So much has been happening in these last few months – we feel the pace is increasing. As well as being out preaching most Sundays, we have been mentoring a number of individuals and ministering healing and deliverance to individuals whose lives have improved significantly as a result. The seeking couple who come regularly to our healing/Bible exploring group have come to and enjoyed three Christian events. They travelled to Ffald y Brenin retreat centre for a day where God gave the wife visions and experiences of His love, a huge angel and a whole legion of the Roman Army! Just before she went back to her family in Russia for a holiday, she told us she feels she is now 95% ‘there’ to becoming a Christian. The husband of the Christian who attends the group had received full healing from a painful knee which had resulted from a motorbike accident when he was a teenager. He is also greatly encouraged by the improvement he sees in his wife’s health so is now much more open.
Another encouragement is that the tiny chapel Erwood has started hosting monthly coffee mornings, often with speakers, in the village hall. These have been well attended by the village and appreciated since the meeting place of the village shop closed at Christmas. From this has sprung a monthly café style Christian service, again quite well attended by a number who would not normally come to a chapel service. At the last one a young couple said they will bring their children next time and would quite like to start going to the chapel!
We lent the Journeys DVD course to a Christian couple near Sennybridge. They have been showing this to a group from their village who now want to do an Alpha course! In addition to this a number of Christians in that area who didn’t know each other before have started meeting together every week in their house. The initial introductions of the members of this new group occurred on top of a hill overlooking Sennybridge. These monthly hilltop prayer walks have continued over various parts of the county, including an Easter sunrise service on a hill overlooking Brecon where different people joined us for the occasion. This morning we met on a hillside overlooking the Elan Valley reservoirs to pray into a prophecy given of God intending to spiritually burst the dams, causing great floods of His Spirit over the land in all directions. Yes Lord!! These reservoirs are at the centre of Wales and the northernmost part of Breconshire.
Since Easter we have been to a Church Planting Leaders Day at the Baptist College; another leaders’ meeting where we received a long encouraging and challenging prophecy from Clem Ferris which was once again spot on; a three day New Wine Leaders’ conference at Cefn Lea, Newtown, which was very encouraging; and of course the recent Baptist Union Assembly in Carmarthen. So we have been well fed!
Seventy different Breconshire Christians took part in the Border Prayer room in Builth Wells over a 24hr period. What a turnout! During May Yvonne Mason, Daphne Godwin (Ffald y Brenin) and Lindy Morgan (24/7 prayer co-ordinator for Wales) organised the Border Prayer from north to south along the Welsh/English border, with pairs of prayer rooms set up either side of the border whilst a group walked the length of Offa’s Dyke. Each prayer room prayed for 24hrs for the other country’s needs, corresponding to the section the walkers had reached, thus seeking to heal any wounds of division.
Penny has done numerous talks and slideshows on Uganda around the county, mostly at W.I. meetings. Through this she has not only made quite a few contacts, but also sold many of the necklaces made by the children of Pastor John’s school in Uganda with which we have maintained links ever since Katie did a gap year there in 2005. We have also sold these recently at a craft fair and a car boot sale where we had good conversations with many people.
The highlight recently has to have been our two week trip to Africa in May. The first week we visited the Farm Schools project in Maseno, Western Kenya, started six years ago by Bruce Collins of New Wine International. Here they are taught simple techniques to improve their crops, which increase five to sevenfold in the first year! The scholars are also taught how to facilitate further schools, now numbering 28 just six years on. They are taught to tithe their produce. A third of the tithe goes to feed orphans and widows, a third to buy seed corn and hoes for new farm schools, and a third to the church who in turn run orphan schools and feeding programmes, etc. Everywhere we went, each of us would have a queue of 5 to 20 adults or children who wanted healing. As we worked our ways down the lines, most of them were healed! Amazing! We also went to pray in very poor/orphan headed homes and again saw healing. A woman almost blind could count fingers 30 metres away afterward! We even went around the local market, praying for those who were open and again saw many healings.
At the end of the week, we went overland by crowded minibus, through the border (an experience!) and into Uganda where we travelled another four hours to Kampala. We stayed in a slum/shanty area on the outskirts where Pastor John runs the school and church. We took a suitcase full of things for the school, including uniforms kindly donated by Mary Immaculate School in Haverfordwest. We also took a bundle of letters from a school in Breconshire for the children in Pastor John’s school, then brought back a similar bundle. We each preached in Pastor John’s church, followed again by many healings and deliverances. We also prayed for each of the children in Moses’ school, 20 minutes up the ‘road’ and also preached and healed there another day. Ligaments were restored with full movement after broken wrists had not healed properly. The 800 photos we took(!) are proving useful to select themes for different talks back in Breconshire to a wide variety of groups.
Since coming back, the healings are continuing but more slowly. The very first Sunday, Penny preached at a tiny church after which a woman there received partial healing without pain for a similar condition to the women with the wrists about which she had testified. The following Sunday she showed pictures and told of the healings to a gathered group of thirty from three house churches, after which she and Lucy (home briefly from Norway) prayed for many and saw quite a few healings and deliverances. Then last Sunday (10th July) Penny showed slides of Kenya with many healing testimonies to a church in Newbridge and two people were healed afterwards.
Two weeks after our return we invited a group of young people to our home to hear a BMS Action Team tell of their time in Brazil. Then three days later our sitting room and stairs held 31 people to hear Azad, a prolific church planter from India, tell his story. People greatly appreciated this and three people received healing afterwards. Many of these 31 people had not met before. We intend to start some New Wine evenings to gather these unconnected Christians to encourage, empower and equip them to be more effective in their witness to the county. We also intend to start a New Wine Leaders’ group soon, and to run a central Alpha course before encouraging other people to run smaller Alpha courses in their homes.
Our family are spread over the world. Mary returns in August from six months with BMS in China, teaching English. I know she would appreciate your prayers as she tries to discern God’s plans for her immediate future. Lucy is back in UK for a month, then returns to Norway to lead the next School of Evangelism at the YWAM base there from the beginning of August. Again , prayers appreciated. Katie and Sam will have two weeks in UK in August after working in Samos before heading to Australia for a nine month internship to train to instructor level in many outdoor sports skills at a Christian centre there. Penny’s dad celebrates his 90th birthday in August and with the help of the family he will be hosting a garden party at his home near Brecon.
Thank you for your continued prayer support.
With our love and appreciation,
Ifor and Penny