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.

–Dan Thompson

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