Responding to God

Peter —  December 5, 2019

At the end of September I was speaking at the annual conference of Josiah Venture.  I was asked to speak about the Christian life as a response to God.  The theme of the conference was “The Great Commandment: Renewing the Heart of Youth Ministry.”  If you want to listen to this session here are the links:

For the audio click here

To watch the session click here (the message begins at about 20 minutes into the video)

December Ministry

Peter —  December 5, 2019

Since the last update on here we have had several weeks of ministry including a very encouraging mini-Intensive with Cor Deo.  Right now I am in Barcelona where I have spent two days with this year’s group of preachers on the Year Round Mentoring program through European Leadership Forum.  It has been such a good time with a group from Poland, England, Slovakia, Jamaica (not European, I know), Albania, and Hungary.  We spent time thinking about effective delivery, about how to preach for changed lives, about how our theology shapes our preaching ministry, and they all preached a sermon and received feedback.  Plus we enjoyed meals together, long conversations over food, etc.  It has been a genuinely worthwhile and enjoyable time.  I fly home tomorrow.

On Saturday we have our church’s big event of the winter – The First Christmas, an immersive nativity drama experience.  Lots of work has gone in to this from the creative and hardworking people of Trinity Chippenham.  The costumes are ready, lines are learned, refreshments are being prepared, the farm is clean (as much as a farm can be), and all the tickets are gone!  There will be three performances for about 100 people each time.  I will be a village elder leading the persecution of Mary, played by Aliyah.  Mariah and Joel are also involved in the Herod’s palace scene, and Melanie will be bringing neighbours to a couple of the performances.  Saturday will be a huge day, but we know that apart from God we can do nothing.  Please pray for the weather, for the cast, for the logistics of the event, and most of all, for the guests to really hear the gospel clearly presented and feel drawn toward Christ as a result.

Once we get past Saturday the rest of the month looks fairly calm.  Normal Sunday preaching on the 8th and 22nd, a little bit of marking for my Union School of Theology preaching class, but otherwise fairly quiet.  Actually, it is good because Hannah will be coming home on the 15th and we all want to spend lots of time with her over Christmas!

Thank you for praying for us.

Autumn Update

Melanie —  October 12, 2019

How did we get to the middle of October?! Here in the Mead house we just finished our first 6 weeks of our homeschooling year. One more week and then we are going to take a 2 week break which will be a real blessing for all of us.  Peter and I are going to celebrate our 20th anniversary (4 months late) during the first week off by spending a few days in Finland! We had free plane tickets to use somewhere in Europe and that’s where we found some flight availability.  Our lovely friend at church from Finland has arranged for us to use her friends’ rural cottage where we can be cosy as the weather will probably be quite chilly! We find these times away as a couple so precious and we’re looking forward to some uninterrupted time to rest and be together.  After 20 years, we are still best friends!

I thought I’d share some photos from the past weeks so you can see what our family has been busy doing. To begin with, here are a few photos from my trip to Oregon with Hannah.  I was quite apprehensive about the trip for several reasons (one big one was the worrying about how I would be health-wise) but God answered so many prayers.  I felt so loved and cared for by Him.  Hannah has settled in really well at Corban University.  She’s loving her classes (English and Bible this semester) and also really loving the opportunity to be social as well!  Please keep praying for her to stay very close to Jesus and keep growing, growing, growing! We miss her here at home, but we’re so happy she’s thriving there. AND we get to see her in just 64 days when she comes home for Christmas!

Here is Hannah with her roommate, Esther, just outside their dorm building. It’s an amazing God-story how they came to be roommates (Esther was the only person on campus that Hannah knew . . . we can’t believe how God worked this out!)

 

After Hannah started at university, I was able to spend a very special couple of days with my sister, Amy, celebrating her 40th birthday. We realised we’d never been away just the two of us before (at least not in the past 20 years!) and we want to make it happen again sometime!

 

We spend 2 days in the Columbia River Gorge, enjoying God’s beautiful creation together. (Multnomah Falls in this photo)

 

We were able to do a fun (albeit exhausting!) hike one day on the Washington side of the river and enjoyed some amazing views. This photo was actually taken the next day from a place called Crown Point on the Oregon side.

 

I really enjoyed spending time with my nieces and nephews too (Amy’s kids). They are so much fun!

 

When I got back home to England, it was back to homeschooling time. Only 5 kids in the photo this year!

 

It’s been such a joy to start teaching Jessah her letter sounds. She’s a very quick and cheerful learner!

 

Ever the avid reader, Kaylah enjoys sharing stories with Jessah too. She reminds us so much of Hannah, who always had her nose in a book at Kaylah’s age too! 

 

The younger kids and i have enjoyed some time this autumn at one of our favourite places – Bowood House. Such a beautiful and fun place.

 

Last week we were able to go and look at some art as part of a local art trail. The girls were very inspired to try some painting.

 

Joel’s building up his skills in the kitchen – cinnamon raisin muffins. . . mmmm!

 

We set the kids a challenge for practicing their musical instruments. Here we are at Krispy Kreme enjoying their reward.

 

We plan on sending out an email update very soon with some more ministry focused news.  Peter’s been to the Czech Republic and Ireland for conferences this past month and he’s keeping busy with preaching and ministry at Trinity Chippenham and Cor Deo too.  On the church front, we’d especially appreciate prayer for special upcoming events – Light Party (26 Oct) and Live Nativity (7 Dec) which will be updated and expanded this year. Personally I would appreciate prayer for God to provide help and healing through some health investigations that I will be having soon.  And strength and joy for each day despite the ongoing challenges.  We always greatly appreciate your prayers for us as we parent too – our kids are at so many different ages and stages and we need lots of wisdom and patience from our Father. As always, thank you for partnering with us through prayer – we are so grateful!