Evan Roberts, the great revivalist of the 1904-5 Welsh revival, often had visions from God. The most famous was the promise of 100,000 converts in the revival, a vision that was fulfilled as the church membership statistics give witness. (See Timeline of the Background to the 1904/5 Welsh Revival for details and references.)
A lessor known vision of his was received on the 3rd November 1904, where he saw a candle burning down and a rising sun behind casting its rays. His interpretation was that the work he was starting at Loughor, which was seeing a small amount of blessing – the candle, was only the beginning of a huge revival to follow – the sun.
In Robert’s own words, from a letter dated 5th November, sent from Loughor to his friend Sydney Evans, still in Cardiganshire:
Oh! yes, I must tell you this now, lest I forget. I had a vision last Thursday morning. Here it is. Near me, I could see a candle burning, and casting its light around. Far away in the distance, I could see a sun rising. And, Oh! what a sight it was. Not a winter nor an autumn sun, nor the sun of spring, but the sun of a summer’s morn. Well, there was something divine in it. Its beams were like long arms, extending across the heavens. And the candle continued to burn. There were three or four inches of the candle unburnt. Now, Syd, what is the meaning of this? Turn to interpret. It is quite simple. Day is at hand. This is the beginning of a Revival. But, Oh! the great sun of the Revival is near at hand.Quoted from DM Phillips: Evan Roberts – The Great Revivalist.
This vision also came to pass, as the power of the Spirit of God, unleashed in the two-week mission at Loughor, was spread by people throughout Wales.
It is a particularly appropriate image for the Church Growth Modelling project where one of the results is that revival growth starts small, yet can become huge as the revival blessing spreads to other people like an epidemic. It is my hope and prayer that the growth seen in churches affected by the spiritual and biblical renewal of the last 40+ years in the UK (the candle) is just the sign of the huge revival to come (the sun) which the UK, and especially Wales, so desperately needs.
John Hayward, Church Growth Modelling, UK