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Taking the Gospel to Ireland and Beyond

SC 12/09/2021

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Saint Patrick is a hero of mine because he was one of the greatest missionaries of all time. Studying his life and legacy inspired me as I became a missionary in Southeast Asia 25 years ago.

Patrick went into the villages of Ireland preaching the Gospel not in Latin—the language of the Church—but in the language of the people. As they became Christians, he selected converts and trained them to become leaders of their local congregations. He understood the importance of raising up leadership from within the community rather than imposing foreign priests on them. 

To train these new leaders, Patrick established monasteries to develop learning, to preserve biblical texts, and to send out missionaries. Some missionaries that he inspired went beyond Ireland’s borders to convert the nation of Scotland. 

Patrick’s methods worked because they mirrored the Apostle Paul’s. The Bible tells us that Paul would spend time in a place evangelizing, having power encounters, and converting people. He would then raise up pastors from within their midst, appointing and laying hands on them.

Patrick is also important because he was the first to write a stance against slavery and trafficking. This was because of his own experience of having been captured as a youth and taken as a slave. 

It’s said that Patrick prayed a prayer on his journeys, which I adapted and made my own: 

“Christ above me, Christ in front of me, Christ to my right, Christ to my left, Christ below me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ in my every thought, Christ in my every word, Christ in my every deed.” 

I’d encourage you to make this prayer your own as well. As a missionary, I prayed this before standing up to preach in each village—that people would not see me, but Christ, and that His anointing would be on everything I did. 

Patrick’s strategy still works today, his voice still speaks today, and I hope his story inspires a new generation of missionaries who will take up the banner to preach the Gospel to the nations. God bless you.

© Copyright Gordon Robertson.


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Co-Host for Coffee Mouth Scarecrow Show. Retired NAVY Chief/Flag Writer Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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