Mead Family Europe Trip

Melanie —  July 10, 2019

We had the opportunity to take a family road trip in Europe just after Easter.  We’d saved and planned for this trip for quite some time – it was such a special time!  We were able to be together as a family and see so many beautiful and historic places while enjoying a break from our normal busy lives.  It’s taken me awhile to get the photos together to post . . . but here they are!  We are so thankful to God for this trip. It was such a gift.

Our first stop was Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther’s hometown and the place of so much history from the Protestant Reformation. Here we are in front of the famous door of Castle Church where Luther nailed the 95 theses.

 

Climbing the tower of Castle Church. It was quite a climb but the view at the top was worth it!

 

The Luther Museum was fascinating. Here’s Kaylah in front of a printing press.

 

The Mead ladies posing with Luther’s wife, Katerina von Bora. May we all be used by God to change the world as she was!

 

We loved Wittenberg. It was quiet, non-touristy and the weather was perfect. This is the Castle Church tower.

 

Jessah was served the most enormous bowl of spaghetti at this open air cafe. The older couple sitting near us took great delight in watching her tackle it – as did we!

 

During our crazy 16 hr. drive from England to Wittenberg, we drove by Wartburg Castle – where Martin Luther famously translated the New Testament into German in just 11 weeks. We couldn’t go inside but it was amazing to see the castle even from a distance.

 

Mariah and Hannah

 

All in all, the first leg of our trip was a super fun success!

 

Our next stop was Prague. We spent only half a day there but it was wonderful and thankfully we avoided getting drenched by a thunderstorm which broke just as we returned to our van. This is part of Prague Castle (which you climb a very steep flight of steps to reach.)

 

The beautiful Vltava river.

 

And the famous Charles Bridge.

 

Hannah and Aliyah in front of the astronomical clock (which has some very strange symbolic features . . . google it if you are interested!)

 

We tried the Prague specialty cake – trdelnik – yum!

 

Our next destination was Austria. This is the beautiful town of Halstatt in the Austrian Lake District.

 

Such a gorgeous place!

 

And my gorgeous girls – at least in this mum’s humble opinion!

 

All the Meadlings in front of the lake (see) at Halstatt.

 

After a couple of rainy days, it actually snowed all day on the 1st of May! Let’s just say we were very unprepared for weather this cold! Thank goodness for warm blankets. We did really have fun outdoors in short stints but we also enjoyed staying warm inside in front of the fire, reading, playing games ,etc.

 

This was the view from the house where we were staying.

 

And this was the view just 2 days later!

 

We took advantage of the one sunny day to see Salzburg – probably my favourite place that we visited on this trip. Such a beautiful city.

 

Quite a bit of The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg. We had lots of fun finding some of the sites from the film. Here we are in front of the Abbey where the children went to find Maria after she had left them. It’s also the location where the real Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married.

 

Gorgeous view from near the Abbey!

 

The fortress on the hill is a famous Salzburg landmark.

 

Kaylah and Jessah on a stone lion (near where the von Trapp children sang Do Re Mi on the steps in Mirabelle Gardens.)

 

Mariah and Joel with a gnome that also appears in the film.

 

The day we left Austria, we drove up this mountain and rode a chair lift up and bobsleds down! It was one of the most fun things we did on the trip!

 

At the top!

 

Breath-taking views!

 

The next day we made a quick stop in San Marino, the world’s 5th smallest country. (Built on top of a hill!

 

View from the top!

 

Our final destination was beautiful Italy. We spent one day in Rome, which was fun (but had a sad ending as we discovered our van was burgled while we were sight-seeing. Among the things taken was Aliyah’s Bible, so we pray maybe God is using it to reach somebody for him!)

 

There is no city quite like Rome. Here are the Meadlings in front of the Trevi Fountain.

 

And on the Spanish Steps.

 

Yes, we’re still in love after 20 years! 🙂

 

Apart from Rome, we didn’t do much sight-seeing in Italy. We mainly just chilled (literally at times in the cold pool, before we got it warmed up!)

 

The kids and Peter had so much fun in the pool! (It was mostly too cold for me!)

 

And shivering on the beach!

 

The place where we stayed was quite remote and I really enjoyed walking the country roads.

 

We even got to try making focaccia in the pizza oven.

 

We made so many sweet memories which we will treasure as Hannah flies the nest soon and heads off to university in America.

 

Meadlings 1 and 2

 

Keep on smiling girls!

 

Not long after we got home from our trip Aunt Carol came to visit. Another special time with great memories.

 

Well done if you’ve made it through this long post! We are so grateful to God for this special trip and his faithfulness to us in the weeks since.  The almost 2 months since we’ve been home have been very full . . . Peter had his annual trip to Poland for the European Leadership Forum.  We’ve performed the Mark Drama at church and many other things have happened in family and ministry life. Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us.  Our hearts’ desire is that we would serve Jesus with love and grace, out of the overflow of the the love and grace we continually receive from Him. We sense our weakness daily and the fierceness of the supernatural battle around us.  We value your prayers for us so much as we look to him daily in faith and trust.  He is the best Father!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Sun!

Peter —  June 28, 2019

Today the sun is blazing here in Chippenham, which may be short-lived, but is much appreciated.  It has been a while since we posted as we were away for several weeks after Easter on a family holiday/vacation.  Melanie has the pictures lined up and will post soon with some highlights for you to enjoy.

Since we got back from our road trip there has been a lot going on.  Here are some highlights:

European Leadership Forum – I was in Poland for a week at the end of May.  I spoke multiple times and both networks of Bible teachers and preachers went really well.  It was a full week, but a really good one.  Next year I have a different teaching responsibilty at the ELF, so I have already started working on that.  Right after returning it was time for:

Trinity Chippenham Church Weekend Away – We had a beautiful weekend away as a church, filling our venue and enjoying great fellowship together. The theme of heaven really stirred all our hearts and we are thankful for how God worked in us during those days.

Mark Drama – This past weekend we had the Mark Drama (we did this before in 2015 and 2016).  It felt like a real spiritual battle in the lead up with lots of challenges, but in the end we were blessed to see lots of guests present at both performances this past weekend.  Everyone involved was drained but thankful for the privilege of experiencing the whole Gospel of Mark in dramatic form.  Hannah and Aliyah enjoyed being James, and Andrew, I got to be Pharisee and chief antagonist again.  Even in a “negative” role it is still amazing to watch Jesus in action responding to both the proud and the needy.

Salvation Army – Earlier this week I was teaching a preaching course for the Salvation Army. This is the fourth time I have done this course and it was a joy to spend time with ministers I would normally have no connection with.  It is a joy to get around God’s Word with God’s people!

Thank you for praying for us as we head into July.

Ben, Aliyah, David, Hannah … the four disciples John, Andrew, Peter & James!

Busy March

Peter —  March 25, 2019

The last few weeks have been busy with Cor Deo, Trinity, Union and ELF all at once.  Here’s a quick summary:

Cor Deo – We held another women’s intensive as we do every year at this time.  Again it was a special week for the women involved.  Peter taught in the mornings, but left at lunchtime as the afternoon was led by our friends Gretchen and Anniina.  Then after a week off, Peter and Mike led the first ever John Feast . all 21 chapters of John in four full days.  It was wonderful and everyone involved had a great time.  We are planning to repeat this programme before too long!

Trinity – We are preaching through Mark at the moment.  Last week we had a dedication service for one of the newest little members of the TC family and were joined by over 20 guests.  Every Sunday is busy with lots of setting up and packing away, but every Sunday is a special time.  The community during the week is really encouraging too.  We love being part of this church.

Union School of Theology – Peter has driven over to South Wales to teach on campus for three days so far this semester.  There is one more to go and then the school year will be over for him.

ELF – The European Leadership Forum is in May, but mid-March is the deadline for speakers to submit their teaching notes.  It was a big relief to get these sent in earlier this week.  The Advanced Bible Teachers network that Peter leads will be focusing on Galatians this year, and preparing the notes started to build my anticipation for that.

The family is generally doing well, although the last week has been really tough for Melanie with difficulty sleeping at night.  This happens periodically, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to go on forever.  We pray that this won’t last too long for her.  We have a family holiday planned in a few weeks and hopefully that can be a refreshing break for us all.

Hannah is now 18 and will soon be heading off to university.  Her plan is to go to Corban University in Oregon.  She has a place already and so we are now in the financial aid conversation with the university to see if we can reach a level where the cost is not too uncomfortable.  Please pray for this to be figured out soon so she can know what she is doing.