|Paris and I made a Leprechaun trap|
This week we are learning about St. Patrick. Ann from Harvest Ministry posted the following on their web site and I thought I would share what she wrote. This year Portia's Sonlight curriculum has been focused on world missions and what is called the 10/40 window. It is my desire to cultivate their hearts in such a way as to develop a love for the orphans of this world, for the poor and hungry and for all people who are lost and need Jesus.
We love Harvest Ministry and what they do and we will now be partnering with them to support their ministry. We are anxiously awaiting three books from Harvest Ministry one is "The Mission Minded Family" the other "The Mission Minded Child" and the other The "Scarlet Cord". I know that these books will help me to open up their hearts and minds to the needs of others around the world. You can find these books on their website if you are interested in them.
St. Patrick’s Day
To many people, St. Patrick’s Day is nothing more than a holiday to commemorate the traditions of Ireland. People wear “Irish” green; stores decorate with shamrocks, leprechauns, and rainbows; and restaurants feature meals of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes . . . or green-colored mint milkshakes.
To others, March 17th is a day to gratify the flesh: to guzzle beer, or to glorify sinful lifestyles through disgraceful city-wide parades. How far we have come from the real story of a missionary named Patrick and the sacrifices he made to bring the love of Jesus Christ to the people of Ireland. Today, more than ever, our world needs the Gospel.
During the month of March, let’s remember the missionary story of St. Patrick. And let’s use all the GREEN decorations as a constant reminder, wherever we see them (in stores, restaurants, etc.), that we’re all called to GO with God’s GOOD NEWS!
How can we pray for Ireland?In previous generations, Ireland was a predominantly Christian nation, even “sending” missionaries to other countries and helping to spread the Gospel throughout Europe. Today, according to a recent European Believers report, less than 1% of the people of Ireland are born-again believers (only 0.62%). That percentage is so low.
As mission-minded families, we need to PRAY for Ireland.
Learn how to pray for IRELAND on OPERATION WORLD.
St. Patrick’s Day – MARCH 17th
Patrick was the first Christian missionary to Ireland. In the United States, celebrations include city parades, Irish cultural celebrations, and the wearing of green.
Who was Saint Patrick?“Saint” Patrick (389 – 461 AD) actually went to Ireland twice – first as a slave, and later as a missionary. Born in Britain (in Wales), Patrick is widely known as the first Christian missionary to the Irish people. During his youth (from 16 to 22 years old), he was captured and taken to Ireland. While there, young Patrick repented of his sinful, backslidden condition. Years later, after escaping to his homeland, he received a vision from God calling him to return to the Irish people to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Patrick obeyed God’s call and went back.
For the remainder of his life, Patrick ministered among the heathen tribes of Ireland – confronting Irish idolatry and sorcery, converting many to Jesus Christ, and baptizing thousands of people. Tradition says he used the three-leaf Irish clover to teach the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
According to historian William Federer, who wrote St. Patrick: The Real History of His Life, From Tragedy to Triumph, “He was actually a missionary and he converted 120,000 druids from paganism to Christianity.” Federer claims that in the fifth century A.D., Patrick did more than perhaps anyone in history to spread Christianity in Europe. Although druids attempted to kill him over a dozen times, Patrick continued to preach the message of Jesus Christ, and throughout his ministry he pioneered over 300 Christian churches. Patrick also spoke out against slavery, and because of this, some call him the world’s first abolitionist.
Mission-Minded Family Resources:
To learn more about St. Patrick, I recommend Hero Tales – Volume III, by Dave & Neta Jackson (Bethany House Publishers). Along with the short biography summary, St. Patrick: Missionary to Ireland, the Jackson’s include three devotional stories (each with a focus “From God’s Word” and “Let’s Talk About It” discussion questions) to read aloud:
VeggieTales has a funny “flannel-graph” version of the St. Patrick story, which is surprisingly historically accurate, on the VeggieTales DVD, Sumo of the Opera.
- “Your Ship is Ready” — Trust
- The Fire on the Hill — Boldness
- Blood on the White Robes — Righteous Anger
Also, Focus on the Family has a special “Days to Remember” edition of Adventures in Odyssey, with two episodes specifically highlighting the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.
NOTE: This article is adapted from the chapter “Enjoying Missions Throughout the Year” from Ann’s book,
The Mission-Minded Family – Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny.