On my first visit to Wales in the spring of 1999, I was part of a small missionary team that came on a work project. During that time we stayed in a small cottage in Cilgerran. Each morning from my bedroom window I would look out to admire the view of the rolling hills and fields, and particularly the tallest green hilltop near Carreg Wen. With each passing day I felt more and more drawn to that place, so finally one morning I awoke quite early and decided to go out there.
Walking along the road I passed by the entrance to the Capel Cilfowyr, and turned down the lane to have a look. During my visit in Wales I had begun to feel a sorrow for the numerous chapels that were unused and lifeless, very many of which were relics from the great Welsh Revival of 1904. Gazing at the chapel now before me, a sense of grief weighed upon my spirit.
I continued my way up to that hilltop, and came upon a place where very old hedgerows crossed at the summit. I found myself arrested by the Lord at one spot, and He began to impress on me the need for the church in general to return to the old boundary markers, to get back to the basic simplicity of the Gospel. My heart was broken at how the glorious fruit of revival only a hundred years earlier had gradually been suplanted by tradition and structure, leaving the churches sterile and dying out. I clearly saw our need for pursuing Him and His presence, for kindling a direct relationship with our Maker and Saviour in our personal lives, and to share that in our church relationships and the world around us.
As I lifted my eyes to take in the panoramic view from this hilltop, on this overcast morning, I began to watch the clouds as they were driven along by the strong wind. They were greyish blue and quite low in the sky, and looked like fresh baked muffins hanging upside down from a baking mold. After a few moments, a little opening appeared in the clouds and the strong morning sun shown down and swept across a small patch of the green hillside like a spotlight. This window closed up, and very soon again the sun came pouring in again through another window that opened up, but this time directly on the little chapel I had just left behind me. Immediately the Lord began to speak to my spirit that He was going to bring revival again to Wales. And as I opened myself up to receive this, I wept for joy and longing.
And as I watched in awe, what had begun in the natural realm had now become an open vision. I was lifted up in the spirit, and looking out across the the whole of the surrounding countryside, I could see the clouds part and window after window open up, the sunlight pouring through onto one chapel after another. And as I continued watching I could see farther and farther, this wonderful sweeping of revival across hills and valleys of Wales. The light of God's glory once again was bursting upon the sleeping villages and farms, bringing the knowledge and the fear of the Lord. As view extended, I could see this coming revival spilling over into England, the rest of the U.K. and even into the stone cold heart of Europe itself.