We PASSED our test. Now for the REAL ONE!
Friends & Prayers:
We passed! "Thank you, Jesus!" And thank you for praying for us today too. We know many
of you were, and it made all the difference. We just got home from Bristol in
England where we had to go to take the Life in the UK Test - and we both passed.
So did the four others that took it with us - two from Brazil, one from Uganda
and one from the U.S.. So everyone was relieved and glad, and there were even
a few hugs of joy between total strangers!
The next step is to fill out the rest of the paperwork for the visa application
and mail it off with the large payment that the Lord so graciously provided!
(A couple people rightly said that if He had provided for the cost, he would
surely give us the grace needed to pass the test too!) The Service Standards
of the UK Border Agency says that they decide on 95% of the applications received
within six months. Hopefully ours will be a lot sooner than that, and again,
your prayers will be appreciated!
On our way home we took a little detour to visit the 12th century
Tintern Abbey, pictured here. As I entered the massive courtyard,
I could almost feel the devotion and intensive labor that went into
establishing this monastic community. The rigorous discipline and
emphasis on self-sufficiency through agricultural work are quite
inspiring, and made
possible the building of these huge houses of worship. This Cistercian
community thrived for several hundred years until King Henry VIII
severed ties with Rome in 1536 and ordered the closure of these
Had these churches been correctly built of living stones rather than cold,
hard building stone, the spiritual climate here would be vastly different than
today. 1 Peter 2:4-5 instructs us, "Coming to Him
as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men,
but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built
up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable
to God through Jesus Christ."
Hopefully we can learn some lessons about work and discipline from these old
but misguided building programs, and apply ourselves to the work of the living
church the world needs to see. And as Ephesians 4:15-16 says, "Instead,
speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the
Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by
every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part
does its work."
You can see a larger image of this artists conception of how the church looked
five hundred years ago by clicking on this picture. Also there are extensive
photos and more history about Tintern Abbey here.
As you look at all the intricate details and envision the amount
of work that went into building such a temporary earthly structure,
imagine what could be accomplished if we applied ourselves in like
dedicated fashion to loving God and our neighbors as Jesus taught!
This is the real test!!
As we continue pressing into prayer for revival, this is the kind of living
and loving church that we believe will become "home" for the multitudes
the Lord draws to Himself in the times to come.
Thankful and challenged by all His goodness,
Dick & Gladys
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The Power of Prayer on the Streets at Midnight!!
Friends and Prayers:
Once again we had the privilege of joining a group of intercessors at an inter-Welsh-speaking-church
family camp and conference. This is the third year we've gone, and
it was great to see so many young people involved! It was wonderful
to see how God moved in the lives of some those that came to our prayer
room during the three days we were there. And a very special treat
was to see a sister who had suffered terribly for years from chronic
fatigue syndrome. She came for prayer last year, and we learned later
that God healed her in an amazing way. So it was a joy to see her
carrying an armload of chairs to our room and hear her story!
We know the importance and power of prayer, and tonight we will be taking prayerful
care out onto the streets of Cardigan from 9:30 until 3:00 a.m! But the real
muscle behind our job is a group of committed saints praying together at a church
basecamp the whole time we're out on the streets. I am part of a newly formed
group of over 25 "street pastors." After several all-day training
sessions in first aid, substance abuse, etc., our motto is "Serving –
Caring – Helping". On a typical Saturday night, there are several
hundred young people on the town to have a "good time", and they all
really need to know Jesus!
We are not out there to preach but rather to show God's love in practical ways.
However when needs are met and questions are asked we have an open door for
ministry. This will be my first time out among two teams of four. Last Saturday
another two teams went out for first time out and they had an amazing time!
I want to share a couple of their testimonies with you here:
If you haven't already heard, we were greatly blessed on Saturday night/Sunday
morning, it was a very successful first night out, some of the young people
were quite emotionally moved that we had come out to love and care for them.
We also had opportunities to help and encourage some of them.
On a more personal note....for some time I have been suffering from a incurable
lung complaint "Bronciactasis", which basically means your lungs
keep filling up with fluid which has to be cleared through the day....at 3am
as we were walking back to the church the Lord touched and healed me, the
prayer team had been praying for our health back at base. So I'm reeling at
the moment at God's goodness to the chief of sinners!
One problem, it was a job to work out who was more blessed the Pastors on
the streets, or, the Prayers at New Life. They basically prayed for the best
part of seven hours for us, and God abundantly answered their prayers!
Every blessing, Alan
As you may know, last Saturday was the first "real" night out for
Bugeiliaid Teifi Pastors.
In order to ensure that every Street Pastor is out in the first month we have
two teams of four out on the streets. To show his support for Street Pastors,
Mark Cole, the Mayor, accompanied us throughout the night.
Not only are the Street Pastors out there on the streets but there
are people praying for us back at base. Ideally, you would like to see more
than one person fulfilling that role and various people had said that they
would come. When 9pm arrived, we couldn't get all the Pastors in the room
as so many people had come to pray! The front room was full! Wow! How amazing
it is! People are hungry to pray regardless of denomination. Their hearts
were united in their desire to see Cardigan come under the blessing and Lordship
of Christ. This is miracle number1 as it wasn't too many years ago where this
would not have happened.
As we left the building, they prayed over us. Had we had any nervousness,
trepidation or apprehension beforehand, this was now lost in the confidence
of knowing that we were going out clothed in the compassion of Christ and
the full armour of God. As we came across various people, we offered them
a lollipop and news spread quickly that there were free lollipops available.
As people transferred
from one establishment to another they would ask us why we were out on the
streets and as we shared the message of serving, loving and caring, their
response was truly touching. Even young people who I had supported some years
ago were thanking us for caring and telling us that Cardigan was in need of
this service. Some people could not believe that the Mayor was out with us
and were so pleased that they requested photos!!! I love God's sense of humour.
The openness that we were received with is miracle number 2. After
this were countless conversations with various people with the Pastors. Each
Street Pastor has their own testimony of how God used them to touch people's
hearts. It was the most amazing time and instead of feeling tired and drained
at 3am standing in Finch Square, we felt alive and full of grace.
When we arrived back at New Life just after 3am, we heard singing.
We walked in the building and the praying people had entered into a depth
of Worship that was so anointed. They had been truly blessed. Now we were
witnessing miracle upon miracle.
Mark Cole, the Mayor stayed throughout the night and witnessed
with us the blessings of God. We had the welcome of Holy Spirit to go out
on to the streets but we also had the local authority's blessing which represents
the secular authority. I believe God would honour their welcome. Please
pray for those in authority over Cardigan
Every blessing, Mandy
Thank you for your prayers for tonight's outing and for each Saturday
night as this exciting outreach develops. Also, please do remember
to pray for us this Wednesday as we go for our Life in the UK test
at 12 noon. Want to see what it's like, you can have go at it here!
Wishing you all the best of God's blessings in this beautiful springtime,
Dick & Gladys
Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010
Glorious Resurrection Sunday!
says it all!
"...concerning His Son
Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according
to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according
to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
By His grace alone,
Dick & Gladys
Friday, March 26, 2010
Blown away by Extraordinary Provision!!
Friends and Prayers:
Spring really seems to be getting underway now, and colors are appearing everywhere.
Here are a few samples of God's handiwork - beautiful reminders of His design
and provision - glorious testaments of new life and promise!
A few weeks ago I mentioned our upcoming visa renewal and a test we need to
take. We have now scheduled the test for April 14th. Please put that date on
your calendars and pray for us, we'll need all the "help" we can get.
When we first found out that the visa was going to cost nearly £1000
($1500) we had no idea where that extraordinary amount would come from. Covering
each month alone is enough of a challenge for our faith.
Lord has blessed with a friend named Michael who is also an intercessor, and
has been praying for us with his family daily for several years now. He prays
especially for our provision, and has been a channel of blessing. He asks the
Lord to provide for him so that he can help us, and this year has been sending
us £50 monthly towards our rent expense.
I shared with him about our upcoming visa expense, and he asked me how much
we needed. I told him it was about £870. So he said he would pray with
us, and believed
the Lord wanted to enable him to bless us with what we needed, but that he had
no idea how that might happen.
A few weeks ago we had visitors with us, and I was just telling them about
this friend, when the telephone rang, and it was Michael! He asked me if I had
a minute or two to talk, and when I said I did he then asked me if I was sitting
down. He told me that a few days before he had met an elderly friend who said
she had something to give him. She said it was for the Lord's work, and although
she didn't know where to direct it, she knew that he would.
She gave him an envelope, saying how she had been saving this up in her wardrobe
for a long time. Now the Lord had prompted her that it was time to give it to
him. He told me that when he counted it out, it was £920, exactly the
amount he had been praying for - £870 for the visa and £50 for for
our rent. I was glad I was sitting down!
So he has transferred that into our bank account and we now have enough to
pay for the visa next month. "THANK YOU JESUS!!!!" What an awesome
and loving God we serve!
As you can imagine, we are thrilled and amazed at His constant goodness and
faithfulness to us. In one sense, we probably shouldn't be, because He is true
to His promises. But in the daily living and experiencing His goodness, how
can we not be amazed and worship Him with our lives as Paul exhorts us in Romans
12:1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
Encouraged by His lovingkindness and grace,
Dick & Gladys
Saints and Prayers:
Last weekend we drove across mid-Wales into England for a get-together with
our old friends the Elsaessers and the Hewats to celebrate their thirty years
in the Lord's work in the UK. We all were saved on the Lord's
Land in Mendocino, California in the early 70's. It was a fun opportunity
to remember old times and be thankful for all God's goodness through the years.
Saturday afternoon we went into town to have a look around. In one of the side
passages of the Gloucester Cathedral I found myself captured for a few moments
by this touching display.... The only reason any of us are here at all is because
of what Jesus has done for each of us. Without Him, the last thirty seven years
of our lives would have been "a chasing after the wind" as Solomon
puts it. But because of Him, we can have great joy in knowing that His eternal
purposes are being fulfilled in and through the events of our lives.
We all have so much to be thankful for, and it is always good to remember together
with others His lovingkindness towards us. A backwards look at where we came
from, and seeing this treasure in our lives because of Him, can also be great
encouragement as we look towards the future He has prepared for us!.
A few days earlier when we were in Blaenau Ffestiniog, I snapped this shot
near the edge of town. It was pretty funny watching these explorers nonchalantly
navigate the streets as if they were right at home! But a deeper look reveals
the sobering truth about us all. Without Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives,
we find ourselves described perfectly in Isaiah 53:6. "All
we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned,
every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,"
What an amazing and precious gift we have received, that we can come we come
boldly before the Lord because of Jesus, the Lamb of God! And what a poignant
reminder of the needs that surround us in this land of Wales. The vast majority
of people here are like these sheep, cruising through life and making the best
of it they can. Sooner or later the sheep will be caught and returned to their
pasture, but the people?
It is for this cause we press on in our calling with joyful confidence in Whom
we have believed. Jesus came to take upon Himself the burden of our sin and
give life to all that will believe in Him. We count it an enormous privilege
to live our lives here as a prayer for the lost and hopeless. God has given
us some extraordinary encouragement lately, and continues to confirm in our
hearts, as well as in the hearts of a growing army of believers, His plans for
Wales and the nations!
Thank you for praying with for us, and with us for God's coming move on the
peoples of the earth. Let us cry out that multitudes would turn to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls.
We bless you in Jesus' precious name!
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
Yesterday morning a young couple from Cardiff came to visit us with their two
young children, and afterwards I took them up to the see the chapel. When we
got inside, their three month old baby started crying because he was hungry.
It was such a beautiful sound!
This was the first time I had never heard an infant's cry inside the chapel,
and echoing in the silence it was almost like a song of prayer. I was so deeply
impacted by his tender crying that I began to weep too as I realized that this
is what is missing here - people need to learn to cry out to the Lord with the
same simplicity and honesty as this little child cried out for his mother's
It was such a clear and clarion sound, and it almost seemed that much like
this would be the sound of revival breaking out, with people crying out to God because
of the sudden spiritual hunger coming upon them. Truly, our condition before
our Creator is no different than that of a helpless baby, yet our absolute need
and total dependence on Him gets quickly covered over with life's busyness and
our reliance on "our own" abilities which we have received from Him
in the first place.
I spontaneously prayed out that as people come into this place they would be
convicted of their desperate and continuous need for God's mercy and grace.
The simple truth of Jesus' words in Luke 18:17 says it very clearly, "Assuredly,
I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
will by no means enter it."
All of us as believers need to have this child-like crying out to God working
daily in our lives, because apart from Him we can do nothing. How much more
so then, for those who have never known Jesus? Most people can manage to get
through their lives somehow or other, although impoverished without God's love.
But as their end draws near, what then?
So it is like this starkly honest crying out to God that we can be praying
for revival - for ourselves, for the church at large, and for a lost and dying
world "having no hope and without God in the world."
Hungering that the lost might hunger after God,
Dick & Gladys
Dear Friends & Prayers:
On my way into Cardigan on Monday, I was surprised to find traffic crawling
along, and quickly discovered the reason. March 1st was St. David's Day, who
was the patron saint of Wales. And school children were hand in hand around
the Cardigan Castle singing songs and having a great time of it. I couldn't
resist taking a few pictures!
We've had some interesting feedback from our last update. First I got this
email from a friend last Sunday and want to share a couple parts of it:
"I've been contemplating a trip to Wales to pray for revival in the
land. The topic of revival has definitely been on my mind. I finally decided
to email you when I saw your latest email update; something leapt in my spirit.
What the lady in the church told your friend was truly amazing. I have been
sensing that God wants to pour out His Spirit upon Wales again, on a massive
scale. And I just recently discovered the song 'Here is Love' which was sung
in a church which I just happened to be visiting for the weekend. When they
sang the song in church I didn't know it was the known as the Love Song of
the Welsh Revival, but the lyrics "Heaven's peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love" just jumped out at me. The other thing
that happened recently at my overnight intercessory prayer group, the prayer
leader told us that at the very first prayer meeting they held, one of the
intercessors had mentioned Welsh coals being fanned into flames."
two hours later, I got another email from friends in England:
"Thank you so much for the update. Praise God indeed! When Mike was praying
for you, the breakfast (Saturday) and revival this morning, I had a vision of
a pair of bellows just like this one!"
These are just a couple of examples many things we hear from people, and are
such confirmation and encouragement to us as we go along!
We'd like to ask for your prayers for our meeting next week in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
This will be our third time going up specifically to pray with a group there
for what the Lord would have happen there. You perhaps recall my sharing an
experience I had while driving through there with Gladys last
Another important matter that needs prayer is that our UK visa comes up for
renewal soon. We will have been here five years (!!) in May, and have to apply
now for an "indefinite leave to remain." Due to new immigration rulings,
we will have to take a "Life in the UK" test which covers a LOT of
information. It is a big challenge especially for Gladys, as it is all in English,
and the multiple-choice type questions can be confusing even for me. Please
just ask the Lord that we might receive grace to pass this hurdle of 24 questions
out of hundreds of possible combinations!
Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
I had to laugh when I came out the other morning and saw this spikey hail all
over my car! The endless creativity of God's handiwork is so amazing! The most
wonderful though is that if our eyes are open to see beyond nature itself, everything
points to Him!
It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of February already! Seems
like we just started, and now it's all but gone. "Lord, teach us to number
our days, and redeem the time!"
I got the following text message from a friend this week. "Dear Dick:
I must tell you this to encourage you. A friend was at church tonight and was
sitting alone when she was approached by a lady and engaged in a conversation.
When the subject of Wales crept in, she said to my friend, 'I must tell you
that I have been told that revival is about to break out in Wales and
it is going to spread across the land. I must also tell you I have
been compelled today to listen to a song that has blessed me: Dyma Gariad Fel
Y Moroedd - Here
Is Love Vast As The Ocean. She also mentioned a piece of Welsh coal.' Awesome"
- It is so encouraging as we continue to hear things like this!
Next Saturday is the National Prayer Breakfast of Wales very near here. There
will be about 200 people present from all over Wales who are committed to seeing
God bless this nation. The theme for the Breakfast and morning of prayer comes
from Matthew 9:36, "When He saw the crowds, He had
compassion on them." It is His compassion which through the Holy
Spirit can break our own hearts and empower us in prayer and intercession.
And so I would like to ask you to pray especially for this event. And specifically,
please ask the Lord that His heart of compassion and tender mercies would saturate
the entire morning, and that each person that participates would receive a profound
impartation from God Himself. And then, as each one returns to their place,
that this impartation would not just fade away into a pleasant memorable event,
but rather that Jesus' compassion for the lost would inflame their hearts and
draw them more and more into His presence and that place of power in prayer.
It seems particularly significant to us that the Breakfast is taking place
just under a mile from the chapel where we pray! This morning in prayer I found
myself getting excited about the potential of this event being a real breakthrough
event. I could see how if the Lord were really to visit each of us in supernatural
power, then everyone would return like burning lumps of spiritual Welsh coal
and spread His visitation to their home and communities. "Pour it out,
Lord!" as in Joel 2:28-29,"And it shall come
to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men
shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will
pour out My Spirit in those days."
Anticipating His goodness in the land of the living,
Dick & Gladys
Dear Friends and Prayers:
Over the past two weeks we've been to the four points of the compass here.
Blessed by busyness is one way to put it! Our friends from Singapore came to
the area, and we spent time taking them to some important places here in West
Blaenannerch Chapel, close to our house and Cardigan Bay, was the first stop
where we spent some precious time praying together. Then off we went to the
south coast of Pembrokeshire to St. Govan's chapel. It was a beautiful sunny
day and the surf was the biggest I've ever seen it. (click
here to have a look) What an envigorating place to pray!
Davids Cathedral lies at the most westerly point of Wales and was our next stop. There one can get an idea of the dominance of the Church of England during the Middle
Ages. Taking people around to significant places for prayer has been a special
part of our mission here. There is a valuable "deposit" made in their
spirits that they take with them back to their own lands. We invariably take
them to "our" chapel, and so included in that "deposit"
is a hunger for the coming revival that we are praying for here. It is a sowing
of seed into the winds blowing through the church in our times.
the 9th we headed north to Blaenau Ffestiniog via Harlech where we stayed with
friends who are involved with us in the monthly meetings in Blaenau. They live
practically in the shadows of Harlech castle, a remaining stronghold of the
Norman conquest of North Wales in the 13th century. Our meeting that night was
a fruitful time getting to know one another a bit more and praying about the
Lord's plans for the area, and then Wednesday we drove the 3 1/2 hours home
we were joined by friends in the afternoon for an awesome and encouraging time
of prayer in the chapel. And then Friday we headed to South Wales for the much
anticipated visit of our daughter Grace from Rome!
She came in on a late flight to the Bristol airport, across the channel in
England, and we were very graciously hosted by friends on their beautiful farm
on the hills overlooking Cardiff. Much to our delight, there were lambs born
that night, so we got to see these cute little Jacob Sheep in the morning. The
name refers to the Biblical story of Jacob in Genesis 30:31-70. After a delicious
farm-fresh breakfast and brief visit with our intercessor friends, we headed
off with Grace for a winding and adventurous route home to Cilgerran!
headed north past the Brecon Beacons, not far from the English border with Wales,
and hiked a short way into a still sunny but very windy and cold valley! From
there we drove into the small city of Brecon itself, and then on westwards through
the valleys and home.
It was such a treat to have Grace with us, and the three and a half days raced
by way too fast. Of course we'd have preferred a week or two, but this was a
lot better than not seeing her at all! Now it seems that Rome is not so far
away after all! Her current internship with Save The Children finishes in May,
and she hopes to find another position there in Rome for her next assignment.
We appreciate your prayers for her finding and following God's leadings!
Thank you also for continuing your prayers for Gladys' health. She has been
slowly improving, and that makes a great difference to how we accomplish what
the Lord has called us to do here. And thank you also for your continued interest
and prayers for Wales!
Re-discovering His goodness day by day,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
The daffodils broke through the ground before January was gone, and that is
a welcome surprise for us! Since the snow melted two weeks ago, it has been
typically rainy, windy and cold. So just the sight of these cheerful shoots
lifts our hopes and hearts with thoughts of springtime again.
The many voices of nature that surround us are always such clear signposts
of the Lord's presence and His care for us. It doesn't matter what season it
is, each one is filled with evidence of His handiwork. Romans 1:20 makes it
very clear - "For since the creation of the world
God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have
been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, ..."
I find that in the middle of the envigorating enjoyment that I always get from
nature's variety, there is a curious sort of duality that goes with it. While
on one hand I find myself inspired with a worshipful gratitude towards our Heavenly
Father, I am also aware of the frightening numbers of people that don't (or
won't) see His goodness. The rest of that verse says,
"...so that men are without excuse."
And so ever present with the beauty around us is the awareness of a longing
also. At the same time as these shoots are reaching upwards toward heaven, like
ourselves by God's grace, the fallen leaves and twigs are moldering into the
ground like so many for whom Jesus died and don't know His love and forgiveness.
And so if we open the eyes of our hearts, the call for prayer is never far from
Along with the approach of spring also is an increase in activities for us.
We have a visit with friends from Singapore tomorrow who want to spend time
praying with us, and that will be a blessing. Then on Tuesday we head up once
again to Blaenau Ffestiniog for another prayer meeting. We had to cancel the
January meeting because of the snow, and hope to make up for lost time. We also
anticipate a few new faces, and are curious to see what the Lord develops there
in the north.
most exciting for us though is Friday night when our daughter Grace flies in
for a long weekend from Rome! After the disappointment of having to cancel her
visit at Christmas time, it will be wonderful to have her with us, even if just
briefly. So we are countinng the days!
We also have a special request for your prayers. Gladys has been struggling
again with stomach and intestinal problems, similar to what she had last year.
Thankfully it is not as severe, but she has had to limit her eating to very
bland foods, and be super careful what she eats. We haven't been able to establish
if it is related to something particular that she eats or whether there is actually
something wrong somewhere. Also she has been having problems with her neck and
back, causing unpleasant bouts of pain and resultant loss of sleep, etc.
Together these have been taking their toll, although she has been very brave,
and staying as hopeful for healing as these daffodils hoping for warmer weather!
We would sincerely appreciate your prayers on her behalf.
As always, thank you for your continued interest and support,
Dick & Gladys
Use these links to see archived updates: