Barcelona

Peter —  December 8, 2017

Here are the preachers that I got to spend time with!

This week I had the privilege of a quick trip to Barcelona in Spain.  My colleague, Mike, and I, hit the road at 3am on Monday to travel to Barcelona.  We arrived before lunch, which was when our first segment of the visit began.  Mike was participating in a two-day training session to learn how to lead the Bible Teachers Networks more effectively at the European Leadership Forum.  At the same time, I was leading a two-day training session with seven preachers from Poland, Albania, Ukraine, Hungary, and Ireland. (Several were unable to make it to Barcelona and so the group was smaller than it could have been.)

We had a great two days together.  I was able to give instruction on subjects that are harder to convey in our regular webinar format, and they were each able to preach a sermon and receive feedback.  We all felt ministered to by God’s Word.  Speaking of which, I was also responsible for leading morning devotions for the whole gathering (about 80 people) on each of the three mornings we were there.  While our little group were squeezed into a hotel bedroom that had been converted for our course, it was so good to get out and enjoy the beautiful beach (even if the temperature was really cold!)

With Juli and Zef in the Camp Nou!

On the second evening I was able to go with two of the guys to watch Barcelona play a Champions League match.  It was a great experience to be there and to see one of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi, up close.  We think the club gave us much better tickets than we paid for because we bought tickets that were very high up at the back of the stadium, but instead found ourselves two rows from the pitch!

After the 48-hours with my group of preachers, Mike and I were then together with a group of network and national leaders for a 24-hour learning community where we sought to make plans for the forthcoming European Leadership Forum.  Again, it was a good time.  Mike and I made it home safely on Thursday evening at 11pm.  Thanks so much for praying for us and please do pray for the men in my preaching group this year – each one is serving faithfully in often challenging circumstances!

A beautiful setting for ministry in December!

Lionel Messi breaking through for a shot on goal (saved!)

I was not successful at being in this group- selfie!

 

We’ve been busy celebrating birthdays and Thanksgiving over the past few weeks.  All of these special moments have been mixed in with homeschooling, hospitality, church events and other ministry. Here are a few photos:

God was gracious and our church’s Light Party went really well with lots of new children and parents attending. Here are the little girls, all dressed up.

 

Jessah (a great lover of food!) spent ages decorating her biscuit at the Light Party.

 

Next up for celebrations was Jessah’s 2nd birthday! Here she is on her new bike.

 

We spent her birthday at Bowood House, our favourite place! It was the last day that it was open for the season – Jessah was born on a good day!

 

We love this girl, her exuberance for life and her adorable curly head of hair so much!

Our niece, Rebecca, was visiting from uni and so got to celebrate Jessah’s birthday with us.

 

Jessie’s middle name is Abigail which means “father’s joy” – it certainly fits.

 

Peter’s parents moved to Chippenham on 8th Nov! We thank God for his help in the whole process. The moving day was beautiful so the little girls and I went for a walk while we waited for the call that the moving van had arrived.

 

 

November birthday number 2! Joel turned 11 on the 18th. Can you guess what his favourite thing in life is at the moment – yup, football!

 

Instead of doing a party this year, we took Joel to London to the HMS Belfast, a WW2 war ship that is now a museum on the Thames.

 

We had a super fun day together! There’s Tower Bridge in the background.

 

I am so thankful for Joel!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Day was another sunny day (mixed with a few raindrops). We enjoyed some time in the woods near our house.

 

Aliyah and Jessah

 

We walked a little ways beyond the woods to a farmer’s field. It’s not too often that the 6 Meadlings are out all together these days.

 

Back at home we cleaned up and got busy putting the finishing touches on food and getting ready for our guests to arrive.

 

Mariah and Kaylah gathered some leaves, cleaned and dried them and put them on the table for decoration.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Now the Christmas season is upon us. Here are some of the children a couple of weeks ago with their Christmas shoeboxes.

 

We would value your prayers for a few upcoming events.  Firstly, the last of four weeks of marriage life groups will be tomorrow night (and a few more groups on Thursday).  Please pray for God to be at work, strengthening marriages at Trinity Chippenham – including our own!  Trinity will also put on it’s first live Nativity on 16th December! And our carol service will be on the 17th.  That will be our very last Sunday meeting at the Olympiad leisure centre where we have met for the past four years.  In January we’ll begin meeting at a school which will be better able to accommodate our growing numbers – exciting to see what God will do in this new chapter of church life!  Please also pray for Peter as he continues to preach in our pre-Christmas series, Immanuel, God With Us.  Link is here if you would like to listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of October

Melanie —  October 24, 2017

 

Wow, where has this month gone? We have some exciting things coming up and some great reasons to give thanks, including the safe birth of a baby girl to our good friends today – yay for baby girls!

Another praise . . . just yesterday, Peter’s parents were able to exchange contracts on their house move.  Since the start of the year, we’ve been trying to support them as they prepared their house to go on the market and looked for a new one (on one level) in Chippenham.  The process has definitely had its twists and turns and we’ve seen that what WE think best is not always God’s plan.  It’s increased our faith and we are so thankful for God’s goodness in providing them a house very near to us that fits their needs.  We look forward to spending more time with them and being able to support them in the years to come.  Moving day, Lord willing, will be 8th of November!  Our children are very excited to have Grandma and Grandpa near and are already making plans to ride their bikes over there regularly.

Here is Grandma Mead with Jessah and Kaylah.

We’ve had a great sermon series on the Reformation going on at church – to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg.  Click here to access the Trinity Chippenham sermons or you can always subscribe to them in iTunes.  Our church’s annual Light Party (Halloween alternative) is coming up this Saturday!  Please pray for a great turn out and that it would be a fun and fruitful time of connecting with people.  The girls and I are quite involved in the planning and preparation so please pray it all comes together.

My children are becoming my right hand helpers in preparing for church events. They do more baking than I do nowadays! Here they are making cookies for the church weekend away.

Hannah is currently out on her silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition.  For those of you not in the UK, the D of E programme is an award scheme to help young people learn new skills, do charity work and participate in sports.  For each level, they do a camping expedition out in the countryside where they work together in a team to travel from one location to another, using maps, compasses, etc.  Hannah missed her expedition in July due to illness so we were so thankful that she stayed healthy for this one (especially as we had a tummy bug in the house last week!). We have been praying that God will use her in some way over these three days as he orchestrated events so she’d be on this expedition and not the one she prepared for in July.

Since we’re talking about Hannah, did you know she has a blog now where she is sharing her writing? Click here to check it out.  We’re delighted at the way she’s developing as a young writer.

Next week, Hannah will be joining the Cor Deo Reformation intensive (her first Cor Deo intensive).  We are excited to host this here in Chippenham and to welcome people from all over the country and even a few international guests! Please pray for Peter as he teaches and for it have a great impact on all who are participating.

Here are some recent photos to give you a flavour of life over the past few weeks.

 

My aunt Carol visited in September. Here she is with the older five children when she took them on a private tour of the Cotswolds. They all really enjoyed it.

 

Here are the older 5 Meadlings in the beautiful Cotswolds.

 

Kaylah has been loving her swimming lessons, which she started in May.

 

And Joel has been loving playing football on a team which he also started a few months ago. They’ve had a lot of character building losses, but he’s having a good time anyway!

 

Here’s Aliyah hard at work . . . aunt Carol helped her and Aliyah redecorate their bedroom.

 

Kaylah and Jessah continue to bring us much joy and delight with all their sweet and funny ways.

 

Here they are helping Mariah and I shop for flowers. Mariah did some planting for a school project.

 

Couldn’t resist sharing this one . . . Kaylah reading to her sister at dinner.

 

Dynamic Duo – two budding musicians?!

 

On a recent (and rare) sunny day, we decided to all go to Bowood House . . . we love it there and have passes which were gifted to us. The older girls came too – it was such a special afternoon with all 6 of my children.

 

Aliyah and Jessah . . .can’t believe Jessah is about to turn two!

 

I love this photo with all six of them.

 

Happy autumn to everyone and Happy Reformation Day for next Tuesday! We are hosting a film night for our church family kids at our house that evening.  We’re watching the Torchlighter’s video on Martin Luther.  Great for adults and kids alike!  If you don’t already know about Jelly Telly, check it out. It’s a great source of wholesome Christian tv for kids.  Members can access all of the Torchlighter’s videos there or get them “on demand” on the Torchlighter’s site.  Why not invite some kids over and watch it as a little Reformation Day celebration?

Thank you Father, that our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

Ephesians 2: 8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.