Recent Happenings of HOPE61 in Australia…
1. God answered our prayers & we have an official H61 prayer person!
2. Pulling together all the artist/speaker info for drafts of Unshackled flyers (thanks to Jess/still in process.)
3. Brainstorming for possible “Nefarious” showing.
There’s a lot of Ireland in Australia. Roads named things like “Dublin Road.” Irish immigrants. St. Patrick’s cathedral.
Saint Patrick’s devotion to God was undeniable – and yet – he’s so human. Looking at his life, you can’t deny that normal, messed up people become “vessels for honor” (2 Timothy 2:20) when God takes over. Patrick was and is a famous missionary. He’s also the most famous case of human trafficking that Ireland will ever have.
When Patrick was trafficked he was not following Jesus. He’d grown up in a Christian family but he hadn’t yet committed himself to God. It was during that time of slavery, as he tended sheep for a Druid slave owner, that God called Patrick to His heart and Patrick responded. After escaping from Ireland Patrick continued in his Christian walk, even becoming a Church leader. You may have heard about Patrick’s call to return to Ireland, the land of his chains.
Much like St. Paul’s dream of a Macedonian man asking for Paul’s help and presence in Macedonia, Patrick dreamed of an Irishman bringing him letters asking for Patrick’s return. God broke Patrick’s heart for Ireland; Patrick returned with a whole crew of missionaries eager to share the love and truth and light of Jesus Christ. What followed was the beginning of Celtic Christianity: an amazing and God-glorifying work of missions.
Patrick and his team introduced Jesus by living first, with permission, near a community of Irish. Eventually the communities began to merge and fellowship increased. Rather than confronting the Irish, they approached the Irish in a way they could relate to. Patrick’s team completely immersed themselves in the Irish culture and showed love in a beautiful, holy way. The Irish went on to evangelize most of Europe, beginning with the Picts of Scotland and on from there.
Ireland now is a far cry from that time of spiritual awakening. It’s physically beautiful but, as my Irish friends and acquaintances tell me, dark and aching inside. God hasn’t called me to go there so I can become a famous saint. God hasn’t even called me there to free captives. He’s called me to Ireland so that He can be glorified when people’s souls are freed from sin.
Living with a beckoning, a call, a burden, for Europe does not make it easier to wait for the right time to be in Ireland. But trusting God for the right time — and I don’t know when that is! — to be in Ireland…trusting Him because He’s always been faithful…because He’s always only loved me, even when He’s had to rebuke my sin.
And as I trust God, I am encouraged by Patrick’s life, and his own love and heart for Ireland.
Last weekend was a long one. Monday was a holiday here in Australia, Labor (or is it Labour?) Day I believe. The Bongers, awesome folk that they are, took me all over the creation.
Friday: the city.
Saturday: Yum cha + their Chinese cell group.
Sunday: Sabbath rest.
Monday: The Dandenongs.