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The Meads: Peter & Melanie
I met Melanie in 1997. Melanie had just returned to Portland, OR, after spending two years at Emmaus Bible College. She decided to start preparing to go to the mission field as a single woman missionary (trusting God to interrupt those plans as He chose!). God had a surprise in store for her when she began volunteering onboard the OM ship, the Logos 2!
Portland was almost the last port for me during my year onboard the ship, and of course it became my favorite port, for obvious reasons! Melanie and I met when I came to preach in her church and we stayed in touch with many phone calls, emails and letters after I returned to Bristol to complete my degree in Business Studies. At Christmastime that year Melanie visited Bristol to meet my family.We got engaged on January 7, 1998, in Westminster Abbey!
In the summer of 1998 I moved over to Portland to attend Multnomah Biblical Seminary for a year, while Melanie finished her degree in Communication from George Fox University. We were married on June 12, 1999.
From the start of our relationship, we have shared the desire to serve the Lord in missions. After our wedding we moved to Bristol to establish our marriage and prepare for the mission field. We lived in Bristol two years, with me working as an RAC sales agent and continuing to pursue biblical studies. We enjoyed our ministry with the youth and I continued to preach in England and Italy. In 2001 we moved back to the Portland area. The next phase of our training involved three more years of seminary for me and I graduated with my Masters degrees in May 2004. During these years, we also gained a lot of ministry experience at our home church, Westside Bible Fellowship, which became our sending church.
In 2001, at the end of time our time in Bristol, we were blessed with the birth of Hannah Grace, then in 2003 Aliyah Joy was born. Since moving back to England we have been joined by Mariah Kaitlin Rose in 2005, Joel Peter in 2006, Kaylah Amy Eliana in 2012, and Jessah Abigail in 2015. It is a privilege to raise these six beautiful children, and we consider our primary ministry to be impacting the next generation by our careful parenting of these little ones (most of them not so little anymore!).
As Peter came to the end of his training at Multnomah, we received a phone call from George Verwer (founder of Operation Mobilization). George challenged us to consider developing a Bible teaching ministry within OM, using the London area as a base. The elders of Westside Bible Fellowship saw God’s hand in this and commended us on July 5th, 2004.
We moved to London in December 2004, living for the first ten months next door to George Verwer in West Wickham, Kent. We then moved to Caterham, Surrey, where we got involved with Oakhall Church and Peter also continued itinerant Bible teaching, both in the U.K. and internationally. After nearly six years living in Kent and Surrey, we moved to Chippenham, Wiltshire (in southwest England) in 2010 where we launched the Cor Deo ministry and become involved in a local church. In late 2013, we began to pray with a few others about starting a new church in Chippenham. In early 2014, we began meeting as Trinity Chippenham. It has been a thrill to see God at work, growing this precious group of believers and using us to reach out to those around us. (See the Our Ministry page for more details about the ministry the Lord has given us at the moment)
(For individual biographies of Melanie and Peter, scroll past the children.)
Meaning of her names:
Birthdate: 02 March 2001
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Email address: hannah.mead (at) pouredout.org
We can’t believe our oldest is on the verge of becoming an adult. Where have the years gone? We thank God for the lovely young woman Hannah is becoming (and tall too – tall as her mom now!). For her whole life, we have prayed that she will have a heart for the Lord and we thank God that she does indeed love Him. She is really good with little children and babies and can often be found dressing Jessah in the morning or doing her sisters’ hair.
Hannah has been a book lover from the time she has been tiny. She devours books, especially anything connected to history, another passion of hers. In recent years, her love of reading has also developed into another love – writing. Her creativity and ability to write rich and moving prose and poetry amazes me. Hannah recently won joint first place in a contest for a biblically based short story which she titled Resurrection of Hope. She also started a blog last year where she shares her writing- check it out here. Hannah hopes to be able to continue to study English and develop her writing skills at university in the coming years. (yes, the time has come to think about uni!) When I asked her what she hope to achieve with her writing both now and in the future, she said she wants to inspire and motivate people but above all to point them to Christ.
Hannah continues to enjoy playing the guitar and often plays either acoustic or bass in the worship band at church. Starting from her dramatic entrance into the world (ha!), she’s continued to enjoy drama and she’s been able to participate in two Mark Dramas at church in the past years as well as the live Nativity at church this past Christmas. She loved having the opportunity to serve with OM in Ireland and Holland this past summer and is excited to go back to Ireland for their spring outreach in March. We praise God for Hannah and the way He is working in her life. Please pray for her as she considers her options for the future and lets God prepare her to launch into the world for Jesus.
Meaning of her names:
Aliyah: rising up (as in the ascending smoke of an Old Testament sacrifice)
Birthdate: 05 February 2003
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, USA
email address: aliyah.mead (at) pouredout.org
Our second-born (and almost grown up!) girl is indeed a JOY to us. She definitely lives up to her middle name! Aliyah is a quiet and humble servant to our family and to many others too. She is good at so many things! Aliyah can often be found organising the chaos in our house, cooking or baking something new or taking care of the little girls. She loves babies and little children – Jessah adores her and shouts “Aliyah” as her cry for help in most situations! Aliyah has recently been spending time helping out a friend in church who has a new baby and being a blessing to her.
This is Aliyah’s first year in high school and she’s doing great keeping up with the heavier workload. At the moment she is working on her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award which means she is swimming for an hour a week, doing admin support for a locally based charity, SAT-7 and attending meetings to plan for her expedition in the summer. Aliyah also loves to play the piano, especially at with the worship band at church (she also plays the bass guitar).
When I think about Aliyah, I think of a gentle, trustworthy, patient, hard-working girl who really loves the Lord with her whole heart. She definitely has a heart to serve Him so please pray for her as she continues to develop into adulthood and spreads her wings and flies in the years to come. We are excited to see where she will end up serving Him someday. In the meantime, she’s really pouring herself out for others every day in our family and church.
Mariah Kaitlin Rose
Meaning of her name:
Mariah: God is my Teacher
Kaitlin: Pure beauty
Rose: We gave her this name because she was born on Rose Walk (our address at the time)
Birthdate: 19 February 2005
Birthplace: West Wickham, Kent, England (surprise home birth!)
email address: mariah.mead (at) pouredout.org
I can’t believe it, but in just a few weeks, Mariah will become the third Mead teenager! God has blessed us with another beautiful girl who has a heart for Jesus. She also has a real heart for people and God is using her friendliness to bless others around her. Mariah has recently planned a few Bible study and hang out times at our house and invited the girls from church who are close to her age. And she’s been enjoying the Bible and inspiring Christian books more and more these days which is such an encouragement to us.
Mariah’s latest passion is gymnastics. She doesn’t take classes but she’s learned all kinds of moves from videos online and from a friend who teaches gymnastics. When she isn’t reading (yup, she’s another Mead book lover), she can often be found stretching (she achieved her summer goal of being able to do the side-splits!) or doing handstands in the hall way. (She reminds me of me when I was her age!) She and Joel still like to rollerblade outside and explore the woods and stream near to us.
Mariah also loves music and has really progressed recently in her piano playing, enough so that she was able to play for church once recently – exciting for her! She sometimes sings with the worship band and also has been working hard to learn to play the flute. Kaylah and Mariah have a special bond as they share a room and Mariah is a really patient and kind older sister to Kaylah and Jessah.
Please pray for this bubbly, lovable girl that she will continue to grow in her love and passion for Jesus. We thank God for her and the way she serves our family and others around her. We are excited to see her continue to grow up physically and spiritually in the years to come.
Meaning of his names:
Joel: God is willing or The LORD is God
Birthdate: 18 November 2006
Birthplace: Redhill, Surrey, England
Our only son is definitely all boy. He fills his days with lego, nerf guns, football, jumping on the trampoline and generally being active. He really likes rollerblading with Mariah and playing in the woods with her or his friends. In the summer, he pretty much lives outdoors and has several boys in the neighbourhood that he likes to hang out with.
Like his dad, Joel is a big Manchester United fan and recently got to go to a game as a Christmas present. (Sadly, he didn’t get to see a goal – maybe next time!) After years of waiting, Joel finally got to join a local football team, Castle Combe and has had a lot of fun over the past year despite the discouraging win-loss record so far!
Joel has been playing the drums for a few years now and really enjoys playing with the worship band at church. From the time he was tiny, we had a hunch he would be a drummer because of the way he was always “drumming” on pots and pans or other random items! Joel has a great sense of humour and often makes us laugh (again, something he did from the time he was little). Younger kids seem to be drawn to him and more than one child at church refers to our home as “Joel’s house.” He is so good with Jessah and Kaylah and has a really kind and generous heart.
We thank God that Joel knows Christ as his Saviour. Please pray for him to grow in love and passion for Jesus. Our prayer for him is that he would love God above anything else in his life and have a passion to read and study God’s Word.
Kaylah Amy Eliana
Meaning of her names:
Kaylah: Who is like the Lord?
Eliana: My God has answered me
Birthdate: 1 February 2012
Birthplace: Chippenham, Wiltshire, England (our house!)
This almost six-year-old girl is such a treasure to us. Kaylah is a thinker and often surprises us with the deep and insightful things she says especially about God. A few months ago, she trusted Jesus as her Saviour – what a joy for us as parents! She has a tender heart for others around her and following Christmas has been enjoying giving us all “presents” wrapped up. Kaylah melted my heart the other day with a sweet poem she wrote for me after I had had a migraine- “the Lord’s love is sweet and so are you” was one line.
Following in the footsteps of her sisters, Kaylah is an avid reader and also loves to read her Bible. Recently she told me that she when she grows up she hopes she will marry someone with the name John. When I asked her why, she said, “Because he was the beloved disciple.” 🙂
Kaylah is often reserved in a group but not at all shy at home where she often creates treasure hunts for Jessah, makes cards for people or puts on shows for us. Jessah adores her – what a joy to see the two of them playing together as good friends. They are inseparable!
Please pray for Kaylah to grow in confidence and that she would continue to have a soft heart toward the Lord. May she grow up to change the world for Him!
Meaning of her names:
Jessah: God Sees
Abigail: Father’s Joy
Birthdate: 1 November 2015
Birthplace: Chippenham, Wiltshire, England (our house!)
What a gift our precious Jessah is to us! She was born almost two years after we had lost a baby through miscarriage so her safe arrival was especially sweet. From the start she has been greatly adored by all her older siblings (and her parents of course!). I don’t think I would have gotten a turn to hold her at all if I had not been breastfeeding!
Jessah has a really vivacious personality and loves to perform and make people laugh. She adores Kaylah and the two of them make quite a dynamic duo, using their imaginations to play everything from swimming (in a “pool” on the living room floor) to gymnastics school to being ferocious tigers together.
If anything sweet is being cooked in the kitchen, Jessah is always right there, asking to “help” and of course have a lick of the bowl! She also loves riding her scooter outside, going to the park in our neighbourhood and playing with her baby dolls. Her latest achievement is learning to use the potty (can’t believe we have no one in nappies now!) and she is very proud of herself.
We praise God for the little bundle of joy (well, growing bigger all the time) and pro that she would grow up to know God’s love for her deep in her heart and be able to share that with the world.
I was born in the middle east in 1977 into a missionary family. My parents, Dick and Nita Papworth actually met when they were on an OM team. (Another Operation Marriage (OM) love story!) Due to political changes in the region, our family returned to the States when I was almost two where my parents continued in full-time ministry..
My childhood was very happy and I trusted Christ at a young age. My parents were constant examples of godliness and sacrificial devotion to the Lord. However, it wasn’t until my early teens that I really made my faith my own and had to start standing up for Jesus at school. I look back and see how God strategically placed Christian friends and youth leaders in my life to help me along in my relationship with God.
By the time I graduated from high school, I was eager to attend Bible school and I spent the next 2 years at Emmaus Bible College in Iowa. God used His Word, missions classes and a special event commemorating the death of the five martyrs in Ecuador to grab my heart for missions. He continued to burden me for the world when I took a missions trip to North Africa the summer between my Emmaus years. At the end of my time at Emmaus, I decided to go back to Oregon and get a degree that would allow me to get into a closed country as a tentmaker missionary. At this point, I had told the Lord that I would serve Him as a single woman if that’s what He wanted for me. However, He had other plans!! (see the “Peter and Melanie” section to read how I met Peter!)
Today I am very happily married to a wonderful husband and we have 6 beautiful children. God has blessed me way beyond what I deserve. My first passions in life are to help and support Peter in the ministry God has given him to do and to raise our children to love and follow Jesus. At the moment, my primary ministry is focused on them. I realize this is just for a season and the years with our children are flying by all too quickly. So I am committed to keeping them my main priority while God has placed them in our home.
When Hannah was four years old, we decided to begin homeschooling her. (See the homeschooling FAQs page for the reasons why). Twelve years later, we are still homeschooling! Although it has it’s challenges, I truly love homeschooling and thank God for the privilege of investing in the children each day! I love the time I get to spend with the kids, the great books we get to read together and the things I have been able to learn about education.
Aside from serving my family, how else do I spend my time? Over the years I have been involved in various types of ministry – mother and toddler groups, book clubs, lots of hospitality and more recently informal mentoring and discipleship of women. There are so many opportunities to serve others around me and I often find it difficult to say “no!” I want to make sure I can stay true to my primary calling – my family. Never an easy juggling act. I am involved in our church’s pastoral care team, teach kids’ club about once a month and help to organise occasional church events.
Mostly, I love to spend time with other women and spur them on to a greater love for Jesus. And I love to be hospitable and just spend time with people.
While Peter and I are very excited about this adventure of faith that we are living, this life is not always easy. There are bumps in the road, unforeseen obstacles and times of tears and heartbreak. However, we pray that our love for our Savior will only grow through it all and that our small sacrifices for Him will be of eternal significance in the lives of those we are privileged to touch.
- A growing love for Jesus
- A close relationship with Peter and each of our children
- Patience, wisdom and energy in parenting and homeschooling
- Fruit from one-to-one ministry with women
- Fruit from other ministry at Trinity Chppenham
- For perseverance and peace through health struggles
I was also born into a missionary family. My parents, David and Marion Mead, served in Italy from 1968. In the early sixties, my Dad served with OM on some of the first summer outreaches to Italy. Years later, now married, they hosted and led OM teams. They went on to serve among the Brethren Assemblies of northern Italy, listed in Echoes of Service.
Although I grew up surrounded by missions and was saved at a young age, by the time I was in secondary school I was living for my own goals rather than for the Lord. I knew how to talk the talk but my relationship with Jesus was weak and not dynamic.
Looking back, I know that people were praying for me and finally God got through to my heart. In my late teen years, at a youth event, God really challenged me to live the life He had for me rather than the life I was planning for myself. I knew that this included being open to serving Him in missions. For several years after that, I joined OM and other short-term teams in France, Scotland and Wales. I also spent time in Italy with my Dad where I had opportunities to try preaching (something in my younger years I vowed I would never do!). In 1996, I spent my placement year for university on an OM ship. I never dreamed I would meet my future wife all the way across the world in Portland, Oregon, USA! (see the “Peter and Melanie” section to read how I met Melanie!)
God has used many influences to shape me. Early on, there were my parents and youth leaders. On the ship, there were godly mentors and the many opportunities I had to preach in churches and at events. Over several years, God used the godly professors at Multnomah Biblical Seminary to shape my thinking, my heart and my philosophy of ministry. When we rejoined OM in 2004 I enjoyed and benefited from interaction with George Verwer, the founder of OM. I was also privileged to study under and interact with Haddon Robinson at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (the DMin was completed at the end of 2007). Haddon was an inspiration on many levels, as well as the best teacher of homiletics (preaching).
My life’s passion is to faithfully serve the Lord by equipping others for Biblical ministry. I love to study the Word and then preach the Word. I believe the Bible is exciting and relevant, so in my preaching I seek to motivate others to study it for themselves. I believe Biblical ministry occurs in the context of relationships, so I prioritize opportunities to be mentored and to mentor others. I believe people live what they love, so I seek to ignite the hearts of those I teach.
The greatest human privilege the Lord has given me in life is to be the husband of Melanie, and the Dad of my six children. So we are very careful about our ministry schedule. Our priority is ministry within the family, so that all my ministry beyond the home is an overflow of a strong family life. Whenever possible, we like to travel together, and I enjoy sometimes taking some of the children with me on short ministry outings!
- A growing love for Jesus
- A faithful and healthy relationship with Melanie and the children
- Humility and continued growth in ministry
- Fruit from every element of ministry (preaching, teaching, writing, etc.)