Archives For Melanie

 

Wow, we must apologise for not updating our website for, gasp (!) nearly five months! Where do the weeks go? Many of you will have received a paper prayer letter from us either in the autumn (USA) or winter (UK) with a prayer card.  If you haven’t and you would like one, please ask and we’ll send you one.   We also will be sending out an email update very soon with lots of news and reports on family and ministry.  For now, we’d like to share some photos from some of the memorable moments in our lives and ministry over the past 5 months. This is quite a long post . . . we hope the photos will give you a little peek into our lives from the past few months.

 

Going back even further than 5 months, we celebrated Jessah’s sixth birthday in November soon after we got back from the USA (thus the pumpkin in tow from our pumpkin patch visit in Oregon).

 

 

Christmas 2021! Here’s the Mead family . . . Aliyah joined us on zoom from onboard the Logos Hope in Africa.

 

The newest Mead family member arrived at Christmas – Jupiter the hamster. 🙂

 

During our Christmas break, we had a fun afternoon out in Bradford on Avon – a very pretty little town near us.

 

We walked to a unique little area above the town at dusk – beautiful view!

 

Our dear friend and “daughter” in Christ, Georgia, left us on 1 February for several months on a mission trip to Romania and Moldova. We miss you Georgia!

 

Also at the start of February, our sweet girl, Kaylah, turned 10! We celebrated with pies – a chicken pie (pictured) and key lime pie for dessert!

 

Like all her sisters on their tenth birthdays, she got her ears pierced! (You can see if you look closely!)

 

Kaylah also had a music themed tea party with friends a few days later – this was the cake, decorated by Mariah and her friend.

 

Winter cycling – Jessah and I love our bike rides together!

 

What joy when spring arrives!

 

 

First trip to beautiful Bowood – one of our favourite places!

 

Dandelion photo by Jessah.

 

Mariah and I were super blessed to take a trip to the USA in March. The main purpose was for her to visit Emmaus Bible College in Iowa during their preview weekend. She loved it and is making plans to attend starting in September 2023.

 

It was a special trip down memory lane for me as I attended Emmaus myself from 1995-1997. My time there marked me deeply and I pray the same will be true for Mariah.

 

While we were in Iowa/Illinois, Hannah was in Missouri visiting Noah.

 

We got to spend some time with my aunt Carol before and after our visit to Emmaus.

 

And then we flew to OR to spend some time with my family. We didn’t tell them we were coming so it was a big surprise!

 

It was such a joy to spend time with them all! I felt so blessed by this trip.

 

My sister Amy and I had a really special day out together in the Columbia River Gorge. We hiked a beautiful waterfall trail.

 

I absolutely loved reading Star of Light to my nieces and nephew and also playing games and doing puzzles with them.

 

Mariah also got to spend some quality time with friends in Oregon and attended two concerts.

 

Mariah stayed in Oregon a week longer than me and the day before she left they got some serious snow (crazy on the 10th of April!).

 

On a very cold day in April, a group from Trinity, including Joel, hiked 20 miles in the Brecon Beacons to raise money for Africa Inland Mission.

 

Peter turned 46 on 13 April.  Here are Kaylah and Jessah having birthday cuddles with Daddy.

 

And a special birthday meal out together!

 

Soon after Peter’s birthday was Easter. We had a very full long weekend, starting with a Passover celebration with some dear friends. It’s so beautiful to see how Jesus fulfilled so many of the aspects of the Passover.

 

Our living room was packed on Good Friday for a time of prayer, reflection and worship. Then we had a roast dinner on Saturday with some good friends. Sunday our church hosted an amazing BBQ – great that we could welcome guests! And this photo is of our Easter Monday Family Fun Day which was packed with parents and children.

 

Kaylah begged me to do the “bunny hop” race with her. She beat me!

 

And Jessah and her friend with an Easter garden they made.

 

At the end of April, we were blessed to welcome 4 guys from Peter’s year round mentoring ELF group for a weekend of mentoring with Peter. (They represented Albania, Ukraine, Hungary and London/Middle East) Here they are in John Wesley’s chapel during their Bristol church history tour. Our family had so much fun with these wonderful guys!

 

Much to our delight, Aliyah surprised us and came home on the 1st of May after spending 8 months away on the Logos Hope and then in Burundi.

 

Joy, joy joy!!!!

 

After a 3 year gap, Trinity Chippenham got to have a weekend away together. Beautiful sun, good teaching and lots of fun and fellowship made it a very happy weekend for everyone!

 

Some of our youth group at the weekend away. We praise God for how this group is growing. Please pray for them, especially the significant percentage that do not know Jesus yet.

 

Joel has been doing some serious running, including park runs every week, 5Ks, 10Ks and a few unofficial half marathons.

 

A climbing centre has recently opened in Chippenham and Kaylah and Jessah have been trying their hands at it.

 

Thank you for your prayers for our family and ministry! An email update with more news and prayer requests is coming soon. We thank God for his sustaining grace to us each day these past five months and are looking to him in faith for all we need for the future.

Messiah! – by Kaylah Mead

Melanie —  December 21, 2021

Miriam dashed home with her full basket.  It was market day and her mother was sick. Father had said that she should go to buy food for the family. Miriam got home around noon.  She met her brother, Eli, at the the door to their small hut.  “Eli, the market’s bursting with people! I’ve never seen Bethlehem so crowded!”

Eli nodded.  “I heard that Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world!! Everyone is going to his own town to register.”

Miriam grinned.  “This is our town! Our family has been here for centuries!”

Later as Miriam got ready for bed, she looked out the window – the only window in the house. The stars twinkled as they always did, but there was one . . .  She climbed to the roof for a better look.  Miriam gasped! She ran to get her father. “I need to go to see that star, Father!” she said. “The light seems to be pointing down somewhere!”

Her father said, “Which star? What do you mean?”

“Come and see!” They went outside into the cold night.  Miriam said, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Her father said, “Shall we go and see where it leads?” They set off quickly, eagerly following the star.  Miriam ran all the way, darting around each bend.  When she got to the edge of Bethlehem, her father said, “Look!” Among the dark houses ahead there was a small stable.  Light spilled out of it. It looked like the star was pointing right at it! They walked slowly toward the stable.  Just then a shepherd came out and said, “The Messiah has come!!!”

Miriam’s heart leapt! She crept toward the stable and looked back. Her father nodded.  Miriam passed through the door not sure what to think.  She saw a man and a woman by a manger.  In it, a baby lay sleeping peacefully. It was Him!  She knelt by the baby and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re here!”

Photo Memories from our USA Trip

Melanie —  December 14, 2021

This post is long overdue . . . we wanted to share with you some of the joys and blessings of our trip to the USA.  God was so gracious to us.  With Covid restrictions, we weren’t sure even up until the very last minute whether we’d be able to visit America (something we usually do as a family every 3 years).  So we booked our tickets late – 3 weeks before we left (and after recovering from Covid ourselves).  As a result of making last minute plans, and trying to regain our energy while we packed and prepared, we arrived in the USA without having made many plans (uncharacteristic for us Meads!) Actually it made for a refreshing change, and as a result, our schedule wasn’t quite as packed as it normally is (probably a good thing!)  Still, we managed to fit in a lot! Here are some stats from our trip:

4 flights taken (23 hours of flying)

6 churches visited

7 church sermons preached

2 university chapel services preached

4 seminars taught

3 states visited (4 for Peter and Melanie)

5 houses stayed in (more for some of us)

30+ families or individuals visited (I lost count!)

3 homeschool field trips taken (plus other educational visits!)

countless precious hours spent with family! (Melanie’s Mom and Dad, sister, brother in law, nieces and nephews and aunt)

Places of beauty visited: Lake Michigan, Sunriver, OR (Deschutes River), Coltiss Lake . . . Mt. St Helens, Columbia River Gorge, Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls, Bonneville Dam, Graue Mill and Salt Creek, Oregon Coast . . . probably more!

When we asked our kids what their highlights were they said:

seeing people! . . . bike riding in Sunriver . . . playing pickleball . .  6am online classes . . . playing with cousins . . . waterfall walks . . . time with family . . . tubing on Coltiss Lake . . . music jam sessions with church friends.

It was also so wonderful to get some bonus time with Hannah! She came to stay with us as many weekends as she could and her boyfriend Noah came to OR for a week.  So we were able to spend some good time with him too.

In summary, we had a very blessed and encouraging trip! God was so good to us.  It’s not always easy having your heart in several places.  And it wasn’t easy to leave Oregon especially.  But we thank God for blessing us with this amazing trip and such wonderful friends and family. He provided for us so generously. Here are some photos . . . first of some cousin fun! . . .

 

 

It was so sweet to get time with Hannah.

 

I love this girl so much.

 

It was so special getting to visit Hannah on campus at Corban and getting to meet her friends, professors. Peter was able to speak at 2 chapel meetings and I even got to attend some classes with her! Mariah and Joel both spent a couple nights there too. It was so great being able spend some time in her world.

 

It was also such a joy to get time with my sister.

 

Here’s the whole Papworth/Hickman/Mead clan (sadly minus Aliyah!)

 

My sister’s dog Charley became a good friend.

 

The kids really enjoyed reconnecting wtih friends and playing with various animals we encountered! Here they are with Kaylah’s penpal Samantha.

 

The autumn colours were stunning!

 

Beautiful Deschutes River (near Sunriver – central Oregon)

 

Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. This is a place we visited when we were first getting to know each other. Fun to go back after 24 years!

 

We took a long but beautiful hike to Latourell Falls, also in the Columbia River Gorge. My parents were troopers . . . they did so well!

 

And here we are at one of the largest cedar trees on the west coast. It was fun taking Noah (who is from Missouri) to the coast, even though it was coooold!

We had a great visit at Moody Bible Institute – where Aliyah may end up attending.

 

It was a joy to spend time in Chicago with our good friends who were so hospitable and kind to us.

 

And of course it wouldn’t be a visit to Chicago without time with Aunt Carol. Here she is with Kaylah and Jessah at Salt Creek after a fun and educational visit to Graue Mill.

 

It had been a long time since we had seen Aunt Carol so the time was very special.

 

We had a fun early 6th birthday celebration for Jessah while we were at my aunt’s house.

 

Thank you for praying for our trip! God answered so many prayers and we were able to achieve the things we set out to do – mostly strengthen connections with people we love . . . family, friends, churches and prayer and financial support partners. With the world the way it is, we don’t know when we will be able to visit next.  So we are savouring the memories and thanking God for his kindness.