In May of 1999, my wife Gladys and I made our
first trip to Southwest Wales with a small team to work
on a small farm that an old ministry friend had acquired. It
was on that trip that the Lord
first gave me a remarkable vision about revival coming to Wales
On my first visit to Wales in the spring of 1999, I was part of a small missionary team that came on a work project. During that time we stayed in a small cottage in Cilgerran. Each morning from my bedroom window I would look out to admire the view of the rolling hills and fields, and particularly the tallest green hilltop near Carreg Wen. With each passing day I felt more and more drawn to that place, so finally one morning I awoke quite early and decided to go out there.
Walking along the road I passed by the entrance to the Capel
Cilfowyr, and turned down the lane to have a look. During
my visit in Wales I had begun to feel a sorrow for the numerous
chapels that were unused and lifeless, very many of which
were relics from the great
Revival of 1904. Gazing at the chapel now before me,
a sense of grief weighed upon my spirit.
I continued my way up to that hilltop, and came upon a place where very old hedgerows crossed at the summit. I found myself arrested by the Lord at one spot, and He began to impress on me the need for the church in general to return to the old boundary markers, to get back to the basic simplicity of the Gospel. My heart was broken at how the glorious fruit of revival only a hundred years earlier had gradually been suplanted by tradition and structure, leaving the churches sterile and dying out. I clearly saw our need for pursuing Him and His presence, for kindling a direct relationship with our Maker and Saviour in our personal lives, and to share that in our church relationships and the world around us.
As I lifted my eyes to take in the panoramic view from this
hilltop, on this overcast morning, I began to watch the
clouds as they were driven along by the strong wind. They
were greyish blue and quite low in the sky, and looked like
fresh baked muffins hanging upside down from a baking mold.
After a few moments, a little opening appeared in the clouds
and the strong morning sun shown down and swept across a
small patch of the green hillside like a spotlight. This
window closed up, and very soon again the sun came pouring
in again through another window that opened up, but this
time directly on the little chapel I had just left behind
me. Immediately the Lord began to speak to my spirit that
He was going to bring revival again to Wales. And as I opened
myself up to receive this, I wept for joy and longing.
And as I watched in awe, what had begun in the natural realm had now become an open vision. I was lifted up in the spirit, and looking out across the the whole of the surrounding countryside, I could see the clouds part and window after window open up, the sunlight pouring through onto one chapel after another. And as I continued watching I could see farther and farther, this wonderful sweeping of revival across hills and valleys of Wales. The light of God's glory once again was bursting upon the sleeping villages and farms, bringing the knowledge and the fear of the Lord. As view extended, I could see this coming revival spilling over into England, the rest of the U.K. and even into the stone cold heart of Europe itself.
Then, three years later on a followup trip to Wales with Gladys and 4 other people from our church in New Orleans, the Lord spoke very clearly to me again about REVIVAL through a series of extraordinary experiences which I relate below. This time He spoke to me directly and gave me instructions about my own involvement in this marvelous event that will sweep across Wales and beyond.
In May of 2002, I was in Wales a second time with a small missions team to continue work on the Elsaesser's farm in Felinwynt. After being bounced around on a tractor all day, I went off alone to pray for awhile before going in to dinner with everyone. Walking out past the barn and a large pile of rubble, I wanted to sit down on something stationary, and soft. As I made my way around the pile, there was an unobstructed view of the countryside before me. A few steps further, I found a slab of old concrete sticking out of the pile, and it was covered with a luscious cushion of dry moss!
When I sat down, I immediately became conscious of God's amazing love for me! That His tender care for me was so great as to provide me a soft place to sit and rest on, the unspoken desire of my heart only seconds before, was astonished me. The pure joy of being able to work outdoors, being together again with such dear old friends after so many years, and the simple beauty of the rolling fields and farms spread out before me were overwhelming. My heart burst with gratitude and wonder as I wept like a child. Who was I to receive such a visitation of His love?
After a few moments of being bathed in His presence, I opened my eyes and took in the sights around me. As I looked over the neighboring farms and houses of the distant villages, I was reminded that God's love for all these people filling this beautiful land was just as great as His love for me. I clearly sensed His yearning for them to know His love and to have fellowship with Him. Yet most of them did not even acknowledge His existence, or know of His love and gifts, or honor Him with thankgiving or praise. This broke my heart and I wept again.
The more I gazed about me, the more intensely I felt His love for the Welsh. How was it possible that a people that had been so graciously moved upon by God only a few generations before, could now be so far removed? It seemed unfair somehow that I should receive such a powerful revelation of God's love, and yet so many around be be lost in spiritual darkness, without a lasting hope.
As this longing filled my spirit, I wept and prayed earnestly for God to touch Wales again. I felt such a strong desire to be able to do something, and yet recognized my incapability of doing anything. As I prayed, I told the Lord if there was something that I could do, anything at all, I would do it.
At that very moment the Lord spoke to me. He asked, "Do you remember that little chapel I showed you on your last visit?" I answered that I did indeed. And He said, "I want you to go and pray there every day, and I will bring revival again to this land." Again I was overwhelmed, and moreso now. And as I wept and conversed with God, He told me that revival was indeed coming again to Wales, and that Capel Cilfowyr was to be of prime importance. As I queried Him about many issues, He showed me that He would do a sovereign work, and that my part was to come and pray. He would pour out His spirit and draw men to Himself again. People would flock to that little chapel and be touched by God anew.
I could see how little by little at first, and then more and more, people would be drawn into fellowship with the Father and amongst themselves, and the community of believers grow rapidly. I saw how from there revival would spread out into Wales, just as He had shown me in the vision three years before.
A look inside the Chapel Cilfowyr, and a bit of it's history
The following morning I awoke early and went out to Cilfowyr to pray. As I drove up the hill and followed the curve to the left where the entrance turned off, I noticed a paving machine parked off to the side of the road. As I drove over the cattle grate, much to my surprise I found the little gravel lane that led back downhill towards the chapel had brand new asphalt pavement all the way down to the chapel itself.
The lower part closer to the chapel was even made wider as if to accommodate parked cars. In response to my surprise I felt the Lord say, "You see, I'm already getting things prepared for people to flood into this place!"
Parking the car near the top of the lane, I got out and walked down the brand new paving to the chapel. It sits on the right of the road below a wheat field. I opened the iron gate to the churchyard and went up to the chapel door, but found it locked. These old chapels only get used occasionally, if at all, so I was not surprised. I wandered up into the graveyard carpeted in bright spring flowers and looked at both old and new tombstones, mostly written in Welsh, and began to pray and ask the Lord what this was really all about. The previous evening's prayer time had been so heavily anointed by His presence and love, yet this morning I felt more impartial and curious about how something could really happen here and what could or should be my role. After all, here I was a stranger in a strange land, with no idea whatsoever how I could do anything at all.
As I stood in the graveyard, not feeling His presence in any special way, I began to just look around at the surrounding countryside, and suddenly noticed the sky. Off to my left and stretching low away to the south there was a dark bank of heavy storm clouds in the distance. As my eyes followed the dark line to the south, I noticed higher up a single small bright white cloud moving directly towards where I was. It was the only other cloud around in a spotless blue morning sky before and to the right. It was a narrow diamond shape, and as it came closer and lower it was pointing directly towards the chapel. As I continued watching this little phenomenon I began wondering if the Lord was trying to show me something.
Then my eye caught a glimpse of something over toward the dark sky to my left, and I looked and saw a tiny little burst of color against the dark bluish front of clouds. As I thought silently, "Wow is there going to be a rainbow?", there began to form the bands of color and climb slowly upwards a beautifully bright arc of colors, striking in contrast to the darkness behind it. I looked on in awe and wonder as it grew clearer and brighter, almost up to the halfway mark, at which point the storm front ceased and the rest of the sky was clear and blue. As I gazed at this sight, I asked the Lord if this were in deed a confirmation of what He had impressed on me so clearly about what was to take place here as well as the little group of people that frequented the pub. In my spirit I felt His response that it was exactly that, but at the same time I found myself beginning to struggle with the thought that this was just a coincidence, a purely natural event, and that I was making more of it than I should.
So I asked Him clearly, and almost embarrassed at my brashness, "Lord if this is really confirming what you showed me last night, please help my unbelief. Just to be sure that I'm not dreaming something up here, let's see You bring that rainbow all the way across and down to the earth right through that cloudless sky." I was surprised at my audacity, and continued watching, more expecting to see the existing half of the rainbow fade away again than anything else. To my astonishment, as I watched, the colors began to faintly stretch out towards the right and little by little reach down towards the ground against a perfectly clear sky. In disbelief I watched as it grew more and more over the next few moments, and looking farther off to the right I could see against a group of distant trees the colors of the base of the rainbow's other leg. I looked on breathlessly as the arch completed itself, and there stood the whole rainbow, not as bright on the right yet fully complete!
I was amazed by such a happening, and in the midst of my wonder I rejoiced at what God was showing me and leading me into. During the next several minutes as the rainbow faded away, I was trying to take this all in and asking lots of questions. "Lord, how could I really do anything here? Could I get permission to even use this chapel to pray? How could I get folks to come out here? What about my family?"
In the same way that He showed me so clearly the previous evening that this was something that He is going to do, in became clearer to me that my part was to just be there and pray and be obedient to His leading. Exactly how or when these things were to take place shouldn't concern me now. He was the one that was going to make everything come to pass in His time. So I just needed to continue what and where I was doing until He gave me further guidance and started opening doors.
The weekend we left, we stayed with Tom Tyer, a friend in Southend near London. He is a friend of Bob Trolese's, a frequent visitor to Bluefields and a very dedicated Christian who moves in prophetic ministry. I told him what I had seen and felt, and he proceeded to tell me an experience he had 5 weeks earlier: while in their Sunday worship time, the Lord spoke to him and told him there was going to be an outbreak of revival starting in Malta and Cyprus, and from there it would move to Spain, France and then across the channel into southern England. Tom said the Lord also showed him a vision of a small chapel in Wales, and told him that at the same time there was something that would start there, and also a farm in Wales! So things keep getting more ands more interesting!
One of the many questions I had for the
Lord was that of finances. Where would I get the money for
travel to and a possible move to Wales? My first day in
my office after returning from Wales, I received a letter
from the attorney handling my late aunt Bertha's estate,
which had been delayed in the settlement for years. She
had told me years before that in her will she was leaving
money to the ministry which I helped start and with whom
had worked since 1976. But Wales was not even in the picture
at that time, and I had forgotten about it completely. But
the letter reminded me of it, and said that distribution
was forthcoming. Immediately the Lord spoke to me, and said
that this was His provision for getting us into Wales! In
my many thoughts about all this, and the possible timing
and other logistical details, I had no idea of where the
funds would come from for this mission. For a permanent
move to Wales, I'd considered doing personal fund raising
like most missionaries have done, among other things, but
it was all really just vague speculation.
Then about 10 days later at the post office I picked up
a registered envelope from the attorney's office that set
me to trembling! You can imagine what was my immense surprise
when opened the envelope and found quite a large check!
These funds were not designated for anything having to do
with Wales, nor was my name mentioned, so there were some
questions among the leaders of our organization as to whether
they should be to put use in this Wales adventure or not.
However, what the Lord spoke to me about this matter has
indeed come to pass! The expenses for our several subsequent
trips to Wales were covered by these funds. We know that
He is our provider and will meet the regular needs to maintain
us in Wales once we have moved there in the Spring of 2005!