Peter Farmer (Newforms, Mission Britain and Simple Church) stayed with us the whole of the following week to help us move forward more strategically and intentionally. This intense week, especially with the training weekend at the end to which six others came too, certainly helped us see ways forward and recognise people and places of peace. Peter took us out of the "safety" of our home to hold some of the training sessions in cafes and pub! How easily we hide away! Why? This was helpful to see how simple church could be carried out in such venues.
During that week two young evangelists came up for the day. They got chatting with a group of teenagers in the cafe in Brecon who meet there regularly after school, some helping to serve there. After chatting about some of their experiences
with God, they asked if any of the teenagers would like to experience God. No takers. After chatting some more, one said he would like to. He stood between the two of them while they prayed. He couldn't describe what he was experiencing but said it was cool. That opened the floodgates with "me next," "me next," "me next"! So one by one they all experienced a touch from God. They then sat back around the table and prayed together (see photo). One of the evangelists prayed a commitment prayer which two of the lads repeated line by line. The following week they were all away on work experience; then it was the Duke of Edinburgh week, then they broke up! So we haven't been able to see how they're getting on. Please pray for them.
Earlier that day we were in Builth Wells. Imogen, one of our home group, went into a shop with Gerald, one the the evangelists, while the rest of us prayed. The annointing of the Holy Spirit fell on the four in the shop - two ladies working there and two customers. The Holy Spirit gave 'words of knowledge' for each of them. Gerald gave testimony of when he first met the Holy Spirit and talked of God's love. God's love then filled the whole place. One, whom Imogen had prayed for about a breast lump just a few days previously, excitedly told the rest that it had got a lot smaller over the next few days. Since then it has disappeared. Three previous lumps had had to be removed by painful surgery. They then prayed against the pituitary tumour of the daughter of another lady there. The specialists since then have pronounced it too small to operate on and are hoping it will disperse on its own. The third lady asked for prayer about selling her house in these difficult days. Since then she has had three viewings. Imogen had prayed previously with the fourth lady there who had pain in her knee and back and was very stressed. She has experienced lots of relief and peace and is keen to have regular prayer times with Imogen which will be easier to set up after the school holidays. This has in turn led to contact with a woman currently in hospital with a spinal problem.
Carrying on the theme of healing, a minister from Cardiff asked if he could arrange to meet a retired minister from Welshpool at our home who would like to receive healing from cancer of the kidneys. I was aware that his skin was very white when he arrived. As we prayed, a word of knowledge released healing of a time in his childhood. God's love poured over Him like a weight and he felt a great heat in his heart. Then as we prayed against the cancer I was amazed to see his skin colour changing to normal. He was due to see the oncologist at the end of the week about surgery, dialysis and starting chemo. The report came back that none of this was now needed, there would be no further treatment and they did not need to see him for another six months! Praise God!
We have been excited to meet Rev. Janet Russell who moved into the county a year ago to work as Director of Mission for the Anglican churches and feel that a good friendship will form with her. Together with Rev. Neil Hook (who has since moved to Builth to take up the pastorate there) and the Dean of the Cathedral, Janet organised "Exalt" in Brecon Cathedral earlier this year. This was a brilliant praise and light show that attracted lots of teenagers. Neil has already started doing something similar on a smaller but more regular scale in Builth Wells now. Janet will now be organising an event in the Cathedral as part of Cath Woolridge's next tour, along with the others - a great evening for us to invite many to. When we hosted her concert last year in Brecon her testimony and revival songs, together with her husband Dai's dramatic monologues, inspired many. Brecon Cathedral last week staged a stunning flower festival entitled "Gloria", culminating in a Songs of Praise service One lady who prays constantly for Breconshire said "The Festival of Flowers Songs of Praise was absolutely amazing. The cathedral was packed. The worship was so uplifting interspersed with scripture about glory. The atmosphere wonderful as it was all to God. As I sat still I sensed an outpouring of gold and silver being poured into my hands. Amazing God, Wonderful Lord."
In July I was asked to give part of our testimony at a new group that Carole Dry has started along with a few others in a smallholding near Llandovery. Some of the people attending this are new believers since the Journeys DVD series she and David led (see Jan/Feb 2012 blog). The following week Ifor spoke on the Holy Spirit at the monthly group Carole and David have started near Sennybridge. This was followed with prophecies, words of knowledge and healings. One person had a lot more movement in her neck and back without pain. Another had pain leave her arm after a word of knowledge encouraged her to receive prayer. The prophecies seemed to be very appropriate. One prophecy I gave spoke of the future God had mapped out for a young man there that he could choose to walk into. Last night I heard that he chose to put His life into God's hands just a fortnight ago.
Ifor and I were asked to judge all the fancy dress competitions in the local show at Gwenddwr! We missed the pig racing at Erwood Show this year as it coincided with a college reunion party put on by some friends near Oswestry where we enjoyed catching up with friends we haven't seen for 35 years! We took our stall selling Ugandan necklaces to Llanigon Show and also to Llyswen & Boughrood Show where I entered some the the competitions and even won a few prizes! At this show I spoke to a couple of people about the possibility of organising a bring and share "Paralympic Party" in the village for people of all ages to watch or join in enforced handicapped games, eg blindfolds, hopping, etc. They were keen on my idea of including short video clips of Paralympians whose faith in God has inspired them to compete. (from More than Gold's 'Undefeated' DVD) They also like the idea of the children making Olympic bead bracelets that tell the story of us and Jesus, using the colours of the Olympic rings. I have since had a meeting with two of the mums who want to be involved in organising this event next month in Llyswen. Someone else would like to do the same in Erwood and has ideas of borrowing wheelchairs and of maybe involving the local Young Farmers Club.
One farmer whom Ifor met at a previous funeral is avidly reading Angus Buchan's daily Bible reading journal and has no qualms about telling others what he has read that day. His life is being steadily transformed.
In August a small group of us climbed up into the wet and windy cloud on top of Pen y Fan to pray over the whole county and beyond and blow the shofar, announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God. From that evening onward the way forward for us seems to have become much clearer. More of that in our next blog post.
We really value your prayers. Please ask for clear guidance for us this coming month. We feel we have turned a significant corner but want to be sure that each decision, both big and small, is God led.
God bless you all,