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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Surprise after Surprise after Surprise!!!

Gladys with her sister JosefinaDear Friends of Wales Awakening,

The last 10 days have been a whirlwind of activity leading up to a series of surprises! Several weeks ago, Gladys began to mention that she would really like to go to her big sister's 80th birthday, which took place this past Tuesday. Current circumstances didn't permit it so we  just left it at that. When she mentioned it again, two weeks ago, I didn't say anything, but I actually looked up prices to see if it were at all possible and was surprised that the cost wasn't as much as expected, but we were already committed to other travel we have planned in June.

The first big surprise happened Monday morning. When Gladys mentioned again how much she would love to go, I knew it was the right thing to do because it is a big occasion for her sister to have made it to 80 after some health issues over the past couple of years. Also, over the weekend we had gotten some good news that released us from a difficult situation, making the trip possible. When I told her, "You can go!", we both burst into tears of joy and gratitude for God's faithfulness! By the evening, travel arrangements were finished, and then began days of frenzied packing and arrangements for all the many details. 

Friends from church group for birthday breakfastSurprise number two: I left Gladys at Heathrow Airport at 7 AM Monday and she got to her sister's house in Guatemala City very late Monday night after her sister was asleep. Early next morning they stumbled into each other in the dark hallway and had an incredible and joyful surprise encounter with intermittent tears and wonderful laughter. Gladys's niece and two children were just getting up to get ready for school, and festivities were already underway! And then her sister's friends from the ladies' group at her church came for a celebratory breakfast and things went on from there. Bible College of Wales at night, 2024The happiness among all the family has been contagious and on each of our many calls, all we can do is smile and be thankful for God's love and goodness.

The third surprise: On my way home from London I was able to arrange very spontaneously an overnight stay at the Bible College of Wales. We have a dear friend who had signed up for the course of study there, and I was looking forward to paying a visit to say hello and surprise her. I had wanted to do so with Gladys but due to the circumstances, this just seemed a great way to break up my drive back home. Dear friends at the Bible College of Wales with a new student!The campus administrator very graciously made a room available for the night with only one hour's notice, and I got there in time to greet dear friends at that Tuesday night prayer meeting! It was a real delight to be on those hallowed grounds again, where we made our temporary home for a month when we were moving house in 2021.

This has all been a sweet reminder of what God's word says in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "...Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

May we all continually be expectant for the far greater things the Lord has in store, not only for us but the needy world around us that has yet to discover His goodness and eternal plans for whosoever will come,

Dick & Gladys


Friday, March 08, 2024

A Welcome Change of Seasons - Moving Ahead Together!

Rainbow en route to Welsh Prayer Breakfast, Mar 2024

Dear Friends:

On our way south through Pembrokeshire to the Welsh Prayer Breakfast early last Saturday morning, this brilliant rainbow highlighted our drive. The supposed "pot of gold" was actually the wealth of fellowship at the event itself. I was reminded of it again by this morning's reading in Exodus 18:12. "Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God."

When we sit down with other believers to share physical bread and spiritual bread there is always something special and joyous about it. Acts 2:46-47 tells this story of glory. "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Although we might not yet be seeing people be added daily, that is where we're headed as revival draws closer, and that comprises an important dimension of how we should be praying.

We see this other amazing scene which takes place a little later in chapter 28 of Exodus story. God calls Moses to come up with Aaron and his sons and seventy of the elders of Israel. Then in verses 10-11 we read, "and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank." Wow, talk about stories of glory! Cath Woolridge shares
at Welsh Prayer Breakfast, March 2024

After breakfast was served, we enjoyed a wonderful spirit-led time of worship by our friends from the Sound of Wales. It very much set the stage for the message following, encouraging us to press in for "more" we're looking for. And then afterward, there was another and very creative segment of worship, stories, and poetry.

Geraint Morse gives the word at the Welsh Prayer
BreakfastSomething we especially enjoy is meeting new people, trying our best with what Welsh we can manage, and discovering other parts of the Lord's church. It was a particular privilege to meet some who had only recently discovered the rich history of powerful revivals that have touched Wales over the last three centuries. It is not called "The Land of Revivals" for nothing! There is a short and powerful overview of Welsh Revival history on our Revival History page.

The following day we visited a congregation in a town about 20 miles to the north and there met several people who have felt a definite call to here for what they feel the Lord is preparing to do Over the years we have met countless people who have been called by God to places all over Wales and they are praying and simply making themselves available to share His love with those around them.

Snow covered Brecon BeaconsAfter what has been one of the wettest winters in about a decade, we are beginning to see a very welcome change. We've had some glorious sunny days and the wind is helping to dry out a very waterlogged countryside at last. This clear view of the distant snow-capped Brecon Beacons to the southeast was a heartwarming sight with the abundance of early spring flowers and trees and hedges putting out their first leaves to declare that spring is in the air!

As the freshness of change into this new season lifts of spirits, it seems to clearly demonstrate the longing for that something far greater that we pray for. Romans 8:19 says, "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God."

Together we join our hearts to the cry of Isaiah 64:1-2. "Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence... To make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!"

Dick & Gladys


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