Take a Look at What We’re Giving People in France!

In just over one week, we will be in France with our family and a few young people from our church!

We have begun the process of packing, and we are actually almost finished! For those who are interested, we will share some blog posts showing what we are packing, how we are doing it, and how we plan for trips like this for a family of four.

Handing out Booklets at the OlympicsFor right now, we wanted to show you the amazing booklets that we are going to hand out in France! If you have a few moments, take a look to read them and then pray for those strangers who we will meet that God would give them receptive hearts to the Gospel.

Some have asked about obtaining these booklets for themselves. We’re not sure if we can get some for you, but we are looking into that possibility because it is one of the most thorough gospel booklets we have ever seen, especially for people who have no understanding of biblical concepts. If you’re interested, please let us know!

Partner with Us

If you would like to partner with us financially as we take the Gospel to the 2024 Olympics, our expenses are going to be about $6,600. This includes our flights, our lodging, our meals, and our travel insurance. Thank you so much to those who have already donated generously to this ministry!

Instructions on how to donate to our summer ministry can be found at the following link: Donate to Huangs’ Summer 2024 Missions Trip

Praises and Prayer Requests


  • God has opened the door for our whole family to participate in this ministry together
  • All the details have come together smoothly for our trip

Prayer Requests

  • All of the funds to cover our expenses as this is not part of our regular church ministry
  • Ease of travel for our kids, especially when they miss naps
  • Preparation of the hearts of those in France who we will meet and share the Gospel with

We’re Going to France!

2024 Summer Missions Trip TeamWe have some exciting news!

Our family is partnering with S.E.E. (Sports Event Evangelism) to bring the Gospel to the world at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Joining us on our trip are three young people from our church’s youth group, Joyanna, Abigail, and Chayden.

Joshua was part of the S.E.E. team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, so we have been looking forward to this opportunity for several years, especially after the cancellation of the 2020 Olympics.

Our responsibilities will be two-fold. First, we will help the group distribute Gospel booklets in multiple languages and talk to anyone who has the time to stop and go deeper. Second, we will capture photos and videos of the outreach to show what God is doing there.

Please pray for our family and for the rest of our church’s group as we prepare for this ministry later this summer. We will post updates via email and social media. If you would like to subscribe to our family’s email updates, you can do so on the sidebar here on our website.

We will also post details of our trip here on our website, including how we were able to book business class flights for our return trip for less than the cost of economy tickets! You can subscribe to our blog updates on the sidebar as well.

Partner with Us

If you would like to partner with us financially as we take the Gospel to the 2024 Olympics, our expenses will be about $6,600. This includes our flights, our lodging, our meals, and our travel insurance.

Instructions on how to donate to our summer ministry can be found at the following link: Donate to Huangs’ Summer 2024 Missions Trip

Praises and Prayer Requests


  • God has opened the door for our whole family to participate in this ministry together
  • We have three young people from our church going with us on this missions trip
  • Everyone’s passports have been secured!

Prayer Requests

  • All of the funds to cover our expenses as this is not part of our regular church ministry
  • Preparation of our hearts as we anticipate this ministry
  • Preparation of the hearts of those in France who we will meet and share the Gospel with

Embracing Differences in Marriage with Patience and Understanding

Marriage is a beautiful journey (we like to refer to it as an adventure) of two individuals coming together to share their lives. But just like any relationship, it also comes with its challenges. One of the most common challenges is dealing with differences in how each spouse approaches tasks and situations.

Joshua and Alyssa on the RoofWe discovered this even before we got married since we were friends for several years, but we both have slight differences in the ways that we do many things. It doesn’t help either that we both have strong firstborn personalities, so we both know that our way of doing things is the best way 😉

When your spouse does something differently than how you prefer, it can be tempting to try to change them. This is an ongoing challenge for me, especially.

I have learned, however, that sometimes it can be better to stay quiet and embrace these differences with grace. In view of eternity, some differences are honestly not that big of a deal, like the fact that Alyssa handwashes dishes with the faucet running while I only turn on the water once I’m ready to rinse the dishes.

There often is nothing to gain by asking your spouse to do something differently just because you prefer it that way (and Alyssa washes our dishes most of the time anyway, so she should get to do it the way she wants to!).

How to Embrace Differences with Grace

The Bible offers wisdom on how to handle differences and conflicts in various situations. One such passage is Proverbs 17:27-28: “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”

Sometimes it’s better not to say anything! There is value in restraint and wisdom in sometimes remaining silent.

Why start a conflict when you could instead accept a small difference and maintain peace and goodwill?

Here are a few advantages of keeping quiet instead of voicing certain preferences.

  1. You Foster Peace and Harmony
    By choosing not to voice every disagreement, you help to maintain a peaceful and harmonious home environment. Even constructive criticism on a regular basis can create tension and conflict, whereas patience and acceptance can strengthen your relationship.
  2. You Encourage Growth and Independence
    Allowing your spouse to handle tasks in their way can encourage their personal growth and independence. It shows trust and respect for their abilities and decisions.
  3. You Build Mutual Respect
    When you accept your spouse’s differences, you build a foundation of mutual respect. This respect fosters a deeper emotional connection and strengthens the bond between you.

Of course, there are times when you should speak up and have a kind-hearted discussion about some differences, especially if those differences significantly impact either of you spiritually, mentally, physically, or financially.

Some of these issues, if not addressed, can lead to misunderstandings or resentment over time. It’s important to find a balance between being patient and addressing significant concerns.

Consistently staying silent can stifle healthy communication. It is crucial to ensure that both partners feel heard and understood in the relationship. You need to learn how to differentiate between matters that need to be discussed and those that are insignificant.

In some cases, what might seem like a minor difference could be a symptom of a larger issue. Ignoring it could lead to more significant problems down the line. Again, discernment must be exercised. The example I gave above about washing the dishes is not a symptom of a larger issue, and it doesn’t impact either of us in a negative way.

When to Speak Up with Grace

While embracing differences with grace is important, there are situations where it is better to speak up…and still use grace.

  1. Matters of Principle or Values
    If the difference touches on core values or principles, it is essential to discuss it. Open communication about fundamental beliefs is crucial for a healthy relationship. Almost anything related to raising kids should be discussed.
  2. Impact on Well-Being
    If your spouse’s actions are affecting their well-being, your well-being, or the well-being of your family, it is necessary to address the issue. But do some soul-searching and praying to make sure you aren’t being selfish!
  3. Repeated Patterns
    If a particular behavior is a recurring source of conflict or stress, it might be time to have a constructive conversation about it. If you tend to get stressed easily over inconsequential things, though, you might want to get additional help and counsel for that.

When speaking up, it’s important to do so with love and respect. Colossians 3:12-14 advises, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

This passage reminds is addressed to the church, but if you and your spouse are both born-again Christians, you are a brother and sister in Christ and should treat each other as such. Approach your spouse with kindness and love, aiming to build them up rather than to get your way.


Learning to embrace differences with patience and understanding can foster peace, respect, and deeper connection. This is true of all relationships, but especially in marriage.

More and more often, I have found that I just have a lot of preferences, and just because my wife does something differently does not mean it’s wrong! There are usually multiple good ways to do things. Therefore, expressing my preference is often not necessary.

Remember, however, that there are also legitimate times to speak up and address significant issues. Do not come to these conclusions quickly, though, and try to approach these situations from a biblical perspective.

Embrace the adventure of growing together, accepting your differences, and always striving for unity and love!

Do you tend to express your opinions and preferences more often than necessary in your relationships?

Majoring on the Minors: Why I Took My Son to The Mall on Wednesday

As Alyssa walked along the sidewalk, pushing Baby Jocelyn in the stroller, she could hear the screams of her oldest child behind her, but there was nothing she could do about it. She entered the doors of Terminal 1 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and made sure not to turn around and look.

I sat there in the car with my distraught child behind me, wishing that we too were entering that terminal and preparing to board a flight. Baby Jadon loves to fly, and it crushed his little heart to see his mom and sister walk into the airport while we stayed in the car.

Of course, it didn’t make sense to him. Every time we go to the airport, he gets to get out with his car seat and go inside to get his boarding pass. He had flown on over 50 flights before his second birthday, and he already knows the whole process from the time we check our bags until we pick them up on the carousel at our destination.

But this was not one of those times, and there was nothing I could do to stop the tears from pouring down his cheeks as we drove away.

Thankfully, it was only a minute later when he stopped crying to point at the airplanes on the tarmac as we entered the highway once again. He gets excited to see airplanes on the ground and in the air even if he does not get to be a passenger on them.

But I decided that this would be a good time to have some father-son time together and to do something special for him while his mom and sister got the privilege of flying.

So we drove to Mall of America which is just on the opposite side of the interstate from the airport. We drove up to Level 5 in the parking garage, the level where we always park when we go to the mall.

Most of the stores in the mall were not open yet, and the little foot traffic that we found inside was mostly people who were there for the exercise. So we joined them and walked around a couple levels.

We walked around Nickelodeon Universe and stopped for a moment so he could watch the rides that went through their motions with nobody in them. We passed the thousands of Christmas lights that hang from the ceiling on the west side, always a favourite sight for Baby Jadon. We walked around the outside of the Lego store and looked at the many Lego sets on display.

We made sure to go up and down several escalators and one of the elevators because he always likes to do those.

At 10:00am, the stores finally opened, and we went straight to the Lindt store. Our family loves to go there because we like to look around at the many chocolates that they sell, and they often give free samples as well. Sure enough, they offered truffles to us, so we each took one as we continued to look around the store.

Baby Jadon at PaneraWhen we were finished there, we went up to the third level to Panera, and I got my free drink as a Sip Club member. While we waited for them to prepare my drink, we sat down at a table, and Baby Jadon proceeded to open his milk chocolate truffle. He took a bite and exclaimed, “Mmmmm!”

A smile spread across his face, the tears of one hour ago long gone. A moment later he popped the remainder of the candy in his mouth and pushed his wrapper across the table to me.

After he had finished his chocolate, he took mine and started to unwrap it. I did not mind because this little trip was about him, not about me, and I have had plenty of chocolate in my life. Once again he took a small bite out of it to start, but it was not long before the rest of the truffle was in his mouth while I sipped my hibiscus iced tea.

A few minutes later we got up and left the mall. We had a lot of things to do at home, and we both had a nice start to the day.


As our family grows and our kids grow up, we want them to learn that they can find joy and have fun in the little things. Yes, sometimes we also do the big things like going on weekend trips to see friends and family or to see things like the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. But most of the time, we major on the minors, like stopping at Mall of America to walk around and get a free chocolate sample.

We don’t have to go and buy ice cream or a Lego set or a die-cast car. We don’t have to ride any of the rides at Nickelodeon Universe. We can do small, simple things that cost us a little time but almost no money, and we can make memories that last a lifetime.

Baby Jadon probably won’t remember this trip, but we are laying a foundation for the rest of life. Together we will have a good time while saving money for more important things.

He didn’t get to fly on the airplane this time, but he still got to do something special.

What special things do you do with others that cost nothing or almost nothing?

The 3 Things We Use to Help Our Toddler Sleep Almost Anywhere

There are three things that we never leave home without when we are traveling because they help our little guy sleep almost anywhere we go.

These items have saved us more stress than we know because we all know that kids need their sleep (just like us adults).

But what do you do when you are in a place that doesn’t have a bed for your kid?

What do you do when you can’t find a quiet spot or a dark spot for them to sleep?

How do you create ideal sleeping conditions without hauling along a collapsible playpen everywhere you go?

Thanks to Alyssa’s keen research and savvy money habits, we found our solution, and we love it.

These are the 3 items that we have used to help Baby Jadon sleep at home, at the homes of other people, in our church building, in hotel rooms, in airport lounges, and in airport hallways.

KidCo Peapod Travel Tent

The KidCo Peapod is a popular travel bed and play tent designed specifically for children, offering a safe and comfortable sleeping environment while on the go. Here’s why we consider the Peapod a must-have for parents traveling with kids:

  1. Baby Jadon Sleeping in KidCo PeapodCompact and Lightweight Design: The KidCo Peapod features a compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport and set up wherever your travels take you. It folds down into a small, portable carrying case, making it convenient to pack in a suitcase, car trunk, or carry-on bag. When we fly, one of us packs this in our carry-on roller bag so that we can use it in the airport. It’s SO small when it’s folded and stowed!
  2. Versatile Use: The Peapod serves multiple purposes, functioning as both a travel bed and a play tent. Whether your child needs a cozy spot to sleep or a safe place to play, the Peapod has you covered. It’s perfect for hotel stays, camping trips, beach outings, picnics, and visits to friends and family. When Baby Jadon was smaller, he would play in it, but now that he’s older and more active, we only use it for sleeping.
  3. Built-in Mattress and Sleeping Pad: Unlike traditional travel cribs or playpens that require separate bedding, the KidCo Peapod comes with a built-in, removable sleeping pad. This provides a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface for your child, ensuring a restful sleep wherever you are. As you can see in the picture above, we don’t need to add any additional padding even when using the Peapod on a hard surface.
  4. Mesh Panels for Ventilation: The Peapod features mesh panels on all sides, allowing for optimal airflow and ventilation. This helps regulate temperature and prevents your child from feeling hot or stuffy while inside the tent.
  5. UV Protection and Bug Shield: Some models of the KidCo Peapod come with UV protection and a bug shield, making it suitable for outdoor use. The UV protection helps shield your child from the sun’s harmful rays, while the bug shield keeps insects and bugs at bay, providing added peace of mind during outdoor adventures. We keep our Peapod for indoor use, so these specific features are not as important for us, but they might be for you!
  6. Easy Setup and Takedown: Setting up the KidCo Peapod is quick and straightforward, requiring no assembly or tools. Simply unzip the carrying case and allow the pop-up tent to unfold itself. Takedown can be tricky at first, but once you know how to do it, it collapses just as easily. Put it back into the carrying case, and you’re ready to go to the next place!
  7. Safety Features: KidCo prioritizes safety in their products, and the Peapod is no exception. It is designed with sturdy construction, reinforced seams, and flame-retardant fabric to ensure durability and compliance with safety standards.

The price for the KidCo Peapod Travel Tent is somewhat steep at around $80, but Alyssa was able to buy it used from someone on Facebook Marketplace at a discounted price. Having now used it all over the world and in so many different environments, I can say that it’s definitely worth its full retail price. If you like the concept and want to go with a similar product, Amazon also sells some options for about a third of the price like this one and this one.

Crib Blackout Cover

Crib blackout covers for playpens are specialized accessories designed to create a dark and cozy sleeping environment for infants and toddlers, similar to blackout curtains used in bedrooms. We use one in conjunction with our KidCo Peapod Travel Tent, and we also use it at home on our playpen.

  1. Material and Design: Our crib blackout cover is made from a lightweight and breathable fabric that attaches securely to a playpen or can be draped over our Peapod. The cover has ties to ensure a snug and secure fit, effectively covering the entire playpen to block out light from all sides. When we use it with our Peapod, we just tuck the excess underneath the tent.
  2. Benefits: Using a blackout cover can offer several benefits for our little guy. It creates a dark sleeping environment that helps him fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. The cover is lightweight and easy to transport; in fact, we stuff it into the Peapod carrying bag when traveling! When used at home, it can be quickly installed and removed as needed on our playpen.

This is a much better option than just a regular blanket because it is breathable and lightweight. It also insulates the bed moderately well, holding in the body heat that is emitted by our child. So he often sleeps just fine without a blanket when we use this!

You can get a crib blackout cover for about $20 or less on Amazon. Once again, Alyssa got it at a discounted price from someone else on Facebook Marketplace, but, once again, we have found it to be worth the full retail price if that’s what you have to pay to get it.

Amazon Alexa Sleep Sounds

The third thing that we use to help our little guy sleep almost anywhere is Sleep Sounds on Amazon’s Alexa. If you have an Amazon Echo device or the Alexa app on your phone, you probably already have a general idea of what this is and how to use it.

If that last sentence was a foreign language to you, let me summarize.

Alexa is Amazon’s personal voice assistant, and you can enable her to perform various functions and skills. We have her do half of the work at our house, but you can have her do something as simple as play ambient noise for you when you are sleeping.

But Alexa is better than the noise machines that you might buy online or at the store because she’s free and can reside on your personal digital device that you already bring with you when you travel.

Furthermore, if you enable the free Sleep Sounds skill by Voice Apps, LLC, in your Alexa account, you can access over 125 different sounds like Heartbeat, Fireplace, Airplane, Frogs, Wind Chimes, Washing Machine, Box Fan, and our personal favourite, Thunderstorm.

You can download the Alexa app on your phone and have it play the sounds without having to bring along an additional device. Of course, if you prefer to have your phone accessible, you could always just purchase an Amazon Fire Tablet that already has Alexa built-in and bring it along with you. It would even fit in the Peapod carrying bag along with the blackout cover!

KidCo Peapod at the AirportSummary

When we combine these three things together, we can assemble an unstoppable sleeping environment in less than 2 minutes.

That’s not an exaggeration either since the Peapod opens itself as soon as we remove it from its bag.

The first picture in this post is from one of the concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, and the second picture here is from one of the concourses at Nashville International Airport. The KidCo Peapod Travel Tent takes up so little space, the crib blackout cover blocks out the light, and the Sleep Sounds by Alexa drown out the extraneous noise.

We have found that the closets in many hotels are even large enough to fit the Peapod, giving Baby Jadon his own little room.

(Of course, as much as possible, we stay inexpensively in nicer hotels and then get free upgrades to suites with an extra bedroom for our kids.)

I owe many hours of sleep and relaxation and happiness to Alyssa for finding these items and insisting that we needed to buy them.

Have you ever heard of these things or used any of them?


The Pastor Who Invested Most in Me

Huang Wedding Handoff

I couldn’t stop crying.

Absolutely nothing I tried would stop the tears from flowing.

It wasn’t even a sad moment; it was one of the happiest moments of my life! But even though I usually can do a fairly decent job of hiding my emotions, I have always been a crier. Especially during extremely happy times.

But then I heard something that I had never heard before: “Who giveth this man…”

The pastor quickly fixed his mistake and asked the bride’s father the traditional question with the right terminology, but it was too late. A huge smile spread across his face as the room erupted in laughter, and I finally was able to stop crying.

In that brief moment, my future father-in-law gave me my partner for life, but not before my grandfather gave me a memory for life.

My grandpa gave me so many reasons to smile for over three decades, but that one on June 1, 2019, is definitely one of my favourites.

As I look back on life though, Grandpa did more than just provide smiles. He had a profound impact on who I am today as a person.

PastorsGod has blessed me with many amazing pastors- over a dozen of them. I will not list them here, but the people close to me have a good idea of who most of these men are.

What I love about my pastors is that they did more than just give me content. Yes, I have heard many sermons, devotionals, and Sunday School lessons from them. But it is not the preaching that I remember.

What I remember most is how they loved me and invested in me.

They invited me to their homes to eat and to sleep. Some of them even let me live in their homes for extended periods of time!

They taught me how to raise a family, how to work, and how to invest my money.

They taught me how to memorize Scripture, how to prepare Bible studies, and how to lead music in church services.

They taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and invest in other people.

But no pastor invested in me as much as Grandpa.

He started by investing first in his family and my parents before I was even born. After I entered the world, he continued to invest in me.

Joshua with GrandpaWhen I was a child, he spent so much time with me when we visited. He took me on his paper route, he brought me into the ditches to pick up pop cans, he taught me how to catch night crawlers, he took me fishing, he showed me his trapping route, and he took me up north to sell the skins from his trapping.

He always talked about God’s goodness and his desire for me to follow God too and experience that goodness. He always had a joke to tell based on whatever was happening that day.

He taught me the importance of faithfully following God and trusting his provision no matter what happened in life.

For many years he was just family, but for a year in college, he also became a colleague when he invited me to join him at his church as the Sunday song leader. Such a responsibility required a 6-hour roundtrip every weekend for several months, but it was a wonderful privilege. Each week he would tell me his sermon so that I could plan the order of service, and then we would spend Sunday serving together and spending time together at his house.

It’s one thing to watch someone do ministry for years, but it’s a greater joy to do it together with them!

The one thing that kept Grandpa going in life was the next opportunity to minister to someone. Whether that was teaching on Sunday or visiting someone during the week, he wanted nothing more than to keep investing in people and telling them about God.

I am extremely blessed to have a family in which all of my grandparents were amazing, godly people that invested so much in me. I wouldn’t be the same person without any of them.

Joshua and Grandpa at Wedding

But my Grandpa Gonnerman was unique in that he was a pastor, not just to others, but also to me.

Because of that, he could participate in some of the most significant events in my life. He baptized me as a child, he personally helped me prepare to be a pastor, and he was the one in my wedding who helped me stop crying (albeit only for a moment).

In my opinion, his many investments paid off; not just in my life, of course, but also in countless other lives.

My favourite pastor has finally retired, and today he enjoys the fruits of his labour. By God’s grace, the compound interest from his investments will continue to pay dividends in his absence.

Once more I can’t help but cry.

But Grandpa has given me a reason to smile.

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'” – 1 Corithinthians 15:54