"I very much cannot imagine caring about a different community in the same way that I care about clarksdale because anywhere you go you will meet great people and I think in the end what really draws me to clarksdale in the relationships and the people that are here."
Anja Thiessen was born in 1983 in Offenbach, Frankfurt in Germany. After a supportive childhood there, she spent a year studying in Urbana, Illinois as part of an exchange program. In the United States she was introduced to much more Christianity, that ended up with her conversion after a direct inner revelation. Afterwards, she became very involved in a youth group, and joined them on a Habitat trip to Jonestown. This trip inspired her, and after graduating high school in 2003, Bill Sutton, Hannah McConnaugh, and Anja spent a gap year in Clarksdale. This would eventually prompt Anja and her friend Bianca Zaharescu to found Spring Initiative in order to provide further aid to the Mississippi Delta.