Immanuel “God with Us”

Matthew 1:23
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

This is a verse that is very common to see or hear during the Holidays, but this year it has touched me in a very special way.

On December 19th, we welcomed Gary Charles and Kennedy Maelynn into the world under very stressful circumstances. Both babies and my mom were not doing well physically and delivering the babies at 27 weeks was the best option to keep everyone safe. During this time we were supported through prayer. I know that the prayers we received were powerful and full of God’s grace because less than a week later both babies and my mom are doing very well.

As I was driving back to their house on the 19th, I was overwhelmed with true thanksgiving , Eucharisteo in Greek. I knew without a doubt that we had experienced true “Immanuel”, God was with us during that day and the days leading up to the delivery. His presence was there with each nurse and doctor and in the delivery room, and in the NICU with the nurses who are still taking care of these precious babies. We are so blessed that once we believe in Jesus as our Savior and accept him into our lives that the Holy Spirit indwells us and is WITH US!

I hope that as you are celebrating this wonderful Christmas day, that you do not forget the true reason of the Season. That our God took on an earthly body, lived a sinless life, died the death of a criminal and then rose again and now lives in Heaven and is with us whenever we need him. We are so fortunate to have a God who cares so much about us. I pray that you will feel His presence today and every day.

Now to show off my littlest brother and sister. 🙂

Gary and Kennedy

Merry Christmas!


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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in gail


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The Story of Our Trip

This past Sunday, Gail and I were able to share with people of the community our journey in South Sudan.  We were able to share some pictures and videos as well as stories.  In case you were not able to make it but you still want to see what all went on, we have posted a video to YouTube:

Simply click on the link above and it should take it to the video.  Be warned that it is a little over 26 minutes long.  Which if you knew how many pictures and videos we went through, 26 minutes seems almost miraculous.  But please do go and watch it.

Again we want to thank everyone that supported us through this amazing experience.  We were able to see the joy and hope of God in the lives of South Sudanese orphans.  It is still hard to exactly put into words our experience but we hope this video will help you have a better understanding of everything.

In Christ’s Love,

Josh and Gail

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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Josh wrote this for his blog today. I thought it was so good that I wanted to share it on ours as well. If you didn’t know, Josh has his own blog where he posts some really wonderful spiritual stuff. You can follow the link “Thirsting for God” on the right side of our blog page to access his blog.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Thirsting For God

It started not with myth or legend

No princess, prince, knight or dragon

There was no witch nor storm to fear

But came upon a midnight clear


It was foretold years ago

In ancient books, the story goes

A people separate from their Maker

Lost in life’s endless crater


They pulled and tugged and scratched and clawed

But there was no end for they were flawed

What did they need to be set free?

Brains, talent, strength indeed?


They looked to warriors in their might

Their savior though, nowhere in sight

What man would come, what king to save?

No man, no king, a lowly babe


Born not to riches or earthly glory

For that would be no great story

Instead he came poor and plain

GodMan here, Jesus his name


A life righteous did he live

Into temptation he did not give

But perfect…

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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


Season’s Greetings

Happy Greetings!

Things are finally settling back to normal.

We were able to spend time with both of our families before coming home.

Josh’s mom made this amazing cake that helped fix some of my chocolate cravings. I ended up making it for Thanksgiving because it was so amazing!

And we had a bountiful meal at Mom’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. (Everyone was more concerned with eating than with pictures, so here is a picture of us enjoying a nice walk after eating.)

Now that we are back home we plan on continuing to blog ever so often just to update what God is doing in our lives. We hope that you will stick around and see how our story unfolds. We are just as excited as you are. 🙂

In Christ’s Love

Gail and Josh

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in gail, Uncategorized


Texas, Our Texas

After 48 hours of traveling we are safely in Nacogdoches, Texas at Josh’s family house.

It was pretty uneventful travel, we thank you so much for your prayers.

We will update more once we have gotten some good rest and are back in Avoca.



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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


Things We Learned From Africa

  • Peanut Butter is an excellent substitute for dessert.
  • We can live without electricity, but a fan at night is priceless.

  • Who needs a lawn mower when you have kids with sharp slashers.

  • Beans and rice for every meal is not too bad.

  • Mud toys are better than plastic ones.
  • Cold showers can warm the soul.
  • Mango trees provide the coolest shade during the hottest time of day.

  • Monkey is a delicacy. (so are giant lizards)
  • A nice cool morning means extreme heat in the afternoon.
  • It is better to eat fruit and vegetables that are not quite ripe than none at all.

  • Bedtime is at dark. (which is usually about 7pm)

  • Dirt is cleaner in Africa than America.  No hand sanitizer here.
  • White people always bring candy and if you don’t, you are not a friend.
  • All you need to catch fish is some line, a hook, a stick, and 4-5 boys that love finding worms.

  • A crocodiles weakness is a set of sticks sticking above the water.

We learned many other things while here in Africa and we can’t wait to share them with you.  We just wanted to share some of the more unique experiences.

This will be our last post from Africa.  Hopefully the next time you hear from us, we will be back in the states.  We look forward to sharing all of our pictures, videos, and stories with you all when we get back.  Please continue to pray that our travel experience is uneventful and we adjust easily.

Thank you again,

Josh and Gail

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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Happy Saturday!

First, we want to say Happy Birthday to Sydney Mims! Hope you are having a great day!

This week has gone by sooo quickly. Thank you all so much for your prayers because it has been a very good week.

We did our teaching with each of the classes and that went very well. They seemed to understand the importance of being imitators of Christ and really liked playing Follow the Leader. 🙂

Gail did her second training this morning and it went better than expected. God really guided her words and she really feels like it will make a difference here on the compound.

This afternoon we had a game time with the kids. We played Sharks and Minnows and 6 Corners.  They really enjoyed it but it is so hot today we only played for about 45 minutes.

We are coming to the end of our time here in Terekeka and want to say thank you again for all of your support.  This has been a great experience for us. We have seen that God can use us in ways we didn’t expect as long as we are obedient to him.

In Christ’s Love,

Josh and Gail

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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Uncategorized