Llangeitho to Aberystwyth
I was very honoured to walk with Emyr for three days from Llangeitho to Aberystwyth. A walk that became in the very essence about love and in ways I hadn’t expected – love for fellow pilgrims, love for the cross and all that it represents, love for people, love for the beautiful land of Wales and perhaps most of all the Father’s love being expressed in beautiful and unexpected ways.
From my earliest days of reading the gospels in my late teens, I loved all I read about Jesus and the life of his disciples. It was a love story. So to find myself walking along the road with a shepherd’s staff and a fellow pilgrim was a delight. Carrying the cross, for the times I did, were deeply moving as I clung to the timber and thought of what Jesus suffered. Hours were spent walking and worshipping or praying and as we moved towards Aberystwyth a song rose in me – a Father’s song over the land and his saints.
Along the way there were many special times and people. One such was when we sat down for a rest on a wall. We read some scripture and prayed just before the owner drove up and said “Hi guys, what are you doing?” He was so grateful when we offered to pray for him. He said he was the owner of a hotel in the town and if we introduced ourselves there we could have a free sandwich and coffee! In time we arrived at the hotel, and parked the cross outside to the bemusement of the guests in the restaurant. As we left, after a fine lunch, a gentleman asked if we were the lads carrying the cross and spoke in Welsh of his deep respect for the Lord. He was not alone for as we walked into Aberystwyth we had a motorcyclist salute us, a farmer doff his hat and countless cars honking their horns!
There was steady rain in Aberystwyth this morning as I dropped Emyr off for the next part of the pilgrimage. Emyr’s spirit was not dampened however! We both walked the cross to St. Michaels and were privileged to meet a young lady Hannah. We were blessed as we prayed together. We ask for the Lord’s blessings on St. Michaels and all the churches in Aberystwyth.
If you are on Twitter – check out St Mikes feed (@Stmikesaber) for a picture of Emyr!
Having walked three days with Emyr and the cross, it was with some sadness to let him go this morning and not go with him!
On Tuesday evening we said farewell to Lindsay Hammond who will be re-joining the pilgrimage a little later at Llanberis. Wednesday morning saw Emyr joined by another friend, also named Lindsay, who walked with him from Lampeter to Llangeitho, taking turns to carry the Cross. We thought God was kind in giving Emyr another companion with the same name for the day, just to save any confusion!
Emyr and Lindsay spoke and witnessed to a number of people, even receiving a mention on someone’s blog page that they met along the way. You can read the post here:
A few of us then joined them for a time of worship in the evening and it was fascinating to discover that Llangeitho had previously seen revival with as many as 20,000 people coming to this tiny little village to attend the meetings.
Towards the end of the night we were invited into the main chapel to pray. Some precious connections were made with local members of the church, one of whom was visibly moved to tears as he spoke with some of the group, and it was a blessing to pray for Emyr before heading home.
13th September saw a fantastic turnout for the commissioning of Emyr Mathias in St Davids Cathedral. It was an incredible privilege for us to enjoy the stunning performances of Aija Kim, renowned concert pianist, as well as Huw Priday and Elizabeth Woolett, professional opera singers, as they sang and played for the Lord in the presence of us all. I know that several people had tears in their eyes as their spirits were moved by the music. With members of the public passing us by, the concert was a beautiful witness to the glory of God at the very start of this pilgrimage and has laid a precedent for the days ahead. As pictures speak a thousand words, I will allow the photos of the day to speak for themselves from here.
We are thrilled to announce that we now have two more experienced Cross carriers joining Emyr in his pilgrimage across Wales.
Lindsay Hammond from Cornwall will be walking with Emyr for the first week and later joining him again at Snowdon. It was fantastic to see them both walking through St Davids today following a truly blessed commissioning service.
Clive Cornish will also be simultaneously carrying a Cross from Cardiff all the way to Snowdon where he will meet with the other Cross carriers there!