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9 Years & Counting

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So this post is waaaay late BUT we celebrated our 9th anniversary on November 28!  A lot has changed in that time. I’m a bit bigger than I was 9 years ago and Elizabeth…well she’s even more beautiful than before. :) But seriously, something very important has changed.  Through time our relationship has grown. It is wonderful to love someone completely for who they are, all their strengths and flaws. And it is wonderful to have them love you the same way!  What a beautiful picture of God’s love for us: unconditional, complete, and all-encompassing.  I think God also intended marriage to make us better Christians. There’s nothing like living with a completely different person to show you your own selfishness and pride.  Yes, a lot has changed in 9 years and I am thankful for it!  Except for the extra pounds…that needs to go. :)  

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Six Years Ago

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6 years? Is it really true? :) I don’t feel that much older. But yes, March 29, marked our sixth year serving in the Philippines. Six years ago, our family moved across the world full of plans, goals, and excitement to see God work. And He certainly did! Just not in all the ways we planned. :)  Why? So He could get the glory, and not Chris Baran. Yes, it is good to be prudent and make plans… but don’t be surprised when the Lord moves those plans aside to accomplish His own will.  Right now, I’m in a place I never envisioned but I know God orchestrated. Six years ago, I would never have thought that North Cebu Baptist Church would be nationalized. Six years ago, I would never have thought I would be assisting nationals plant new churches! But here we are and God gets all the glory!  I’m thankful to serve a wonderful Savior Who knows much better than I. 

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We’re Back!

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We’re back in Cebu! We want to thank everyone who prayed for us as we made the long trek home. Elizabeth was a trooper and we’re extremely thankful that Philip didn’t make a surprise appearance on the plane! :)  Please continue to pray for us as we’re still feeling the effects of jet lag. The kids were up bright and early this morning around 3:30…hopefully that will go away soon! :)  The greatest feeling though is being home! It is so good to be back in Cebu; we can’t wait to jump back in the ministry and work with God’s people! 

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8 Years!

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So I made a mistake! :) I’ve been telling churches that Elizabeth and I were celebrating our 9th anniversary but it’s actually our 8th. I told Elizabeth that it felt like 9 and that was a good thing! Somehow, I was still in trouble. But looking back at the years, one word comes to mind: Thankful. I am so thankful for the wife God has given me. I am thankful for the years we’ve had together. I’m thankful for the haven our home has become. Are there difficult times? Absolutely. Are there times I get in trouble? YES! Like when I forget how many years we’ve been married. :) But I love what God has given us and I pray for many many more moments and years together! 

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