Warm welcome on the Welsh coast
Rob James goes to stay at Beth Eden Guest House, Llandudno
I had no idea Llandudno was well known for its glow-worms. In fact, I knew very little about this charming seaside town until my wife and I spent a few days at Beth Eden Christian Guest House last August.
And if the truth be known we didn’t give those fascinating little creatures a second thought! We were too busy enjoying the food, the fellowship and the wonders of Snowdonia.
Beth Eden is situated on the quieter, western side of Llandudno and offers spectacular views across the Conwy estuary. But the beauty outside is more than matched by the warmth of the fellowship to be found within its walls.
David and Margaret Sales have been “serving the Lord” at Beth Eden for the last 10 years. I use the word “serving” advisedly because they are convinced God called them there. “I was on holiday in North Wales seriously praying about our future,” Margaret said, “and as I looked towards Llandudno I heard Him say ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ It came as a complete surprise.
“He made it very clear that this is where we should serve Him. In fact on the very first Sunday we went to the Baptist Church we heard the same text read from the pulpit! Our initial ideas didn’t work out the way we thought they would, but two and a half years later God opened the door for us here at Beth Eden.”
Beth Eden is clearly one of a kind in Llandudno (the No 1 tourist spot in Wales according to David). It offers great food and clean, comfortable rooms, but most importantly it affords Christian guests a chance to enjoy fellowship and teaching with others (albeit on an optional basis).
“We’ve always seen this as a place where Christians can receive good Biblical teaching as well as enjoy a time of rest and recovery,” David continued. “They often come from small, struggling churches where they might not get good teaching or the chance of wider fellowship. Many are elderly and some are almost housebound; their time at Beth Eden allows them to gain from spending time with others from outside their immediate circle.
“But we do get non-Christians staying here too” he added. “And we find that they are deeply touched by the welcome they receive in a relaxed Christian atmosphere. The same goes for the tea room we have opened. It gives people a chance to see what a Christian place can be like.”
Mike Penny of the Open Bible Trust readily agreed. "It may be an exaggeration to say it is a taste of heaven, but certainly it is a Christian oasis in an unchristian world,” he observed. “I am invited each year to take the morning and evening devotions. However, the ministry is more than just teaching. It is the guests (many of whom return again and again) sharing their faith in Christ Jesus our Saviour; it is them praying for each other, and caring for those less fortunate than ourselves. Those with cars will often take those without cars to various places; those without problems will listen to the cares and concerns of others.
“About nine years ago a guest had a heart attack and was rushed to hospital and had to stay for some time. His wife did not drive, so each day I was privileged to take her to visit him – which was a great comfort for them both. That couple were at Beth Eden again this year, and what a joy it was to see them both, and him looking so well.”
Our three days at Beth Eden simply sped by. We enjoyed food of the first order (allergies willingly catered for) and rich fellowship. In addition to this we took the opportunity to sample the delights of a part of Wales we knew mostly by reputation. I’m sure we will be returning.
But who will be there to welcome us? David and Margaret Sales are convinced that their time at Beth Eden is drawing to a close which is why they want me to pose this question to readers, “Is God calling you to do what we did? Will you come over to Macedonia and help us?"
“We feel like runners in a relay preparing to hand on the baton,” explained Margaret. “We need people (at least two couples would be ideal) who are prepared to work together and commit their lives to seeing God’s work done in this lovely part of His world.”
Could that be you I wonder? Might Llandudno become your”Macedonia”? Is it where you could shine for Him?
Main photo: West Shore Beach