Let me just explain this post a little before I really begin, sort of like the preface (does anybody besides me read those?) of a book. My goal for this blog is this--I want you to come with me to Samoa.
That's right! Well, almost. I know a lot of you wouldn't be able to come because of prior engagements, families, cost, school, jobs..... (I think you get the point!)....so I would like to write and update to the point where you feel as if you're along for the ride. I hope you'll view this blog as a 'digital trip' that you can start, traveling with myself and several other very special people. And, in light of this, I'd like to introduce you to the members of the 'team', one by one, starting with the person I know the best (and of whom I also actually have some pictures....), my good friend, Hannah.
So--(please insert a mental drumroll and clash of cymbals)--Introducing--Hannah!
Hannah has done a lot for me over the years and helped me over some very difficult times in my life. Once, when I was twelve and going through what was, at the time, the hardest experience of my life, she was the only one of my friends to reach out to me. She sent me a sweet note--which I still have--and helped her mom prepare a meal for our family. She is the kind of person who will literally cry for you when you're passing through a tragedy, and she is also the kind of person who will be the head cheerleader (metaphorically, of course :) ) when you have something wonderful to tell.
My writing all this is probably going to embarrass her to death, but sorry, Hannah, it has to be said....)
We share a lot of common interests, including music, books, chocolate (though my favorite is Symphony and hers are peppermint patties....), history, and, now, Samoa. Along with another dear friend, April, Hannah and I make up a trio (the AHA--April-Hannah-Anna--trio!); we've sung quite a few times in church.
She is the third of four children. Her oldest sister is married, has two boys, and lives in Illinois, while her only brother and his family are missionaries to Baffin Island (that's up in Canada's Arctic circle, for those of you who are a little shaky in geography). Her younger sister is single and a big help around the church.
Pastor and Mrs. Jim Civale, missionaries in Western Samoa, had been longing to have a pianist for the singing portion of their church services. Some of the children in the church were willing to learn, but they had no one to teach them. In his next prayer letter, Pastor Civale mentioned this need; one thing led to another, and before Hannah knew where she was, she was on her first plane trip--to Samoa! She was in Samoa for a little over three months--then she flew back to Ohio to play the piano for a friend's wedding. She and I will be flying to Samoa together at the end of May.
I'm going to be mentioning Hannah a lot as I write about Samoa, so I hope you feel like you know her better now. For those of you who haven't met her, I hope you get the chance someday!
Love you, Hannah! :)