Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Faithful Penpals

Anna Naomi and Anna Elizabeth

5 years ago, on May 20th, 2002, our family was camping atop the mountain at Sequoia National Park in California. We awoke, climbed out of our tent, and to our amazement discovered that everything was covered in snow! It was very cold as we tried to pack up and cook breakfast in the snow. We weren't prepared for the snow, but it was beautiful!

Before leaving, we got to know the family that was camping next to us. To our amazement, they had a daughter named Anna, who turned 12 on that very day! After talking further, we realized that both my dad and her dad had gone to the same boarding school for MKs in Kenya. Anna and I exchanged addresses, and promised to write soon. After all, how often do you find a penpal who shares your name?

We continued to write as Anna and her family went back overseas. When Anna went to boarding school (the same one in Kenya) 2 years ago, we continued to write. And when their family came back to the states last year, we continued to write, from Alabama to Texas.

When Elijah got ready to go to LeTourneau University in the fall, I told him to be on the look-out for Anna's brother Stephen, who was maybe going there. She told Stephen to look out for Elijah, but somehow we forgot to mention it to our parents. My parents went through the parent orientation, and upon coming out began talking to another couple who had just finished. Each looked somewhat familiar to the other; suddenly, they recognized the last names. My parents were talking to Anna's parents! 4 years after meeting in the snow, they were once more conversing, not in California this time, but in Texas!

Anna and I knew that we needed to meet while they were in the US, so we tried to arrange a date. Finally, Anna and her family were able to come yesterday, and spend a night with us. We had a fun time playing games, looking at pictures, and talking together. It's nice to be able to put a voice and personality behind the letters I've received for so many years.

It's amazing how God works things out. We "just happened" to camp next to each other in the snow; our parents "just happened" to meet at Letourneau. We look forward to what God has in store for our friendship in the years ahead. After 5 years of writing letters, we look forward to writing even more.


Anna S said...

What a lovely story, Anna! From all the things I like to do, writing and receiving letters (and I mean real letters!) is definitely in the top 5. :) I correspond with my cousin Margita and with a childhood friend and their letters are such a joy!

Ella said...

Perhaps one day this story will be of you and me=) I sure hope so!!

Oh, thank you so much for adding my blog to the sidebar!

Anna Naomi said...

Anna S: Yes, writing and receiving letters is one of my favorite things as well! It's pretty neat that we share the same name as well. =)

Ella: Yes, one day that would be so much fun! You've been a wonderful penpal.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful story. It's like you were always meant to be friends.

Luke said...

How fun! Your family does a great job at hosting people. I've learned much from observing how they do it. :)

Love you,

Hazel said...

Wow that is an amazing story. God is sooo good. xx