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Wales Prayer Journal, October 10-24, 2002

Thursday, October 10, 2002
Arrived by train in Carmarthen at 2 pm, and Alex met me at the station. After going by to visit a friend in the hospital, we drove past the chapel on the way home to Rhos y Gadair Uchaf, Alex and Renie's Elsaesser's little farm just east of Cardigan, in the village of Felinwynt.

Dream of Flowing Word the first night:
In this dream I was watching life go by with people, places, etc, as if watching from a train window. As I looked on, the Lord began to give me his word of understanding into the reality in the spirit realm of everything. As I grew accustomed to it, and got over my initial fear, I was able to speak a bit of what I saw to one person, and found that what I said made total sense to them and was perfectly true. As I tried with another, and then another, I realized that I was flowing in perfect sync with the Holy Spirit, and so broke free of my own restraints and just let the words pour out as easily as tongues. The result was like I was seeing through God's own eyes into each situation and was able to speak to people exactly what He was doing in each case.

It was like having rolled out before me an endless layer of film over the events, adding on top of each the essence of God's dealings in every aspect for each person, revealing to them his love and perfect plan in the lives with absolute precision and wonderful results.

Friday, October 11, 2002, a.m.
As I began to pray and ponder the fact that now here I am in Wales, quickly my mind began wonder what I really expect to see happen or accomplish on this trip. Then the Lord spoke to me through a small sign on a mirror that said: "DO NOT LIMIT GOD, Psalm 78:41"

As I looked up the verse and read, "Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power..." God profoundly convicted me for my small and limiting thoughts, and reminded me of what He has shown me from the beginning about Wales, and that He will bring it to pass by His power and sovereignty. So once again I find myself limited to just obey and pray here, not giving thought to the morrow for that is His domain. So today I will press in to prayer and expectation. Thank you Lord for your living word today!

Friday, October 11, 2002, p.m.
This afternoon I went over to the little Baptist chapel "Capel Cilfowyr" near Cilgerran. As it had started to rain, Alex, my host, lent me a car. When I drove down the nicely paved road towards the chapel, I pulled off to the side to park, and was going to go into the cemetery with my umbrella to pray for a while. It had never occurred to me to try and gain access to enter the chapel. But as I sat there in the car, a car started up the hill from the little cottage below the chapel. I knew he must be the caretaker, whose wife I had briefly spoken to when I was here in May. He stopped to see who I was, and I told him that I had just come to pray a bit, and asked if he remembered my friend Alex coming to inquire about the meeting schedule two months before. He said that he did, and so I told him I was the one that Alex had inquired for. I then asked him if I might possibly get the key to be able to pray inside the building, He said yes, that would be alright, but that he was late in rushing off to an engagement, He was in suit and tie, and said to just ask his wife for the key!

As I let myself into the chapel moments later, I was overwhelmed once again at the total covering of God's grace in this whole adventure. Had I been two minutes later, I would never have seen Mr. Williams, and two minutes earlier I would have been out of sight of the road when he drove off! So for further confirmation the Lord blessed me beyond what I could have hoped for in the very moment I got to the chapel. I was going to phone the pastor tomorrow with Alex to ask for permission! I still shall, and hope to meet him also.

I had a wonderful time with God those two hours there, praying, weeping and interceding and worshiping with song and harmonica. I can't say how glorious and privileged I felt to be there in His presence and absorbed in His heart for Wales.

Saturday, October 12, 2002
Today I spent quite some time in the cemetery praying as it was a sunny and windy day. After a time the word came to me when Jesus asked the women to went to find his body in the tomb, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" As I dwelt on this verse in my heart, I realized that is what I came here to do, to seek and pray for true "living" for those that are living "dead" without Christ in this land. His heart's cry is "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

A bit later I found written at the foot of an old tombstone listing several family members, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound." The obvious reference to the final trump of God calling out the dead in Christ first. What testimony of these simple country people's faith in the Living God.

As I prayed inside later on, I was lead to pray for those families that the Lord would bring in and touch here, and then send them to other places to carry on the work of His Spirit's outpouring.

Also, out of sheer curiosity I counted seats in the chapel and was astonished to find a seating capacity for over 400 people!

Before leaving today on Alex's little motor scooter, my main transportation here if it doesn't rain much, I also learned that this coming Friday night will be the annual Harvest Thanksgiving service!

Sunday, October 13, 2002
Today as I prayed in the chapel, rain fell constantly outside, and moved me to pray for the latter rain of God's Holy Spirit on all flesh, and specifically for the folks that He will bring into this little house of worship. I walked and prayed between the benches in the balcony, and those that will fill them, and dwelt on those for whom they had been built and who sat there in the congregation of years now long past.

I also began to realize that what ever the Lord starts here must start with the families already here, and so I began to pray for some of the family names on the gravestones. I talked to the pastor this evening, who has only been there as pastor for three months, and only to perform the monthly Communion service. He said I could get a list of the families in membership from the caretaker, even though he belongs to a different chapel down the road.

Also, I can't help wondering if something extraordinary might happen this Friday night...... So soon, Lord? Let it pour!!

Monday, October 14, 2002
Rain until midmorning, I arrived at the chapel at noon. During my prayer I was reminded of how the Angel of the Lord spontaneously presented Himself to Moses, who immediately drew close to "see this great sight." And then God spoke to him and told him to take off his sandals because he was standing on "holy ground." So I was led to pray today for this chapel to be like that "holy ground" that would first draw and then confront people with the reality of the God so much greater than they.

As I continued praying in this sense, a heard a low distant roar that grew louder and closer, until I realized that it was a British fighter plane on maneuvers from a base nearby. I went outside to watch as another and another thundered low overhead, and then looped around and doubled back again as they were joined by a 4th jet. That is the kind of impact Moses surely felt at the voice of God, and such is goal of my prayer today for God's presence to saturate and emanate from every molecule of this building so as to impact those that come here for devout, religious or social reasons.

As I inspected another area of the cemetery I found the following inscription on a tombstone from 1826, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope." 1 Thes.4:13

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

This morning as I prayed on the ground floor, I began to walk back and forth in the side sections of seating, most of which hold four people comfortably. As I prayed, I was reminded like yesterday not only of those past and future families, but now of the people that will come as visitors when revival begins to break out here. When I got to the small "two-seater" at the very back, I sat down to pray.

Suddenly the Lord brought to mind the first verse of Psalm 1, "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful." And so here I was, sitting in the very seat the scorners would use - those that mock Christians and the Gospel who come to watch the spectacle in curiosity and then see how they can criticize and make light of it all. The Lord moved me to intercede for these ones in particular, because they are as beloved by Him as the faithful. I prayed in faith I saw that there would be miraculous healings taking place before their very eyes, dashing their disbelief to shreds and leaving them exposed and repentant before our awesome God.

Then I moved over to the center section. These are the places of the actual members of this chapel Cilfowyr. It is obvious because every section has a white plastic heater directly underneath the bench seat! There are 78 seats in this section, but I only took time to pray for the left half. As I prayed for these people, I had to laugh as I asked the Lord to give them warm hearts and not just warm backsides!

A bit later in the afternoon, I went and asked the caretaker's wife for a cup of tea to help fend off the deepening cold, and she graciously offered me coffee instead, instant, with milk, and some "biscuits", little cream-filled cookies. The caretaker joined us and I learned that there are only about 25 or 30 regular members. I told them a bit about why I had come here to pray, and when I asked them if they knew what revival was, they should their heads and said "No." They had apparently heard the term somewhere in their past, they are both probably in their mid 60's, and knew it had something to do with "church", but that was all. They talked a bit about how bad off the world is today, and agreed when I said it was because of the lack of knowledge of God and His ways, but they didn't seem to show any interest.

When I returned to prayer afterwards, I realized how revival here must depend completely on God's sovereign outpouring and conviction and revelation. Then the questions will come and teaching can take place, but first God's power will have to open their hearts. Let it be so, Lord!

As I was praying in the pulpit, beseeching the Lord to pour out his Spirit in this place, I found myself crying out in a loud voice, "Come from the four winds oh Spirit of God," Immediately the Lord quicken Ezekiel 37 to me, so I picked up the bible in front on me (only one English bible out of several in Welsh!) and read the whole chapter out loud slowly. This was the word for this chapel and this land! The body of Christ is like those bones: dry, very dry. Yet out of these "dry bones" God will raise up an army, mighty in the Spirit of the Lord! They will become the light of salvation for this nation! After I read it, the Lord moved me to sing the first 6 verses, repeating each verse 3 times.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I arrived at the chapel today just after noon, because Mrs. Williams, the caretaker's wife, needed time in the morning to clean the chapel for this Friday night's special Harvest Thanksgiving service. I can't help but wonder about the timing of this "happenstance." I've been soaking this place with prayer and worship since I first came last Friday, and Alex and Renie are going to accompany me Friday morning to pray also. Wouldn't it phenomenal if things started to break loose already?

Today I started praying in right side section, singing and claiming the souls of those that would come here. When I was praying in the last section towards the back, I was suddenly overcome with a wave of intercessory anguish, and leaned my head up against the top of a little closet door. My heart was wrung for the overwhelming need for God's great Love in the hearts of the Welsh people, and my chest heaved in agony as I prayed. When I opened my eyes a few minutes later, I saw a little cloak of cobwebs directly beneath my face in the corner of the door. This immediately spoke to me of the condition of this little congregation. Like the chapel itself, this little part of the body of Christ is so unused that it has been collecting spiritual cobwebs, showing signs of dwindling numbers over the years to the point when the last members die off, they will just quietly close it down altogether like so many hundreds of others throughout Wales and the rest of England, Scotland and Ireland. The bride of Christ, which is supposed to be the shining beacon of Hope towards which the people of the world can run, seems as lifeless inside as the graveyard is outside. Again I was caught up by strong pleading for the church, and the lost who depend on them. There are so many little groups of believers, hanging on to hope against hope in an ever darkening and hostile world around them. But them anew my heart thrilled with a profound joy when the Lord reminded me of purpose of my mission here. I was called to pray here for Revival! Thank you Jesus, I know it's coming! Hallelujah!

Back in the "scorner's corner" on this side, I prayed for God's love and glory to shine through each crack in the walls and fiber of wood and molecule of plaster. "The Word of Your Power, Lord, to envelope and enlighten each soul in this place!" and in the spirit I could see the whole chapel absolutely glowing with His life!

After praying down along the benches of the "regulars", I moved into the little chancel area where there is the communion table and curving bench, and then three heavy wooden armed chairs up against the pulpit. As I took hold of the arms of the first and began to pray, the Lord showed me these were for the elders of the church, and guided me to pray for His supernatural wisdom to move in them and lead them in the paths of righteous and justice and responsibility and vision when it comes time to start moving outwards from here with the anointing of revival that will start here.

As I prayed again from the pulpit, I thought about Friday night and wondered if the pastor, or the Lord, would have me perhaps share something at least in the way a greeting? After all, here I am a total stranger who has invaded their private and exclusive domain to come and pray for a revival that will involve them directly in shaking and awakening their countrymen with God's Good News! I could almost see their faces: curious, taken aback, uncomfortable, or possibly even angry? Help me Lord Jesus!

A little later, it suddenly dawned on me that I have been neglecting the people in the pub in Cilgerran! I've found it's easy to pray here in the chapel, but what about talking to some of the people I've met there? I met a very nice retired couple Friday night when I stopped by there, both jazz musicians. He plays trumpet, and she the piano, and wonderfully as she did a few songs that evening. I even joined in on a couple with my harmonica we had a great time. Could that be You Lord, giving me musicians for a worship team?

Then another thought flashed through my mind momentarily: Here I am in the middle of nowhere believing God is going to actually do something in a stone cold and dead old chapel? That sounds as far fetched as a bunch of people in a pub getting saved! And a Spanish-speaking American who doesn't know word one of Welsh! What a riot! What nonsense! How absurd!

Ah yes, but how totally glorious is our Lord! For "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the men of old obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were made of things which are invisible." Heb. 11:1-3

Thursday, October 17, 2002
It rained today almost until noon, so I stayed to pray in my little trailer this morning. I also listened to Wesley Campbell's CD "Fireland." The title came from a prophetic word given over Ireland in 1999, that the Lord was going to bring revival to Ireland, and was changing the name according to the outpouring of His holy fire over that land. The introduction talks about how Ireland was mightily touched by God's presence and anointing in the second millennium, and that continual prayer and worship 24 hours a day/7 days a week was established there in Bangor non-stop during nearly 250 years! As Wesley prayed on the CD I was deeply moved by the breadth of what the Lord is poised to do. I am certain that all these prophetic prayer events are all tied together somehow in God's grand scheme of things!

I was also delighted to find there some music that has been playing over and over in my spirit for months now, as if it were a "theme song" of my experiences in Wales. I hadn't been able to identify the melody, thinking it was perhaps an Irish or Celtic folk song. It turned out to be a traditional Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision, the words of which express the essence of what I believe the Lord is going to do here in the hearts of the people - to make things happen that can only come from His heart and by His power.

I spent only an hour in the chapel today. While praying in the pulpit I opened Ezekiel again, but this time was drawn to chapter 36, where God speaks of the outpouring of the Spirit. The section starting in verse 21 surely dealt with the Hebrews of that day, but also clearly refers to today's churches, for the most part empty and lifeless. He makes several statements of things that He will clearly do. When he says in verse 27, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them." He is the initiator of it all. And it is HE who will "cause us" to walk in the fullness of His Spirit. For only by the Spirit can we walk in a way that is pleasing to Him, fulfilling the law. And then in verse 33 He will enable us to dwell in the cities (the church!) and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who walk by .... 36 Then the nations which are left all around you (the unsaved) will know I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places..." Wow, what a declaration of what we can expect to see the Lord bring to pass in our day! Come Lord Jesus in great power upon us!

I had previously made arrangements to have coffee with a couple I met at the pub in Cilgerran last Friday, both musicians and recently retired. So after my time in the chapel, I drove over to their home just a couple miles from the chapel! They love jazz, and so I went to share with them Charlie Miller's CD with some great Gospel songs. When they asked me what I was doing here, I was able to tell them my whole story, including the Jesus movement of the '70s when so many young people were sovereignly ushered into the Kingdom of God, and thus my connection with Alex and Renie close by in Felinwynt. I also took the opportunity to pray for Roy's knee, badly damaged by aging and the malpractice of some "medical" person. Please ask the Lord to continue to bring him relief and restoration, both physically and spiritually!

Friday, October 18, 2002

Well, today is the big day, the Harvest Thanksgiving service! Could tonight be the beginning already? We'll see, Lord! A couple hours earlier the caretaker came in and turned on the electric heaters to give the place a chance to warm for tonight. A simple enough task. But Lord, by your Spirit I ask you to turn on Your Heat in this place!

Earlier I was praying out in the cemetery, and went over to a large grave that had lots of writing on it, and in English! I tried hard to see the letters and could only make out enough to see that they were scriptures. I struggled to read them because they had weathered so since from the mid 1800's and as I was trying to piece the legible words together, suddenly the sunlight fell across them from behind a cloud and filled each letter with shadow, and I could suddenly read them quite clearly! These are the verses that were revealed:
"Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:31

"Behold this day I am going the way of all the earth." Joshua 23:14

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14-15

... "Lord may You quicken Your words to your people in this very way with the light of Your countenance!"

Later, while I was sitting up in the balcony on the sunny side of the chapel, I found myself gazing out through the frosted glass into the cemetery. I could discern the grey cold forms the tombs contrasted against the green grass. Suddenly there I was looking at the world outside as if "through a glass darkly." In my mind I knew perfectly well what I was seeing in the physical realm, but how different to see it through the eyes of God, as reflected in the scriptures above. "The cloud of witnesses" of Hebrews 12 comes to mind!

Saturday, October 19, 2002
Last night the chapel was actually almost warm! People began to arrive a little earlier, and I was greeted cordially by a group of women accompanying a very old man with a cane. The caretaker's wife walked them up to the gate of the church yard, and had apparently told them that I had been during the week, as the one who first greeted me seemed slightly curious about my presence. I just said that I had fallen in love with their beautiful chapel! I learned from the old gentleman that in two more years they will celebrate the chapel's 300th year! I also found out that they fill it up completely every May for a large Hymn Festival, when people come from all over southern Wales to participate in or listen to the wonderful Welsh choirs.

I took a place in the back of the center section, and noticed that people tended to stay in the back section. The organ had been playing softly in the background, but promptly at the chime of seven o'clock, music welled up as everyone joined in the first hymn. There were several hymns, all in Welsh, though they did announce the number in English for our benefit. (Alex and Renie and two of their daughters had also arrived for the service). A Psalm was read, and then after the collection, a guest preacher delivered what seemed to be a spirited and engaging sermon about faith. I could recognize a few words like Bali, New York, Washington, and even thought I picked up Deuteronomio which is the same as Spanish! The preacher did make a few remarks in English again for our benefit, but I didn't understand a word. In all, however, I enjoyed the spirit of the talk!

There was nothing out of the ordinary as far as I could see, but I was glad to get a glimpse of the church members. The average age was close to sixty, with a total of 25 local folks in attendance. The brother who preached came around to greet us, and was very warm and friendly but disappeared quite rapidly. Then the pastor in charge, who has only been there for three months, come to say hello as well. He has three other churches which he serves, so his role is really just as an officiator of services rather than really being a pastor in the sense we'd expect. I conversed briefly with a woman in front of me who was considerate enough to turn around and greet me. She'd been a member here all of her life, as I guess were most of the others. Nobody stayed around very long afterwards so there was not much chance to meet others.

The Lord has been impressing on me the need to find a few members who really have a relationship with Jesus and know how to pray, and to try to make an opportunity to share a bit about my mission here and ask to please pray with me about all this. I don't know yet whether I'll find any echo at all to this, but am trusting God to show me. The pastor didn't seem to show any particular interest in why I was here, though Alex had told him last month that a friend would be coming over to pray here. I hope tomorrow to have more of a chance to meet the real prayors, or at least talk a bit with one or two of the long-time members.

Rather than being discouraged that nothing happened last night, I am actually more excited about things. I can see that in the natural this church fellowship is like much of the traditional church - in "survival mode", with not much outreach towards their community, nor any involvement of teens or young adults. Great portions of the institutional churches are like the "dry bones" the Lord was talking to me about earlier in the week. And so what I believe is to take place here will be all the more overwhelming when the Holy Spirit takes charge of this little flock!

This morning I listened with fascination to tape that came for me in this morning's mail. It was a recording of Duncan Campbell describing in detail his experiences as a minister during the great Hebrides Revival of the mid-1900's. I was greatly ministered to as he told how it all started through a word the Lord spoke to two elderly ladies one of the towns. He was promptly called in to preach and teach about salvation as people came clamoring to the chapel trying to find out how to get right with God. The revival took place not as the result of preaching, but rather a spontaneous revelation of God's presence and holiness directly to the people. After leaving the first meeting, he saw people lying beside the roadsides crying out to God for mercy. It was literally a sovereign move of God. I was deeply moved to hear this, because it is so similar to the many details that the Lord showed me was to happen here during my visit back in May. And then as Duncan Campbell went on to describe how Revival began to spread, it was identical to what I received from the Lord three years ago on my first visit here! Oh, what an incredible testimony he gave. And what an incredible privilege that the Lord actually has me here now praying for this very kind of revival, not just on blind faith, but a growing faith in things that He has shown me vividly over the past three and a half years!

At a certain point in the tape, as I was washing dishes, I felt a great desire to call my friend Harry Hewat, who had told me of the tape and gave me the address to write for it, just to tell him what a blessing it was to me now. Not two minutes had passed and the phone rang. I almost didn't answer because nobody was home but myself, and lo and behold it was Harry calling to talk to me! Thank you Jesus! Even in the small things You know what we want before we even ask! And on t he grandest scale imaginable, You will also in your perfect timing will bring to fruition what You have promised. There are so many people praying for this revival in Wales, and yet you have plucked me out of a different place and culture to be involved here in this. You are awesome and good and forever merciful and loving! Isn't it great to know that the expression "Too good to be true" is a lie?

As I prayed this afternoon in the chapel, once again the Lord broke me through into a level of intercession that consumed my heart with overwhelming desire for His love to be made manifest in this place, and His holiness to electrify the atmosphere and drive people to their knees. And as I prayed and worshipped and paced back and forth through the benches upstairs, I felt a growing excitement at what the Lord has in store for this place, for Wales, and the utmost corners of the earth!

Sunday, October 20, 2002
Chapel Cilfowyr had less people this morning than Friday night. It seemed like a very traditional kind of service, with hymns, a long prayer by the pastor, and a sermon followed by the Lord's Supper. Afterwards a few people came up to greet us, and I found no answer to my question of who were the people of the congregation who pray! One gentleman told us that he was writing a history of the chapel in preparation for their 300th anniversary coming up in 2004. He mentioned an incident that I thought was very interesting. There was an elderly lady here this morning he said, who had been baptized in 1932 when a remarkable thing happened. This was during a time when baptism by immersion was much frowned upon by the Church in Wales. For this baptism, the chapel had asked the neighboring farmer to provide them with water for the baptistery, and he had refused. It had been a very dry spring and there was no water in the little stream that usually supplied them, so that Saturday they had spent the entire day fetching water in containers from the town of Newcastle Emlyn some 10 miles away to fill the baptistery, and left things prepared for the baptism the following morning. To their great dismay, they found that someone had pulled the plug and emptied out all the water. They all suspected the farmer, but there was nothing to be done about it. During the sermon, there came a sudden and unseasonable downpour of rain, and when it was over, they looked and found that the baptistery was filled to the brim, so were able to proceed with the ceremony with great joy, and 5 or 6 young people were baptized by God's miraculous provision. It turned out that nowhere else in the area had any rain fallen at all!

The gentleman who told us the incident assured us that it was perfectly true but didn't really expect us to believe it. I assured him that we did, and that it seemed related somehow to my presence here. When I told him that I had been sent here by the Lord to pray for special things that were to happen in this little chapel, he seemed somewhat interested. I give him my email address, and the URL of this web page, and I do hope he looks it up. He also gave me his email address. I thought perhaps he was the contact in the church the Lord was giving me, but I "mysteriously" misplaced it. After lunch I went to Alex and Renie's chapel just up the road, and remembered I had pulled the paper with the email address out of my pocket there. I even drove back to the chapel to see if I had dropped it, and then later went once again to have a look in the cemetery to see if the wind had carried it off and the Lord might show me a scripture on a tombstone where the wind had stuck it! OK Lord, as they say these days, "whatever!" Maybe I wasn't supposed to get side-tracked down that path!

As we talked later with Alex and Renie, she mentioned how particularly significant that baptism incident seemed, and as soon as she said it Holy Spirit moved her to tears. I realized it paralleled what I see that Lord preparing to do here. The "downpour" of the Holy Spirit that will come is necessitated by the fact that the "baptistery" is empty. There is no apparent vision for church growth or evangelization. There have been several mentions of the coming 300th anniversary, a remembrance of how "sweet it was", but I couldn't help but think of how sweet it will be, unbeknownst to all at this point in time!

When Alex showed me a history of Cardigan, entitled, Cardigan, Gateway to Wales", I was suddenly overwhelmed with that longing for God's outpouring. It was another confirmation to me that what started at this chapel will them spread from here into the Cardigan area and then out to the rest of Wales.

Monday, October 21, 2002
This morning, I struggled a bit as to whether or not I should try to call the pastor of the chapel, but couldn't find peace about the matter. It seemed the only thing I really know clearly is the that Lord told me to come to the chapel every day and pray, and that He would take care of all the details. So, in faith I decided to not try to do any of the things that were coming to mind; not rely on the "arm of the flesh" but to just trust God to move. Maybe there would be nothing else for me to do on this trip, and that's was alright too. I had to remind myself Who is running the show here! It had been raining off and on, after some great sunshine earlier, and the weather didn't look good at all, but in obedience I put on the rain suit and off to the chapel I went. As I weaved my way through the little country lanes, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a clearing between rain clouds that preceded me, and even sunshine on most of my way to the chapel. "Amen, Lord. I get it!"

I found a beautiful hymn in the chapel, called "The Gospel for the World". It seemed a strange contrast to find such a stirring challenge to reach outwards with Gods' love in such a small and waning congregation. Yet the message is so fitting to what I see the Lord wanting to do here and beyond. Oh Lord, the thrill of that song resounding on these hallowed walls, and stirring vision and sending out among those who will be touched here!
The Gospel for the World
From Greenland's icy mountains,
From India's coral strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand,

From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error's chain.

Can we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high, --
Can we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?

Salvation, oh Salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation
Has learnt Messiah's name.

Waft, waft, ye winds, His story;
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole;

Till, o'er our ransomed nature,
The Lamb for sinner slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.
                              R. Heber

There were other hymns that have particularly touched me during my days here, as I've looked through the small section of English hymns in the Welsh hymnal. They seem to speak so prophetically about God's wonderful plan, I couldn't contain my tears as I read them through. In particular were Breathe on me, breath of God and Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Both are such sweet confessions of the fullness the Lord wants to pour into His people here and everywhere.

I spent time praying and singing, and found myself with the desire for someone to come to the chapel. I thought that somehow I needed to make contact with at least one of the members, and be able to share with them what the Lord was showing me, but nobody came. I did however notice an announcement laminated in plastic and tied with string to the fence by the road. I thought it strange I hadn't noticed before, and closer examination showed me that the string was very clean and had obviously been put there earlier that morning, or Sunday. There was another copy in English, and I read the announcement, and at the bottom was the name of the church secretary and her address. Aha! Here is the person to contact I thought then. So I jotted down the information, and planned to try and find a phone number later on and call. After a while the rain clouds started to close in, so I took off on the scooter before I got caught in a downpour!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Today I started off my day writing yesterday's journal, and found myself thinking about calling the pastor so frequently I finally went down to Alex's house and used the phone. His wife answered and said he'd gone off to a meeting. When I asked where, she said in Cardigan! He would have a meeting from 11 until twelve. She gave me his mobile number, so I rang him up immediately, and he said he could meet me briefly after his meeting! By the time I got cleaned up and rode the scooter down to the town, it was 12 o'clock. I asked to have lunch with me, but he had to drove off in 15 minutes, so we sat in his car and talked. Well, I talked, and he listened very attentively. I briefly told him the whole story, and he said "that would be wonderful" but without much conviction that it was possible in a shrinking little church. I told him my desire to share with a few people who might be open to the idea, and would be possibly interesting in praying about this. He gave me the names of a few people, and more or less where they lived, all fairly close to the chapel, and so there was my agenda for the day!

I can't take time now to explain what a marvelous time I had that day. But for starters I met with the sweetest old lady, the one who had been in that miraculous baptism! It was drizzling a bit, and helmet in hand I knocked at the door. She opened up and glancing at me said, "You were in the chapel Sunday. Come in, come in, I don't like people standing in my doorway." She invited me to have a seat quite naturally, as if I weren't a total stranger! That supernatural event had taken place 70 years ago but she remembered it like it were yesterday, and averted her eyes as they filled with joy! What a very speciaol day that had been for her. She told me about how life in the chapel had been for most of her years, with three meetings every Sunday. We chatted about how things had changed, and the chapel had gone from 3 meetings to one, and then after more years just twice a month. And then just a couple years ago that was reduced to once a month. It was sad for her because she only gets a chance to her friends then.

I told her the story of how I had comes to Wales 3 years ago and stumbled across the chapel. And then went on to share all tat the Lord had been showing me, and how it related to the event of her baptism, which I've previously described. She said how wonderful that would be if the Lord were to do something like that. I asked her she would pray about it, and if she might ever be able to get together with her other friends who might be able to pray with her. She told me she had had to stop driving 6 months ago because of her failing eyesight, and it was hard to move around. She said many other of the members were also getting too old to drive, but yes, it would be nice. It sounded to me like they have never met together in a hnousehold for prayer or anything church-related. I took a few moments to pray with her for her ailments, and also for the Lord to touch her with the joy of His presence, and for His will to be done in the chapel. As I took her hand in both of mine to pray, she placed her other hand on top of mine in such a tender way, and as we prayed I could feel the Lord giving her joy. I think it had been a very very long time since she had prayed with anyone like that. Perhaps since her husband died 20 years ago.

From there I visited two other couples, both of who recognized from being in the chapel and received me graciously. I was invited to a cup of tea or coffee and bisquits, and as I shared my story they listened with interest. In both cases they also said "that would be nice", evidencing the year-worn strain of doubt endemic to a slowly shrinking church. One of the gentleman saids he was sure that his years of Christianity were limited to a very superficial level, and that he had always known a desire to "go deeper" in the Lord but had never really known how. The Sunday meeting were always the same, a song, a pasalm, a song, the long pastoral prayer, a song, the offering, the sermon, and a final song. He had long since given up hoping for more. He seemed glad to hear that there is so much more. He is going to send me a casette of their choral music from the Hymn Festivals, and I will send him a copy of the Duncan Campbell testimony of the Hebrides revivfal, of which no one who I visited had ever heard of before.

I was impressed by hlow isolated all these people are from one another. The richness of fellowship that we enjoy is practically unknown to them outside of special but infreqquent occasions. Wouldn't it be a blessing to somehow, even from far away, promote informal gatherings for tea, fellowship and prayer? How difficult for a pastor trying to cover 4 or more congregations and barely able to keep up with the "official" activities. Lord bless these wonderful, warm and needy people!

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
As I got to the chapel this morning, the fact that it would be my last day here made me suddenly sad. What very special times I've had here with God, and how quickly the time has passed! I knew this would be a special day, but had no idea just how much! While praying here yesterday, I had found myself with a desire that at least once someone would stop by and offer to pray with me, or at least ask what I was praying about here. Then, Tuesday evening, just minutes after I got home to an empty house, the phone rang, and it was Harry Hewat calling for me! He said he had been sharing my Wales experiences and journal with a couple of minister friends, both prophetic types and who have been involved in praying for revival for the UK for several years. They had felt "resonance" with the things I'd been sharing, and felt impressed upon by the Lord to take the 4 hour drive out from Birmingham early in the morning to come and stand with me in prayer for a couple of hours. Before he had finished, tears streamed down my face and I couldn't even answer for a moment, so overwhelmed was I at God's benevolent response to my unspoken desire! Harry wondered if it would be allright if they were to come out! He was going to drive out with them, but they had to be back in Birmingham at 6 in the afternoon. Wow, what a blessing!

Once inside the chapel, I went up into the pulpit to pray from there, and as I worshiped my eyes were drawn to the big Welsh Bible lying open on the stand. I went to see what scripture was open, and found Psalm 123:

-1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

--2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

As I read this the Lord spoke so clearly to my heart that this was exactly what I had been doing here these many days. Who else could I look to? I was immediately overwhelmed by tears of longing for God's grace to be shed abroad in this place. And as He had so clearly showed me in May, what more could I possibly do here? "As the eyes of the servants look to the hand of their master" is such a clear picture of total dependence. "Without Me you can doing nothing.." Jesus said. That was my condition exactly. My only avenue of action has been to "wait upon the Lord our God until that He have mercy upon us", and make supplication that He pour out His presence on this place and this land according to His promise to me, confirmed already many soo many signs.

--3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

--4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

As as read this next section I was again overwhelmed by the Spirit as I understood that it was not for my sake but rather the sake of His church that I agonized so. The church has been made contemptible for it's ineffectiveness in our days, and for centuries. As I looked at this empty little chapel, and saw at once so many church building devoid of any life or significance in their communities, my heart broke in a thousand pieces before the Lord. How could we be so irrelevant to the world around us? What poverty must be the picture the world has of His church. How many empty buildings does the world see? How little godly influence is exerted in our modern society? What total indifference to the things of God prevails at every level and age group!

"Lord have mercy upon us. And not for our sake, Lord, but for the sake of Your Name! Oh Jesus, You hung on the tree and shed Your blood for the redemption of the very ones that scorn You! Oh God, have mercy and reveal Yourself! Just as You said, Lord, through Jeremiah, 'And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.' So be it Lord God. Our eyes look to You as the eyes of the servant to the hand of their Master."

I was caught up in this travailing for some time, when I heard the door of the chapel open and Harry called out my name. It was such patent testimony of His incredible love for and care of me that my tears were changed to tears of joy unspeakable! He came in with his two friends and introduced us and we embraced with unspoken oneness of heart and purpose. When I recovered from the wave of emotion, we talked some, I showed with them what the Lord had just shown me, and we began to pray together. What joy to hear other voices than my own in resounding in this place! What strength of purpose I felt as we cried out in unison for God's mercy and purpose. Oh what joy flooded my soul to know the accompaniment of other human hearts brought into the same cry of God's own heart of love for His wayward children!

It is hard to describe how I felt as the brothers shared with me the things the Lord had shown them and why they had come. One of them told me that as they were driving out here, the Lord showed him a picture of a hang glider that was soaring around and around over the hills and valleys, in preparation for making its landing here. He said I was that glider, sent by the Spirit of the Lord, and that they came in spiritual representation of their country to receive me and assist and steady the wings of the glider as it touched down and landed! There were many other words they shared in which the Lord totally confirmed the purpose of my coming here, and His pleasure at my obedience. I was so humbled and blessed and comforted by this manifestation of His love and care for me. What amazing Love is this we know in Jesus, that he would cause two strangers with busy lives of their own to drive nine hours with my friend to bring me this special affirmation of His calling me to this place!

After spending a marvelous two hours with these saints of God, and a quick bowl of soup in the pub where the Lord has people reserved for Himself, I returned to the chapel for my last hours there. Since last week, I had felt the desire to tackle some of the grave plots that we totally overgrown with brambles and even small trees. Again I had to marvel at how favored I have been by the Lord during my time here. As I was parking my scooter, the caretaker came out of the old stable pushing his lawnmower! I had told him earlier I'd like to do some cleaning up, so he fetched me an axe, a saw, pruning shears and machete, and off I went to the plot that I had set my sights on. It was about eight feet wide and sixteen feet long, surrounded by a five foot high wrought iron fence with a gate in the middle of the long side. Immediately inside to the right was a small tree with many different trunks, clutched around one of the headstones that were sunken into the earth with the passing of 150 years. The brambles and weeds were as tall as I, and quite thick. At the end to my right was the large principal monument, and my goal was to clear out at least that far. I set to work at once, cutting the tree down as far as I could and removing all the trunks and branches. Every two feet along both the near and far side were small headstones of apparent descendants of the patriarch buried at the end. As I tackled the harsh, throny bramble bushes with the heavy leather riding gloves, the Lord began to show me some interesting things. One was how the subtle work of the adversary throughout the years had virtually overcome all the work of this little flock. As I saw this, I attacked the thorns with a vengeance, waging war against the works of the devil in the power of His might. What satisfaction it was to pull out by the roots the ugliness of sin and ineffectiveness and complacency and indifference! I also noticed how from one root there were many different branches that stretched out in so many dirrections, making whole areas impassable with their thorns. But I found that as I stooped close to the ground and got my hands around the base, they could actually be pulled up quite easily. I saw how similar it is with sin in our lives: when we don't deal with it at the source, it flourishes and contaminates many areas, but with the cleansing of acknowledgment and repentance, the freedon which Jesus already paid for can be ours.

When at last I got to the end, I was able to read the main headstone and found it to be of a man who had been the beloved pastor of the Baptist chapel in Newcastle Emlyn, about 10 miles away, for fifty years. He was buried around 1860 at 80 years of age, and I presume the other many stone were those ofhis wife, children, and perhaps grandchildren. I only managed to clear about 40% of the plot, but I did get all the brambles pulled up, and Mr. Williams said he could go after the rest with his strimmer (weed eater) and finish it easily. In spite of the cold and strong winds, I worked myself into quite a sweat. What a pleasure! After coffee and Welsh cakes with Mr. Williams and his wife, I thanked them for their kindness and openness to my presenced there, said I'd see them again the next time, and putted off into the oncoming rain as nightfall drew closer.

Thursday, October 24, 2002
After a 45 minute drive with Alex to Carmarthen, to the south, I said goodbye and boarded the train for London. As I rode along the rails again, it seemed hard to believe two weeks have gone by so fast! I was again filled with tremendous gratitude at the goodness of the Lord on my behalf. What an amazing time of inquiring into His temple, and finding His goodness and mercy at every turn.

I checked into my hotel by Paddington Station, and after a brief nap struck off walking towards Hyde Park to explore a bit of this huge city. One of the things I wanted to do was visit the Holy Trinity Brompton church, home of the Alpha Course. I had emailed them soon after my arrival telling them of my interest in attending one of their activities, and telling them the date I'd be in town, but I never heard back from them, and so had decided not to go. But halfway across the park, as I sat down to rest and pray a bit, I felt like I should go anyway, but I had left my map in the hotel. No matter, I thought, I'd go find a directory in a phone booth on the other side of the park and go for it. I had a map, and so figured I could make it by 7:30, a traditional starting time. I came out the other sie of Hyde Park in front of the Royal Albert Hall, and found a phone booth. There was no directory, but there was a fat wallet there instead. I found it had some cash, and lots of credit cards, and thought about the poor guy who lost it! So I stuck it into my pocket to examine later on and try to locate the owner.

After unsuccessful attempts to find just where the church was, I discovered on my map with the help of some security police that it was a long walk to a church marked Holy Trinity, and made of through the semi-lit strrets to find it. What a maze of winding streets and unclear signs. A good while later, exhausted and losing hope of covering what was probably close to a mile off still, a sat down on the fence of a large building on Brompton street to rest and figure out the best route from there. Then I got up to plod along and when I had walked not even a hundred feet, there was a big sign saying "Holy Trinity Brompton" right in front of me! Thank you Jesus! So I followed the arrows along a little lane and found myself in an empty parking lot. Just then a lady came along, and I asked her if she knew what activities there might be tonight, and she said there was an Alpha Course prayer meeting, and led me right to it! I was amazed once again at God's goodness!

Later on in my hotle, I went through the wallet, and found it belonged to a young man from Germany who must must be distraught by now. Trying to figure out how to contact him, I found his business card with a cell phone number and called him up. He was overjoyed to get my call, and said he'd meet me in the hotel restaurant around 10 o'clock. His name was Christian, and I had a great opportunity to share with him about the Lord. He said he was in fact a Christian, and attended a Catholic church. We talked for quite a long time. He is a product designer and had come to London for a job interview. When he asked me what brought me here, it opened the door to talk about revival, the work of the Holy Spirit, etc. He was very receptive, and I encouraged him to study the scriptures and seek to know the Lord intimately. What a blessed way to end the last evening of my "adventure" in the U.K!

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