WALES, Cwmbran & the Welsh Outpouring
I came to Cwmbran after seeing all the Twitter, Facebook and web chatter about a revival in wales although the church where it is happening is calling it “The Welsh Outpouring” and are wisely not calling it a revival.
Before coming I checked out their website and took some time to look at founding pastor Richard Taylor’s blog as I often find that the books or websites they recommend gives me a good and quick take on their theology and helps me understand where they are coming from and heading to. It seemed that pastor Richard loved the types of books I like and linked to similar websites as I frequent too. I suppose all of this gave me a security that this was genuine and that the church and its leadership were trustworthy, godly men.
I had already cleared my diary for a 3 day prayer retreat and as I would be staying somewhere away from home I decided that I might as well be in Cwmbran giving myself time to pray, study and then in the evenings visit Victory church.
As the weekend approached I became more and more excited and expectant of what God would do. On the Sunday I was due to travel (Last Sunday 21st April 2013) down I was preaching here at Kings Church Horsham in the morning. As I preached and throughout the meeting I felt a real liberty in the Spirit. We experienced, as we do most Sundays, a real and tangible presence of God, yet even in that there was a sense of faith and many, many people responded to the word and stood for prayer and encounter. I was really stoaked!
Sunday afternoon was beautifully sunny day and so I decided to ride to wales (on my motorbike) on the back roads and avoid the motorway. It was a great ride!
Liam, a fellow Elder at Kings Church if you didn’t know, and a fellow biker, met me at Victory Church early on Monday evening, 5pm, just so we could be sure to get in. The stories on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere spoke of queuing out the doors.
It was a tad early but in the providence of God we met Pastor Richard Taylor in the foyer who then spent 30 mins with us showing us around the building and telling us a little of his story and much about the grace of God and how the outpouring began. It was a real honour to meet pastor Richard! He is such a humble, genuine and wise man. He has an amazing testimony from drugs, crime and prison to church planter and leader. You can read his story in his book “To Catch a Thief”. Richard planted Victory church and 4 others in just 3 years yet his humility is overwhelming. He always points everything to Jesus! Even in the outpouring meetings he is very quick to point attention away from him to Jesus. Always explaining that it’s not him healing people but Jesus.
The one thing I noticed as we queued in a foyer that was becoming more and more rammed with people was the extraordinary expectancy in the room. The faith was tangible! As the doors opened to the auditorium people flooded in and packed the room (400+ I would guess) The band were already worshiping and as everyone joined in worshiping Jesus the presence of God was very evident. As pastor Richard led the meeting his faith was contagious. He read testimony after testimony of healings. One or two dramatic ones, but in the main regular ailments being healed by God. I just loved that, there was no hype, bigging up the sensational, just real people with normal stuff getting healed! There was a clear expectation in the room as he invited people with various blood disorders to come forward for healing prayer. Dozens came forward for prayer, many clearly touched by God. Spontaneously unbelievers came forward wanting to give their lives to Jesus. Pastor Richard then made a full on appeal for unbelievers to come to Jesus and I would estimate that 10 came forward in total. This is the DNA of this church. They preach the gospel every Sunday, they make appeals for people to come to Jesus every week and guess what? They see people saved every week! These meetings, which they do every night now, except Fridays, for as long as God keeps coming, are no different. Every night they give a gospel appeal and every night they see people saved. Likewise every night at these outpouring meetings they make an invitation for people to receive healing prayer and guess what? Every night people get healed! Does everyone get healed? No, but many, many do!
The meeting kept going into what they call “after hours” until everyone has been prayed for who wants prayer and has gone home. Some nights they have been there till the wee small hours!
Our second night there was very similar. It had a slightly different style as a different pastor led the meeting. What is very evident here is the diversity that they exhibit but also embrace. They truly are a COME AS YOU ARE CHURCH for sure. The first night we were there we saw druggies, alcoholics and all sorts there. Many were clearly off their face but all were accepted and embraced. Awesome!
Once more we had the privilege of having a coffee with one of the pastors (Allun Davies) after the meeting on the second night. Again what is evident is their humility and desire to point everything to Jesus. Their desire to reach the poor, the hurting, the downtrodden and the rejected is evident. They have specialist houses for those coming off alcohol and drugs or coming out of prison (Check out Victory Outreach)
What encouraged me most about my visit was that, for me, there was not a big WOW in some ways. Was the outpouring meeting different to what we enjoy at KCH on Sundays? I don’t really think it was. Was the tangible presence of God there? Yes, without doubt. Was it different or more evident that what we experience here at KCH on Sundays or at a prayer and worship evening? I don’t think so, no.
That said there was a difference. There was a faith and expectancy in the leaders that pulled on God, his presence and on the Holy Spirit. There was faith and expectancy in the congregation. They expected to encounter God, to be changed, to be healed, to be transformed. Everyone was quick to respond, they wanted God, they wanted prayer and they queued and waited and waited till they got it! They were hungry!
My personal prayer is that as a result of this visit is that I have caught something of the faith and expectancy that I saw that allows me, allows us, to pull on the Holy Spirit in the same way I saw in Cwmbran.
Recently as Elders we received a prophetic word about “Pulling down our piece of heaven” and I had to confess that at the time I had no idea what on earth they were talking about, but last night I saw it! I saw what it was to pull on heaven as it were and see His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. These guys, this church, are pulling on their piece of heaven and seeing His will done in Cwmbran as it is in heaven. There is no sickness in heaven and here we are seeing more and more people healed. In heaven the presence of God is evident. Here in Cwmbran the presence of God is evident. There are no outcasts in heaven, and here at Victory Church no one is cast out, put aside or rejected!
What is clear is that God instigated this – no question. He sovereignly came in one of their regular Wednesday night meetings (which they were about to cancel because fewer and fewer people were attending). He just turned up! When you speak to the pastors in their humility they say all they are doing is hosting the presence of God. The reality is that they have engaged with what God has initiated. God started something and they are joining in. Doing what they see Him doing, saying what they here Him saying and going where they see Him going!
I believe that if we can stir faith, if we become a people expectant that God will presence himself amongst us when we meet, if we can learn to pull on our piece of heaven we will see the same outpouring of God’s presence. Lets remember too that we seek His presence, not His power. Our passion is for His face not his hand. I have no doubt that as we pursue His face we will see His power, but lets be expectant of his continued presence with us here at KCH. I believe we are on the edge of a similar outpouring too if we can engage with the Spirit, if we can stir faith and come together expectant that God will presence Himself among us. Let us make it a priority to come expectant of encountering God each and every time we meet!
ALL IT TAKES IS ONE TOUCH FROM THE KING!