Sometimes people ask me why I have such a burden for the country of Ireland. I don’t have any Irish blood in me, that I know of. No relatives who came to America during the potato blight. The truth is, I owe much of my spiritual heritage to the Irish. It was the Irish who kept Christianity alive during the Dark Ages (not to mention literacy and art). It was the Irish who had a very large part in bringing Christianity to America. Most of what we call the “Bible Belt” today was originally settled by Irish immigrants.
Without launching into a history lesson, I’ll just say things have changed tremendously in the last 1,200 years or so. Western Europe is post Christian. The cathedrals are all but empty and very few evangelical churches can afford land. Most pastors there work a full-time job elsewhere because churches are woefully under-funded.
My heart is to support and lift up the arms of Irish pastors. That’s why I continue to go back. Ireland was once the primary missionary sending force in the world! I owe them. I want to see their effectiveness and influence restored.
I’m in the process of raising money to take a group of interns to Ireland to serve local Irish churches. You can be a part of that by clicking here.
From a ninth-century Irish hymn…
Blessing and brightness,
Great power and might
To the King who rules over all.
Glory and honor and goodwill,
Praise and the sublime song of minstrels,
Overflowing love from every heart
to the King of heaven and Earth.
To the chosen Trinity has been joined
Before all, after all, universal
Blessing and everlasting blessing,
Blessing everlasting and blessing.