Dick Brodgen in The Live Dead Journal talks about three martyrdoms: red, green, and white.
In the Green Martyrdom the Irish would build communities and invite people in. They would invite people to belong before the invitation to believe. Even though the Green Martyrdom is hard because it is giving up one’s will for another person, what did happen was communities were truly built. Children were being raised safely, education was a priority, and communities were safe.
The White Martyrdom came when Columcille, a disciple of Patrick, saw that Jesus would leave the 99 to save the 1. His call was to northern England. He gave up Ireland for another land, which is the hardest thing for an Irishman to do. It was called the White Martyrdom because they sailed into the white sky of morning, into the unknown, may never return. (Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization.)
The White Martyrdom is taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. It is engaging people we call “unreached.” They are unreached not because they refuse the gospel, but because we as the church have refused to engage them. Someone has to go.
Our church is supporting several missionaries in this last category. They are “sailing off” for areas where the Church has ignored the preaching of the gospel for centuries. There are areas I can’t even mention, and I certainly can’t mention their names here. They are incredible men and women of God who are throwing themselves into the unknown with deep joy. They are sailing off not knowing what lies ahead.
The Live Dead challenge is about praying. It is about searching and asking. What does God really ask of me when it comes to making sure this gospel is preached in all the world?