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.