: Enjoying the first fruits of years of sowing!

Diwrnod GweddiBlaenau FFestiniog, February 2, 2024Dear Friends,

Last week we went for an afternoon and evening of prayer at Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales. For me, Gladys, this experience was fruit that God had prepared for us. When we got to the venue just before noon, it was a very old building with advertisements for a cinema outside but the original stone title across the front said, "County Police Buildings".

We climbed some old steep wooden steps and when I opened the door I greeted a girl with a Welsh "Sut Mae" which means, "How's it going? Instantly it was like turning on the water tap and I was delightfully surprised by the Welsh language. On previous visits to the north in years gone by, people had made fun of my greeting because "Sut mae" is pronounced totally differently in the south, and here a different Welsh is spoken. But this time it was different because there were people from all over Wales with a single purpose!

I felt very honored to be able to speak a few words in Cymraeg, "Welsh", since I can only manage a few phrases to break the ice... When I entered the large meeting room it was a great surprise and delight for me—it was like hearing little bells when I heard that everyone was speaking mosty So great to meet up with old friends!Welsh! It felt like arriving at my own home in an atmosphere of family and love!

It was wonderful to greet whoever could between hugs and cries of amazement and love for old friends we prayed with over 10 years ago when we saw each other again. And how great a contrast to see that the majority were young people and families. Here in South and West Wales where we live the meetings are predominantly older adults and more senior citizens.

We were very surprised that from the beginning of the meetings, they were all led by young people. The building we were in had sofas in the front and there were chairs in the back section. The middle was left open and there were many people and couples with children and babies sitting on rugs on the floor. Everything was very comfortable and pleasant, and they encouraged us at the beginning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and if God were to give us something for the gathering we should share it in the times provided. And that was the case ... especially when they asked us that those of us who wanted to could call out the Names of God. Of course, I was not going to stay silent and I said, "Alpha and Omega", and "El Principio y El Fin."

Another one of the surprises that God had prepared for me was a Welsh couple that I met here in our own Cilfowyr Chapel nearly five years ago. Tina had learned Spanish at university, with Tina we hugged and kissed like two sisters who had not seen since we met and started chatting away in Spanish, "guiri, guiri", as we say in my country, Guatemala!Young family shares testimony og God's grace

With Tina next to me I was able to ask the words of the hymns and their meaning in Spanish of the songs we were singing in Welsh. All the songs were on the screen in both Welsh and English. In some songs like Great is Your Faithfulness I sang the Spanish words of this song into Tina's ear. Since she had never heard them in Spanish, she was amazed by the new sounds and the meaning they brought to her ears, and we ended up hugging each other with the joy of sharing something so simple but very true and powerful.

The meeting room was filled up in the evening meeting!At the evening meeting, I noticed a difference when I entered because the open space in the center was now filled with chairs. The whole place was filled with people both young and old people, and the praises were only sung in Welsh with the translation below for those of us who didn't know Welsh that well.

In the middle of one of the worship songs, I was singing with my hands raised when I had a vision...
"Suspended from the sky I could see a white mantle and suddenly it was being sliced open from top to bottom in several places, and where the whiteness was split open, I could see the darkness in the background through the openings."
    I kept thinking about what might be its interpretation... and in my mind, I heard the word, "Breakthrough". A breakthrough is here.

Now at home again, I feel very encouraged when I remember being at this meeting. It brings tears of gratitude for having been able to be there "For such a time as this" …and seeing the greatness of my God among the young people who are especially thirsty for Him and praising Him with everything.

Knowing that for years so many of us have prayed for Blaenau Ffestiniog, it was truly glorious to see these lives surrendered to the Holy Spirit and His guidance. And now we begin to enjoy the fruits of the harvest that God has prepared for us and will continue to prepare for us.

What a mighty God we serve!

Gladys & Dick


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