Nine years ago today, August 7, 1999, Colleen and I were married at the Temple Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas. It amazes me how quickly those nine years have passed, and how blessed I have been during that time frame.
We met on a blind date at the Chinese Kitchen in Odessa on December 24, 1996. If I believed in love at first sight, I would have to say this was one of those occasions. However, our attraction was more than simple sight: we sat at the Chinese Kitchen for 3+ hours engrossed in deep conversation, wondering if he/she could be "the one."
We had so many things in common, especially our faith and value system. But I was committed to return to Israel and she was committed to go to Czech Republic, which created a big dilemma: How could we square this circle?
To make a long story short: I returned to Israel and Colleen eventually went to Czech Republic, but we kept in touch and continued to grow more in love until...Colleen brought her stuff to Israel and we left twelve hours later for our wedding in Texas.
On October 1, 1999, we returned to Israel as Mr. and Mrs. Craig Dunning, and have lived here since. During that time, the Lord has blessed us with our daughter, Grace, and we have had the privilege to work with three congregations in different parts of Israel. We've seen and experienced a lifetime of things already, and are thankful to the Lord for shaping us the way He has, whether through happy times or difficult experiences.
Finally, in a personal note to Colleen, THANK YOU for being my best friend and life partner. I'm much better as a result of these nine years.