Anna+Ian in the DR: Anna's story
As we've prepared for the DR these past several months, we've reserved time to share our stories. And we thought it only fitting to share our stories with you, our partners in this journey. Ian's story coming soon.
My journey to faith started with my family - my parents served as missionaries until they had me. When I was six, I “prayed the prayer,” and was baptized a few years later. A few years after that, most of my classmates started partying, and in a small town, peer pressure runs high. But God blessed me with an amazing best friend and a supportive and passionate youth group. Together we were okay being different. When I left for college, my faith became my own. I plugged into a new church - not because of family or friends, but because I chose to pursue God. I don’t have a big sexy testimony where God saved me in some dramatic way, but I do know how faithful he was in blessing me with the support and community that allowed me to pursue him. God honored my parents’ faithfulness and prayers.
My journey to Boston started when a nearby town’s show choir toured northwest Kansas high schools. I knew several of the guys thanks to joint youth group mission trips, and they selected me for a serenade. This cute curly-haired boy was the soloist. A year later and my freshman year of college almost behind me, I found out he hadn’t forgotten me, and was coming to K-State in the fall. Three years later, he proposed. We spent eight months in Philly for his internship, then returned to Kansas for his final year of school. He graduated when the economy tanked. Thanks to a classmate he had a lead in Boston, and we felt a growing call to the city. We waited. And waited. It was a big lesson in patience and trust. He eventually got the call, and right before Thanksgiving 2009, we moved to Boston.
Our journey to [REUNION] started with two friends who lived in Boston: a high school youth group friend going to seminary, and Ian’s friend at the office. Both went to [REUNION], originally without knowing the other one did. We figured it was a good place to begin our church hunt. On our first Sunday, we had a quick conversation with Hank about the huge need in Boston, and we met the Naumans - architects. It felt like home. We started getting plugged in, and the rest is history.
My journey to my job started with a plan to hunt once we arrived in Boston (I’m an English major with passions but no career aspirations). A few months later and still no job, we were nearing the end of our emergency fund. Ian had to work over a weekend, so I joined him at the office instead of moping with another season of Alias. Ian read an email from HR - the office needed a temp during the receptionist’s maternity leave. I applied and interviewed. They turned me down as a temp, but offered me a full-time administrative assistant position. God provided, with perfect timing, a job that more than fills that gap in our finances. And I love it - I organize for other people, and am part of the office social media and web site efforts. Plus the regular hours leave me plenty of time for blogging.
Our trip to the DR started with a desire to serve God together. I’ve experienced the joy of serving others through several mission trips - house building in Mexico, outreach in inner city Chicago, school improvements on a Navajo Indian reservation, and relief efforts in Pascagoula, Mississippi a year after Katrina. Ian and I also knew that while we both were pursuing God, we were still learning how to do that together after serving apart, in different communities, for so long. On our first Sunday at [REUNION], we heard about the DR trip, but weren’t ready to commit. Over the next year we learned more about the Vargas family and their partnership with [REUNION]. We heard the stories and saw glimpses of the community through photos and video. We realized we each could use our own talents and gifts to meet different needs. But we’ll be serving one community together.