On the road again. This time, we headed for Poland by car with our other Canadian IM missionaries, Bill and Marti. Twelve hours later we arrived at their home, but enroute we enjoyed beautiful scenery – rolling hills, trees, castles, cattle and goats grazing. In cities we saw huge apartment blocks that looked like towering rectangles sometimes painted yellow and orange or bright green. Other times they were a drab grey. Apparently they’re remnants from the Communist regime. People still occupy them, but they’re insulating them with Styrofoam and painting them bright colors now.
As we drove through countryside and city, I couldn’t stop thinking about the people here and what their history has been. When I saw crumbling farm houses, I wondered what stories they could tell if they could talk. Did they hide army troops? Were their residents expelled or killed by military forces?
My grandfather was born in Russia and later defected from the Russian army by hiding in a haystack. Soldiers went looking for him and actually shoved pitchforks into the very haystack in which he was hiding. Fortunately their aim was off and he escaped. As I looked around the Polish countryside, I thought a lot about Grandpa and others like him who have lived, or died, under Communism.
I shake my head at the suffering caused by selfishness, and I’m reminded of the blessing that’s ours to live in a country that guards its citizens’ freedom.