Joshua and Alyssa Making Eggrolls

Our First Births

Like most people, we were both born at a very young age, Joshua Jordan Gonnerman Huang in Des Moines, IA, and Alyssa Joy Levy in Georgetown, IL. Joshua barely snuck into the 1980's (December 1, 1989) while Alyssa came along 11 months later in the new decade (November 4, 1990). Both of us were (and still are) the firstborn children of our respective parents.

Joshua was a small brown Asian baby, and Alyssa was a small white Jewish baby, and both of us were blessed to be born into godly families with parents who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Alyssa's parents met at Northland Baptist Bible College and Joshua's parents met at Faith Baptist Bible College, and we are thankful that God used those schools to make our existences possible 🙂

Alyssa entered the outside world in quite the dramatic fashion, crying and screaming to make her presence known (she was quite content staying inside her mom). Joshua's entrance was more peaceful and subdued, and he was also in no rush to come out (just ask his mom!). Today, Alyssa hates to cry and avoids it at all costs while Joshua thinks that crying is a good thing and encourages people to express their emotions with their tears. We sure have changed a lot!

Our Second Births

Although we did not meet until we attended Faith Baptist Bible College in August of 2009, our lives were fairly similar up until that point. We were both conceived as sinners, and we proved our sinfulness after we were born. Like everyone else, we were naughty, imperfect kids (Romans 3:23). But in God's gracious providence, our parents patiently showed us our need to have our sins forgiven by God so that we would not have to pay the penalty of our sin on our own (Romans 6:23).

God placed other faithful men and women in our lives who assisted our parents in giving us the good news of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness he offered, and eventually we both accepted that free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). By confessing our sins, accepting God's forgiveness, and placing our faith in him for our eternal salvation, we both became part of the Family of God (Romans 10:9-13).

Thus, long before we even met each other, we were already a brother and sister in Christ, and that bond is eternal! Visit our Testimonies page to learn more about how we got saved and how you can too.

Ministry Cultures

Over time our families grew and relocated multiple times. Alyssa became a big sister to two little sisters and a little brother and moved from one city to another to another, all within the Midwest. Meanwhile, Joshua became a big brother to four little sisters and three little brothers and moved from one house to another to another, all within Mason City, IA (home of the Music Man, in case you were wondering). Our wonderful moms invested many hours in homeschooling us, reinforcing biblical truths in our "secular" education and immersing us in environments with other like-minded Christian home educators.

Both of our families were heavily involved in local church ministry, and we are thankful for the faithful examples that they set for us. Joshua's dad has served as a deacon for many years while his mom has assisted his dad and also contributed greatly to the church in other ways. Alyssa's dad has served for several years as a pastor, assisted by Alyssa's mom who has also filled many other roles in the churches they have ministered to.

As children, we could not have asked for better models and mentors when it comes to living life to the fullest and bringing glory to God. Our parents and our churches involved us heavily in church ministry, and we did everything from singing to cooking to playing instruments to shelving books to folding bulletins to organizing events...and the list goes on. We learned that there is no greater joy in life than living for God and using our talents and abilities to serve him.

Brought Together by Faith

Eventually, God gave Alyssa a desire to pursue a career in teaching, and she decided to attend FBBC to get the training she would need for that field of work. Faith was not the school at the top of her list, but thankfully she went anyway!

Unlike Alyssa, Joshua's first choice for college was Faith. Ironically, he first attended community college and took online classes from another Bible college before enrolling at FBBC as a sophomore. Nevertheless, as a third-generation student at Faith, he got both his bachelor's and master's degrees from there.

So when we were students together in Ankeny, IA, was it love at first sight? Perhaps this is the better question: Unlike so many of our classmates, how did we both leave Faith without our Mr. and Mrs. degrees? To answer those questions and more, we put together a video for you that explains it all.

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Joshua's Proposal

During Joshua's final year at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, he happened to run into Faith's new president, Jim Tillotson, at Culver's in Ankeny, IA. After picking himself up off the floor and dusting himself off, he talked to the president for a couple minutes while they waited to order.

President Tillotson: "So are you married?"

Joshua: "Nope."

President Tillotson: "Are you dating?"

Joshua: "Nope."

President Tillotson: "Have you dated anyone during your time here?"

Joshua: "Nope."

President Tillotson: "You're about to graduate and you haven't dated anyone yet? What are you doing, man?!"

Well, Joshua got the point...he just didn't do anything about it during his final months at school 😉 Three years later, Joshua's friendship with a former classmate at Faith developed into a much closer relationship, and Dr. Tillotson had the pleasure of helping cement that relationship between us. This next video was Dr. Tillotson's idea, and the last video on this page is the story of how we got engaged. Enjoy!

Our Wedding

We got married on Saturday, June 1, 2019. That day of the year is also Joshua's half-birthday, so our anniversary date is doubly special for us.

Our ceremony was a little longer than most American weddings, but we spent a lot of time planning it and packing it as full as we could with things that were meaningful to us and our life in Christ.

If you are interested in watching the video recording from our wedding and reading our vows, you can find both on our wedding page.

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  1. Kind of like you, a white “Jewish” girl and a brown Asian boy (India) met at a Bible college almost 27 years ago. The girl graduated from college on May 10, 1996; and the two of them were married on May 11, 1996, almost 23 years ago. We have 4 “kids” – Zackariah is 18, Jacob is 14, Buddy the cat is 7, and Spot the cat is 3.

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