Last Monday I had just returned from Delhi and Dubai and today I’m just back from Wales. I’d only got the case unpacked when it was time to fill it again only with slightly warmer clothes! Andy was leading worship at a women’s retreat(!) at Ffald-y-Brenin in Wales (http://www.ffald-y-brenin.org/) and I got to go too!
“The blessing of God continues to be poured out at Ffald-y-Brenin, a remote Christian House of Prayer and Retreat Centre in South West Wales, UK. People are pouring in from the nations and many are being blessed and healed. The deaf hear, the lame walk, and joy arises to heaven! Increasingly we are seeing people make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Hundreds are launching into local prayer-based mission-shaped discipleship in Wales and the nations.”
Last summer I read “Grace Outpouring” detailing the stories of what God has been doing at Ffald-y-Brenin and I’d wanted to visit ever since so it was with great delight I accepted the generous invitation to accompany Andy and be part of a group of very special ladies. Some I had only met once before but most of them I was meeting for the first time and I hope it won’t be the last!
I was humbled, encouraged, challenged and inspired as God in His mercy and generous ‘grace outpouring’ brought each of us into a spacious place with Him (Psalm 18:19). Ffald-y-Brenin “has often been called “a thin place” where the veil between heaven and earth has been pulled back. It is easy to pray, to be still, to listen, to worship. It is also a place of joy, of creativity and of learning, a place of encounter.” The rhythm of daily prayers, the remote location and stunning landscape and the lack of wifi or phone signal create space to be more intentional in asking God ‘What are you saying? What are you doing?’, hearing His still small voice and seeing His beauty revealed in creation.
Aaron Keyes song ‘Sovereign over us’ touched many hearts and God gently yet powerfully spoke to each one of us in different ways. I just ‘happened to’ start a book I had downloaded for free ages ago and many words from it found their way into my journal expressing what I felt God was saying to me.
“The Lord is about to bring you out into a new place where everything is freedom and spring and life and joy, a place where you can live, literally abide in a permanent springtime, in the beauty of who He is, in a place with 12 months a year of fruitfulness. With eyes fixed on the beauty of Jesus, you are strong in God.”
“As the mediator of grace, He pours grace over you, and when you come to Him and lie in His presence, the blood of Christ covers you and everything becomes new.”
“Do you understand that Jesus left glory so that He could understand and relate to you, a flesh and blood child of the Father and show you what it is to live a life fully filled with the Holy Spirit.”
I prayed “Father, please give me a heart transplant, change the rhythm, the way blood pumps into my veins, sync my heart with yours” and “Let the Shalom (peace) of Heaven, the peace that passes all understanding, that of ‘completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord’ come to me in Jesus’ name.”
I am so very grateful for my time at Ffald-y-Brenin. It was “time with God, more than just reading the Bible and uttering a quick prayer, but storing up a well, a perpetual reserve of intimacy, to draw on.”
I might not be back at Ffald-y-Brenin soon but I do need to keep returning to “the secret place, where we soak in His presence. As desperate as you may be for His tangible presence, striving is not rest, so just rest in Him. Relax, breathe in His Holy Spirit and let everything out. Our answers for the impossible are in that incredible realm of the secret place of His love where God has an answer for everything.” And the Father is beckoning us all to this secret place, a thin place of intimacy with Him.
PS this little cottage in the picture is where Andy and I got to stay!