Winter and the Hope of Spring

Melanie —  March 16, 2021

The photo above is a favourite of mine – taken just before Hannah went back to the USA after Christmas.  I’m so proud of my four teenagers (well, Hannah is no longer a teenager now that she’s turned 20!).  Of course, just like us as parents, they aren’t perfect, but they are fantastic people and it’s exciting to see them growing up, pursuing Jesus and becoming our friends as well as our kids.  It also warms our hearts to see how they love each other and have fun together.

We’ve been in pretty strict lockdown in the UK most of the year so far, which should mean we’ve had more time to share news.  Hmmmm.  Funny how it doesn’t work that way. Our lives feel full, though we are feeling increasingly sad about the limits on our lives and ministry.  We are pondering and praying about lots of things and asking God to help keep our hearts stirred with passion and perseverance in serving him. I think we aren’t alone in feeling a general sense of discouragement as the lockdown drags on.  However, we have had many times of joy and reasons for thankfulness this year already.  Here are a few photos which highlight some of the blessings:

We got some lovely snow in January which was really fun for the children (small and big!) and beautified our world. God’s creation is awesome.

 

Kaylah turned 9 on the 1st of February. She enjoyed some one-on-one walks with friends throughout her special day.

 

Aliyah turned 18 on the 5th of February. Lockdown restrictions meant we couldn’t have the big party we’d hoped for, but with a little creativity she ended up having a really special day . . .

 

Surprise videos from friends and family, surprise zooms and a walk in the sunshine. People were so kind in their expressions of love to her. She’s now busy finishing her last year of school, teaching piano, serving in various ways and preparing to go to the Logos Hope for a year. We’re so excited to see God working in her life.

 

Mariah’s birthday was our next birthday season celebration. She turned 16 on the 19th of February. We surprised her with a treasure hunt leading to her birthday present, various friends showing up to walk with her throughout the day and some surprise zooms. We also took a little trip to a garden centre! Simple joys. It’s a true joy to watch Mariah mature and grow. She spends a lot of time playing/makimg music and is increasingly spending time serving those around her.

 

Hannah turned 20 on the 2nd of March! She’s continuing to keep very busy at university with many things including her job as a multicultural resident assistant. We miss her and we’re excited to see her, Lord willing, in May when she comes home.

 

Lockdown breeds creativity, which isn’t a bad thing . . . Joel and the girls made this football stadium out of magatiles and playmobil people.

 

And we’ve had dog shows . . .

 

. . . and walks . . .

. . . and Kaylah and Jessah did some dressing up for World Book Day. Can you guess who they are?

 

We plan to write an email update soon with more ministry news so watch this space. We are also pondering embarking on the project of writing and sending out a paper prayer letter.  We often produce the paper letters in conjunction with our trips to the USA to see supporters – please do pray that trip like this may be possible later this year.  It has been 3 years now since we’ve been back to the USA as a family.  As with many people, we are finding it difficult to plan. In the midst of disappointing and discouraging times, we’d appreciate prayer for closeness to Jesus and that we’d continue to choose truth, joy, faith, community and service.  Click here for a fantastic sermon on this topic.  Thank you for your faithful prayers for us.  We’d love to know how we can pray for you too!

 

 

 

 

Pre-Christmas Pictures

Peter —  December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve has come quickly!  We are long overdue a family post, so here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.  Everything is a bit strange this year, of course, but we are thankful that we have a busy household which is an extra blessing during various versions of lockdown.  In the past few months church has been at a village hall, in a field, just online, and in December, as guests in a big Anglican church building.  Other activities have been restricted and we are all getting used to using Zoom much more than we would prefer.

Meanwhile, family life continues.  In November our littlest turned 5 – where did that half decade go?

Here is Jessah with her Curious George cake (well done, Melanie!)

Jessah enjoying a few minutes with Joel at the dinner table.

At the beginning of December we managed to surprise all the children with Hannah arriving home early.  Everyone was genuinely shocked and thrilled to see her (including our friend Georgia – who is often at ours because of support bubble provisions!)

The three older girls back together – here enjoying a meal out with Mum and Dad (a replacement Christmas present since we couldn’t get to the theatre together in the summer . . . the gift kindly adjusted into a meal out!)

And the little two enjoying having Hannah back – here with matching hair styles!

This week we spent a few hours together as a family in Bourton-on-the-Water – a lovely Cotswold village.

Hannah and Jessah waiting patiently for their pizzas at lunch time!

Whole family selfie with the mid-river Christmas tree in the background.

Christmas Day is coming soon, and these two are especially excited.  Here is their little bedroom tree getting decorated in anticipation of the big day!

Thank you for praying for us during these months.  We don’t know what is going to happen in the next weeks, but we anticipate further restrictions.  Thankfully our God is not restricted and so we continue to trust Him for life change in the home, in the church, and across the globe!

Introducing: The Little Him Book!

Peter —  December 2, 2020

Here is a brief introduction to The Little Him Book:

And here are a few kind words from friends: