Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The New Year

This was our first New Year's Eve in Poland, they celebrate bringing in the New Year the same way we do in the States. At midnight they had a fireworks display in the center of our little town. While the display was smaller than what we were used to in the States, it was more fun because you could get within a few hundred feet of where they were launching the rockets. The boys loved it. New Year's Eve also highlighted a problem that is worldwide but more intense here. Alcoholism is the Polish drug of choice, and it was completely on display New Year's Eve. This isn't just a problem on the holidays though, it's not uncommon to see a man passed out in the grass in the middle of town even mid morning, rather than disgust most other Polish men seem to offer pity and help so as to keep the drunk from any further embarrassment. I think they also hope that when the time comes the "good deed" will be returned to them in the hour of their drunkenness. Mostly, these public displays are a source of humor. The Polish definition of "drunkenness" is reserved for those who can no longer walk, any thing short of that is not considered drunkenness." Alcohol seems so benign to most of us doesn't it? To the point that one laughs at drunkenness rather than despising it. A drunk man is funny, a heroin addict--not so funny, yet both are life dominating. For Polish men, vodka is a way to forget hardship and neglect responsibility--its also a sign of manhood (far from the Biblical model of manhood) and yet they practice a religion that can offer no help. Only the life changing belief in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary will ever bring true help to the men and women of Poland. God help us to be faithful messengers


Hairgrove's Hangout said...

Thanks for the great blog and e-mails about your ministry. I loved the Christmas program the boys were in. What a joy to see your ministry. Have a blessed new year. Love you all.

Sara said...

Happy New Year to all of you! It has been a while since I've visited your site, but I finally "caught up!" Glad you are all doing well. Your children are precious. You are in our prayers.