Archives For Melanie

Mead Family – Covid Update

Melanie —  August 1, 2021

Kaylah and Jessah were so happy we didn’t get Covid until after their 3 weeks of riding lessons!

Well, we are five days into our family Covid isolation and we are thanking God for his mercies to us so far.  (See previous post for back-story) Aliyah’s been isolating much longer since she was a contact of a friend who developed Covid and she was the first of our family to get it.  She is almost 100% now, just has a small lingering cough, which didn’t stop her leading zoom worship for church today.  Hannah and Mariah and Joel are definitely improving, though they still have a little ways to go.  Kaylah and Jessah seem right as rain and so far I myself have no symptoms. Strangely, I was the only family member to get a negative PCR test. We’ll see what the coming days bring, but perhaps I’ve already had it and so have natural immunity?  I’m trying not to feel like a sitting duck!

Poor Peter is really miserable.  He’s definitely had the worst case out of all of us.  I can’t really remember seeing him this lethargic and unwell.  Please pray for him – for healing and patience and perseverance through this illness.  One of the other elders at Trinity and his wife both have Covid too so we’d appreciate prayer for them too. The other elder is on holiday with his family. Needless to say, church was online today with a pre-recorded message!

It certainly feels like we’ve been in a season of challenge, disappointments and discouragements.  The world around us all has changed so much and we believe there are genuine reasons to fear what might be ahead for us all.  We need our Father’s help to choose joy and gratitude and to keep persevering in serving the Lord no matter what storms are threatening around us. We have true hope in Christ, both for ourselves and to hold out to a fearful world around us.

Some practical prayer requests: (besides healing!)

Please pray for us as we book our flights to the USA very soon – we plan to travel there to see family and prayer partners and supporters at the start of September.  Despite uncertainties about travel and restrictions, we would like to book this trip by faith and we are asking God to pave the way for us to be able to see those we love face to face and re-connect with them.

Aliyah is also working on booking her flight to join the Logos Hope in the Bahamas at the start of September.  Please pray all the details can be worked out soon.  And for her last weeks here to be very precious even with all the disappointments and special events cancellations she’s had to endure.

Hannah has re-booked her flight to the US for next Friday.  There are also some paperwork details to be worked out so this can happen so please pray for this.  She will be stopping in St. Loius to see her boyfriend, Noah (for one day rather than the planned 5!) and then going onto Oregon where she will need to go straight into her training for her job as a resident assistant (student leadership).  Please pray she will have the strength she needs and be fully recovered by the time she leaves.

I was reading Romans this morning, including chapter 8, one of my favourite chapters in the Bible.  There are a myriad of incredible verses but I will just share a few which stood out to me as particularly relevant:

verses 22-23 – We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. (Yes! We are sharing in creation’s groaning . . . )

verse 28 – And we know that in all things (even Covid!) God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. (Thank you Jesus – this gives us hope.)

verses 35-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Thjs is the truth, even if we don’t feel like a conqueror.  One day Jesus will come and defeat death and all evil and we will conquer with him.) 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (including diseases, pandemics, tyrants, the loss of freedom or ANYTHING ELSE), will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

On Becoming British

Melanie —  June 16, 2021

Today I became a British citizen.  In one sense, it’s not a big deal.  I’ve been a permanent resident of the UK for many years.  So what’s changed? Well, first of all, I now have the right to vote.  Peter has always teased me about what our MP (member of Parliament) would think about all my letters to her if she knew I couldn’t vote! Now, more than ever before, I feel strongly that we need to be exercising our right to vote and I intend to do that. Secondly, I will be able to finally join the rest of my family and apply to become a British passport holder.  These are nice benefits, but they don’t change too much about my daily life.

However, I feel today marks a significant moment in my life. Let me explain why.

When Peter and I moved permanently to England nearly 17 years ago, we felt very strongly that God had led us here.  After a long process of pushing many doors for ministry in multiple countries, in December 2004, we quite surprisingly found ourselves on a plane to Great Britain with our two little girls and one on the way.  We had always assumed we would end up doing ministry in a country other than the UK or the USA, our home nations.  After all, we wanted to be missionaries!  However, our dear friend George Verwer challenged us to consider the vast spiritual needs here in the UK and proposed that we also use the UK as a base in order to travel to do ministry elsewhere on the globe.

God has certainly blessed this plan – it’s worked! Peter has been able to serve and teach in many countries. Over the years, however, the Lord has opened more and more doors for ministry for right here in the UK.  Although we still have a massive heart for serving internationally and Peter continues to travel (hopefully this will resume post- Covid 19), our focus has narrowed as we’ve poured ourselves into church planting and leadership training right here in the UK.  Looking back, we see God’s amazing grace and faithfulness in taking our desires from 17 years ago and allowing them to be fulfilled.  He’s also given us work to do that we never could have imagined we’d be doing.  He’s has given us the UK as our earthly home, a place to serve him, and a place to grow and raise our family.

Becoming a citizen feels significant for me today because I truly feel the UK is my home.  Today made that feeling official, something that over time has gradually become true in my heart.

I remember my early years of living in the UK . . . I was frequently homesick for the USA and its familiar culture.  British culture/terminology/people often felt foreign to me.  I felt like I was always the outsider in the room. I would still refer to the USA as my home country, the place where my heart was, where I was really “from.”

Gradually, something shifted.  I’ve put down roots, not only practically but emotionally.  I will always be an American and I will continue to hold an American passport.  And I’ll probably never lose my American accent!  I love America – its culture and people will always be precious to me.  But the UK is my home now.  Sometime during the process of the last 17 years, this became true.  Today it’s been recognised officially.

My heart has made a home in the UK and the UK has made a home in my heart.

The citizenship ceremony today for me was a moment to recognise God’s kindness.  He’s brought me here, brought me through the process of cultural adaptation and integration.  He’s given us a purpose here.  He’s given us treasured relationships with friends, neighbours, church family and many others.  Although the United Kingdom has its flaws – like every other nation – it is a beautiful place to live, with beautiful people and many opportunities to which to serve.

Today, my heart is full of gratitude.  I’m thankful to be a citizen of a (mostly) free and democratic country. (Please God may our freedoms continue.) I’m thankful to now have a real voice in elections.  I’m thankful to be joined by one more thread to my precious husband and children who are already British by birth. I’m thankful for my wonderful friends, who in large part are the reason that this country is my emotional home.

However, though I count the United Kingdom my earthly home now, in another sense, no place on this planet will ever be my real home.  My citizenship is in heaven and this life is just a breath compared to the amazing future I have ahead of me.  I’m a child of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Saviour of the world.  One day, I’ll worship before his throne along with countless millions from every nation, tribe and people group. And His Kingdom shall reign forever and ever.

Hebrews 12:28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Acts 17:26-27 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In case you are interested, the citizenship ceremony included this oath and pledge:

I, Melanie Mead, swear by Almighty God that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law.

I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.

 

 

All together again

Melanie —  May 14, 2021

We are so thankful to the Lord for bringing Hannah and Aliyah home safely! Aliyah was in the USA for several weeks sharing about her upcoming year on the Logos Hope and visiting Moody Bible Institute where she hopes to attend after her gap year.  She had a really wonderful time and was able to see our USA family and some friends as well – a sweet bonus! Hannah has completed her second year at Corban University and the two of them were able to travel home together last week, along with Hannah’s boyfriend, Noah who will be with us for a few weeks.  The three of them were in quarantine here at home up until yesterday and after 3 negative Covid tests (1 more to come!) they are now enjoying their freedom to leave these four walls! We are incredibly thankful to God for these girls and their faithfulness to him and also for His faithfulness to them! It’s been very sweet to be all together again and also great to begin getting to know Noah.  God has also graciously provided Hannah with a job back at the nursery where she has worked previously.  A specific answer to my prayers – he is good!  Hannah will be here til early August and Aliyah will be heading to the Logos Hope at the end of August.

We are keeping very busy with homeschooling and ministry.  Yesterday Peter began teaching at the European Leadership Forum (online again this year) and he would greatly appreciate your prayers as he teaches in the preaching network over the course of the next week.  He’s also preaching (online) at a church in London this weekend.  He finds teaching online more difficult than in person, so you could pray for energy and enthusiasm and true connection with people’s hearts.

Peter also continues preaching most weeks at Trinity Chippenham and we are currently in a series on the book of Acts which has been so challenging and also encouraging.  Click here to listen to recordings or here to join our church’s livestream (3:45 pm UK time on Sundays).  We are incredibly grateful that we’ve been able to continue using an Anglican church in town for in person church services.  We’ve actually had quite a few new people join us (quite a few unsaved).  It’s been exciting to see how God has been growing our church even during this lockdown time.  We’re also thrilled that our new Christians Against Poverty debt centre is now open for clients!  Please pray for us as we seek to continue reaching our community with the good news of Jesus and wisely look to the needs of a growing church.  We hope to move back into our former rented facilities (a secondary school) in the next month or two.  Please pray this would all go smoothly and Covid restrictions would be fully lifted as planned by the government.

Personally, Peter and I would both value prayer for physical and emotional stamina and that we’d find moments to rest and recharge.  We have many things on our plates and many people who we love and care for deeply.  We want to remain fully connected to the Vine ourselves so that the life of Jesus may flow through us to others.

**In our last email update we asked if anyone would like to pray with us regularly for some specific situations. If you responded to us, we apologise that we haven’t contacted you yet but we will do so soon.  Meanwhile, if someone else would like to join this group in prayer for some specific needs, please let us know and we’ll share the prayer points with you too!