God calls us to serve others and we do so with grateful hearts. Our ministry partners at St. Andrew’s serve our community in Newport Beach and beyond, with events for all generations and skill levels. David Harper tells his story of how a local event led to many other ministry opportunities within his own family.
“I started coming to St. Andrew’s 20 years ago and I just wanted to be anonymous,” says David. “That didn’t last too long. I got involved with Royal Family Kids’ Camp (RFKC) and then went to Malawi on a mission’s trip before ending up on the Missions Committee. Then I started a Life Group with my wife that has been going on for a decade. I was part of the inaugural Serve Day last year in 2016 and a co-leader this year. Part of that planning was knowing who our ministry partners were going to be.”
This involvement with our Missions department prompted David to begin praying for our ministry partnerships leading up to the annual event. “As I put my kids to bed each night, we would pray for a ministry partner like Teen Challenge, OC Rescue Mission, MIKA, Grand Canyon Ministries, Heritage House, or RFKC. My daughters would make sure we prayed for each one and they would ask, ‘Who are they? What do they do? This enabled me to talk about some heavy stuff like the complexity of substance abuse or homelessness. My kids asked questions and were sincerely interested. I don’t think it’s helpful to fully shield my kids from the realities of drug use and alcoholism. It is our obligation as Christians to extend ourselves to the population of the homeless and marginalized. We were specific in our prayers and this was a great means of blending our faith with the practical application of addressing these kinds of more worldly issues.”
In 2016, the Harpers scheduled their daughter, Adelyn’s birthday party, it ended up being on the same day as Serve Day. This year, Aletheia had her first competitive tennis match and made a decision to not go so that she could participate in serving the ministry partners she had prayed so much about instead.