OPC Short-Term Missions & Disaster Response strives to…
- Help churches and mission fields find individuals and teams to assist them with short-term ministry projects.
- Find opportunities that meet the gifts and expectations of those who wish to serve on a short-term basis.
- Mobilize the church to respond to disasters.
- Encourage the church to grow in service.
The History of OPC Short-Term Missions
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina rolled onto our Gulf Coast shores and many within the church expressed their interest, willingness, and desire to serve, this was the start of the OPC recognizing the need for an individual to labor full-time in coordinating not only the churches disaster response efforts (read more, here), but also short-term missions in general. Coupled with this was the growing workload of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries, as more and more diaconal needs within the church became apparent to this committee. Furthermore, over the previous decade the Committee on Foreign Missions had also seen a great increase in short-term involvement with OPC foreign fields. These together precipitated the OPC to hire an individual to labor full-time in the capacity of a Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator.
Short-Term Missions Oversight
The Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator reports to the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM). He also serves as the Administrator for the CDM. In addition, he serves both the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension and the Committee on Foreign Missions in coordinating and facilitating short-term missions and disaster response efforts both at home and around the world.
Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator
David P. Nakhla grew up in the OPC at Calvary OPC in La Mirada, California. He has always had a keen interest in missions and OPC missionaries. He was thrilled to meet his wife, Faith, an OPC “MK” (missionary kid) on a short-term missions trip. Over the years, David enjoyed several mission trips to OPC fields (Eritrea, Uganda & Haiti) as well as participation in several Disaster Response efforts (Katrina and Haiti). In 1997, David was ordained as a Deacon, and in 2002, he was ordained as a Ruling Elder. After 15 years of working as an engineer, he opted to make a career change and responded to the call to serve the OPC as its first Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator. In August 2010, the Nakhlas relocated from Southern California to the Philadelphia area to take up this new work. David and Faith have been blessed with 5 children: Tina, Maddie, Emma, Josiah, and Marcus. For more information, please read “Meet Our First Short-Term Missions Coordinator: David Nakhla,” which was posted as a Feature Article at the OPC website (www.opc.org) on May 18, 2010.
Administrative Assistant, Committee on Diaconal Ministries, Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response
In October 2013, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries hired a part-time Administrative Assistant, Janet L. Birkmann. Prior to this, Janet worked for 3 years as the Office Secretary for the Committee on Foreign Missions. And prior to that, Janet spent 28 years in the field of medical education, serving at the last as the Physician Education Manager at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Janet grew up in the Philadelphia area and is a long-time member of Calvary OPC in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Janet supports David Nakhla in his CDM administrative responsibilities, helps with the coordination of short-term missions and disaster response efforts, and maintains the STM website and other means of communication.