Wales is a beautiful country filled with glorious mountains, spectacular coasts, crystal rivers, and more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The countryside is vast, diverse, and heavily populated by sheep. Overall, the people are kind and caring. Though the residents are proud of their history and culture, there remains little trace of the great revival that took place within its borders in the early 1900s. The latest statistics show only 5% of the population attend church, and that figure includes all denominations. In the past ten years alone, over 100 Anglican churches have closed their doors, and chapels belonging to other denominations are shutting down at a rate of one per week. Many of the Baptist chapels still in operation boast a weekly attendance of 15 or less. Due to the cost of upkeep and lack of attendance, chapels are being sold and converted into homes, businesses, and even pubs, forcing the congregations to rent space in a community hall for Sunday services. A lot of pastors and missionaries literally pack and unpack their church supplies such as Bibles, hymnals, and such every week and pray for an attendance to make the effort worthwhile.
To use the words of another concerned Christian, the pews of the churches and chapels in Wales are not groaning under the weight of worshippers. It's such a sad state as many of the older members can remember the days when the buildings were so crowded, they were forced to set up chairs in the aisles. Now, what few church buildings remain are nearly empty, and those who are struggling to keep them alive are growing weary.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." That is what's happening in Wales. The people have lost their vision of God, and the workers are losing hope of ever reaching them. The Welsh community is not rejecting the gospel out of ignorance but rather indifference. They simply do not care. In a land whose history includes legends and fables, they dismiss the Bible's teachings as nothing more than fairy tales. When confronted with the reality of hell, they shrug their shoulders and say, "Whatever!" Their hearts and minds need to be opened, and we pray the Lord will use us as instruments to open their eyes to the vision of the truth.