Archives For Melanie

April – Albania

Melanie —  April 28, 2018

 

Last week, Peter had the privilege of going to a country he’d never been to before – Albania.  He spent a day doing preaching training with a small group of men.  Peter was invited by a British missionary that he met at the European Leadership Forum (ELF) where he teaches every year.  Peter thoroughly enjoyed his time in Albania and is looking forward to mentoring these men throughout the coming year via webinars.  He’ll go back to Albania this time next year to conclude the training.  Speaking of ELF, Peter will be back teaching again at this strategic conference in less than a month.  We’ll post more about that trip as it approaches.  For now, here are some photos from his time Albania:

 

 

 

There is a historic castle up on this hill.

 

Peter has also been continuing to preach at Trinity Chippenham (listen here to our recent “Heart of our Faith” series) and we continue to be delighted as we watch God transform lives. Please pray for those precious people in our church who are hurting or who need God to help them grow in particular areas. And for those who don’t yet know Jesus.  Our enemy is always on the prowl, looking to take our eyes away from Jesus.  Please pray for protection for Peter and I, our family and our brothers and sisters at Trinity Chippenham. For me, the attacks come in the form of discouragement, health issues or just plain exhaustion and being overwhelmed at all there is to do.  We are in a marathon, not a sprint – pray that we’ll run with endurance by faith, not by stress!

 

The children and I have been hard at work trying to tie a bow on our school year.  We have nine official school days left! The reason we planned to finish so early is due to our planned trip to the USA where we’ll be meeting with prayer partners and supporting churches.  There is LOTS to do to get ready for our trip, so please pray we can be productive and also filled with God’s peace (not stress!) as we prepare.  Peter will be doing a significant amount of teaching so please pray for him as he prepares.  If you would like an itinerary with prayer points for our USA trip, please email us and we’ll send it to you when it’s finalised.

Hannah will be taking the SAT a week from today (5th May) so please pray she can do her very best.  She has been working hard now for the last few months to get herself ready.  She has also been preparing to take a CLEP exam when we get to Oregon at the end of May.

Thanks so much for your prayers.  Here are a few photos of the little girls . . . such a joy to us every day!

Spring has sprung and Kaylah found a worm!

 

We love playing outdoors on scooters and on the trampoline. The weather has been very unpredictable. But when the sun comes out, we soak it up!

 

 

 

February Fun!

Melanie —  March 3, 2018

February begins our birthday season, with four girls’ birthdays in four weeks.  We’ve made some special memories!  In the middle of all the festivities, Hannah and I took at trip to Oregon so she could check out two universities she is interested in applying to attend.  Wow, I can’t believe this season in our lives has arrived!  My family and Hannah’s close friend, Anne, had no clue we were coming; it was super fun to surprise them all!

Also, this month, we are running a parenting course in our church life groups, Peter has been preaching on Sundays through the life of Joseph (Where is God in This?) and Cor Deo has held a one-week women’s course.  The last day was sadly cancelled due to snow, but they covered some of the last day’s material on the fourth day and they’ll have an evening next week to finish off for anyone able to attend.  From all accounts it’s been an impactful week in these ladies’ lives.  We have another women’s Cor Deo week coming up in Devon the week after next.  We are so grateful for your continued prayers for us as we serve at church and beyond.  Our hearts are full of gratitude to God for his blessings, including a much waited for mini-snow storm over the past few days which provided hours of fun for the children (and yes, Peter and I too!)

Here are some photos for you.  (Also, check out my “Currently Reading” page which I just updated. And if you haven’t explored the rest of the website recently,  we have done a long overdue update to all the pages!)

On the 1st of Feb, Kaylah turned 6! She requested a “donut” cake.

 

A party is always so exciting! (Even if it’s just a family one.)

 

Wiggle scooter!

 

We did outings with Mom and Dad this year instead of big parties with friends. Kaylah asked to go ice skating. Peter and I had a lot of fun with her!

 

Next up was Aliyah – she turned 15!

 

Lunch at Costco!

 

We thank God for Aliyah!

 

Next up was Mariah – she joined her sisters in the teenage world – 13 years old!

 

Our 3 lovely teenagers!

 

We (and all our relatives) surprised her with a bike for her birthday. We took her into the store blindfolded. Jessah said, “Bike!” just before we took the blindfold off. 🙂

 

 

Fun at the climbing centre!

 

Just before her birthday, Mariah became the 4th person in our family to earn her blackbelt.

 

As I have done with her older sisters, I took her away for a night for her 13th – we had fun playing bananagrams (such an addictive game!), watching War Room, eating and shopping.

 

Here’s Hannah and me on the plane getting ready to fly to Oregon. It was a memorable trip for both of us.

 

Hannah and my Dad – we surprised the family and showed up at his birthday party!

 

Hannah and her friend (after sneaking up on her in the library and surprising her!)

 

Hannah and I drove by the Hillsboro apartment building Peter and I lived in during his time in seminary. Ours was the upstairs one on the left. We have so many memories here, especially of Hannah and Aliyah as babies!

 

It was super special to spend time with my sister . .

 

. . . and my nieces and nephews.

 

Amy and I with our Mom.

 

Hannah and her friend Anne at Corban University.

 

And here we are at Multnomah with dear friend, Carley Wecks (we ran into her in the salad line in the cafeteria!). What a joy to reconnect!

 

Please pray for Hannah as she prays about her future and prepares for it. She really liked both universities so she’ll probably apply to both and keep praying.

 

Yesterday was Hannah’s 17th birthday! We were snowed in so it was one she won’t soon forget!

 

Even though we had to postpone her cinema trip and birthday dinner til tonight, we had so much fun in the beautiful snow!

 

Au revoir for now . . .

 

Thanks so much for praying for us!

 

 

 

 

2017 comes to an end . . .

Melanie —  January 9, 2018

Happy New Year to everyone!  We are already 9 days in . . . we hope your 2018 is off to a blessed start.  Although I do find this time of year very dark and a bit dreary (in our British corner of the world), at the same time it’s a blessing to have a brand new year to think about, a fresh start in many areas of life.

We had a special December.  Here are some photos for you:

I planned a couple special outings for the kids in December. I took them to the Bath Christmas market in early December.  It was also so special to see some old friends while we were there.  Our evening turned into quite an adventure when all the trains were canceled and weren’t able to get home.   A trip to Bath we won’t soon forget! At the market, the children bought a didgeridoo (as you do!) just to add to their collection of musical instruments . . . and it turned into quite the source of entertainment as we waited for 2 hours in a huge queue of people for a taxi to get us home! Once I was able to stop laughing at them playing it, I did tell them to tone it down so the people in the queue wouldn’t be tortured with the sound of their amateur playing (similar to a dying cow I think!).  It was hilarious.

Look what we bought at the market!

 

Imagine the crowd of people watching this!!

 

The following week, I was able to take the older four Meadlings to a special event in London put on by Open Doors. If you haven’t heard of this wonderful organisation, they help to support persecuted believers around the world in various practical ways.  We were able to participate in a photo stunt they did in Parliament Square to raise awareness about the Hope for the Middle East petition.  We all dressed up like Mary and Joseph to represent the point that there now seems to be “no room” in the Middle East for Christians, just as there was “no room” in the inn for Mary and Joseph all those years ago.

The larger group was a little heavy on females, so a couple of us ladies got to be Josephs.

While we were having fun dressing up in Parliament Square, not far away, the petition (which was signed by 750,000 people around the world) was presented to the prime minister in the Houses of Parliament.  We pray God will use this petition to spur the UN and the UK government to act on behalf of our brothers and sisters who are suffering so greatly in Iraq and Syria.

Photo credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

After the photo stunt, we decided to take advantage of being in London and spent some time in the National Gallery. What an enormous place!! We enjoyed the art (well, some of us more than others!) and then were able to use our Tesco vouchers and have dinner out before we went home.  It was fun making memories with my four older children.  We talked at dinner about where we think everyone will be in five years . . . wow, they are growing up so fast!

 

There are always some unique characters outside the National Gallery!

 

The Gallery was all decked out for Christmas.

 

Having dinner . . .

 

In the underground station . . . love these Meadlings so much!

 

Back in Chippenham, a team from Trinity worked very hard for weeks to prepare “The First Christmas” live nativity experience.  By God’s grace, it was a wonderful success!  The weather was good and we had lots of friends and family members come to join us. The experience included multiple scenes, sheep, cows, and donkeys, walking through a field past the shepherds, an angel appearing in the “sky” and warm drinks and treats in the sparkly decorated barn afterwards.  It was wonderful.  Many people said how impacted they were by it. Please pray for eternal fruit to come out of it and for wisdom as we think about doing it next year.

Being in the stable with Mary and Joseph and Jesus, the shepherds and the wisemen coming to worship, was a very moving experience. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

 

I think Peter surprised quite a few people when he appeared in the “sky,” not least Jessah, who kept saying, “Daddy, angel!” I think several church children thought he was a real one!

 

The rest of December was filled with quite a bit of illness, including croup for Jessah (they sent an ambulance out to her one night – thank you Lord, that she was OK), cold/flu for Peter and a tummy bug for most of us (it seemed to be the Christmas cheer we were sharing at church this year!)  Not too fun!  However, we were able to enjoy our life group social, a few cookie making sessions and Christmas film night in our home, a visit from relatives, lots of game playing, New Year’s Eve life group morning in our home and a ceilidh in the evening in a local village hall. Whew! Looking back, it was pretty busy!  Peter and I were able to get away together for two nights last week using Christmas money. It was so good to be together and talk and talk (without interruptions!), make plans for the coming year, and remind ourselves of the reasons we love being in ministry (we filled two notebook pages with our list!). I am married to the best husband in the world.

A few more photos for you . .

Kaylah and Jessah waiting for guests to arrive for our life group Christmas social . . .

 

Mariah with our kissing Christmas bears.

 

Couch bunk beds . . . do you think this could take off as an idea?

 

Aliyah cooking with the little girls. They LOVE to help!

 

Mixing up pancakes for our traditional Christmas Eve pancake dinner.

 

Traditional opening of stockings on Mom and Dad’s bed . . . well, they don’t all fit ON the bed these days.

 

Jessah wearing Mom’s new hat and scarf.

 

New onesies!

 

Hang on, what season is it?

 

Playing games with Grandpa and Grandma . . . it’s so nice to have them close by!

 

They don’t all fit around our little Christmas tree these days . . .

 

 

At a Manchester United game (Christmas present for Joel and Peter)!

 

We’re ready to dive into 2018!

 

What a joy to know we are walking into a new year hand in hand with a Father who loves us.

 

A few prayer requests:

*My migraines have been awful this past month.  Please pray it was a blip and I will be more stable in weeks to come.  It is easy to become fearful and anxious and wonder when they will hit next.

*Please pray for Peter as he preaches this month at Trinity Chippenham on the power of God’s Word in our lives.  You can listen to the sermons here. Pray for us as we try to shepherd and care for the people around us.

*Hannah will be taking a big exam in early May that will affect her scholarship opportunities for university in the USA. Please pray for her as she studies and also prays about her next steps in life after she graduates in 2019.

We send you much love in the Lord and hope we’ll be able to connect with you soon. Thank you for praying for us!