Monday, March 16, 2015

Did You Know?

What do you think of when you think about Saint Patrick? A day of green, shamrocks, and leprechauns?  Did you know that he that he was a missionary?

Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat, in Roman Britain sometime around the 5th century.   He was from a nominally Christian family.  At 16 years of age he was captured by Irish pirate and forced to work as a slave.  During his captivity he turned to Christ, and his time as a slave was important for his spiritual development.  Working as a shepherd, he devoted a lot of time to prayer.  After six years of slavery he felt that God was telling him that it was his time to escape.  He successfully escaped to England, where he studied more about Christianity. 

During this time he took the name of Patrick.After several years of study Patrick headed God's call and returned to Ireland as a missionary.  He was not welcomed initially, but he didn't give up.  According to records he baptised thousands, converted the sons and daughters of kings, started churches, and set up church leadership.

"In the light, therefore, of our faith in the Trinity I must make this choice, regardless of danger I must make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, without fear and frankly I must spread everywhere the name of God so that after my decease I may leave a bequest to my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord—so many thousands of people." - Patrick

(Sorry the text is highlighted in this post...I wasn't sure how to undo it!)

(sources and

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sometimes Community Is a Lemon

                                                    (Lemons in Honduras are green...not my pic)

Community can be as simple as the gift of  a lemon.  I was a recent college graduate, serving as a volunteer in Honduras.  My roommate (another recent college grad) and I both liked to cook, but one night she and I had run out of ideas of what to make.  All the meal ideas we had involved ingredients we that were miles away in town.  

Not knowing what to do, we decided to put off making dinner, and walked the hundred or so yards to the house of a fellow missionary.  She welcomed us with glasses of ice-cold zuko (it's like Kool-aide), and we sat down to chat about how our weeks were going.  Somewhere in conversation, she found out that were out of new recipe ideas.  She asked a couple of questions about what we had on hand, got up, and handed us a recipe and a lemon (the only ingredient we lacked).

I experienced a lot of community that year, but the gift of the recipe and lemon was really symbolic to me.  We could have found the recipe on the internet, and there was actually a lemon tree in our yard, but it was the friendship, not the lemon chicken that turned a discouraging evening around.  A few days later we paid her back with an egg she needed to make cookies.

 If I had to boil community down to one word it would be sharing.  Sharing our time, talents, possessions.  Sharing our lives, both the big events and the day to day joys and struggles.  Sharing our thoughts, hopes, and what is on our hearts.  Sharing our lemons.