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Winter Reflections

Melanie —  February 9, 2023

The winter air is crisp and frosty this morning.  I’ve been out walking and marvelling at God’s creation, especially the exquisite frozen spider webs dotted through our neighbourhood.  I love how these hidden mini-miracles show up so clearly when the air is the coldest. Who know there were so many busy spiders at work all around us, even in the dead of winter!  This reminds me of the work of God in our world . . . He is always working, often in hidden ways that show up when life’s harsh “weather” hits.  It’s also brought me joy to see the first snowdrops appear, poking their delicate heads through the dead leaves under the bare branches of the trees down the street.  Their beauty reminds me of the faithfulness of our Father who tells them when to burst into life at just the right time, every single year.  Spring always follows winter.  And in our lives, the seasons of suffering and challenge (even if they last a lifetime) will always be followed by hope and joy.  The longer I live, the more I feel like I join creation in its groaning for liberation.  And my heart longs more deeply for home – our eternal home where we will be with Jesus face to face.  One day soon it will be reality for us.  Come quickly Lord Jesus!

It’s hard to believe we are now well into the second month of 2023. Crazy how time marches on! After a lovely few weeks of Christmas holidays with Hannah and Aliyah home, we are now past the second half of our school year (we started early due to our planned trip to the USA for Hannah’s wedding in June.) It’s been awhile since we shared any family news, so here are some photos giving you a little picture of the last few months of ministry Soon, we’ll also share a new mini-update and let you know what’s been going on in our ministry and family lives and what we are looking ahead to.  Keep an eye on your inbox for that.

First, a few photos from the autumn:

This gorgeous tree in our backyard gives us so much delight every autumn.


Jessah at Bowood . . . one of our favourite local places to enjoy the outdoors.


All dressed up for our church’s Light Party. Kaylah was Susan from Narnia and Jessah was a parrot.


Joel is continuing to love running and has done several 5K and 10K races with more planned for 2023.


Jessah 7th birthday – with her roses from Dad.


Peter and I were blessed with a little getaway in November in the Cotswolds. We are always so grateful for time together.


December brought us some snow! We had so much fun in it together. And thankfully, it didn’t put a stop to our children’s musical at church which happened later that day.


Our first ever Trinity Chippenham children’s Nativity musical was a huge success! All the kids did a fantastic job!


The younger girls have picked trees in our neighbourhood to watch throughout the changing seasons. Jessah named hers “George Muller” which I found quite hilarious. This gorgeous oak is absolutely massive and it was a rare treat to see it in the snow.


Hannah and Aliyah both came home in December for a few weeks.


It was such a joy to be all together at Christmastime!


We had some sweet times together . . . we had a great day out in Bourton on the Water.


And our traditional Christmas Eve ice skating! (Sadly, Joel wasn’t well so couldn’t be there.)


Aliyah had an extra long break so was able to stay while longer than Hannah. She and the younger girls had a bucket list of fun things to do together while she was home that they worked through. They made a pie together on her last night!


Kaylah and Jessah and I thoroughly enjoyed reading a book about George Muller in January. What a beautiful testimony of faith and God’s faithfulness! We went with some friends to visit the George Muller museum recently and had a wonderful time. The girls even got to dress up in Victorian clothes.


And finally, Kaylah kicked off our family birthday season by turning 11 on February 1st. Peter and I took her on a little outing to Bath. Our voracious reader was on a mission to show us a special bookshop she had seen with her sisters and it did not disappoint!


We also had lunch at the famous Sally Lunn’s. Sweet times.


Trinity Chippenham continues to grow! We are excited and humbled at all that God is doing and we are praying for his wisdom to know how to respond to the growth.  We’ll share more in our upcoming mini email update . . . watch for this in your inbox soon.


So there’s a little snapshot of family life these past months.  We very much value your prayers for each of us to stay close to Jesus every day and rely fully on Him.  Please let us know how we can pray for you too!




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!”

Saying Goodbye

Melanie —  November 4, 2021

After two months in the USA, we are back home in Chippenham! The last 2 months have been a wonderful blessing to our family.  God provided for us in so many ways and we were able to connect with many, many dear friends and of course my (Melanie’s) family.  We all soaked up the sweet fellowship and also God’s beautiful creation in Oregon (very different than the beauty here in England).  We have many photos to share . . . watch this space for another post coming soon which will be full of photos from our trip!

For now, we’d like to travel back in time a little bit and share some photos from our last few weeks before we left home (August).  No only did we (Peter and I and the 4 youngest kids) leave for the USA at the end of August, our beloved daughter, Aliyah, left home too.  She flew to the Bahamas to meet the OM ship, Logos Hope, where is she now spending a year on board.  She is absolutely loving it and has so far visited the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Barbados and is currently in the middle of a 2-week voyage across the Atlantic to Africa.  We are so thrilled for her to be able to have this experience serving the Lord alongside a crew of people who come from many different nations. (If you aren’t already getting her updates and would like to, please follow this link to sign up.)

Even though we were and are, cheering Aliyah on in her adventure with Jesus, it was pretty tough to say goodbye.  This girl is an integral part of our family and we all love her dearly.  We all shed many tears as we hugged at the airport with aching hearts . . . as we’ve come home to Chippenham, it’s hit us all over again that she’s gone – the house just isn’t the same without her.  We are thankful to the God who holds us all in his hands as are far apart from her (and of course from Hannah too).  Peter and I have always said that we wanted to raise our children to fly, to launch out and change the world for Jesus. She belongs to the Lord, not to us and it’s a joy to watch her following Him.

Here are some photos from a family photo shoot we did (sadly due to us having Covid, we didn’t fit this in before Hannah left so she is missing from the photos!)




Before we left, we were able to have a graduation celebration for Aliyah, as well as a goodbye party.  Thankfully we all recovered from Covid in time to make it fit before we all left! Here are some photos from those events as well as some of her senior pictures (an American tradition). A good friend of ours took the photos when Aliyah was visiting the USA in April.

The group of us that gathered to celebrate Aliyah’s high school graduation.

Friends at her goodbye party

Oh my goodness, we love this girl so much and she will always be close in our hearts no matter where she is in the world.  Please pray for her, for God to be at work in and through her as she serves this year on the Logos Hope.  And please pray for us as we adjust to life at home without her.  Watch this space for more posts soon with a report and photos from our time in the USA!