Richard Williams, Missionary to Wales
Richard - I was raised by Christian parents who were active in the church and strong in their faith in Jesus Christ. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior at the early age of four. I knew God was calling me into ministry from about the age of eight years old. God continued leading my heart towards a life of full-time ministry through my teen years. I graduated with a Bachelor Degree In Religious Education from Massillon Baptist College, Massillon, OH in 1999. While I was in Bible college I was involved with a prison Ministry and travelled and preached at many different prisons across Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Since then I have been a Pastor at 3 different churches from 1999-2015 working with teens and young adults. In 2010 God started working on our hearts toward the mission field.
Melinda - When I was eight years old, I remember reading about what Christ did on the cross for my sins and I wanted to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I spoke with my aunt’s pastor about repentance and being forgiven of my sins. That day I prayed and accepted Christ as my savior.
Richard and I started dating my junior year of high school. We have been married for 21 years. God has blessed us with four amazing children. Missions has been something Richard and I have talked about since high school. We both knew that one day we would serve God on foreign soil, but until then it was our desire to stay faithful to the call God placed upon us in youth ministry. In 2010 God started moving us towards missions. As God began to change our heart towards missions, We began to seek His leading to when and where. It has been amazing to see how God has opened the doors for us to go through as He leads us to Wales.
Originally, we thought God was moving us towards Kenya, because we had a friend that was inviting us to come work with him, and we were helping him in starting up his ministry in Kenya. As we were praying as to where God wanted us to go, door after door kept closing in the direction of Kenya. But we kept on hearing more about Wales and how less than 3% of the Welsh population has heard the Gospel. As time went on and we kept praying, Wales kept on coming up. At one point, I was praying in my office at my church in Illinois. I prayed, “God, I know you’re calling us to the Mission field, but I need to know where. Is it Kenya or is it Wales?” About three minutes into my prayer time I was interrupted by some people in our church foyer area. I went out to see who it was. I asked if I could help them. They said yes, “Why is your church here in a corn field, and why is it so large?” I answered, “both great questions”. And then I asked them what part of Wales they were from. They asked, “How do you know we are from Wales?” I replied, “For one, your accent is British, but it’s not Scottish, or Irish, and it doesn’t really sound English. Plus two, because of the prayer I was just praying in my office.”
I asked him if he had ever been to a church before. He said he had been to a funeral service once as a kid, but that was it. So for the next 2 hours we walked around our church and explained how we do church for all ages, and by the end of our time together he said, “Man, if there was a church like this in Wales, I would go to it.” At that moment I thought to myself, “God I see what you’re doing here.”
After that, I was able to go on a mission trip to Wales to see if this truly was where God was calling me. Then, a few months later, my wife and I both went back to Wales just to make sure we were both on the same page. After this we told our church of 9 years that we would be leaving to become missionaries to Wales.
We have now been here in Wales for one full year. It has been a crazy year. So far, the church has grown from 16 to about 30. We have had 3 of those accept Christ, and another member was able to lead a friend to Christ. We started our children’s ministry at the beginning of this year, but that has since stopped due to lock down measures with the Corona virus pandemic. We currently do an online game night with a few of the students, and we are doing all of our services online for our members. During this different time, we have had 3 people come forward for Baptism. We will be doing a baptism service as soon as the Government allows us to meet again, on the other side of our lockdown.
In His Service,
Missionary to Wales