Archives For Family News

All together again

Melanie —  May 14, 2021

We are so thankful to the Lord for bringing Hannah and Aliyah home safely! Aliyah was in the USA for several weeks sharing about her upcoming year on the Logos Hope and visiting Moody Bible Institute where she hopes to attend after her gap year.  She had a really wonderful time and was able to see our USA family and some friends as well – a sweet bonus! Hannah has completed her second year at Corban University and the two of them were able to travel home together last week, along with Hannah’s boyfriend, Noah who will be with us for a few weeks.  The three of them were in quarantine here at home up until yesterday and after 3 negative Covid tests (1 more to come!) they are now enjoying their freedom to leave these four walls! We are incredibly thankful to God for these girls and their faithfulness to him and also for His faithfulness to them! It’s been very sweet to be all together again and also great to begin getting to know Noah.  God has also graciously provided Hannah with a job back at the nursery where she has worked previously.  A specific answer to my prayers – he is good!  Hannah will be here til early August and Aliyah will be heading to the Logos Hope at the end of August.

We are keeping very busy with homeschooling and ministry.  Yesterday Peter began teaching at the European Leadership Forum (online again this year) and he would greatly appreciate your prayers as he teaches in the preaching network over the course of the next week.  He’s also preaching (online) at a church in London this weekend.  He finds teaching online more difficult than in person, so you could pray for energy and enthusiasm and true connection with people’s hearts.

Peter also continues preaching most weeks at Trinity Chippenham and we are currently in a series on the book of Acts which has been so challenging and also encouraging.  Click here to listen to recordings or here to join our church’s livestream (3:45 pm UK time on Sundays).  We are incredibly grateful that we’ve been able to continue using an Anglican church in town for in person church services.  We’ve actually had quite a few new people join us (quite a few unsaved).  It’s been exciting to see how God has been growing our church even during this lockdown time.  We’re also thrilled that our new Christians Against Poverty debt centre is now open for clients!  Please pray for us as we seek to continue reaching our community with the good news of Jesus and wisely look to the needs of a growing church.  We hope to move back into our former rented facilities (a secondary school) in the next month or two.  Please pray this would all go smoothly and Covid restrictions would be fully lifted as planned by the government.

Personally, Peter and I would both value prayer for physical and emotional stamina and that we’d find moments to rest and recharge.  We have many things on our plates and many people who we love and care for deeply.  We want to remain fully connected to the Vine ourselves so that the life of Jesus may flow through us to others.

**In our last email update we asked if anyone would like to pray with us regularly for some specific situations. If you responded to us, we apologise that we haven’t contacted you yet but we will do so soon.  Meanwhile, if someone else would like to join this group in prayer for some specific needs, please let us know and we’ll share the prayer points with you too!

 

 

Winter and the Hope of Spring

Melanie —  March 16, 2021

The photo above is a favourite of mine – taken just before Hannah went back to the USA after Christmas.  I’m so proud of my four teenagers (well, Hannah is no longer a teenager now that she’s turned 20!).  Of course, just like us as parents, they aren’t perfect, but they are fantastic people and it’s exciting to see them growing up, pursuing Jesus and becoming our friends as well as our kids.  It also warms our hearts to see how they love each other and have fun together.

We’ve been in pretty strict lockdown in the UK most of the year so far, which should mean we’ve had more time to share news.  Hmmmm.  Funny how it doesn’t work that way. Our lives feel full, though we are feeling increasingly sad about the limits on our lives and ministry.  We are pondering and praying about lots of things and asking God to help keep our hearts stirred with passion and perseverance in serving him. I think we aren’t alone in feeling a general sense of discouragement as the lockdown drags on.  However, we have had many times of joy and reasons for thankfulness this year already.  Here are a few photos which highlight some of the blessings:

We got some lovely snow in January which was really fun for the children (small and big!) and beautified our world. God’s creation is awesome.

 

Kaylah turned 9 on the 1st of February. She enjoyed some one-on-one walks with friends throughout her special day.

 

Aliyah turned 18 on the 5th of February. Lockdown restrictions meant we couldn’t have the big party we’d hoped for, but with a little creativity she ended up having a really special day . . .

 

Surprise videos from friends and family, surprise zooms and a walk in the sunshine. People were so kind in their expressions of love to her. She’s now busy finishing her last year of school, teaching piano, serving in various ways and preparing to go to the Logos Hope for a year. We’re so excited to see God working in her life.

 

Mariah’s birthday was our next birthday season celebration. She turned 16 on the 19th of February. We surprised her with a treasure hunt leading to her birthday present, various friends showing up to walk with her throughout the day and some surprise zooms. We also took a little trip to a garden centre! Simple joys. It’s a true joy to watch Mariah mature and grow. She spends a lot of time playing/makimg music and is increasingly spending time serving those around her.

 

Hannah turned 20 on the 2nd of March! She’s continuing to keep very busy at university with many things including her job as a multicultural resident assistant. We miss her and we’re excited to see her, Lord willing, in May when she comes home.

 

Lockdown breeds creativity, which isn’t a bad thing . . . Joel and the girls made this football stadium out of magatiles and playmobil people.

 

And we’ve had dog shows . . .

 

. . . and walks . . .

. . . and Kaylah and Jessah did some dressing up for World Book Day. Can you guess who they are?

 

We plan to write an email update soon with more ministry news so watch this space. We are also pondering embarking on the project of writing and sending out a paper prayer letter.  We often produce the paper letters in conjunction with our trips to the USA to see supporters – please do pray that trip like this may be possible later this year.  It has been 3 years now since we’ve been back to the USA as a family.  As with many people, we are finding it difficult to plan. In the midst of disappointing and discouraging times, we’d appreciate prayer for closeness to Jesus and that we’d continue to choose truth, joy, faith, community and service.  Click here for a fantastic sermon on this topic.  Thank you for your faithful prayers for us.  We’d love to know how we can pray for you too!

 

 

 

 

Pre-Christmas Pictures

Peter —  December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve has come quickly!  We are long overdue a family post, so here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.  Everything is a bit strange this year, of course, but we are thankful that we have a busy household which is an extra blessing during various versions of lockdown.  In the past few months church has been at a village hall, in a field, just online, and in December, as guests in a big Anglican church building.  Other activities have been restricted and we are all getting used to using Zoom much more than we would prefer.

Meanwhile, family life continues.  In November our littlest turned 5 – where did that half decade go?

Here is Jessah with her Curious George cake (well done, Melanie!)

Jessah enjoying a few minutes with Joel at the dinner table.

At the beginning of December we managed to surprise all the children with Hannah arriving home early.  Everyone was genuinely shocked and thrilled to see her (including our friend Georgia – who is often at ours because of support bubble provisions!)

The three older girls back together – here enjoying a meal out with Mum and Dad (a replacement Christmas present since we couldn’t get to the theatre together in the summer . . . the gift kindly adjusted into a meal out!)

And the little two enjoying having Hannah back – here with matching hair styles!

This week we spent a few hours together as a family in Bourton-on-the-Water – a lovely Cotswold village.

Hannah and Jessah waiting patiently for their pizzas at lunch time!

Whole family selfie with the mid-river Christmas tree in the background.

Christmas Day is coming soon, and these two are especially excited.  Here is their little bedroom tree getting decorated in anticipation of the big day!

Thank you for praying for us during these months.  We don’t know what is going to happen in the next weeks, but we anticipate further restrictions.  Thankfully our God is not restricted and so we continue to trust Him for life change in the home, in the church, and across the globe!