Welsh Wonders

It’s a wonderful thing when one can report of bearing witness to God’s saving hand on any given day and amidst any given occasion, but to have front-row seats to His wonders on a nine-day run is reason for boasting!  The Scripture says, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31), so do allow me this biblical indulgence, if you please.

God provided me with the means and the open schedule in order to travel to visit with a man who has been like a brother to me and who is very ill.  My schedule has not been so accommodating for some time, but my benefactors have always been so beneficent!

John Poole is worth the discomforts of traveling for over fifteen combined hours amidst cramped conditions in an aluminum cylindrical at an altitude of 35 thousand feet above the ground.  He’s worth another six hours combined in a bus.  Trust me:  He’s worth it!

God is worth it too!    

I shared plane travel from Philadelphia to London with an Afghani gentleman who has lived in Philadelphia for sixteen years.  He has seen the horrors of war, reports that the Afghani people love American soldiers, and provided me with a very gracious and gentlemanly camaraderie.  I had the privilege of bearing witness to Jesus Christ in a manner that is appropriate to a Muslim recipient.

John was very close to a pastor back in the late 80s and early 90s who has since died and gone to be with Christ.  Pastor Arthur Strike had a daughter who knew John’s friendship as well.  John and Jane had lost touch and long sought after one another.

I went to the old neighborhood and knocked on a door, intending to knock on as many as were required, but the one sufficed:  The dear lady with her baby boy knew Jane (who is now married and also with a baby boy), was herself a Christian, and provided me with the requisite contact data.  The joy that passed over the phone and that will pass when they come together can’t be captured by a second-hand description.  Jane knew what John meant to her father, and what it means for John to be reacquainted with Arthur’s kin during his waning days, is self-evident.  Friendship abides, especially in Christ!

Gareth is a 24-year-old young man who comes from distressed circumstances.  He is a sincere and accommodating fellow, and he is dating John’s daughter and has become like a father to her little girl.  It must be apparent that he has become quite close with John.

He and I became fast friends.  I shared with him a copy of the Gospel of John, having neatly underlined the pertinent and classic verses that have been so instrumental in communicating Christ to so many people.  He started reading it right away, and quickly began asking John questions; shortly thereafter, I am told that he began to scour our church website, replete as it is with the message of the Gospel.  Do pray for Gareth, who went to a Pentecostal church with his mother when he was young.  He is a fine young man who appears, at the time of this writing, wide open to the Gospel.
I had the privilege of sharing worship and dinner with a lovely couple of who have become friends with me in recent times.  Their daughter-in-law comes to our church and has befriended my wife and me.

I met her in the doctor’s office one day a few years ago and recognized her accent.  She hails from the town of Caerphilly, just fifteen minutes from or so from Talywain, wherein resides my family.  Would you believe?  Do, for its true!

I gave Ken and Ann and Emma a tour of Philadelphia last fall.  It was a gorgeous day, far more gorgeous in meteorological terms than was the weather to which they returned the favor over there, but the warmth of their Christian love far surpassed the grey and grim conditions of a British winter.  

They took me to their church, introduced me to some lovely Christians, and shared with me of their heart’s desire for a fresh revival to pour out upon their land, the land in which revival exploded over a hundred years ago, and from which the godly reverberations reverberated in godly fashion around the world, reverberating for decades thereafter.

John and I went deep during the course of our conversations and communion, sharing Christ and prayer and private communion over the course of our time together.  It isn’t often one finds such meaningful relationship, but I have been blessed with several such friends, notably John Poole from Wales.  He has four times brought the pleasure of his friendship to us over here, and I have also known the pleasure of his company over there on four occasions.  And we are told that seven is the perfect number! Pfff!

My twin brother is a Boston lawyer who has a client who is from and who has returned to Wales, a medical doctor who now owns a lovely Welsh cottage that came replete with a little stone chapel wherein he and his wife and about seven congregants share Jesus together, and from which a young Welshman went forth many years ago to Korea in service and martyrdom to Christ.  They are praying, too, for a fresh outpouring of revival upon their beloved Wales.

Dr. Price arranged to share breakfast with me and take me to the bus depot in preparation for my return to the U.S.  He came to John’s door to help me with my bags, took one look at John who was at the same door to see me off, only to discover that he and John had shared fellowship together back in the 90s!  The fact that they also share a close friend shouldn’t be surprising, as God’s winsomeness and sense of serendipity is legendary!

Don’t think that I am done!  I got to Heathrow Airport, worked my way through security and settled myself before a scrumptious lunch of fish-and-chips.  A waitress asked me if everything was acceptable; it was, and I recognized her accent as one from the African nation of Cameroon, and I inferred that she was a Christian by virtue of her salutation of “God bless you.”  Surely you discern that I couldn’t let such a clue to her Christianity go without comment and doxology; surely!

I offered the dear sister a Gospel of John, courtesy of the Philadelphia Bible Society and as a kind of complimentary souvenir from the City of Brotherly Love.  She graciously accepted, then disappearing into the restaurant kitchen, soon reappearing with a request for more, articulating a desire to share what I had shared with her with her culinary colleagues.  I gave her about fifteen more, compliments of the Kingdom of God!

I love it; surely, you can tell!  Praise God, as He is worthy of all adoration and laudation and glory.  Ask John; he knows too and will be only to glad to share with you as well, as will a waitress from Cameroon, a Welsh medical doctor who has lived in Boston and Nova Scotia, a manager of a Welsh rock quarry along with his wife and perhaps also a young man and an Afghani expatriate.  I will say it again:  Praise God!

Bradley E. Lacey
March 17, 2013


An addendum, if you please:  Wales beat Scotland in professional rugby’s Six Nations Tournament while I was visiting, thereby advancing to the next round of championship play against England.  No self-respecting Celt wants to lose to England, as the rivalry is more ardent and intense than that betwixt the Red Sox and Yankees, the Celtics and Lakers or the Eagles and Cowboys.  The result:  Wales trounced England on the very day that our Irish kin were celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day (Compliments of Wales, by the way, for Patrick, if you didn’t know, was probably Welsh!) by a score of 30-3.  It’s not the revival for which some are praying, but they will happily and jubilantly take it!