Much has been said about the “Macedonian Call” in mission theology. The call is from and to a ground that is ready for sowing the seed and for harvest. But much of that starts with a relationship of the one called and the people who are calling; a personal relationship that builds the trust level to expect a, message of hope and salvation in the life of the missionary is the basis for this “Macedonian Call.”
St. Patrick of Ireland is one of those who answered the “Macedonian Call” of the people of Ireland. St. Patrick, a Briton, was sold as a slave into Ireland and served as a slave boy for six years before he secured his freedom. A nominal Christian before he went into slavery, St. Patrick deepened his faith in Jesus during his slavery days. Moreover, he understood the culture and people of Ireland. Not by his own volition, but through the scourge of slavery, he had an incarnational presence in Ireland. He then became a priest in England, and then the Macedonian Call: in a dream the people of Ireland cried out saying “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” Patrick headed the call and asked to be sent as missionary to Ireland. George Hunter states: The Bishops of the British church, probably with the encouragement of Pope Celestine, affirmed Patrick’s vision. Patrick was ordained a bishop and appointed to Ireland as history’s first missionary bishop. The tradition tells us that he arrived in Ireland with an “apostolic team” of priests, seminarians, and laymen and laywomen in (or about) A.D. 432. (III, 2000)
St. Paul Lutheran Church of Fort Worth has been like the British church that sent St. Patrick to Ireland for more than 125 years. Many evangelists, teachers and pastors have been raised and sent by St. Paul Lutheran Church to fields that are crying out for the apostolic pastors, evangelists and laymen and laywomen to come and proclaim the saving message of Jesus. St. Paul Lutheran Church is doing it again – sending pastors, evangelists and her laymen and laywomen into the mission field.
I would like you to meet Isaac Lujang, a Sudanese American, who came to the United States of America as a refugee. He holds an associate bachelor’s degree from Al Gezira University, Abu Haraz Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is fluent in spoken and written Arabic, English and his native language. He works in the medical field in Tarrant County. An Anglican Christian from Sudan and has joined the Lutheran Church through the ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church and her Sudanese ministry that started in the late 90s.
Isaac has been resisting answering his inner call to go into full-time ministry for a long time. Finally he has said “yes.” He is among the first evangelists that took the training course offered by the Texas District. He also plans to apply to the distance theological education programs at Concordia Seminary St. Louis to become a pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
As George Hunter in his book makes the case for a new approach to evangelizing the West again, I am fully convinced that reclaiming our missionary roots is what will take the message out into a world that is perishing.
By Rev. Yohannes Mengsteab
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area B