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The Final Stretch

Peter —  October 6, 2021

We have been in Oregon for just over a month.  It has been a special time with family (Melanie’s parents, Melanie’s sister and family, plus bonus time with Hannah who is studying an hour away) and a chance to re-connect with dear friends in the area.  We were able to take a six-day holiday/vacation with Melanie’s parents in the Columbia River Gorge, which was a real treat.  Some of us haven’t seen them for close to three years because of Covid.  Last week, Melanie and I got a couple of days away together, which was also a really special time.

As far as ministry goes, I have been busy with preaching almost every Sunday.  I was able to run a 1.5 day seminar at a church in Portland, as well as a shorter two-hour seminar at a church in Sunriver, and another report session at another church in Sunriver.

The main feature of this trip is time with people.  There is never enough time!  It has been a busy time with lots of visits.  We love the people we are seeing, so it is a joy, but it is also busy and there are challenges.  We are now in the final stretch in Oregon.  A couple of weeks and then we will be moving on to Chicago for just over a week.  Please pray for stamina in these final days.  The schedule is inevitably filling as we try to squeeze in the connections.  Melanie has had a couple of migraines, which are obviously painful, but also frustrating as it is not possible to re-schedule meetings and so she has had to miss out on a couple of them.

We are thankful to be here, but also looking forward to seeing everyone back home too.  Thanks for your prayers!

(I am sure we will get some pictures on here soon, but thought an update is better than nothing for now!)

Good news!  Peter and I both seem to be improving.  Thank you so much if you were praying for us.  In my last post I said Peter was on day 10.  I was mistaken about that, as he’s actually now had Covid for 2 weeks.  I guess the days have all blurred together. We were able to speak to the Covid care team this morning and they are satisfied that Peter’s blood oxygen levels are OK and not of concern. This was really reassuring to hear as we’ve been confused as to what we need to be concerned about. While we are thankful for improvement, we are still very fatigued and not functioning normally yet.  I think Peter is especially feeling discouraged as he has been unwell for so long.  So we’d definitely appreciate your continued prayers to figure out how to pace ourselves as we recover. We realise our experience is being repeated many times over around the world and we are praying for all of our friends who are also suffering from Covid. It’s definitely not an easy road for many.

In other news, we were able to book our tickets to go to the USA in a few weeks.  Please pray for us as we plan our trip to be able to have the energy we need to prepare and then do the travelling.  We will be in touch more about our trip in the next weeks.

It’s not much fun being ill and weak, but we are trusting that in our weakness, God can shine through. I read these verses this morning.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d]

Thank you so much everyone for praying for us.  We are so very grateful to you all.  First, the good news, Hannah made it safely to the USA and was able to spend one happy day with Noah yesterday before flying on to Oregon today. We are thanking God she had no issues with the travelling.  Please keep her in your prayers for her to be back to full strength soon.  She starts her 2 weeks of training today for her new resident assistant job on campus.  It was very hard to say goodbye and we all miss her very much. Second piece of good news is that all the Meadlings are recovered now from Covid and out of quarantine.  Pray for them to hold up well as they try to keep the home functioning for our family.

The not so good news is that I did end up getting Covid myself and have been feeling pretty rough. I’m now on day 6 – some symptoms are better but others not great.  Peter is on day 10 and still not improved much, if any.  We are both very exhausted.  Peter’s blood oxygen levels have been concerning at times, including tonight again, so I’m posting this to ask for some more prayer for him.  Please pray God to intervene and to bring a clear improvement in his symptoms.  Also I would appreciate prayer for his encouragement and for him to sense God’s presence with him.