Tuesday, January 08, 2008

And men will hate you because they hate me. -Jesus Christ

Sorry for the long post - you will see why when you read it.

I went to visit a friend of mine. I have known her and have cherished our friendship for many years now. Something happened while I was there. (I have been given permission to tell you this story using no names.) This is the condensed, opinionated version. . . it is much longer!

My friend, "Jane Doe" invited me to her home for the weekend. She lives with her parents in their above house flat. I was thrilled since I had not seen her for quite some time. I got there and her parents were the typical Polish hosts: warm and loving. I had a great time trying out my Polish and having them laugh at and with me! Something changed however, right after dinner. Mom Doe started to act cold and quiet. She had figured out who I was in Jane Doe's life. Ignorant of that fact, Jane Doe and I went up to her flat to finish the night and went to bed. In the morning, Dad Doe was very angry. He did not tell Jane Doe that he needed to get into the flat early that morning to do some work and did not want to disturb us, so he sat downstairs to wait for us and was very upset about it. But that was not the real reason for his anger.

Later in the morning, Jane went downstairs to tell Mom and Dad Doe time to come up for the Mexican dinner I had promised them the night before. They yelled and screamed at her about her betraying them, their religion and allowing herself to be brainwashed. You see, I represent what they fear/hate most about their daughter's faith, a Protestant. We are seen as cultist here in Poland and since I am a leader, I am seen as one who has brainwashed their daughter away from the Catholic church and them. They then left to go to their flat in Katowice before dinner could be served. I was really sad for Jane Doe and for the fact that I REALLY like them and wanted to spend more time with them!

Jane Doe came back with me to Katowice hoping to mend fences with mom and dad. I got a sms from her just a few hours after I dropped her off at her parent's flat, and she asked if she could stay with me. Things blew up even worst than at the house. I said "Yes" and she came the next morning and poured her sorrow out. We talked about the hardship she has lived because of her faith and their "fear/hatred" for it.

After a time, she called her parents and told them that she loved them. They returned the words and added, "but . . . . "

This is the life of many Polish young people when they make the decision to walk with Christ. Jane Doe has endured this life for over 7 years and it is not getting easier. In someways, I think it gets harder as the battle between anger towards and love for, wages in her heart.

I have always heard the stories, but have never "lived" one. I have a deep understanding of the cost to follow Christ here in Poland.

Please pray for my Jane Doe along with all the other Jane and John Does who live the same type of life. Some cannot even go home, all because they have chosen to follow Christ.

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