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Emmaus Experience: How did the Lord bring you to Emmaus Bible College?

Anita Jennings: I came as a student in 1987, mainly influenced by my parents, who had attended in the mid-’60s. (In fact, their class picture hangs in the Marble Chapel hallway. It sure is nice to see them every day.)

EE: How long have you worked at Emmaus and in what role(s)?

AJ: I came on staff in 2018, when circumstances were such that I needed an extra job and Emmaus had an opening for a part-time housekeeper.

  • May 2018-May 2020: Assistant Housekeeper
  • May 2020-Present: Executive Housekeeper
  • 30 years ago: Front Desk for a summer

EE: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced this year due to the pandemic?

AJ: My biggest personal challenge during the pandemic is having to constantly ask myself if the benefit outweighs the risk. Finding balance has been difficult. As a housekeeper, the challenge is that supplies we need aren’t readily available. It’s been a year of thinking outside the box, and praying for things I never thought to pray for pre-pandemic.

EE: How did you come to faith in Christ?

AJ: I came to faith in Christ when I was 8 years old during a “Family Bible Time,” which happened just before bedtime every night of my growing up years.

EE: Tell us a little about your education: where did you study? who was your favorite professor? what was your favorite class/subject?

AJ: As previously stated, I attended Emmaus in the late ’80s. My favorite class was Old Testament Survey taught by my favorite professor, Dr. Dave Reid. His Old Testament Walkthrough, the (oh-so-dreaded) Ezekiel Wheel, and his unique teaching style prompted a love for the Old Testament.

EE: Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? favorite passage? favorite verse?

AJ: This is a hard question. I love the narrative of the whole Old Testament – all the stories pointing to The Story. My favorite New Testament books are Acts and 1-2 Peter. Lamentations 3:21-24 is my favorite passage. My favorite verse is 1 Peter 4:19.

But favorites are not set in stone. Life changes may bring about favorite book, passage, and verse changes.

EE: What biblical scholar, pastor, or theologian do you enjoy reading most?

AJ: Lately, Malcolm Guite (does he count?). I enjoy his poetry and his Advent and Lent readings. I have also thoroughly enjoyed his YouTube series called “A Spell in the Library.” If you enjoy old books and poetry and having someone read to you (while smoking a pipe), I think you will enjoy this series, too.

EE: If you could spend time with any biblical character (other than Jesus), who would it be and why?

AJ: Peter. He’s just a mess sometimes. I can relate. I’d love to ask him about Mark 16:9 (“But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.'”) In the naming, how did Peter feel? Forgiven? Claimed? Hopeful? Useful again for the furthering of the Kingdom? It’s no small thing that Jesus mentioned Peter by name. I would love to know how that naming made him feel. What went through his mind? I would have lots more questions for Peter, but this one would probably already take more than ten minutes!

EE: What do you like to do with your time when you’re not working housekeeping? What hobbies do you have?

AJ: Most of my spare time is consumed by reading. Book clubs? Count me in. I enjoy music: listening, finding new music to listen to, singing (this mostly happens when I’m in the car by myself).

I like doing manuscript-style Bible studies. And in warmer months, I like to spend as much time outside as I can. Running, walking, hiking, camping, it’s all good. I want to do more of it this year.

EE: What books are you currently reading or have read recently just for fun? What are your favorite movies, television shows?

AJ: How about I share my two favorite books from 2020?

  • Jack, by Marilynne Robinson (who is at the top of my list of favorite authors)
  • Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger (who made it into my list of favorite authors with this book)

Favorite movies lately: La La Land, Little Women (2019), The Peanut Butter Falcon

Favorite tv shows: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; Parks & Recreation

EE: Any other interesting things about yourself that you think our readers would like to know?

AJ: I’m an MK. I was born in Puerto Rico where my parents were self-supported missionaries for 10 years.

Posted by Christopher Rush

Christopher Rush graduated from Emmaus in 2003. After 15 years teaching high school in Virginia, he has returned to Emmaus and Dubuque to take over the English Department. His wife, Amy, is also an Emmaus graduate (2000). Amy is the principal of Tri-State Christian School here in Dubuque. They have two children, Julia and Ethan.

One Comment

  1. Fascinating that Anita should be born in Puerto Rico of missionary parents. My wife and I were also missionaries in Puerto Rico for 10 years, and our youngest son, Luke, was born there in 1968. I don’t believe we knew any missionaries named Jennings, but there were plenty we didn’t know. It’s still a small world.
    –Bill Van Ryn

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