Melanie —  November 23, 2023

Today is Thanksgiving – a day to remember God’s goodness to us! So it seems fitting to share a long overdue photo update of family highlights from the past few months  We will shortly send out an email update with more ministry related news and prayer requests. For now, here is a photo update.  It seems like it was a summer and autumn especially full of special events and celebrations!


At the end of July, we had a wedding celebration here in England for Hannah and Noah. It was really special to celebrate with friends and family who weren’t able to attend the wedding in the USA. It was an afternoon full of ceilidh (Scottish dance) and cake and lots of joy!


In August we started school . . . this is our traditional first day of school photo. As the years pass, I’m losing students, but still loving teaching and discipling my children.


Our next celebration was Peter’s Mum’s 80th birthday. We had a special weekend celebrating her.


Together as a family, we all came up with 80 memories of Mum and then we shared them with her (10 tied to each flower stem). It was such a special time of reminiscing together.


Next in the celebration line was Mariah’s high school graduation!


We celebrated with family and friends on an extremely hot September afternoon (crazy unusual weather for England!). The ice lollies were flowing and the children loved playing in the paddling pool.


We are so proud of Mariah for all her hard work in her schooling!


Mostly we are just so thankful that she loves Jesus so much and is pouring herself out to serve and follow Him. This is more precious to us than any academic achievement.  She has become a beautiful woman, inside and out.


A few days after Mariah’s graduation, we flew to Greece (using some free airline vouchers) for our first ever warm beach holiday! Due to the flooding in Greece, we had to change our accommodation at the last minute but it all worked out. We stayed very near to ancient Corinth and were able to visit the site.


The view from our air B and B was stunning. We all kept pinching ourselves as we couldn’t believe we were in such a beautiful place!


The sunsets were gorgeous. Being real though, along with the beauty and the blessing, we had some family conflict that was difficult.  (This is us being vulnerable . . . holidays and family life are far from perfect!) But I think it was the catalyst for us to start talking through some issues and that has been a very good thing.


We came from very hot weather in Greece, back to rainy England! It’s been a very wet autumn, but I can’t remember a season where I’ve seen so many beautiful rainbows.


The autumn colours were a little slow in coming this year . . .


. . . but they got there!


Also in October we were finally able to redeem a Christmas gift from my sister and go to Chessington World of Adventures. It was such a fun day out – the younger girls first time at an amusement park. They were amazing and went on all the scary rides!


Peter and I were able to take a couple of nights away together in October too. It’s always such a gift to get uninterrupted time with each other. Even though it’s such a joy, marriage can also be challenging and we find these times away together really strengthen our relationship.


It’s been such a joy having Hannah and Noah nearby and having them join us for family fun like carving pumpkins for the Light Party! Please would you pray for them as they have hit a snag with Noah’s visa application. This has been very difficult for them. Pray that they will get good advice on how to proceed next.


Here we are all dressed up for Trinity’s Light Party! We had lots of guests join us and we pray they felt the love and light of Jesus that we tried to share with them.


Next was sweet Jessah’s 8th birthday. How is it possible that our youngest is 8 years old?! Here she is with her siblings holding their gift to her . . . a Charlotte doll (replica of Laura’s from Little House on the Prairie.)


And as of last Saturday, our boy Joel is 17 years old! (not really our boy anymore . . . he’s almost as tall as his dad and well on his way to becoming a man!)


On the church front, we had a joyful baptism in October too! Our church is continuing to grow and grow and we thank God for his work!


So. Much. Joy! Tears and smiles and hearts full of thankfulness for the miracle of salvation and growth in Christ.

These have been some of the joyful highlights for us the past few months. However, probably every photo could also tell backstories of hard things we’ve faced surrounding those joyful events.  Life in this sin-stained world is hard.  We don’t want to paint a false rosy picture.  Instead, we want to be the first to admit that we struggle with sin.  We struggle with the effects of the fall on our bodies and minds that often feel weak.  We struggle with not having enough time to do all the things that feel really important.  We struggle at times with family conflict – clashes of personalities and opinions.  We have recently also struggled with grief and sorrow over some losses and major disappointments.  Praise God that his love, his forgiveness, his strength and comfort are constant in our lives.  An anchor for our souls. And we praise Him for the hope that we have . . . that one day the tastes of joy that we experience on this broken earth will burst into fullness beyond our wildest imaginations.

Thank you for praying for us.  We are thankful for you!! Please see our mini update (coming to your inbox very soon if it hasn’t already) for more prayer requests and news.