Wales

Serving in the Rhondda Valley

Wales Partnership (since 2012)

The Wales Strategic Partnership all started with missionaries Rob and Jenny Burns and their three sons. The Burns family, who are originally from England, were members at Wedgwood while Rob attended seminary. They started on their mission journey serving with the IMB in Wales. After a few years they felt God calling them in a different direction. This meant stepping out on their own; leaving the financial support of the IMB and trusting God to take care of their needs. Wedgwood was one of the first churches to step up and promise monthly support. And in December of 2009, a partnership was formed that has grown into something only God could have seen.

Rob began to work with the Evangelical Alliance (EA) in Wales. The Evangelical Alliance is the premier evangelical organization in Wales. Through the EA and a ministry called Missional Links-Wales, Rob started organizing churches in the U.S. to partner with churches in Wales.

In 2011, Wedgwood made a vision trip to Wales to seek God’s will in expanding our Partnership. God directed us to partner with the ACTS Church in Tylorstown in the Rhondda Valley. We took our first Team in the summer of 2013. Through our partnership with Rob and the ACTS Church, we are able to work in their Food Bank, which is a strong outreach in this area where the unemployment rate is over 30%. We are welcome in the schools in the Rhondda Valley. We teach Texas History in the Primary Schools and in Ferndale Comprehensive (High School). We also teach them music, help with the 6th-grade graduation service, play sports, and we paint and do other repairs. On Saturday morning we have an event with crafts, food, music, and a Bible Study for the kids called “Messy Church.” On Saturday evening we have “Texas in Tylorstown” for the community. We serve Texas food; have line dancing, giveaways, music, and testimonies. Through all of these we develop relationships, we love on the people of the Rhondda, and we share the Gospel!

This partnership is growing. We have had three interns who have or are serving in Wales. Last year, along with Wedgwood, we took people from two other churches, one in Colorado and one in Louisiana, who will be partnering with Rob and Wedgwood in the Rhondda Valley. This year we will be in more schools and we hope to have another church in the Rhondda join us in this partnership.

God is working in the hearts of the Welsh people. How wonderful it is to be a part of what He is doing in Wales, and in the Rhondda Valley where God was so active during the Great Welsh Revival of 1904! Pray for Wales that we may see a revival like the great revivals of their past, and that this time the flames will burn for eternity and reach out across the world!

Contact: Jeff.laster@wedgwoodbc.org for more information.