Archives For Melanie

Our Trip to Albania!

Melanie —  March 7, 2024

Wow, we are so very grateful to the Lord for allowing us the privilege of serving him in Albania.  Last summer, some of the church leaders in the area invited Peter to come back and teach them again.  We decided to go all together as a family which was such a joy!  For me (Melanie), it was such a healthy step – getting out of my comfort zone, trusting God with fears and unknowns and actually putting my passion for missions into action.  For many years, my heart has been to spread the gospel to the nations which is of course what we’ve been doing here in the United Kingdom and beyond.  But Peter has mostly been the one doing the foreign trips and the upfront ministry. I’ve always believed that we are a team and I am just as much a part of the ministry as he is, even if I was holding down the fort at home, taking care of our growing family.  But it was a special joy for me to be able to join him and serve alongside him this time in a cross-cultural setting.  Perhaps it’s the beginning of a new season for our family as none of our children are tiny now, and they are gradually but steadily flying the nest. It’s always been our vision to serve as a family and be willing to go wherever God sends us.

Albania is an incredibly needy nation – both materially and spiritually.  About half the population are Muslim and half are Orthodox, though most people do not practice their religion.  Still, people consider their religion as part of their identity and are often not open to anything different. The church is very small and lacks resources (money and leaders and training).  There are many, many towns and villages without any evangelical witness and even where there are churches, they are struggling and often without leadership.

Our church, Trinity Chippenham, has started partnering with The Way of Peace church in the town of Lushnje that is led by Pastor Berti (you can read his amazing story in the book God’s Secret Listener).  We sent a team last year to help support them in their outreach in a small village and we’ll send another one this coming August, Lord willing. So one of our goals in this trip was to continue to strengthen the relationship between the churches and do what we could to bless them and especially, pour into the leaders.  There is a wonderful Ukranian missionary family (the L’s) who serve alongside Berti and his wife Tana so another of our goals was also to spend time with them and encourage them.

Here are some highlights and answered prayers from our time in Albania:

  1. Small (but big!) thing . . . I am so thankful that I had no migraines on this trip and our family stayed healthy! (Peter and the kids had colds and coughs right up until we left.)
  2. Peter found real joy in preaching in a prison (a very rough place) and meeting some Christian prisoners who were full of Jesus and actively sharing him with others.  One man’s story in particular was incredibly moving. He is in prison basically for life but says he actually doesn’t want to leave because he feels that is his mission field.
  3. We were delighted that our dear friend, Arber and his wife, Sara, surprised us and drove from another city to meet with us. Arber became a Christian himself in prison and is now in full time prison ministry. Their enthusiasm for the Lord and desire to start up a transitional house for released prisoners was so exciting.
  4. Peter was asked to do 2 seminars for church leaders and their wives on the topic of what is the church and how to encourage people to attend and value the fellowship of believers.  I shared with the wives and encouraged them from Matthew 6 that even though their service for the Lord may be hidden, the Lord sees it and he will reward them.  He also preached in 3 churches (Psalm 17 and Matthew 8) and I gave my testimony in 2 of them.  Again, a joy to see hungry hearts and be able to encourage these precious believers. I personally felt like the Lord helped me to trust him with the public speaking (not something I love).
  5. Peter and I were able to go into the school connected with the Way of Peace church and do conversational English with the children.  It was really fun! We got to go to six classes in 3 hours.  The school is an outreach to the community and doing a wonderful work.
  6. We and (especially) our children spent a lot of time with the L family and forged (or deepened) their friendships with their children.  This family is so full of Jesus and his love and we loved every minute we got to spend with them.  Their single-minded hearts to serve the Lord, live simply and persevere in planting seeds in the hard soil of Albania was inspiring to us.  They were so gracious to us and fed us many delicious meals! Time with this family was a huge highlight for us.
  7. It was also so encouraging to spend time with S, the pastor of the Mosaic Church in Lushnje.  He is full of energy and passion to share the gospel, especially among the outcasts and marginalised people of the city. The love and warmth in his church was tangible and the church is doing a wonderful work.
  8. The last night we were there, Berti and Tana invited us over to their house.  It was a wonderful evening and Pastor Berti shared with us about some of the challenges they face every day in ministry and the needs for church leaders. He also shared about some of the development projects they are faithfully working to implement in the village which is very impoverished.  I feel more determined than ever to continue to support them and the L family. They are faithful, hard-working servants of Jesus in a spiritually dark place. I have so much respect and love for them. We can put you in touch with them if you’d like to support what they are doing financially.
  9. Everyone we met was so generous and kind to us! We also very much enjoyed the Albanian food we were served.  The olives and goat/sheep cheese were amazing.  My family enjoyed the byrek (Lushnje is famous for this national favourite food – pastry with cheese or meat or spinach) and the dried fruits, fig jam, olive oil – everything is fresh and delicious.

Finally, for some photos:

Us with Sara and Arber


Speaking in the Way of Peace church


Giving my testimony . . .


Some of the believers from the Way of Peace church.


One of the seminars . . .



Joel, talking with a man at Mosaic Church. He’s been learning Albanian as his language in school this year so this trip was a great chance to practice!


Peter speaking at Mosaic church. I noticed the woman in front of me recorded his whole service in sections and was sending it to someone on WhatsApp!


Bitaj village church . . .


This church is almost all women. The men seem to have a barrier in coming to church or even showing any kind of interest in the gospel. Please pray for many men to be saved and added to this little church.


Kaylah and Jessah with some of the Bitaj girls. Kaylah was delighted to reconnect with a few of them that she met last summer.


And some of the village ladies.


Speaking English with the students in the school.


The first couple of days we were there, the weather was lovely and we went to a few beautiful places. I just drank in all the views of real mountains, like we have back in the Pacific NW in the USA.


We visited an old castle in the town of Berat which is more than 2,000 years old!


Berat is called the city of 10,000 windows.


We also had a walk in a resort area (Albania is really building its tourist industry) which in February was almost completely deserted and . . . brrrrr. . . very cold!


God blessed us with a beautiful sunset!


Here we are on our last night with the L family and Pastor Berti and Tana. They were so gracious and hospitable to us. We love their hearts for Jesus!


Mrs. L and me. The photo at the top of this post is us with their family after we did a globe puzzle together. Spot the “pray for the world” pose of people’s hands!


Please pray for Albania!l Pray for more workers – especially Albanian leaders and missionaries who are willing and able to serve in the smaller cities and villages. Pray for the Lord to shine the light of the gospel into hearts and open blind eyes to see his love and truth.  And pray for Trinity Chippenham as we send another team this summer and seek to keep supporting what God is doing in Lushnje and beyond!








Christmas fun and the start of 2024

Melanie —  February 11, 2024

We are happy to share a little update with you from the past few months!  December feels a long time ago now.  We had a special month. With Aliyah home, we were all together as a family.  These days are times to treasure!




Aliyah came with the younger girls and I to a homeschool Christmas event at a Zoo Farm. We had such a sweet time together.


A big focus of the month was our church’s Nativity musical outreach. There were 3 performances over two days and we rejoice that the gospel was so clearly shared!


It involved a huge number of our church family and was truly amazing! We had many people attend who did not know Jesus. We pray that the Spirit will continue to remind them of the message they heard. 


Peter and Joel were Roman soldiers! They stayed in character as they welcomed people into the building – I think they scared a few people!


Mariah was Mary and did a wonderful job acting and singing.


Jessah was a villager child and in another scene she was a crazy runaway sheep!


Hannah was a villager and in another scene, a wise woman!


Kaylah had an important behind the scenes role – controlling all the recorded audios (sound effects, music, etc). I got to watch all three performances and I was so moved every time.  Of course I was really proud of my family but actually my heart was so warmed to see so many of our church family playing their roles too. We had young kids controlling spotlights (under adult supervision), an advertising/social media team, musicians performing live music, a catering team, a backstage team helping the actors with timings, make-up, props, etc. and more! It was so beautiful to see all the parts of the body of Christ working together to do something to share Jesus with our community.  We pray for much fruit!


Christmas was extra special as it was the first one with Noah and Hannah with us as a married couple!


As is our tradition, we had Grandpa and Grandma Mead join us for Christmas afternoon and evening dinner.


In early January, Mariah went to Albania to help a dear Ukranian missionary friend who was having a baby. She thoroughly enjoyed her time there!


The boys of her family became like brothers to her.


The same day Mariah left, Aliyah left for Canada to visit her boyfriend, Michael and then went back to Moody for the new semester. She seems to be thriving there in her classes and many ministry opportunities.  Hannah and Noah left for the USA at the end of January in order to re-apply for his UK visa.  We are thanking God that the first appointment he needed came through very quickly and the visa in now in process.  Hannah is working remotely at the moment, but will need to return to the UK for work in mid-Marc.h We are asking God for a super speedy visa approval process for Noah so they can be apart as little as possible.  We miss them but we are so happy they are getting this time with Noah’s family – an unplanned visit but we hope a blessed one.


Before they left, Hannah gifted Kaylah with an early birthday present – a second-hand but very nice camera that had belonged to her. Kaylah was thrilled!


Thank you for praying for our family!  We’ll be sending out an email update shortly that will have more ministry news.  We are thankful to be a team with you!








Melanie —  November 23, 2023

Today is Thanksgiving – a day to remember God’s goodness to us! So it seems fitting to share a long overdue photo update of family highlights from the past few months  We will shortly send out an email update with more ministry related news and prayer requests. For now, here is a photo update.  It seems like it was a summer and autumn especially full of special events and celebrations!


At the end of July, we had a wedding celebration here in England for Hannah and Noah. It was really special to celebrate with friends and family who weren’t able to attend the wedding in the USA. It was an afternoon full of ceilidh (Scottish dance) and cake and lots of joy!


In August we started school . . . this is our traditional first day of school photo. As the years pass, I’m losing students, but still loving teaching and discipling my children.


Our next celebration was Peter’s Mum’s 80th birthday. We had a special weekend celebrating her.


Together as a family, we all came up with 80 memories of Mum and then we shared them with her (10 tied to each flower stem). It was such a special time of reminiscing together.


Next in the celebration line was Mariah’s high school graduation!


We celebrated with family and friends on an extremely hot September afternoon (crazy unusual weather for England!). The ice lollies were flowing and the children loved playing in the paddling pool.


We are so proud of Mariah for all her hard work in her schooling!


Mostly we are just so thankful that she loves Jesus so much and is pouring herself out to serve and follow Him. This is more precious to us than any academic achievement.  She has become a beautiful woman, inside and out.


A few days after Mariah’s graduation, we flew to Greece (using some free airline vouchers) for our first ever warm beach holiday! Due to the flooding in Greece, we had to change our accommodation at the last minute but it all worked out. We stayed very near to ancient Corinth and were able to visit the site.


The view from our air B and B was stunning. We all kept pinching ourselves as we couldn’t believe we were in such a beautiful place!


The sunsets were gorgeous. Being real though, along with the beauty and the blessing, we had some family conflict that was difficult.  (This is us being vulnerable . . . holidays and family life are far from perfect!) But I think it was the catalyst for us to start talking through some issues and that has been a very good thing.


We came from very hot weather in Greece, back to rainy England! It’s been a very wet autumn, but I can’t remember a season where I’ve seen so many beautiful rainbows.


The autumn colours were a little slow in coming this year . . .


. . . but they got there!


Also in October we were finally able to redeem a Christmas gift from my sister and go to Chessington World of Adventures. It was such a fun day out – the younger girls first time at an amusement park. They were amazing and went on all the scary rides!


Peter and I were able to take a couple of nights away together in October too. It’s always such a gift to get uninterrupted time with each other. Even though it’s such a joy, marriage can also be challenging and we find these times away together really strengthen our relationship.


It’s been such a joy having Hannah and Noah nearby and having them join us for family fun like carving pumpkins for the Light Party! Please would you pray for them as they have hit a snag with Noah’s visa application. This has been very difficult for them. Pray that they will get good advice on how to proceed next.


Here we are all dressed up for Trinity’s Light Party! We had lots of guests join us and we pray they felt the love and light of Jesus that we tried to share with them.


Next was sweet Jessah’s 8th birthday. How is it possible that our youngest is 8 years old?! Here she is with her siblings holding their gift to her . . . a Charlotte doll (replica of Laura’s from Little House on the Prairie.)


And as of last Saturday, our boy Joel is 17 years old! (not really our boy anymore . . . he’s almost as tall as his dad and well on his way to becoming a man!)


On the church front, we had a joyful baptism in October too! Our church is continuing to grow and grow and we thank God for his work!


So. Much. Joy! Tears and smiles and hearts full of thankfulness for the miracle of salvation and growth in Christ.

These have been some of the joyful highlights for us the past few months. However, probably every photo could also tell backstories of hard things we’ve faced surrounding those joyful events.  Life in this sin-stained world is hard.  We don’t want to paint a false rosy picture.  Instead, we want to be the first to admit that we struggle with sin.  We struggle with the effects of the fall on our bodies and minds that often feel weak.  We struggle with not having enough time to do all the things that feel really important.  We struggle at times with family conflict – clashes of personalities and opinions.  We have recently also struggled with grief and sorrow over some losses and major disappointments.  Praise God that his love, his forgiveness, his strength and comfort are constant in our lives.  An anchor for our souls. And we praise Him for the hope that we have . . . that one day the tastes of joy that we experience on this broken earth will burst into fullness beyond our wildest imaginations.

Thank you for praying for us.  We are thankful for you!! Please see our mini update (coming to your inbox very soon if it hasn’t already) for more prayer requests and news.