He was a slave for six years. But he became one of the foremost mission thinkers and mission practitioners in global church history. His name was Patrick.
Yes, I’m referring to “St. Patrick”, the icon that provides opportunity for people to wear green and drink certain types of beverages. 🙂 Patrick was captured from his home in Great Britain as an adolescent and brought to Ireland where he was a slave for six years. Remarkably, later in his life after he was freed and had become a cleric, he returned to the country of his slavery to share God’s love through word and deed. He had a remarkable ability to contextualize the Gospel, finding linkages and images that connected with the culture he was serving, and which dealt with the real and felt needs of Irish culture.
CBM is heir to people such as Patrick (and William Carey and Hudson Taylor and other pioneers) who blazed a pathway forward that embodied what it meant to participate in God’s mission of making a broken world new. A few days ago Canadian Baptists passed the 140-year mark of involvement in global mission. There are various dates that are used to mark when this involvement began, but our first involvement as a Canadian organization was in 1874 in India, where just days ago they marked “Founders Day”, to celebrate the story’s beginning.
Thanks to Patrick, and all the other who have gone before us.