|October, 2002 | April, 2003 | December, 2003 | April, 2004 | November, 2004
March 23, 2003
A few Sundays ago we visited our other Verbo congregation on the West
Bank, and the pastor asked me to share a bit about Wales. So I described
the things the Lord has been showing me about bringing a new outpouring
of revival there, and briefly about my experiences praying in the
old chapel last October. I also mentioned our plans to pray there
again for 20 plus days starting April 16th.
The following Wednesday one of the brothers visited me at my office,
and told me that during the time I was sharing, the Lord had impressed
him to read Jeremiah 32. This is story of how God first tells Jeremiah
while he is in the prison court that his cousin Hanamel will come
to ask him to purchase a field from him, and then it happens just
as the Lord said. Then he takes the signed deed to the property and
another copy, and has Baruch safeguard them in an earthen vessel so
"they will last many days." And the Lord tells him, "Houses
and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land"
in spite of the fact that the land was overtaken by the Chaldeans
and Babylonians. And the Lord says in verse 37 and following, "...I
will bring them back to this place and .... 'they shall be my people
and I will be their God;' .... I will rejoice over them to do them
good and will assuredly plant them in this land."
This brother told me that the Lord had impressed on him that this
related to the chapel and my call to Wales. He insisted that the Lord's
promise holds fast even though the appearance is that of a nearly
lifeless chapel and a land devoid of the knowledge and fear of God.
He repeated several times how the Lord still holds the deed to this
place, and that there will indeed be a great move of restoration as
the Lord had also spoken to Jeremiah.
While he shared this with me, I was deeply stirred because this was
very similar to a word given to me by one of the pastors that came
from Birmingham to pray with me on my last day in the chapel in October.
This is what he shared and taped there in the chapel.
"Since maybe when it [the chapel] first began, that the signature
was still valid, it's the Lords land. I just felt as we came
in that we were coming on someone else's property, we were coming
on property that belonged to another because the Lord was already
here, His signature. So we've just been soaking it up really,
trying to feel that sense of the Lords presence. Its that sense of
His signature, and that something of what is going on is something
of His signature calling into the present again to bring forth the
purposes that He has. I felt that when I was on the balcony once or
twice a real coldness of unbelief over an area. That there has been
almost a vacuum here, the signature underneath the vacuum.
"I see the signature of the Lord in this place and it's written
in what looks like ink, but it's like the sun comes up and begins
to shine on the signature and it becomes red, which is the blood of
Jesus. Again the significance of the blood of Jesus, the signature
of God, written into the foundations of this place and that light
of revelation needs to fall on the signature of God again."
So Amen Lord Jesus, I know You have specific and wonderful plans for
this place! Help us be faithful and obedient servants to Your call!
April 3, 2003
Last Friday all of the men in our church leadership went off together
for a two day retreat. On Saturday night, there was a special time
of worship, and then each one was prayed for by the group, and covered
by a white mantle symbolizing the Lord's Holiness. All were touched
deeply in a wonderful time of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When
my turn came, I knelt on the floor and as the mantle came gently over
me I was immediately caught up into a deep intercession for the people
of Wales, and the whole plan the Lord has in store for us there. As
I gave myself over to this crying out for the Lord's heart to
break out over the Welsh people, I saw a very clear vision. There
going down the road in front of Cilfowyr Chapel was a long line of
people, and as I looked I could see the line curling back around uphill
to where people were going left and down the little path one by one
to the old stone baptistery that so many years ago was miraculously
filled. Immediately I realized I was seeing the numbers of new converts
from the coming outpouring that will be longing for the waters of
baptism and confirming at once their newness of life in Christ Jesus!
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
This is the first day we came to pray at Cilfowyr with Gladys. What
a blessing to have her with me now, and know the Lord is at work in
her heart as well as my own about what He has in store for this place.
After praying inside for a while, we took a walk up the to top of
the hill beyond the chapel, where the Lord first spoke to me four
years ago about His bringing a great revival to Wales again, and how
it would spread outwards from there.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Today I received the impression that I should go and clean out the
baptistery and get it ready for use. I don't know if it will
be needed on this trip, but I can't help but wonder about the
Hymn festival on May 5th, and if perhaps the Lord will begin to move
on people then, like he showed me on April 3rd. As I considered this,
I found myself wondering how foolish it might look to anyone else,
but really that should have no bearing whatsoever on my obedience.
I will certainly act on this in the coming days.
Saturday, April 19, 2003
This is now the fourth day we've come to pray at Cilfowyr with
Gladys. Afterwards we stopped in to visit Beti Bowen, the little lady
who partook in the miraculous baptism here in 1932, as described in
my journal of October 20, 2002.
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003
This is Easter day and we went to church with our hosts the Elsaessers
at the Cardigan Christian Centre, a small non-denominational congregation
where they have been attending regularly now for some time. to pray
at Cilfowyr with Gladys. They asked me to share a bit about what we
are doing here in Wales, so I very briefly told them of our prayer
journey here. I was very encouraged by their prayers for us. They
also told us that many prophetic intercessors have come to Wales in
recent times, and some have even said that the key to widespread revival
has to do with something taking place right here in Wales!
After lunch we went to the chapel for the afternoon. While there,
a gentleman came to visit his sister's grave, and noticed the
door open and came inside. He recognized me from my visit here last
October, and so I had a chance to tell him a bit about why we are
here now. He did seem genuinely interested, but took it more as if
our time here was for our own personal inspiration. Similar to the
other members of the chapel who I visited in October, I think he has
no way to relate to what revival really means, where God sovereignly
moves on people by the Holy Spirit. He said he'll see me this
coming Sunday at their regular monthly meeting. I also look forward
to seeing some of the other folks I visited with on my last trip.
Monday, April 21, 2003
This morning I sent an email to a "Prayer for Wales" promoter,
a brother with a great heart for prayer, and who appears to be a recognized
figure here in Wales. I hope to have a chance to meet with him while
we're here, and compare notes, and perhaps even enlist some intercessors
for what I believe the Lord is setting into motion here. I told him
"I am proceeding slowly and cautiously because of what all this
could mean for the 20 elderly members of this old chapel. For this
reason I'd like to ask your discretion concerning this, as I feel
that at this time I'm still praying here "undercover".
In the chapel today as I read aloud Psalm 119 from the pulpit, verse
126 stood out very clearly, as the Psalmist expresses the current
situation, "It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have
made void thy law." That describes so accurately of the general
condition here in Wales and the U.K. The nations have tossed any knowledge
of God into the trash bin, and are devoid of godliness almost totally.
Less than 2% of the population have any church involvement at all.
Any organized efforts at evangelism have seemingly little results,
and most of the churches are shrinking rather than growing.
When He first spoke to me a year ago about bringing revival to Wales
again starting with this little chapel, I remember Him clearly telling
me that all I needed to do was come here to pray every day at this
chapel. What the Lord has been speaking to me all along has been about
Him doing the work of convicting and redeeming the lost. He will be
the one that will start to move and do things that will bring people
in to be transformed by the knowledge of His holiness. "It is
time for thee, LORD, to work."
Another impression I got for a second time today was to ask the pastor
if Sunday I might invite those interested to stay on a while after
the meeting is done and tell them about what the Lord has been showing
me about their shrinking little congregation. Please pray with me
about this that I might really hear God's heart on this matter
and not lean on my own understanding in any way.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
In an email from our daughter Grace, she wrote about her own frustration
and that of her friends who have studied so hard these last four years
of college, and yet they have not gotten accepted into the medical
schools they applied to. I replied to her something the Lord was showing
me as well.
"I see how hard you work, and we admire your diligence. And not
only us. The Lord knows better than us. And you can be sure that all
your work will not go in vain, or stay unrewarded. I know how easy
it is to be guided by what we see in the natural realm: grades, school
acceptances/rejections, or whatever. And I also know how easy it is
'to be having a hard time not giving up.' But those are
the parts of life that help to forge endurance and character in us
for the long haul of life itself.
"Just yesterday while praying up on the hilltop beyond the chapel
with Gladys, I found myself wondering whether or not I must be crazy
to think that God really wants to use us here somehow. As I looked
down over the two closest towns, and tried to imagine the people from
these places being the first ones to be drawn to the chapel and be
touched by God, it seemed suddenly that I was just inventing things
in my mind, making up scenarios of how what I know will take place
here might actually come about. And then I thought to myself for a
moment, "Maybe it is all just a big fantasy and we should just
go home again and stop pretending..."
"Well, these are the kinds of places we must all go through to
get to where we're going. This is where the rubber meets the road,
where we pit our faith against reality, where the unseen things of
God must take precedence over what meets the eye. This is where scriptures
like 2_Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight:"
become that sharp cutting edge dividing between soul and spirit, and
work to build into our very nature that godly character that enables
us to walk in the newness of life in Christ, and so fulfill our destiny
"How common is the temptation to just chuck all our dreams out
the window and settle for something far less. And yet without these
temptations, the final triumph would be impossible to attain, and
the reward far less than satisfying."
Later, inside the chapel, we had a wonderful time of worship with
Gladys. Putting things in the right order. Then, while I was praying
the Lord began to speak to me about interceding according to the words
of Psalm 100 that say, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations." In the natural realm,
the enemy has trashed the church and there are pitifully few young
people in churches here. Yet I felt a great anointing as I prayed
and claimed His word to be truth and applied the promises to the generations
of the families of this chapel. Reading some of the inscriptions on
the tombstones on previous days has helped to solidify in my mind
the faith of those gone on before them, such as Revelation 14:13,
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and
their works do follow them."
So Lord, we do claim and lay hold upon your word reaching into these
current generations, and ask you to manifest your grace to the Welsh
people once again.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
A few days have slipped by now without having written, and so I'll
just have to leave kind of a gap here. We prayed Wednesday and Thursday,
and when we left the chapel Thursday we went to visit one of the couples
I first visited last October. They received us graciously, and were
also having a visit with friends from down the coast a ways, and we
had a most enjoyable time together. They were delighted to meet Gladys.
When I told them that we would be here nearly four weeks praying in
the chapel where he has belonged all his life, and that I still have
the conviction that God wants to do something extraordinary in their
little chapel, there were no questions or any apparent interest. When
they reminded me that she attends the Anglican church just up the
road in the tiny Village of Carreg Wen, I couldn't help but think
it a bit revealing. They seem so loving and devoted to each other,
and yet attend different churches. It appears that their spiritual
life is not something shared much between themselves, but rather kept
more a personal and private affair.
I think that this must be the way with many here, where one's
religion is not much shared or talked about, but is perhaps more a
tradition, attending chapel and receiving communion, than a daily
and continuous relationship with our Creator. This has helped to guide
our prayers for the members of the chapel here, and the many religious
traditionalists throughout Wales and the U.K. that have settled for
far less that what the Lord would have for them in a revived Christianity.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Outside today is cold, windy and rainy, but things are going well.
Yesterday is the first day we didn't spend time at the chapel. A group
of ladies from the chapel came to do a thorough yearly cleaning, and
so we were asked not to come so that they could work without any interference.
This big cleanup on both floors was in preparation for the annual
Hymn Festival that will be held here on Monday May 5th. When we came
in this morning, there was a noticeable difference as the dust and
cobwebs and musty odors accumulated during the past year were gone.
Much of the woodwork shone in the morning light filtering in through
the windows, and the pleasant smell of polish was a welcome change.
So we went instead with Alex and his two youngest daughters, Alissa,
11, and Jessica, 13, to visit the old Roman gold mines nearby. It
was fascinating to be poking around in tunnels dug by men nearly 2000
years ago, during the early days of Christianity. The Gospel actually
was first introduced here in 64 AD, isn't that amazing? Even before
some of the epistles were finished, the Body of Christ was growing
on this very soil here. There are deep roots of the early church here,
which were all but destroyed by the Catholics 400 years later when
emissaries from the Roman church came and tried to impose their rules
and rituals upon the believers, much as the Judaizers did in Paul's
As we prayed this morning, I found a fresh well of anointing in prayer
as we cried out for God to awaken in today's church a hunger
and thirst for His presence and power that will cause the saints to
fervently seek Him out, much as those ancient miners sweated and toiled
day in and day out for fleeting riches. We prayed that God would loose
the chains of despondency and indifference that have crippled the
church in this land and made it irrelevant and unattractive today.
And we prayed that God would cause in the people of this land a dissatisfaction
with temporal delights and entertainments, and make them long for
a sense of significance and a deeper meaning to life. We spent a wonderful
time in worship, and in a sense I felt that we are "priming the
pump" for tomorrow's monthly service, and even more so for
the upcoming Hymn Festival. Please pray with us that the lyrics and
spirit of the songs to be sung here spring to life by the Holy Spirit
in every heart and soul of those in attendance.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
This morning's service was a normal chapel service. After an
opening prayer, a hymn is sung, a psalm is read, and then another
hymn or two. That is followed by a long prayer by the pastor that
sounds quite profound and sincere. After another hymn, a sermon was
delivered, and then the Lord's Supper is served, and the service
ends with a final hymn, a benediction and a few announcements.
The pastor, Gareth Morris, kindly made the service partially bilingual.
He announced the hymn numbers and scripture cites in both English
and Welsh. But that was all we understand of it. Welsh is a very old
and guttural language, and not a single word is recognizable. During
the prayer, the sermon, and ministering the communion, he spoke a
small part in English, but I only could follow what the main points
of his sermon were. I knew it was about loving our enemies, and how
much we need God's help in this and other aspects of our Christian
responsibilities, but that was all.
After the service itself was over, one of the men with whom I have
corresponded by email stood up and introduced us by name, and made
a very cordial welcome specially for Gladys who had never been there
before. Then many people come up to greet us and were very friendly.
A few even made comments about Gladys being a Welsh name! It was nice
to feel so well received, and also to see one of the other couples
that AI had visited with last October. William Bowen, the brother
who had introduced me, spoke to me afterwards and said that he is
writing a history of Cilfowyr Chapel's 300 years that he plans
to print and introduce next year at the 300th Anniversary Service
they'll have. I was surprised and honored to have him ask me
to contribute a couple of pages for his book, telling a little of
what the Lord has shown me about the chapel.
In the afternoon I went walking out through the fields to spend some
time alone and pray. Looking in the natural realm at the situation
of the chapel and it's 20 elderly members, and trying to reconcile
that reality with the things the Lord has shown me are to happen here
was making my mind work overtime: How could it happen that revival
would come here? How would it spread? Who would help that process?
What exactly is to be my role? What about the fact I speak no Welsh?
Those that I have shared the vision with have said that would it be
wonderful if the Lord would move like that, but do that understand
what it really means?
Then I recalled a scripture the Lord brought to mind during the service
this morning. As I admired the construction and the massive beams
that support the balcony in the chapel, I realized that those that
built it did not build it to seat more than 500 people in vain. Then
immediately I recalled how God's word never returns to Him void,
and that He guided the hearts of the builders. So I looked up and
read Isaiah 55, where it says,
"8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
my ways, saith the LORD.
And I was greatly encouraged by this word.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth
not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and
bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall
not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the
mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of
the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD
for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."
As I sat on a tuft of grass on a mound between two fields, the Lord
also began to show me an area of my heart that had been contributing
to my restless thoughts. There was in me a desire to be vindicated
in the eyes of those that don't share my convictions about revival
starting here, a desire to be able to prove that I really did hear
correctly from the Lord about what He is going to do here. He brought
me to truly repent of this attitude, and what a blessing to lay that
whole concept aside. That would have only grown more burdensome with
time as no visible evidence could be seen. This immediately gave me
a new freedom to once again enter into a place of deep intercession
for God's plan for Wales, without any personal interest or ambition
involved. What a precious flow of God's overwhelming love towards
these lovely but lost people.
From where I sat, I had the same view as I did a year ago sitting
on the moss covered rock when the Lord first spoke to me about my
coming here to pray, only from a slightly higher vantage point. Last
week Alex brought to my attention that from that place one can clearly
see the chapel in nearby Blannanerch where Evan Roberts was so powerfully
moved on by the Holy Spirit one hundred years ago and was launched
into his calling to bring about the mightiest revival Wales has ever
seen. It seems purely coincidental, but I wonder...
Monday, April 28, 2003
Late last night and early this morning it was furiously windy and
rained most of the night. The trailer where we are staying felt like
it was going to blow over a few times! Oh that the Lord would so blow
over this land with His mighty rushing wind of Pentecost!
The rain finally let up in the late morning and so we set off for
the chapel. When we arrived, there was a gentleman who had come to
visit a gravesite. When he came by the front of the chapel on his
way out, I greeted him at the gate and asked him who he had come to
visit. He replied his mother and father were both buried there. When
I asked him if he believed he would see them again in heaven, he said
he didn't believe so.
"When you close you eyes for the last time," he said, "that's
it. It's all over." "Then don't you believe there's a heaven, or any afterlife?"
I asked. "No, I don't believe there's anything at all when you're
dead. Nobody's ever been there and back to tell us about it anyhow."
"Well indeed there is," I answered, "Jesus himself.
And told us all about both heaven and hell. Don't you believe
the Gospel is true?"
"When I was a child I did believe, but then I grew up and realized
that it was just a bunch of black and white on paper, but that it
was just stories."
I told him I was looking forward to meeting his parents one day, and
seeing my own again in God's kingdom. And that anyone who put
their trust in what Jesus did on the cross to save our souls from
the punishment for sin would also be there.
His response was "How could there be a God who cares and loves
us, and yet lets things go on like Iraq, or that allowed there to
be such evil as Hitler, for example?"
I talked with him for a while more. I even told him how God was leading
me to come and pray in this chapel for him, and his fellow Welshmen
too. He was quite surprised to hear such things, but had a hardened
heart and said he just couldn't believe any more. Before he drove
away, I encouraged him read John 1-3 and ask God to speak to him if
He is real. He seemed like he would like to believe, but was just
did battered and embittered by life's harshness. I told him that
the Lord was knocking at the door of his heart, and wanted to rekindle
faith and hope in his life, but that he would have to open that door
himself. I wonder if I'll ever see him again.
This interchange gave Gladys and I a good platform from which to pray
and intercede. There are countless people who have just turned their
back on the love of God because the busyness and pains of life have
made the things of God seem not real enough to them. How many hearts
might still have a hidden flicker of hope that there is meaning and
goodness to life? How our hearts yearn for them with the warmth of
God's love and ready forgiveness and acceptance if they would
only open the door to Him.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Today was a wonderful day at the chapel. I went by myself because
Gladys needed to take care of some things and make ready for our trip
to London tomorrow. When I got to the chapel, the caretaker and his
wife Phyllis were busy cleaning up in the old Sunday school building.
They are getting it ready to serve refreshments next Monday for the
Hymn Festival. We began to talk, and for the first time I told them
the whole story of how I first came to the chapel four years ago,
and what he has been showing me, etc.
Then I told them about the vision the Lord gave me before coming over
this time about the lines of people waiting to be baptized. I asked
him if it would be alright if I could clean out the baptistery and
the area around it to get it ready for use, really in a symbolic way,
but also in case there is a need for it Monday. He was delighted at
my offer of assistance, because he was going to have to do it himself
before Monday, and was pinched for time. So he got me a big outdoor
push broom, a shovel, and a gas powered weed eater, and let me loose.
What a joy it was for me to find everything I needed for the job,
and even more to be able to serve these lovely folks who have lived
right here for that last 22 years. Again the Lord overwhelmed me with
His love, a giving me the desire of my heart to be able to do this
It was much like cleaning out a very old and neglected burial site
last October. Then, I found myself uncovering the evidence of the
past hope of many trusting souls and their faith in God. But now I
was getting ready for what I feel is surely a near future evidence
of peoples' commitment to the lordship and mercy of God in Baptism.
As I cut away the years of roots and earth that had crept over the
stones around the baptistery, I could feel a growing sense of expectancy
of seeing before my very eyes what the Lord showed my by his Spirit
in early April. (see April 3rd entry) Whether anything will happen
this Monday remains to be seen, but as I worked I could envision the
hundreds of souls that have been baptized here over the years since
this was built. And I was mindful that this step of physical effort
was really an affirmation of my disposition to whatever it may be
the Lord desires of us as His servants, and the things that ran through
my heart as I worked were further confirmation to my spirit of things
to come, my faith being strengthened through the work.
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
We drove into London this morning for the Alpha USA conference at
Holy Trinity Brompton. This large traditional Anglican church was
blessed and empowered by the Holy Spirit in the 1980's and has
since become a loving, thriving and church-planting spirit filled
community. A major contribution to the growth of the church has been
the Alpha Course, a relationship-based non-confrontational ten week
course which presents the basic truths of Christianity in a clear
and engaging way. The product of vicar Sandy Millar and minister Nicky
Gumble and their wonderful staff, and the years of developing and
fine-tuning, and the covering of much prayer and the obvious guidance
and annointing of the Holy Spirit, the Alpha Course has been a phenomenal
blessing to the Body of Christ at large worldwide.
Alpha materials are currently available in forty languages and have
been implemented in well over one hundred countries and thousands
of churches. The course puts into the hands of church leaders a tool
that seems to fling open the doors of evangelism in a way not seen
before. It provides a very practical way for the members of any congregation
to take an active role in reaching out to others with Good News of
the Gospel. And it does it over in a way that is fun and inviting,
giving people the opportunity each week to hear a talk on one of the
10 topics, to have dinner together at a small group table, to build
meaningful relationships with others in their group as they explore
together the big questions about the purpose of life that are common
to all people. Throughout the course, and especially during a retreat
to learn about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, many participants
are born again into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord
We have been teaching the Alpha Course in our church in New Orleans
for about two years, and have seen many come to Christ and become
members of our church. It has also been wonderful to see how many
of the congregation have become activated in reaching out to others
in a tangible way with God's love.
Sunday, May 4, 2003
We arrived late last night back in Wales, and after the congestion
of a huge international city and the great high-intensity conference,
it feels like we can now breathe again! After church at the New Life
Christian Centre in Cardigan, we went to a nearby beach for a wonderful
baptism. In these icy waters, three young teenagers as well as recently
converted man left their old lives behind them in waves of the Irish
Sea. Alex and Renie's daughter Jessica was among those baptized.
It was a joyful time and other people at the small people saw a living
witness of a happy celebration. Some even clapped and cheered with
the church members as those baptized emerged from the water!
I was also invited by the pastor and his wife to participate in a
prayer event to be held in the church here this coming Friday and
Saturday. During the day Friday is a closed session for prayer and
fellowship with key prayer leaders from around Wales and beyond. As
you know, I've been trying to keep our activities here "undercover",
but believe that the testimony of my experiences here can be encouraging
and confirming to this particular group. I also feel that these brothers
and sisters in the faith that have been sowing and watering in the
Spirit for Wales, are the co-laborers that I have been praying for
and will surely take part in the coming harvest. I believe this is
a significant development and am excited about meeting them Friday!
Later in the afternoon after the baptism Gladys and I went to pray
again at the chapel after 4 days away. It's a blessing to find
that now this little chapel feels so familiar to us now. Even though
it is just the Lord and us, I seem to be able to sense into the future
the fullness of this place as people come and are deeply touched by
Monday, May 5, 2003
Today was the Cilfowyr Hymn Festival. And as I wrote earlier today,
I thought that people from all over South Wales would be coming, perhaps
as many as 400. It is the annual tradition and the Welsh love of singing
that will bring them into this place, and we can't help but wonder
if there may be something more in store for them! We are expectant,
and prepared for nothing and everything! Come Lord Jesus!
As it turned out, this was a collective meeting of eight different
chapels from the area. But the chapel did look wonderfully full with
at least 250 present! There was no outpouring of revival fire, but
it was a wonderful experience and a more tangible foretaste of what's
to come. There were three sessions of singing, 10:30, 2:00 and 6:30.
The morning was a children's choir, and the afternoon and evening
were both for adults.
We arrived a bit early, and already there was lots of activity. All
the men of Cilfowyr were outside helping accommodate cars as they
came in, trying to get them turned around in the nearly full little
cark car at the bottom of the lane, and head them back up the lane
to park on the sides of the newly paved road. I was reminded of last
spring when I first came into the lane and the Lord told me He was
getting ready for the crowds that would flood into this place. Now,
here before my eyes I was seeing the first fruits what I had beheld
in the spirit only a year ago.
After the morning session, tea and sandwiches were served in the old
Sunday school, seating around forty or so at a time, and others coming
in to take the places of those that were finished. Many people stayed
for this, visiting over lunch or in the churchyard, while others took
their children home or went elsewhere for lunch. My friend Irfon,
with whom I visited last October, was at the door, and as he collected
our 1 pound each, he encouraged us to stay and eat until we were full!
There was a fire going in the small chimney at the back of the room,
and a bustle of activity. The ladies, including the 87 year old Beti
Bowen of that memorable 1932 baptism, were all busy, some serving
tea or sandwiches, some refilling plates with food and cakes, others
washing dishes in large tubs of hot water in a makeshift scullery
next to the fireplace, and everyone visiting along the way. They have
obviously known each other for years so this annual get together was
a welcome time of fun and fellowship.
Apparently some of the chapels have organized choirs, and on Sunday
they and those members who wanted to met together all day to rehearse
together at another chapel nearby. The balcony was used mostly for
the choir members, and the ground floor for the rest. There was a
dynamic director and several others who had obviously worked very
hard in orchestrating this all, and the result was wonderful. The
best singing and the biggest crowd was in the evening meeting. The
power of the singing was really breathtaking. I was overwhelmed more
than once by the beauty of the music and beautiful arrangements of
voices with their responsive choruses, the message of those songs
which I knew or could understand, and just the spirit of praise that
was present. The chapel resounded as if filled with a heavenly choir
and it was magnificent to behold.
On several occasions praying here, I've had glimpses this house
filled to capacity and heard the glorious worship, and now I was seeing
and hearing in the flesh the first fruits of what the Lord has shown
me. As Paul says in Romans 8:23 "And not only they, but ourselves
also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption
of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is
not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" So
we were much encouraged by what took place yesterday, and take it
as sort of a "promisory note" of what we confidently expect
to see here in the future: the house of the Lord filled with praise
and worship fully empowered by the Holy Spirit, indwelling and manifest
in His people in Wales once again. And not just in this one chapel,
but all the chapels and churches throughout the U.K. and beyond.
I had several conversations with different people throughout the day,
and will take time later on to describe some of the things I learned
about this place. I'm beginning to get a slight understanding
of the Welsh culture, and look forward to getting to know more of
these friendly but needy people. I heard from several that the attendance
of this event has been decreasing each year, just like each individual
chapel. and I could discern the unspoken plea of their hearts that
God do something to rescue their "threatened species."
Tuesday, May 6, 2003
I'd like to clarify something I said in yesterday's journal.
I wrote, "Now, here before my eyes I was seeing the first fruits
what I had beheld in the spirit only a year ago."
What I did see yesterday was the chapel almost half full of people
singing hymns. I believe that some were truly worshiping God, but
most were just singing for the joy of singing, and some were there
because they have always come. This was not the first fruits of God's
outpouring that I see coming, but an annual traditional gathering.
The largest number I'd seen in the chapel up until now was around
30 last October a the special Harvest Thanksgiving meeting. In talking
to people that attended, they said that like the chapels themselves,
each year the crowd is a little less than the one before. It makes
some of them wonder how long it will be before these gatherings too
will cease. Besides the children in the morning, there were perhaps
2 or 3 people under 50 in the whole event, so there is plenty of evidence
in the natural of a decline in progress. But that is just in the natural.
What a blessing we can walk by faith and not by sight!
In the morning I was talking with two elderly gentlemen in the foyer
of the chapel. They asked if we were on holiday, and I told them that
we were actually on a mission, praying in this chapel. They commented
on the shrinking chapels and blatant absence of young people, and
I talked about my faith, the power of the Holy Spirit bringing the
coming revival. One of them said that he was surprised to hear me
talk so openly about the things of God. "We don't talk about
those things together, it's really a very private matter for
us." When I asked how could the most important matter in life
be held in secret, he said he didn't know why it was so, but
that it just was. He even asked me if I would be around and available
to come visit his chapel. But then someone else approached and the
This afternoon after praying inside the chapel, I wandered out into
the cemetery and sat a while to pray and meditate on things I'd
seen and heard. I found that my gaze rested on a large and fairly
new tombstone, and realized that it was plot where both the husband
and 19 year old daughter of little Beti Bowen, of the miraculous 1932
baptism, were buried. As I thought a moment on her sorrow, and then
the hope she has in Christ of seeing her loved ones again, I began
to wonder how God could begin to move here, and what I could possibly
In a sort of vision, I found myself in front of a hearth, and poking
through the bed of cold ashes with a stick. There in one place I found
a lump, and pushing away the ashes I found a coal that was still alive
deep inside. That was Beti's hope and faith still hanging on,
alone. But as I probed further with the stick, I found more embers,
barely alight still. The Lord spoke to me and showed me that if I
would just poke around in the ashes and find all the embers I could,
and move them together, the breeze of His Spirit would come blow on
them and rekindle the fire amongst them.
"Oh Lord, how can I do that?" I asked, and felt He showed
me that He had already led me to speak to some of the ones that did
still hold onto faith and hope, and that they just needed receive
a bit of His love and His word. I realized that I was receiving the
joyous assignment of seeking out these lonely embers and just loving
them with God's love, and watering them with the word and prayer,
praying with them and becoming their friend. If they could just be
brought to a place of freedom to talk together about these things!
Help us Lord!
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Gladys and I visited today with Beti Bowen when we left the chapel,
and had a nice visit with her. She told that yesterday she was so
tired out after long day at the chapel, she didn't get out bed
all day. She said with a laugh that her 88 years were beginning to
show! But she was still aglow with contentment of having been involved
in serving lunch and tea, being present for all three sessions of
the hymn festival, and seeing her beloved old chapel filled with the
beautiful praises of the many people that came.
As we talked, she shared again the details of her baptism, and how
not even a quarter mile up the hill had rain fallen, but just around
the chapel, and enough to fill the baptistery that had been drained
by mean neighbors. She told us with joy and sorrow how every Sunday
there was wonderful worship when the chapel was still full. The conversation
then drifted to the current state of things, and how almost all the
chapels are nearly empty or closed altogether. When I asked her how
many other members of the chapel were true believers, she said she
didn't know, and that she wondered sometimes if she were the
only one. She told us that many people come only because they have
always come, and it was a matter of fashion, of keeping up the appearance
so others wouldn't say anything.
I shared again with her how I believe the Lord wants to revive the
chapels, and restore Christianity in Wales. And I talked about my
experience yesterday by her family burial plot, and how I could see
her faith, and the joy there would be in that heavenly reunion with
all of our loved ones. She exclaimed that she too was positive of
that future! And I told her I believed that there were surely others
in the chapel that still held onto their faith.
I asked her if we could prayer for her and for the chapel before we
left, so the three of us joined hands and asked the Lord's healing
on her body, and His as well. The presence of the Lord was so sweet
as we prayed. When we were done, I asked her how she felt when we
were praying, and she said it was very special. Then I asked if she
had ever prayed together with others like that before, to which she
replied she never had.
When I next asked her if she would be willing to pray together with
one or two others of the believers that we could find, she said that
yes, she would like that. Then I explained how that prayer was like
bringing together those coals, and that in this way God could begin
to stir things back to life. She said she didn't know if she'd
live long enough to see it, but I assured her she would indeed. As
the oldest member of this little flock, and the only one still living
that actually experienced a direct miracle, I saw how the Lord had
led me to her first last October, directly to the hottest of these
Thursday, May 8, 2003
This morning we visited another one of the families I visited last
fall, and got more insights into the life of the chapel as it had
been, and is now. It was also apparent that these lovely people also
love the Lord and are genuine in their faith, confirming in my heart
that He indeed has shown me where these precious embers are hidden
among the ashes, and from each other. The culture of these wonderful
Welsh people has succumbed to the scheme of the enemy to divide and
scatter. He has woven into the social fabric threads of shyness and
fear and distrust, making these people incapable or unwilling to talk
among themselves about what matters most in life. And that being so,
how can two or three gather together in His name?
After a sandwich together with Gladys in a lush green hilltop pasture
with a panoramic view of the gloriously beautiful surrounding area
in the prime of springtime, we went to visit the minister of Cilfowyr
and three other chapels. I wish I had the time to share the content
of our wonderful time together. What joy to discover the heart of
a wonderful servant of God. Gareth Morris, and his wife Jean, have
lived together in the little village where she grew up for thirty
years. I thought he had studied to be a pastor in his youth, and his
busyness with school was because he was a teacher and was preparing
exams. That had been his desire, but it wasn't the case at all.
After his military service as a young man, he served on the police
force for a time, and then worked until his retirement with an insurance
firm. Their whole lives they had been very active in their local chapel,
but once retired, he went to a nearby college and obtained his license
as a minister, and began to work in first one chapel, and then another.
He continues his studies to get a higher level degree, as well as
trying to meet the needs of four small congregations in different
villages round about, preparing sermons, ministering regularly at
retirement homes, making house visits and conducting special services,
We talked at some length about many things. He shared how so many
times when he is preaching in the chapels, he looks at the vacant
stares of the people and wonders what they must be thinking about.
He's sure that if he were to ask afterwards what had be his key
text , or even the general topic he was talking about, that very few
if any would know the right answer. I said that sounded like a familiar
situation not particular to Wales, and we had a good laugh in spite
We discussed problems of the vanishing chapels, the idea of revival,
etc. etc. He said he thought the chapels would not like come back,
but disappear entirely over time, due to the lack of people to sustain
them financially, as they are old and need expensive maintenance to
meet new safety codes, and many have been condemned by the authorities.
He said he thought they would be replaced with small groups meeting
in homes, but had no idea how the transition would come about. We
talked as well about the problem of people being so unspoken about
personal things and their faith, or lack of it. He said that if the
Welsh had any fault at all, it would be their reticence, but he didn't
believe they really had any, and we had another good laugh!
I shared with him the vision of gathering the embers together, and
the importance of fellowship. When he asked me why people should go
to church at all really, and if a person couldn't be a perfectly
good Christian through prayer and reading the Word and doing good
works. I pulled out my Bible and read from Hebrews 10:24-25 where
Paul talks about considering (getting to know) and provoking one another
to love and good works, and not forsaking the gatherings of the saints.
What joy I felt when he asked me to wait a minute and then ran upstairs
to fetch his Welsh Bible and look at the scriptures that he knew best,
being a native Welsh speaker.. Apparently he had not yet seen that
aspect before. Then I took him to 1 Corinthians 12 about being members
of the body, needing one another. It was a very stimulating conversation
and we really enjoying our time together.
I took the opportunity the Alpha course and how that could be a great
tool. He had heard of it just by name, but knew nothing of it, so
I explained the format of the meetings and the strength it had of
building small group relationships based on trust and an earnestness
to know more about Jesus. I will mail him information and hope that
he can try it in one of the more active chapels where he ministers.
Sadly we ran out of time as he had another pending engagement in his
busy schedule, but we shared a wonderful time of prayer together.
First he prayed in Welsh, and then did a recap in English for our
benefit. I was tempted to pray in Spanish, but instead said we do
our way now, and so the four if us joined hands and we prayed a blessing
on them and their family, their ministry and chapels, and for God
to bring revival indeed to Wales once again.
Friday, May 9, 2003
It is amazing and encouraging to watch how the Lord is orchestrating
so many things. Today was the meeting for Welsh prayer leaders in
Cardigan at the small church where we have visited a few times with
Alex and Renie. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about the meeting,
but that feeling evaporated instantly when we walked in. The only
people I knew were the pastor and his wife and a few members of the
church we'd seen before. A very interesting detail was that the
second person that greeted me was Carl Brettle, who turned out to
be one of the event's principal organizers, mentioned in my April
21 entry below.
I first ran across his name on the internet last August, and sent
him an email when I was looking for information about the denomination
of the chapel. I learned that he was being used of the Lord in coordinating
a large prayer movement for Wales, and that he was in touch with many
people in prayer for revival for Wales. I didn't tell him about
my experiences relating to the chapel, but I did keep his contact
I told him I had hoped to meet with him while I was here, but he didn't
answer me until yesterday. He explained he had been out of the country
and was going to be busy until after May 21st and asked if I would
still be around. I had an idea he might be at the meeting today, and
so it was. I recognized him from pictures I'd seen, and so greeted
him by name and introduced myself. It seemed like we were already
friends, and just happened to be meeting for the first time!
There were about 40 people at the meeting, and it started with a time
of wonderful worship. Then Carl had people come up to the front and
introduced them, and had each one tell what the Lord had been doing
in their prayer groups. It was such an encouragement to us to hear
each testimony. One of the first, Dudley, had been clearly called
by God to start studying about past revivals in Wales, and then the
Lord told him to move back to Wales and start praying for revival,
and get others involved as well. Over the last 5 or 6 years, he had
seen the Lord anoint these grass roots networks of prayors and bring
hundreds of people into concerted weekly prayer meetings. The next
was Frances, an American sister that had been called to organize prayer
thirty years ago first at home in the USA, and since then she has
been used by the Lord in many places abroad as well. Something she
said struck a chord with me in relation to my experiences, and I could
tell that she saw I had really connected with that. When we chatted
later, she told me that God had called me like Elijah, when he confronted
the prophets of Baal, to come and make a stand against the spirits
of religiosity and tradition that have come against Wales.
Then came Barbara, a petite little housewife that had a hard time
believing that God went to use her. She was instructed by the Holy
Spirit to start to intercede for revival, and then began meeting with
some other believers to pray together. Then the Lord told her to organize
a meeting and invite believers from all over central Wales to a day-long
outdoor prayer meeting. She didn't know many people, but the
Lord kept after her about and she got contact information of churches
and began to promote the meeting in her home town of called Bulith
Wells. When the Lord told her to hire tents for six hundred people,
she was doubtful but obedient. It turned out that over three thousand
people showed up to pray for revival in Wales!
Just before we stopped for lunch, Carl asked me to come up and tell
everyone what we were doing there. I started by saying that I had
thought I might be a little crazy until I heard their stories, but
now I knew I was really OK after all. So I began with the first time
four years ago that we came to Wales to work on the Elsaessers project,
and how the Lord spoke to me about a new great revival that was coming
for Wales, Then I shared how last year He spoke to me again directly
about coming to pray at the chapel, and the series of events that
led up to our being here now. It was such a joy for us to suddenly
find ourselves surrounded with like-minded wonderful saints whom had
also been sovereignly called to work and pray for revival. Here we
were, now surrounded by the fellow laborers I had been anxious about.
I quote here what I wrote last Sunday, "I also feel that these
brothers and sisters in the faith that have been sowing and watering
in the Spirit for Wales, are the co-laborers that I have been praying
for and will surely take part in the coming harvest. I believe this
is a significant development and am excited about meeting them Friday!"
I had no idea just how significant it would be! I wish a had time
to tell you more of the testimonies we heard.
After lunch, a couple more people shared, and the rest of the time
was left for each group or individual to be prayed over by the others.
When Carl told me that someone had a word for us and the whole group,
and said they wanted pray for us last, I knew something was up! As
we prayed for each person we felt such a love and connection with
them, it was really a very rich time in the spirit. When it was our
turn, petite Barbara asked us to kneel, and with her hand on my shoulder,
began to prophetically exhort the others. She said how amazing yet
confronting it was for God to have brought us from so far away to
shed His tears for the lost and hardened people of Wales. "How
many of us," she said, "have given ourselves to be broken
and weep and stand in the gap for our country as this man?" I
melted into God's love and heart cry for Wales as she spoke,
and it was one of the deepest moments of conviction and confirmation
yet of God's plans for us here in Wales.
They then prayed for us, several giving us words of blessing and affirmation.
The doors of Wales were opened to us and we were welcomed and received
and embraced by the very people God has been raising up during the
last several years in preparation for the coming revival. It was a
glorious moment for us to now instantly find ourselves part of a large
networked team. Any doubts I had about my having heard God correctly
were gone, and our calling to Wales is clearer than ever. The Lord
also gave words to Gladys on her role with me here, and how the Lord
will use us in many places in Wales. That was a real and clear answer
to my prayer here a year ago when I told the Lord early on that He
would have to do the work in Gladys' heart. So now we are solidly
together in this amazing adventure in faith for God's plan for
revival in Wales.
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Well, it is amazing how things have been working out day by day. About
two weeks ago I began thinking about driving up into North Wales at
the end of our time here, just to have a look at the rest of the country.
Not only did I want to have a look at the incredible natural beauty
we've heard so much about, and pictures I seen, but also to try
and get a feel of what the spiritual atmosphere is like. We've
heard that not only is the spoken Welsh different, but that the people
of the region are of a somewhat distinct cultural makeup.
We had tentatively decided to leave Saturday morning, but I must confess
I was having second thoughts about missing the Saturday meetings and
praying for the last time at the chapel. But Friday night after the
evening meeting was over, while we were hanging around talking with
Carl Brettle and Steve Houghton, the organizer of Prayer Week, Steve
asked us if we had plans for Sunday night. When I told him that we
were going to have a look around North Wales, his face lit up and
he asked where we were going to be staying. He had wanted to invite
us to the big Sunday night meeting at his church for the first day
of Prayer Week! So not only did I get a confirmation about our driving
up through the North, when I told him I didn't know where we
would be staying, he said he'd provide a hotel room for us!
So Saturday morning we headed north along the western coast, enjoying
the different views of the rolling farmlands and scenes of the Irish
Sea to our left. It was a beautiful clear day as we looked northwards
over the water, and we could see where Wales branches out westward
and we could distinguish the shapes of mountains in the distance.
After about an hour the landscape began to change. The hills were
now growing higher and there were large sections of tall evergreen
and hardwood forests. The changes in the terrain grew more pronounced,
and as we followed the road north, it climbed ever upwards. Green
hills gave way to foothills and then real mountains. Even the many
hedgerows were no longer live hedge as in the South, but here they
were stone walls running along the roadside and up onto the mountains,
dividing field from rocky field. There were sheep everywhere now,
and hardly any more cultivated fields.
The winding road brought us breathtaking new views, now the mountains
were bare above the treeline, and stark in comparison to the lush
green that was yet only an hour behind us. Gone were the white cottages
and tile rooves of the villages as grey and tan stone become the predominant
building material, and slate roofing was evedrywhere. And with reason,
for the mountains themselves were pure slate. I remember one town
stood out across a valley because everything was a dark grey slate
- even the large cemetery was filled with slate gravestones.
And in a yard of another little town where we stopped, there were
even slate fenceposts strung with rusty old barbed wire.
We stayed that night in very old hotel not far from Mt. Snowden, the
centerpiece of Snowdonia National Park and the U.K.'s highest
peak at 3800 feet.
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Early next morning I drove out to the visitor center near the base
of Mt. Snowden, and went for a hike to see how big it really was.
It was mostly cloudy andwindy with intermittent showers, so I never
got a clear view of the top, but along with its neighboring peaks
it towered above most of the surrounding areas. I did get as far as
a large lake which collects the the pure water from the melting glaciers
high above me, and sends its supply to the coastal area below through
a large pipe that traces its way across the hills and down the valley.
After a big breakfast, we left the hotel and went back past the base
of Mt. Snowden and started the drive down the main valley directly
towards the visible coastline. About ten miles down was a huge old
slate quarry, that had left the mountain to the north of us stripped
of most of the useful slate through both surface cutting and deep
mining. Now abandoned, the roads and huge ramps used to get the product
down the mountain and the mountains of unusable pieces of slate were
impressive to see. In the nearby town was a steam cog railway built
in 1910 that ran a steep and winding trail up to the top of Mt. Snowden.
We had arrived just in time and so we bought tickets and climbed aboard.
It was an exciting one hour ride to the top, with wonderful views
to either side. There was also an 8 mile footpath to the summit that
run nearby the track, and we were amazed to see how many people come
out to make the climb. It is apparently a national attraction. They
started out in shorts and t-shirts, but by the time they made it near
the top all but the hardiest climbers were now bundled in parkas and
gloves and long pants! And as we got closer to the top, the clouds
closed in and we couldn't see anything. We we got off the train
at the summit station, the wind was raging and it was below freezing
After a hot cup of coffee, we went outside into the biting cold, and
made our way to a large stone cairn built at the summit, and climbed
up the stairs to the very top. The wind was blowing so hard we had
to hold onto each other and the handrails thoughtfully provided. Occasional
breaks in the clouds provided brief but spectacular views in different
directions. First we could see the coast and the beaches very clearly
below us, and when that window closed in we could see another glimpse
off towards the east , and then to the north. The other tall peaks
nearby also faded in and out of view as the clouds raced along driven
by the freezing wind. Unprepared for such an onslaught of cold, we
retreated to the crowded warmth of the station, and were very glad
we could ride down again in the comfort of the train.
As we rode down the mountain again, I began to reflect on what has
been happening during our stay here in Wales. Just as we could only
see very limited views from the mountain's peak, so it has been
in regards to the coming move of the Lord over this country. During
the time we've been here this trip and on my previous visits,
the things the Lord has shown me are little more than tiny glimpses
of what lies ahead. And now having heard others' stories first
hand at Friday's meeting, still other small views of God's
coming visitation have become visible, and the bits and pieces all
clearly point to a glorious event to take place here. I have heard
stories of the incredible views from the top of Mt. Snowden on one
of the infrequent clear days, and can behold in my mind's eye
what a sight it must be. And in a similar fashion I can perceive in
my spirit a foretaste of what this next sovereign outpouring of the
Spirit of the Living God will bring to this country and far beyond!
After our mountain adventure, we made our way to Colwyn Bay on the
north coast of Wales and found the Princes Drive Baptist Church without
much difficulty. Shortly after our arrival, Carl and Steve appeared,
and got us settled into the hotel room. After a short rest we headed
off for the opening meeting of Prayer Week. What a joyous crowd of
people filled that old Baptist church! There was a sense of expectancy
and excitement as over 300 people come in, many from other churches
around North Wales. After a very animated welcome by Steve, one of
the elders of the church, he introduced Godfrey Birtill who was to
lead worship that night. Godfrey has a prophetic annointing for wonderful
intercessory worship, and the church spontaneously exploded into a
level of praise and celebration that I have seldom seen in recent
times. As one song led into the next, Godfrey would stop and have
us enter into a time of specific prayer for different areas. And many
songs themselves were a very deep crying out for our youth, our nations,
and revival. What power and love were borne into the heavenly realms
that evening, as God's purposes were accomplished through the
travail of prayer and intensity of spiritual victory and worship.
I'm reminded of the beautiful and moving singing at the hymn
festival at Cilfowyr Chapel just last Monday, and yet the depth and
power of this night's worship and prayer is what my heart knows
we will see there also in due time. And not only there but across
Wales and around the globe!