Thanks to Trevor Saxby @Sch0larly of the @jesus_army for drawing my attention to this great post.
In God’s great timetable, the year AD 635 must have been a bit special. For in that year, two men were sent out on apostolic missions and, in the face of great dangers, broke through with the gospel in unreached lands.
Aidan was a fiery Irishman, Alopen a refined Persian. Both were monks, both gifted communicators. Entirely independently, both were commissioned and sent to start churches: one at the North-West frontier of civilisation, the other in the far East. Aidan became the Apostle of northern England, Alopen the Apostle to China. Despite their extraordinary linked destiny, they never met or even knew of each other.
Britain at the turn of the 600s was a battleground of warring tribal kingdoms, most of them pagan. A Christian prince named Oswald was sent to the Celtic monastery on the Scottish island of Iona for his own safety…
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