Justin and Emily had an unusual courtship, much of it spent apart while Justin lived and worked with a Pygmee tribe in the Congo. A former MMA fighter turned radical Jesus loving missionary, Justin spent much of their relationship sleeping in huts and digging wells while Emily worked and waited...and made trips back and forth to Africa visit her love.
While he was overseas I met sweet, sweet Emily and she asked if I’d be willing to paint at their wedding ceremony....their SURPRISE wedding ceremony! What?! Of course!
Here’s the video Emily created to break the news to her groom that he’d be her groom THAT DAY.
Justin was happily surprised and the wedding went off without a hitch....except for that the wedding was held out of doors, at 7pm, and the sun went down just as she walked down the isle. I had just started painting! (oops!) I was able to paint through much of the reception under the lighted tent. All was well.
Emily’s instructions for the painting were pretty simple. She loves purple and their theme song through the crazy, trial-by-fire time of courtship was “Never Once”, by Matt Redman.
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.