OPC Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response
- 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.
Established in 2010:
Three things led to the establishment of a Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator in the OPC:
- In 2005, although not fully staffed to do so, the OPC Administrative Offices rose to the challenge of organizing a major relief effort in response to Hurricane Katrina, utilizing the many volunteers in the church who wanted to serve. It soon became evident that the OPC needed to establish a permanent disaster response ministry, with a full-time coordinator at the ready the next time disaster should strike. Read the full story: "History of OPC Disaster Response."
- In addition, over the previous decade, the Committee on Foreign Missions had seen a great increase in short-term involvement with OPC foreign mission fields.
- And, the workload of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries was growing as more and more diaconal needs within the church were brought to the attention of this committee.
These together precipitated the hiring of an Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries who would also serve as a Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator.
David Nakhla: Administrator, Committee on Diaconal Ministries; Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator
The Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator reports to the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM), and serves as the Administrator of the CDM. He also 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 at home and around the world.
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 five children: Tina, Maddie, Emma, Josiah, and Marcus.
Learn more about David: "Meet Our First Short-Term Missions Coordinator: David Nakhla."
Trish Duggan: Communications Coordinator, Diaconal Ministries, Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response
In November 2019, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries hired Trish Duggan as a part-time Administrative Assistant. Trish worked in the communications field at Eastern University for eight years before marrying in 1995. Trish and her husband, Rich, have four children: Marisa (married in April 2019 to Tyler DeMuro), Rich, Jr., Faith and Christopher. During her time as a full-time stay-at-home mom, she volunteered as a substitute church secretary for Faith OPC in Elmer, NJ and New Hope, Bridgeton. Trish, her husband and two of their children attend New Hope OPC in Bridgeton, NJ.
In her current position as Communications Coordinator, Trish works to promote the work of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries through social media postings, websites, articles for various OPC publications and email campaigns such as the S.T.O.R.M. Report, the Mercy Minute (for deacons) and the D.R.I.P. (email updates for registrants of OPC Disaster Response.)
Allison Groot: Administrative Assistant, Diaconal Ministries, Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response
In May 2022, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries hired Allison Groot as a part-time Administrative Assistant primarily to assist David Nakhla and Trish Duggan in their work.
Allison Groot is originally from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Campbellsville University where she was 2022 valedictorian with a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Ministry. Allison has since moved to Woodstown, NJ with her husband, Brian, and is a member of Faith Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Elmer, NJ.
In her current position as Administrative Assistant, Allison interfaces with short-term mission fields, team organizers, and team members, develops content for various newsletter publications, updates website content, and assists David Nakhla and Trish Duggan with their administrative responsibilities.