St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, IrelandAbout 2 years ago, I was taking two classes at Luther Rice Seminary that forever changed my life. One class was Personal and Church Evangelism and the other was Church History. This was a strategic pairing on my part.
History is not my jam, so I knew that I had to choose my companion class wisely. The other class had to be something that I felt confident about.
As I perused the class schedule, I noticed the class on evangelism. Growing up Southern Baptist, I felt this was the best class for me.
As we began the evangelism class, I began to realize that I did know the content of the class, but where was my application? This question hung over me and I began to pray asking God to open doors for me.
At the same time, my history professor instructed us to choose a person to research. I looked over the list and there he was … Patrick of Ireland. My family had come over during the potato famine. They landed in Pennsylvania and I had heard stories about Ireland several times over the years. I immediately sent my choice and was approved to begin my research.
Patrick was so much more than four leaf clovers and rainbows. Article after article, I began to realize that Patrick was not at all who I thought. I had an image in my head of a kind, jolly guy that was loved by all of the Irish people.
I found out that was not the case at all. Patrick was kidnapped by pirates, sold to Druids in Ireland as a slave, and lived as such for 6 years. He turned to God and escaped his captors. After his escape from Ireland, he returned to his family to pursue the priesthood.
The most shocking part was when he returned to Ireland, where he had been held captive and escaped, to share the Gospel with the pagans that tortured him. He used the clover to explain the trinity. He had intimate knowledge of how the clans worked and used this knowledge to win the leader in order to reach the entire group.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was like a Christian version of James Bond or something of the like. He became my newfound hero! I wanted to be like Patrick!
As God placed a burden in my heart for Ireland, I began to research mission trips to Ireland. Ireland was the land I dreamed to visit and the people I truly wanted to know. As I continued my research, my heart was broken for the people. They were turning away from the church. There were images of abandoned churches and statistics on increased suicide rates. The most powerful statistic I found was that Ireland was the most unreached English speaking people group in the world. How could this be?
I knew I had to go. With only 3 weeks to raise over $3000, I knew it was something only God could do.
Part of St. Patrick’s Prayer
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day peeps!
ps- Stay tuned for more of this story!