Brendan is my brother. He is also my best friend.
Gemma will become my sister-in-law next year. She is also my closest confidante.
Both of them have amazing hearts of worship and tenderness. The two of them together live by the code, to love what God loves, and hate what He hates. Injustice, suffering, hypocrisy and deceit are amongst their loathed subjects. But they love people.
I’ve known Brendan since the day I was born, and he has always loved to care for those who are less fortunate than himself. I met Gemma when I was 18. She is exactly the same.
I’m not sure you could find a more generous couple than Brendan and Gemma. Though they are private about their giving (Matthew 6:4), I know because I have seen their generosity in action.
But it’s not just financial giving that makes them the most generous people I’ve ever met. Brendan and Gemma give of themselves as much as they give of their wallets. They – especially Gemma – give until they are empty, expecting that God will fill them once again, so that they might give again.
Gemma is studying International Peace And Development Studies (although I know that’s not the official name). She pours over textbooks, learning about other cultures that she has never experienced. She constantly updates us via her online prayer group of the situations faced by people all around the world. She encourages us, though we may not even know their names, to join with her in praying for God’s will to be done in the hearts of many across the globe. She prays diligently for people she has never – nor may ever – met. She is a prayer warrior, with the cardigans to match.
Brendan is a musician. He loves to find and encourage talent in others. Even if only on a local level, he has launched the careers of countless musos. That’s how he and Gemma met. Gemma was a concert flautist and singer and after hearing her play one night, Brendan encouraged her to keep pursuing this art. He has continued to encourage her to play her flute, sing praises to her God and even helped her buy a mandolin to learn!
Together, Brendan and Gemma joined a group of about 14 young adults from the Central Coast of New South Wales, in traveling to Lake Cargelligo, a country town in central New South Wales. Over a week, the team runs holiday activities for the local Indigenous kids, including jet-ski rides across the lake. Gemma has made the 10 hour journey 8 times now, and Brendan has been twice.