Each year I’m shocked that few Christians latch onto Saint Patrick‘s Day as a holiday to celebrate international missions. I think it comes from few people knowing Patrick’s story. They have heard the lore that he scared the snakes out of Ireland but forget the facts. Patrick (of Wales) was trafficked as a boy to Ireland to work for a rich person. Later, he left Ireland and returned home. Through a series of events Patrick became convinced that his life’s mission was to return to the place of his captivity and set spiritual captives free. For the rest of his life he worked tirelessly to establish Christianity on the island. Through some inginuity and fancy friends Patrick was eventually able to help start 500 churches across the once resistant land. As time would tell, Ireland would become the place which “protected” Christianity during the Dark Ages. Luck of the Irish or providence of God? I chose providence!
While drunks everywhere salute St. Patrick as the god of Guinness I celebrate him as the example of all believers to chase wildly the call of following Christ wherever you are lead.
With that in mind, here are the missionaries I’ve been lifting up in prayer today. These are the heroes in my life who willingly accept the crazy challenge of changing the world.
- Dan & Barb Evans. My former youth pastor and his wife run a hospitality house for military personnel in Alaska.
- Eric & Michelle Stapleton. Kristen and I have been friends with them since college. They spend their days translating the Bible in a remote area of the island nation of Vanuatu.
Of course, the staff of our church are all missionaries. (They raise support as they plant this church.) Today I’m praying for Stephen & Bradford Phelan, Edgardo & Elizabeth Avila, Christine Brinn, Chris and Anastasia Brewster, and the whole team at World Impact who have joined forces with Harbor.