Archives For Family News

A Changing World

Peter —  March 23, 2020

We are all experiencing a lot of change with the COVID-19 crisis sweeping across the world.  Last week we were pleased to be able to get Aliyah safely back from Oregon a week before her trip to the USA was scheduled to end.  She was visiting two universities and was glad to get a brief visit to Corban University where she was able to see Hannah.  Sadly her trip to Chicago and Moody Bible Institute was not possible. It was very disappointing for her but she’s had a great attitude about it all. Hannah is still in Oregon, preparing to do her last four weeks of classes online. At the moment, her campus is still open which means she can continue her paid job, but this might all change. Of course, her planned return to the UK in early May is completely up in the air at this point.

As I write this we as a nation (and as a family) are officially “social distancing” but expecting freedoms to be tightened more, even today.  Yesterday our church was totally online, which made for a very busy day behind the scenes, but so worthwhile as we are already missing the in-person connection and community that church is for us.

With lots of non-Trinity Chippenham meetings cancelled for me, I have decided to offer some brief, no-frills, Bible reading highlights on Youtube.  I started with Pursuing God “Alone” Together last week.  As with all content on Youtube, you can subscribe, like, share with others, etc.  I hope these little videos will be helpful.

These are really uncertain days for everyone.  Our hearts go out to places like Italy and Spain, where the situation seems so overwhelming.  At the same time there is an eerie sense of anticipation that we will be facing the same kind of situation soon here.  Our prayer is that God’s people would be beacons of practical love and help, as well as sharing hope for this life and beyond it to a world that is suddenly shaken so deeply.  Please pray for us here in Chippenham, and let us know how we can be praying for you in your situation too.  We will share a more family-oriented update soon as well as some tips for those now thrust into homeschooling.

Every breath a gift

Melanie —  February 14, 2020

We recently attended a wedding of a couple in our church.

 

We’ve just come to the end of a half-term of school and we’re all looking forward to a two week break.  Here are some photos from the past weeks.  But first, I want to share an experience this week that’s reminded me that life is very fragile and every breath we take is such a gift from our Father. Aliyah and I went to London on Wednesday to renew her US passport at the US embassy. As we were driving along the motorway, the car in front of me suddenly stopped abruptly.  I slammed on my brakes very hard and we came to a stop just a few feet behind the car. With my heart pounding, I looked into my rearview mirror and saw that a huge lorry (truck) came had stopped maybe a meter behind me.  Two lanes of traffic continued whizzing by on my right and I just sat there in total shock at what had just happened.  It turned out that the car in front of me had hit the car in front of it and that car had hit another car.  We very narrowly avoided what would have probably been a very serious accident, especially given the size of the lorry behind me.  This was the second scary motorway incident for me this week as after a torrential downpour, I hydro-planed badly on the motorway on Monday, losing control of the car for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity.  I’m struck by how fast deadly accidents can happen and how fragile life is on this earth.  My dad always says, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.” So true. I’m not afraid to die, but it seems that the Lord has more time for me to serve Him for awhile longer. He’s numbered my days.  It’s been a sobering and humbling week.  I’m so glad to be held in such strong and loving hands.

Kaylah and Jessah were given gifts so they could go climbing a few weeks ago.

 

It was Jessah’s first time and she was SO excited. It was also very sweet to see how excited Kaylah was FOR her.

 

These two are at such a cute stage and I’m enjoying them so much.

 

Jessah is enjoying learning to ride her bike.

Snowdrops! Spring is coming!

 

“Skilling” through our neighbourhood in a “blizzard.” We were chased by polar bears and everything!

 

Look whose lost her front teeth!

Kaylah turned 8 on 1st of February.

 

For her birthday treat, Peter and I took her to ride a horse.

 

Kaylah loves horses at the moment (well, loves reading about them) so had so much fun actually getting to ride one.

 

Aliyah turned 17 on the 5th of February. She had her first driving lesson on that day!

 

ALiyah and I by the Thames, near the new US embassy.

 

Jessah ready to fight the Tasmanian Tiger (ie Joel!)

 

Peter and I have been increasingly feeling aware that, as followers of Jesus, we are in a massive spiritual battle.  As we observe events in the wider world around us and as we see what is going on in our own personal lives. It’s not a bad thing to feel your own vulnerability and weakness as it causes us to lean more heavily on our awesome Jesus.

2 Corinithians 12:9-10 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We always appreciate your prayers for protection, both physically and spiritually as we continue to serve him.  We have several upcoming events and some bits of family news that we’d like to share with you so watch your inbox for an email mini update very soon!

For the Children’s Sake

Melanie —  January 24, 2020

2020 is off to a good start in the Mead household!  My health hasn’t been the greatest this month but as always, I’m thankful for the good days.  Our gracious and compassionate Father is always there for me when I cry out to him.

We had such a wonderful Christmas holiday time – we made some really special family memories.

It was so great to have our whole family together again.

 

We’re so thankful for this girl!

Hannah is back at university in Oregon now and apart from a having a nasty cold virus, she’s doing really well and enjoying her new classes.  Last weekend she flew to St. Louis to meet up with some dear friends from Ireland who are now involved with youth there.  She was able to help lead a youth retreat and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here she is with other members of the Ireland team that she and Aliyah worked with last summer.

Here in Chippenham, we are into our 16th week of homeschooling – crazy how time flies! I’m loving all the time I get to spend with the kids, especially reading aloud to them.  In a few weeks I’ll embark on teaching Jessah how to read (I always say this is one of the most challenging but also the more rewarding parts of homeschooling).  She’s so excited about it – our baby is growing up!

Speaking of growing up, Aliyah is about to turn 17 and has her first driving lesson scheduled on her birthday! She’s got exams coming up in the next months (SAT, CLEP and piano) and is looking forward to a trip to America in March to check out two universities.  She’s also planning on being a part of two mission trips this summer – stay tuned for more info!

I’ve recently been re-reading a book that marked me deeply when I was a new mother – For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay. (She is the late Francis Schaeffer’s daughter).  I’m so grateful for the wisdom and beautiful ideas found in this book.  It’s been reminding me of the preciousness of our children and what a privilege it is to be a part of raising and educating them.  It’s an older books (published in 1984) but full of timeless wisdom, much of it counter-cultural.

“If Christianity is true, then every last little child matters . . . One day we will stand before the Creator.  Were we willing to give, serve and sacrifice “for the childrens’ sake?” (p. 11)

“Dear Lord, the little children are being smothered! The experience of beauty in God’s great outdoors is often exchanged for seeing flickering images on a screen.”

Macaulay talks about how young children are often as “pressurised as executives.” They are fitted in a frantic schedule to suit their parents’ needs.  She advocates more time for free and creative play, more time outdoors and lots of reading aloud of rich and “living” books.  She urges adults to value children as “persons” and actually do it for “it’s own sake.”  There is so much we can learn from children if we will just slow down and listen and wonder and grow together.  How often I fail in this area but I’m inspired to keep trying, a decision at a time!

Unfortunately, children are more under attack than ever in our culture today.  Satan, being the violent and evil enemy that he is, loves to prey on “the least of these” – the very ones that Jesus asked us to especially value and protect!  I feel more motivated than ever to advocate for them and protect them from the evil around them.  I received a link to this article this week: 10 Ways Porn Culture Will Target Your Kids in 2020 –  it’s an eye opener – there were quite a few things that both Peter and I had no idea about.  I would encourage you to read the whole article and follow the links in it too – whether you are a parent or not.  Our children are worth it!

At long last, I’ve updated my Currently Reading Page on this website.  You can click on the link to see it.

We are thankful for a really positive and seemingly fruitful Cor Deo preaching training course last week here in Chippenham.  Peter has been in Germany at the OM New Recruits conference the past few days. I’m sure he’ll report on how it went sometime soon.

Lastly, we’re in the middle of a challenging sermon series at church – Incline Your Heart.  If you’d like to listen, you can do so here.  As always, please let us know how we can pray for you.  Thank you so much for your partnership with us!