Last week Peter, the four older Meads, and five other Trinity Chippenham youth headed out to a campground in Wales for a week of youth camp run by Grace Church Bristol. They had a fantastic time! There were lots of laughs, good food, games and activities, and times of worship and teaching. All the kids and Peter came back full of stories and thankfulness for an encouraging week.  In the midst of the week, Mariah had her appendix out! Not exactly what we were expecting to happen during camp week . . . but we did know she had a “grumbling” appendix and made sure there was a hospital near to the campground.  She went into hospital Wednesday night, had the appendectomy Thursday night and came back to camp Friday night.  I wasn’t so sure that was a great idea (mother worrying from a distance!) but Peter was there with her and someone gave up a bed in a house on the site for Mariah so she didn’t have to sleep in a tent for the last night.  Needless to say, I was glad to see everyone (especially Mariah!) when they came home on Saturday.

Some of her friends from camp came to visit her in hospital.

Meanwhile, back in Chippenham, Kaylah and Jessah and I had a very special week.  We went to Bowood, read stories, went to McDonalds (or “Old McDonalds” as Jessah calls it!) and had some time with friends. It was a precious time and I think they both really benefitted from the focused attention they got from me. It was a very quiet house!! When it was only just the 3 of us, it made me realise just how complicated it is to run a household of 8 (and hopefully I will be a bit gentler on myself when I have my moments of finding it a little overwhelming!)

 

Picnic at Bowood!

 

So cute to see the girls starting to read books quietly together. (“read” in Jessah’s case!)

In other events this month, we had a wonderful family “staycation” the week before camp.  We played games, did some biking, had a picnic, played pool (we’ve got a table in our newly cleaned garage now!), and enjoyed a read aloud (Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot). It was so nice to have that downtime together. Oh, I also took Kaylah and Joel to a climbing place one afternoon.  They loved it!

 

Kaylah got more and more confident as the afternoon went on!

 

Joel must have done this wall 25 times, trying to beat his speed record!

Jessah listening to some music!

Speaking of listening, Peter has been doing a series at Trinity on “Ears to Hear” – preaching through Jesus’ parables.  Its’ been excellent (in this wife’s opinion!), Click here to listen.

 

Watch this space soon for some photos from our USA trip (finally!). I had some major issues getting photos from my phone to my computer but I have now fixed the problem . . . hope to post some photos soon!

We Are Home!

Peter —  July 23, 2018

This is just a short post to say that we are home and will be posting a report from our USA trip in the next few days.

Seven weeks passed by in a flash, but we are so thankful for the time we had.  We got to visit with family and friends in Oregon, a quick weekend trip to California (first visit in 10 years!), and a couple of weeks in Chicago.  It was so good to see family and old friends, as well as making new friends along the way too.  We are so thankful for the time we had with each person and only wish we could have had longer.  The children had a wonderful adventure and coped really well with lots of living out of bags, lots of travel, etc.  We visited twelve churches, including three that we had never been to before.  We were blessed with wonderful kindness as people hosted us in their homes, fed us great meals, etc.  In a sense we would be delighted to do the whole trip again, but in another sense we are so happy to be home and not be living out of bags … it is great to be back with our church community at Trinity Chippenham, and so perhaps we would prefer to be here for a while before we do a huge and busy trip again!

Hopefully in the next few days we will be able to give a better report, with some pictures, etc.

This Friday I will be flying over to Poland for the European Leadership Forum.  I have attended every year since 2009, with one exception, and this will be my sixth year leading a network.  What does that mean?

The Forum is really a collection of networks, which are subject specific training events for the appropriate people.  So there are networks for church planters, or apologists, or evangelists, etc.  The networks I have been working with are for Bible Teachers and Preachers. There is a foundational (i.e. first time) network, and an advanced for people returning to the network.  There will be close to 800 people from all over Europe, just over 50 of which will be in the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks.

Every day begins with a plenary Bible teaching session, then we get two sessions in our networks.  After lunch there are workshops and the evening session is typically a standalone plenary session.  Also, on the first day I have concluding sessions with last year’s Year Round Mentoring group (about 10 preachers that I have worked with since last year’s Forum), and introductory sessions with next year’s Year Round Mentoring group.

In previous years I have worked with my good friend Huw Williams, from Turin International Church, Italy.  This year we have four more friends joining us to help facilitate the two networks.  For me personally I will be teaching in 15 sessions during the days in Poland.  It is always quite a busy few days, but also always good to reconnect with good friends and past members of the Year Round Mentoring groups (this year will be my fifth group).

Ever since we were sent into missions in 2004, it has been a real passion to equip others for communicating God’s word.  The ELF involvement is a strategic opportunity to invest in preachers from all over Europe.

Prayer requests:

  • For emotional and physical energy for the demanding schedule at the Forum
  • For the Year Round groups and the two networks to work really well and make a genuine difference in their ministry and church lives
  • For the team of facilitators working together for the first time this year: Peter, Huw, Mike, Ovi, Fraser and Steve.
  • For good health for all involved and safe travel!

Thank you!