My Ministry: Haircuts in church

Pastor Keli Pepa photographs his church's makeshift barbershop.

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If you’re thinking of getting your hair cut, you probably wouldn’t plan on doing it in a church. But at least 55 people from the community entered Mizpah Seventh-day Adventist Church (New Zealand) for that very purpose on July 29.

Church pastor Keli Pepa was trying to think of a way that his church could connect with and give back to the community. Then suddenly he had “a lightbulb moment”. He had been a barber for 15 years before entering pastoral ministry. What if he used his previous trade to help the community by offering free haircuts?

His church members were keen to help. They converted one of the church rooms into a room that could be used as a barbershop. The youth helped create a welcoming space/cafe where people could wait for their haircuts. ADRA and Sanitarium provided food for food parcels for families in need, and a couple of local barbers donated their time and expertise to help Pastor Pepa with the haircuts.

New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC) president Pastor Eddie Tupai blessed the opening of the initiative.

Food parcels, ready for distribution.

“We had about 20 families from the community come,” said Pastor Pepa. “We managed to do 55 haircuts from 11am to 4:30pm and we handed out around 160 food parcels.”

Mizpah church will continue running this initiative, offering free haircuts one Sunday a month until December. They are thankful to have found a way to serve their community and show them the love of Jesus.

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