Monday, 4 March 2013

February 2013

Narnia was trapped in winter for over a hundred years, then bit by bit it yielded to the spring.  Here, with the odd warm spells, spring started early with catkins opening but then with a series of  very cold and snowy spells it has been a stop/start progression.  Revival IS coming to Breconshire, but the initial breaking out of such a long 'winter' is met by a similar stop/start progression.  Prayer is making a slow but steady difference in warming the hardened ground.  We are encouraged by the fact that once Spring gets going, the progression is relentlessly forward, whatever the weather that follows.

This month Anne led a service in one of the tiny chapels in the middle of nowhere ("Central" the secretary called it!). Soon after starting the sermon she asked a question which had an immediate response from a new widow who lost her husband in tragic circumstances. She opened up in raw honesty about her bereavement and some of the questions she was having. There followed much support and discussion instead of the sermon and one of the members encouraged her to lean on Jesus.- surely how a Sunday gathering should be!  Ifor led the service there the next time, and God gave me three pictures for the chapel that morning. The first was of a blue river flowing with colourful sparkles like jewels. I took this to be the River of Life.  The second was of golden rain and the third a clump of snowdrops. I sensed God saying that He would be bringing the chapel into a time of new life.

At the end of January we were asked to speak at a day led by Nick Bradshaw called Simply Church at Cardiff Baptist College.  Here we talked about when God builds His church, its all about what His body is doing during the week rather than just what happens on a Sunday morning. We gave examples of some of these happenings and what we are trying to do with Him to further His Kingdom in Breconshire.
     A few days later we were asked to speak at a day on Rural Mission hosted by BUGB South Wales, along with Barry Osborne.  Being a different theme, we spoke about some of the things God is doing in the county and different ways of raising the Spiritual climate and introducing Jesus to the people who live here as relevant and interested in themselves and their daily lives.  Then taking people further in their journeys of discovery to levels where they naturally start telling their friends and huge extended families about their new experiences.  Both these days had the side effect of encouraging us in what God is already doing in the county and seeing more clearly different ways forward.

Opportunities to share pictures and stories, including God stories, of Uganda and Kenya continue to come in, especially through W.I.'s.  Radnorshire (where we technically live, being just over the river border) celebrates 90 years of W.I. this year and it was encouraging that they opted for a big church service to mark the occasion, complete with wearing hats or fascinators!! I am in the back row of the photo with some members of Aberedw W.I.  I will be speaking at this club tonight. Earlier this month  I was asked to share at a church prayer meeting in Leominster.

After hosting Cath Woolridge in a concert in Brecon two years ago, this time we handed over the organising to the Anglicans who arranged for her and her team "Sound of Wales" to come to Brecon Cathedral.  We took two of our first small group along which they enjoyed.  Cath shared some powerful and moving testimonies.  As a result of this concert she was asked back to the Cathedral during the busy Brecon Jazz Festival this coming August.

When we prayed above Sennybridge earlier this month, it was very encouraging to learn how there are Christians living in ones and twos on the hills surrounding the village like a polo as someone remarked!  The men's Alpha in Crai is going well, with many of the men attending having influential positions.  Also the work at Bronydd Mawr is continuing to go well. God seems to have plans in that area.
The Alpha we are leading at a cafe in Glasbury is also going well with yet another new person joining us last night.  We have encouraged someone else to lead it next week and do the talk as we will be away doing a funeral. Hopefully he will be able to help in the future when we hope to run a number of Alphas at the same time.  The new rector in Builth Wells has recently started a Youth Alpha, and another Alpha is starting soon in Garth, run by a small house church.  Anne Roberts is also looking to start one or something similar in a village near Glasbury through a tiny church over which she has pastoral oversight. Alpha is catching on in Breconshire! Please pray for the Alpha Holy Spirit away day we will be running on Sat. 9th March at our house starting with breakfast!

Our youth group had a good session this month when seven of them looked at the Columbine High School shooting and Ground Zero which brought up questions about Jesus's death and suffering for us.  Next month (17th March) will be the last of the Journeys DVD series of testimonies we have been following.  This final one will be focussing on the decision to follow Jesus. Prayers appreciated.

We have just come back from an inspiring and challenging four day intensive School of Healing and Impartation run by New Wine Cymru and Global Awakening with speakers Bill Johnson, Randy Clark and Tom Jones from America.  800 delegates packed into All Nations Centre in Cardiff where  we saw many, many healings.  The first morning I noticed gold dust on my hands and they tingled for many days and nights after that. The second day I felt as though God was clothing me in a cloak of His Presence to carry everywhere.  We were all very much aware of the Presence of God many times during those four days.  Both of us were greatly encouraged and came away with an urge to pursue more intentionally the work He has called us to do here as we co partner with him.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Breconshire.  God is certainly "on the case".

Below is an amazing bit of research into what God has been doing in Llanigon, near Glasbury, in the past.  I thought you might also like to have a look at it.

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