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!