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I rarely post selfies as a Picture of the Week photo, but I thought it was fitting seeing as how this guy is the king of selfies! Meet my friend Sam from Szczecin, Poland. :) Over the last several years, readers of this blog have had the opportunity to meet several of our Polish friends, but I *think* this is the first time you’ve been introduced to Sam.
I met Sam the Summer before last, and we became fast friends. He’s hilarious. Despite being born in Poland, Sam spent several of his formative years in Ireland with his family, and so not only does he speak English, he does so with an ultra-cool, Irish accent. Sam isn’t all fun and games though, he is also a great leader in his church community and has a real heart for the children we serve there in Szczecin. His maturity and passion for the kids always shines through, whether he is helping lead songs, or interacting one on one.
Holly and I had the opportunity to meet Sam’s parents this past Summer and eat dinner with them in their beautiful home in the Polish countryside. Sam’s mom and dad have a heart for the Lord, and it was fun hearing their stories and sharing our own. One of Sam’s sisters actually lives here in the US, and we had the pleasant surprise of getting to meet her while we were in D.C. recently with our friend Nico. Cool stuff!
I was thumbing through my black and white images the other day, getting ready for a presentation I’m doing this coming week for the Blount County Photography Club, when I stumbled on this image from this past summer. It occured to me that there was a slew of images I never shared, and then something happened this morning that prompted me to share them. Let me explain.
When Holly and I travel, it seems a song always gets associated with wherever we are. Something about music can always take me back to place, and I love that (smells can do the same thing, but they’re a little harder to recreate). Sometimes it’s a song that I’ve taken with me, and sometimes its just a song that I hear while I’m there. Two summers ago while in Poland, we sang the song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) in church, and then it sort of became our theme song for the week. This past summer we made it part of our tradition and continued singing the song, and now, whenever I hear that song I can’t help but hear the beautiful Polish voices of my friends there. Its a gift I’ve been given. Well, this morning in church, wouldn’t you know it, we sang this song. I took that as a sign that I should spend some time talking about my friends there.
This is my friend Mariusz Socha, pastor of the church we partner with in Poland to put on the kids camp. He is the husband of Ewa, and the father of Sandra and Bartek (you’ll remember Bartek from this post). Mariusz is as kind a man as you’ll meet, and has a sincere heart for serving in his community. He has extended us Americans a lot of grace and patience as we fumble through the cultural differneces, all the while with out-stretched, welcoming arms. I count it a blessing to have gotten to know Mariusz and his family over the past three summers, and to call them friends.
Even more stuff!
Holly was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. Holly’s Story is her blog about breast cancer survival.
Dan may or may not have an obsession with cars. Follow along with his dream car build up; a 1967 Camaro.