We are in the process of updating this page . . . we still need to update from Mariah on downwards. Stay tuned.
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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 and Kaylah Amy Eliana in 2012. It is a privilege to raise these five beautiful children, and we consider our primary ministry to be impacting the next generation by our careful parenting of these little ones (some 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) where we have launched the Cor Deo ministry and become involved at Ladyfield Evangelical Church. (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
Hannah has just embarked on her last year before she becomes a teenager! Where have the years gone?! Lots of people have remarked recently about how Hannah is growing into a young lady, and they are right, she is! I just had to take her clothes shopping as she’s grown 6 cm in the last year. She and I have been making predictions as to when she’s going to pass me up in height. She already wears the same size shoe as me!
Hannah continues to be a very avid reader! She devours pretty much any type of book, especially historical fiction (check out Hannah’s book reviews on this site). Her favourite subject in school is history and she often surprises us with historical information that she’s picked up somewhere in her reading adventures. Sometimes I think she has a photographic memory!Besides reading, she still loves dressing up, especially in historical outfits. She’s really good at creating costumes for herself and her siblings out of things she finds around the house! Tonight she appeared at dinner with a “bustle.” (I’ll let you look it up to see what it is!)
Hannah continues to play the guitar and has started to play with our church worship group. She also loves the outdoors and being the free spirit that she is, can still often be found up a tree! Another one of her loves is horses. She and Aliyah are looking forward to attending a horse camp up in Scotland very soon. Hannah is a loving big sister and over the past year, she’s been able to help take care of other little ones at our church’s mother and toddler group. We praise God for Hannah and the way He is working in her life. We are so thankful that she is a child of His and we are thankful for the ways she is maturing in her relationship with Him. Please keep praying for her to grow in maturity and love for Christ and others.
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
Aliyah is such a joy to have in the Mead family! She definitely lives up to her middle name. She can often be found working hard at some task or another. She is a huge help to me in the house. She loves to cook (espeically brownies and cookies) and take care of her younger siblings, who really adore her. (Kaylah was calling her “mama” for awhile!) She is really self-motivated and sets goals and gets things done. For quite some time now, she’s been talking about wanting to be a missionary and maybe a Bible translator. So she’s been busy doing things to reach that goal, such as studying biblical Greek and reading missionary biographies outloud to Mariah and Joel.
Even though she is a really responsible and hardworking girl, she has an infectious laugh and a great sense of humour. Like the rest of her siblings, she loves to play outdoors and ride her bike. She learned how to crochet a couple of years ago and made Kaylah a beautiful blanket and then made another one for her new cousin, Benjamin.
We thank God that Aliyah knows Him personally and loves Him. She loves to read His Word and has a real desire to please Him. 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.
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 (at home!)
“Are me twee yet?” This is a question we get asked several times daily by Mariah. She is a delightful almost-three year old and makes us laugh so much. She seems to fit quite well into the typical third-born position of family entertainer.
If you lived in our house, you’d often observe Mariah dressing up, playing with her dolls, or singing her heart out.During school time, she loves to draw or write her “letters” at the table with the big girls.
Her favorite books lately are some old Ladybird topic books about the fire service (she seems to have a fascination with smoke and fire like her Daddy!), the police force and the ultimate favorite, nurses!This may have something to do with the fact that when she was just shy of 2 ½, Mariah broke her femur.She was in traction (bed-bound) for one month, including two weeks in hospital.It was quite a major injury for such a little girl, but she was brave and cheerful.We like to think it was a life event that will make her character stronger.
Mariah is very cuddly and loves to “hold” Joel (if she can keep him from wiggling away from her!) and to make him laugh.At the dinner table, she often says, “Thank you Mommy for making this dinner.”Melts me every time.
A few more “funnies” from Mariah:
- “The moon is leaking!” (when she saw the moon and its rays)
- “I want to be a snowman when I grow up.”
- And . . . this is our family’s favorite “funny” from Mariah.When Peter remarked in a conversation that Mariah probably didn’t remember America, Mariah responded, “Me bet me do!”
Meaning of his names:
Joel: God is willing or The LORD is God
Birthdate: 18 November 2006
Birthplace: Redhill, Surrey, England
OK, where do I start!This little guy has completely stolen all our our hearts, especially Mommy and Daddy’s, with the girls’ not far behind.There are many occasions every day when we are all totally beside ourselves with joy as we watch his sweet ways!Babies are such a nice way to start people (can’t remember where I heard this quote) and we are all enjoying watching the start to this precious life.Mariah loves to play peek-a-boo with him, Aliyah reads him stories (among many other interactions) and Hannah has special times with him every morning when I am doing reading lessons with Aliyah.He is pretty doted on!
Joel is a super contented child.In fact, for about the first two months of his life, I don’t think he cried much at all.He usually loves to sleep and currently sleeps about 13 hours at night plus a long afternoon nap.Yikes, how did we get so blessed?Anyway, all the sleep must do him good because he is usually content and happy (unless he’s teething, then he’s miserable!)
He is just beginning to talk, entertaining the whole family each day. His sentences are stretching from a couple of words and he usually knows when he’s being cute (“coot!” as he would say). I’m sure his funny comments will soon start appearing on the site, just as Mariah’s have over the past couple of years.
Pray for Joel to come to know Jesus as His Savior and for us to raise him (and all of our children!) in a way that would honor Christ.We want all of them to follow Jesus with total abandon.
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.
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 4 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 will fly by all too quickly. So I am committed to keeping them my main priority while God has placed them in our home.
Because of our need for flexibility in our schedule so we can travel with Peter, we have decided to homeschool our children. This also allows us maximum input into their lives while they are so young and impressionable. We are now in our second year of homeschooling and I am finding it very addicting! The more I do it, the more I am enjoying the time with the kids, the great books we get to read together and the things I am learning about education.
Aside from serving my family, how else do I spend my time? I am passionate about serving the Lord in many other ways and often find it hard to say “no” to opportunities! I am part of the team that leads our church’s mother and toddler group outreach (called Open House). Each week between 25 and 40 women, mostly unsaved, come with their toddlers for a chat and a coffee. My job is to organize the book table where we have evangelistic and parenting books and leaflets available. I also lead a book club (called Oasis) for young women at our church. We meet once every month or two and discuss a book we have all read together. I am passionate about books and I love to see people impacted by good ones!
I enjoy doing administration, organizing and writing. 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.
Peter and I are very excited about this adventure of faith that is our ministry with OM. 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.
Melanie likes: the colour purple, Mexican food, Italian food, well . . . lots of food , reading thought provoking books, spending time in the mountains and taking photos of her children!
- A growing love for Jesus
- A close and biblical relationship with Peter
- Patience, wisdom and energy in parenting
- Fruit from Open House (Mother and Toddler Group)
- Fruit from Oasis (book club)
- For deep friendships
I was also born into a missionary family. My parents, David and Marion Mead, have been serving in Italy since 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 currently serve among the Brethren Assemblies of northern Italy, and are 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 into the man I am today. 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. Since rejoining OM in 2004 I have enjoyed and benefited from interaction with George Verwer, the founder of OM. I have also been privileged to study under and interact with Haddon Robinson at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (the DMin was completed at the end of 2007). Haddon has also been 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 Daddy of my 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!
Peter likes: Italian food, studying Bible and theology (yes, I actually enjoy it!), play-wrestling with the children, karate, and I’ve enjoyed supporting the same football (soccer) team since I was eight years old.
- 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.)