Lucena to U-Belt to Nashville

Every once in a while, I take a step back and wonder at my relationships. Some friends have been friends because of common interests or backgrounds. These make sense. But there are just some people who, when you think about it, almost make you stop and wonder how in the world you became close. You know what I mean?

Definitely being married to a celebrity has really opened my horizons and diversified my connections. (Like I met Bembol Roco once. Never saw his movies but his name sounds cool and he was too.) But the biggest “diversifier” of relationships isn’t my wife’s network, though it’s vast, but the church. In the church, the spiritual family, I’ve had some really awesome friendships with people who I wouldn’t even have met otherwise.

Ryan Tan is one such friend.

I’d known of Ryan for more than 10 years. He was a member of our church in Lucena and a dynamic young leader, with crush-ng-bayan looks and dance moves. And that’s all I knew about him till 2008 when we studied in the US together for two months. There I discovered him to be introspective, insightful, passionate about reaching young people, and devoted to God.

Three goofing off, one studying – that ratio seems accurate.

He faithfully served God in Lucena, then moved to the University Belt seven years ago to disciple the students there. Under his leadership, what used to be a 500 student campus ministry has grown to over 2500. With men and women graduating from there every year entering the workplace changed, ready to do damage for the kingdom of God.

More than that, he’s an amazing leader, always looking to learn and improve. There’s always something cooking inside that head of his and he aggressively seeks paths for self-improvement as his life and ministry show. I always look forward to our conversations because I know there’ll be something new for me to think about afterwards.

The man in the back is his favorite (tor)mentor, Pastor Paul Barker.

Finally, as a family man, he’s a great example to me of a devoted husband and father. With the many demands on his schedule, he constantly strives to give his wife and daughter prime hours of his day. I also learn a lot from how he lives by faith for God to provide.

So happy birthday bro! Thanks for being a great coworker and friend!

Here are some videos I have of Ryan from the U.S.

Ryan getting pranked

Ryan getting back at the guy

Happy birthday, bro!
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