By Peter Yeoman
Many are encouraged these days to go after their dream and to dream big. However, I think it is wise to clarify the origin of the dream before venturing out, with the potential of becoming ‘unstuck’, if the dream is from our own desires or thoughts. I would like to share this testimony and hope that it will encourage you in the right direction, for if the dream is from the Lord, nothing will stop it.
Early in the year 2000, I had a dream in which I was talking to the late Steve Hill (evangelist at the Brownsville Revival) and inviting him to minister at a gospel crusade in Wales. At this point I had no reason to believe that it was something from the Lord, and so it remained in my mind as merely a dream. A few nights later I had another dream, and again I was talking with Steve Hill. He was thumbing through his diary and shaking his head, doubtfully, because it was so full and then said, “It’s ok, I am sure we can fit it in somewhere.” Now I began to muse and ponder, but still did not respond in a significant way.
It was the following day that John Marshall, an old friend of mine, visited our home and the first words out of his mouth as he crossed the threshold of our house were, “When is Steve Hill coming?” Naturally, I was speechless because I had spoken to no one about this. Only God knew. It was obvious that I had to make a decision, so I gingerly sought out the appropriate website on the computer, and with faith the size of a mustard seed, I sent an email to Harvest Time Ministries inviting Steve Hill to minister at a crusade in our homeland of Wales. Within forty-eight hours I had received a reply and my breath was taken away from me as I read, “Will be glad to come. When would you like it to be?”
Through the dream I knew not only what to do, but also where to go. For some reason the Lord had pointed out that small, seemingly insignificant, village of Penygroes in the heart of West Wales. Historically, God had put his footprint there in an unmistakable fashion during, and subsequent to, the Welsh Revival of 1904, but in the heart of God there was still unfinished business. Just to explain here, the village of Penygroes has a population of a mere 3,000 but it also has a church building and Convention Hall that can seat up to 2,000. The church building, called The Apostolic Temple, is the only building in Wales to be built in commemoration of the revival in Wales.
Without going into too many details, a group of pastors came together, representing various denominations and churches, to form a steering committee that would guide the preparations over the ensuing two years. We experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions as we endured discouragement, disappointment and almost desperation. If ever the word of the Lord was tried it was during that period.
It was while experiencing one of those moments that the Lord intervened in a remarkable way. I received through the mail a parcel from Switzerland. In that parcel was the unpublished manuscript of ‘Cradle of Mystery’ (A biography of a man by the name of Jones Williams who had been saved during the revival). God was about to reaffirm his purpose. As I began to read, I heard the voice of the Spirit speaking through the author of this manuscript who was the brother of Jones (his name is Dan Willliams). He said, “The Lord was putting our faith to the test as to the accuracy of the prophetic utterance…It would have been impossible to prove the divinity of the words without obedience.”
The dreams, confirmed by the inspired question and comments of my friend John Marshall, were being tested. The test, however, was not simply about the word received, but about our faith and obedience to it. I now knew that forward was the only direction to go and confidence began to build and grow.
Two weeks prior to the crusade in June 2002, we gathered for a prayer breakfast on a Saturday morning. Between sixty and seventy people gathered together to pray. After a hearty breakfast in a local Bible College, we proceeded, in the pouring rain, towards the convention hall. As we entered the premises, holes in the roof (attributed to vandalism) allowed water to pour through on to the floor and platform area. The building and surroundings were a far cry from presentable, so at this moment we needed to be like Joshua and Caleb who had a different spirit and who were not shaken by what they saw with the natural eye. As we began to pray and sing, God’s praises the presence of the Lord filled the place and sealed in the hearts of those who were gathered a renewed sense of purpose.
What happened in the two weeks may not be described as miraculous but, nevertheless, it was God. For as in the book of Nehemiah, the people of God, many of whom I had never met before, came from across the country, “Then they set their hands to this good work” (Nehemiah 2:18). That place, affectionately called ‘The Mount’ became a hive of activity with painters, gardeners, carpenters, cleaners and handymen of all kinds setting their hands to the task.
Finally, the building was ready. Marquees were erected, car parks prepared, stewards were appointed, flags of many nations were hung from the walls, and recording facilities powered up. All we needed now was for the people to come. Some had said that people would not travel to a small village that was situated so far from the main cities, so perhaps this may be an encouragement to those of us who are serving the Lord in small places.
May this be an encouragement to those of us who are serving the Lord in small places.
On the Sunday morning (four days before the crusade) we gathered together in our local church for our morning worship in the Swansea Valley. We did something a little out of the ordinary that morning in that we commenced the service by playing the song, ‘People need the Lord’ by Steve Green.
Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eye.Empty people filled with care, Headed who knows where?On they go through private pain, Living fear to fear.Laughter hides their silent cries, Only Jesus hearsPeople need the Lord, people need the Lord…
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit filled the house and people began weeping and calling on God. There was no specific worship or preaching because God came and took over. It was an awesome ‘AMEN’ from heaven to what we were doing.
On the morning of the opening day I must confess that though we were ‘confident’ of moving according the dream of the Holy Spirit, the flesh and Satan still have the ability to speak discouraging words into your heart. Yes, there was a small part of me that displayed apprehension, and sometimes the small things can shout the loudest, but faith in what God had spoken was carrying us through.
To the glory of God, we were able to report seven thousand people coming from all over the countryside to attend the crusade over four nights with six hundred responding to the altar call as Steve Hill proclaimed an unadulterated gospel. As a result, many of those who responded are presently attending local churches and serving the Lord. Thirteen years later, some are even pastors. Not only that, but through the medium of television, others received Christ from across Europe and Africa as the service was broadcast live on the pen-ultimate evening of the crusade.
Joseph said of the two dreams of Pharoah, “…the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen 41:32). May it be so in our lives.