Today we focused on St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick is credited with almost singlehandedly bringing the country of Ireland to Christ. Captured by Irish slave traders and brought to Ireland he worked as a sheepherder where the solitude strengthened his faith (he says in his confession that he prayed more than 100 times a day). One day during his prayer he feels the urge from God to run away, so without any sort of plan or help he runs to a port city, finds a ship, and gets home. Once he Gets home he doesn't forget the faith that got him through slavery instead he becomes an ordained priest. But Patrick has not forgotten Ireland and throughout his schooling he feels a calling to return to the pagan nation. So he spends the rest of his life serving the people of Ireland and nearly converts the entire island.
So after hearing a longer version of the above story from Billy Stevenson in the morning we ate lunch and loaded into our charter bus and went to County Down. Our first stop was a place called Saul which is the site of the first church founded by St Patrick. We took a look around the beautiful exterior of the church (which included a grave yard). Then we went inside and had a short little worship session on a spot that had been used to worship God for 1500 years. I love how Billy put it when he said "This is not hollowed ground, God is everywhere. But at the same time isn't it incredible to be able to stand and Worship in such a place as this?" and it may be one of the coolest worship experiences I have had in a long time just singing 3 songs in that old church. After we finished up at Saul we drove Into the City of Down Patrick to see St Patricks Grave Site, the St Patrick Cathedral, an old Jail, and the Down Patrick Tourism Center. St Patricks Grave Site and the St Patrick Cathedral are together and that was cool to see an old Beautiful Cathedral and the Grave of a Saint. We then took a tour of a Jail and watched a video on St Patrick at the Tourist Center.