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A Patrick Goes to Ireland

Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at 9:10 AM

And if there's is going to be a life hereafter,

And somehow I am sure there's going to be,

I will ask my God to let me make my heaven,

In that dear land across the Irish sea.

(from Galway Bay by Arthur Colahan)

Traveling is definitely not my thing.

True, there are certain physically limiting factors involved -- even riding as a passenger to Indy is an odyssey for me. And, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would go through the hassle of air travel.

But, the bottom line is that there is simply no place I really want to go. Except perhaps for Ireland.

One reason I've always thought Ireland would be interesting is my love for my maternal grandmother, who was of Irish descent. Another reason being my love for good Irish tenor sung music (I play my Frank Paterson DVD as often as Kay will allow).

Most likely it is the Ireland of myth that generated and binds the appeal in my heart. Probably watched too many "Quite Man' and "Darby O'Gill" type movies as a youth.

I heard it said that if you get off the tourist treadmill Ireland is still a very interesting place. But, as pointed out, I do not travel well and probably will only see Ireland in old movies or in passing on my way to heaven.

Given my long-standing interest in the ol' sod, it was interesting to learn of a young couple preparing to be missionaries to Ireland.

Mark and Lona Webb were at Christ Community Church in Brazil last month to speak of their calling to evangelize in Ireland, stating: "We visited Great Britain a few times and felt sadness at the lack of worship in the churches. We prayed for clarity on where God wanted us to consider serving. No clear call came until we visited Ireland. God spoke to both of us specifically about two locations. After finding CrossWorld, we discovered they worked in Killarney, one of the two locations we felt called to."

"CrossWorld was founded 80 years ago, originally known as Unevangelized Fields Mission. The organization believes that God calls missionaries to all parts of the world, so it does not emphasize any region. Its vision is to 'serve the church by mobilizing teams to make disciples and train leaders which will result in movements of reproducing churches among the unreached.'"

One does tend to think of Ireland has having been "Christianized" by St. Patrick way back in the Dark Ages. But, new generations inevitably rise up who haven't heard the Gospel. The Webbs probably won't have the impact of Patrick; they won't be driving out any snakes, no Webb Day parades. But history indicates every nation needs a revival of spiritual things every few hundred years. May God go with them, as He probably will. Observation indicates God honors true faith in whatever form He finds it, for He finds it so infrequently.

It is always risky to propose what God ought or will do, but presumably heaven will be at least as pleasant as Ireland of yore and childhood impression. Leading authorities on the subject say even Patrick of Ireland finds heaven as comfortable as the Emerald Isle. If, like me, you can't get to Ireland before getting to heaven but would like to know more about this mission field, there is additional information at Christ Community Church.

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@frontier.com.

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