Welcome to Wales Awakening
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We PASSED our test. Now for the REAL ONE!

Dear 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 communities.

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!!

Dear 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:

Dear Pastors
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
Dear Friends:
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!

Dear Saints:

          This 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." Romans 1:3-4


By His grace alone,
Dick & Gladys



Friday, March 26, 2010

Blown away by Extraordinary Provision!!

Dear 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. Thank you!

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.

The 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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lost Sheep and The Lamb of God

Dear 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

Friday, March 12, 2010

An Infant's Prayer of Tears

Dear 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 milk!

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

Friday, March 05, 2010

St. Davids Day, Revival Songs and Flaming Coals

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."

Only 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 June.

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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Exciting Times & Welsh Prayer Breakfast

Dear 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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

North, South, East and West!!

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 Wales.

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!

St. 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.

Tuesday 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 again.

Thursday 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!

We 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

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Nature's Mnemonics - and a prayer request . .

Dear 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 us.

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.

Perhaps 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


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