Apologies that the Rant has been somewhat quiet of late – I’ve been kinda busy! Last Monday 4 fantastic Americans arrived in Wales with a view to coming over to plant churches with New Breed. Therefore I spent most of last week as their tour guide, cultural commentator, missional visionary…and also just their friend! They’ve been such good company – a real joy to hang out with and a real blessing to myself, my family and Hill City Church.
However, it hasn’t been the easiest 7 days days of my life…far from it!
Driving my American bredrinz around South Wales (and especially the Valleys) with a view to both highlighting the scale of spiritual and social need, while at the same hoping they’ll fall in love with the place, is dangerous for me! In fact it’s been wrecking me!! Why? Because I love this region with a deep, relentless passion that could only come from God. Therefore spending a week focussing on the scale of need in my beloved mission-field is heart-breaking and making the need for a fresh wave of Spirit-filled, gospel preaching, Christ exalting churches to be planted across this region starker than ever to me.
There’s only so many boarded up churches, derelict town centres and burdened, joyless faces that I can cope with seeing before I can’t take any more and genuine tears start to flow. You’d have thought that living where I do, coupled with the life-experiences that I’ve had, I’d be hardened to it by now. In reality, however, the opposite is true! The truth is that my estate is home to around 4,000 people and yes, it has massive needs, and yes my church has its hands-full. But staggeringly there are 1.3 million people who live in the Welsh Valleys.
That’s A LOT of people!
The crime, depravity, unemployment and subsequent drug abuse, depression and suicide is a now the norm for many in the valleys. The need for church planting and gospel mission in this region is so urgent that I haven’t got the words to express it here on my blog. I also need to be careful that I don’t allow bitterness and anger to creep into my heart when I consider the vast quantities of resource that is enjoyed by the wealthier cities down south. Basically no one wants to plant in a place with no money, no glitz, no recognition, no support and no guarantee of apparent success!
There’s a few more blog posts coming on this subject in the coming days trust!
In the meantime, however, please join me in praying that God would once again have mercy on the people of the beautiful, broken valleys of South Wales.
For His glory!