Anna's Son: Joyfully Following Hært to Hært

2021, 288 pp

I am Anna’s Son. This is my story.

To add context to the people and circumstances that contributed to making me who I am, I dug deep into my family of origin in Russia and Ukraine. My grandparents inherited the blessings of the special privileges granted to our ancestors by Tsarina Catherine the Great when she invited them to settle the fertile land of Ukraine. They experienced the blessings of wealth and privilege but then also the loss of everything for the sake of their freedom and their faith. Their quest for freedom and opportunity took them together with my parents who were children at the time, on a daring escape from Russia into China where the lived as refugees for a year. With help from the Mennonite Central Committee, they were given a new opportunity to settle as pioneers in the Green Hell of Chaco Paraguay where I was born. My parents’ hard work and continuing quest for opportunity for freedom led them to immigrate to Canada.

Our family experienced how challenging the life of refugees and immigrants can be, even in the context of freedom and opportunity. My parents’ deep faith, relentless effort and hard work opened the way for my siblings and me to pursue education and find fulfilling and rewarding careers. The values of faith and service in God’s Kingdom were deeply instilled in us. These along with my personal love for languages led me to a rewarding career in linguistics and Bible translation. I was blessed with a life partner who shared my values and with children and grandchildren who continue to give joy and meaning to my life.

I dedicate this book to my family, trusting that the examples they find in this story will inspire them and guide them in their own quests for meaning and purpose in life.

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