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Anna with a Chenoweth classmate. Does anyone know who this is?
Timberley went with Anna to her last day of the second grade before we left again for Indonesia in 2006. Anna had a very good semester at Chenoweth Elementary School in Louisville. It was mostly because of her teacher, Maria Buckner. Anna made a very good friend in her. She came home from school one day and told us that she thought her teacher was a believer. When we asked why she thought so, she answered that it was because her teacher often corrected the children for taking the Lord’s name in vain. That always bothered Anna. I don’t recall now how it happened, but Anna approached Mrs. Buckner, or wrote her a note, to ask her if she was a Christian. They became fast friends and continued to email one another even after we returned to Indonesia.
Anna felt a deep burden for the other children at school. I think it was the first time that Anna had spent any significant time with children from unbelieving homes who spoke English. All of the children she knew up to then were either Indonesian or the children of missionaries. She came home burdened about the stories she would hear at school or on the bus. She prayed for the other children at night.
Although Anna never said this, I believe that her experience at Chenoweth changed her perspective about missions when we returned to Indonesia. Before we left for America she was very reluctant to learn the language. When we returned she was eager to start. Before we left for America she was reluctant to spend a lot of time with Indonesian children. When we returned, she was eager to make new friends. I know through the emails she sent back to Mrs. Buckner that her highest concern about being with the children was that she might in some way be able to share God’s love with them.
I hope that she was successful.
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For those of you who are still out there, you may have noticed that I have not updated the blog since Dec. 7. Last year. There are several reasons for this. It was mostly some personal things that I was struggling with. Writing about Anna became less therapeutic and more a source of joyless pain. Granted, I am not writing about her as a source of therapy, although I am certain that that is one result. I am getting into things, however, which I do not intend to broach at this time, so I had better be quiet now.
I received a comment the other day from a girl in Louisville who was a classmate of Anna at Chenoweth Elementary School in Louisville in the second grade. She had just recently heard about Anna’s death and had written to tell us she was sorry about it. I guess the fact that people who knew Anna are just still just finding out about her death is leading me to continue to write. And so I will write more. Not because of how it makes me feel, but because I think Anna’s story needs to be heard.
And really not because Anna’s story needs to be heard, but because the gospel needs to be heard, and Anna’s story is the gospel. I will write more on that later. For now, let me cloase with this. I want all of you to know that we still love and miss Anna. We still grieve her loss. We still, with slight modifications each day, honor and serve our Lord. We still, though we lack understanding at times, await his coming with joy and anticipation. And in that hope we move forward. And sometimes in that same hope we sit and are still. And sometimes, still in that same hope, we fall back a step or two, waiting for our gracious Lord to help us to our feet.
Blessings to you all.
Anna resurget. Deloris resurget. Nanny resurget.