1. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up on a farm in Kilkenny in a family of 6 consisting of my parents Edwin and Joy, my older sister Jill, younger brother Colin and my twin sister Emma. The Harper family is quite big with a large concentration in Kilkenny. There are Harpers in all the major protestant churches in Kilkenny. I attended the Methodist church on a Sunday, went to Church of Ireland schools and an after-school bible club in a Presbyterian church. I had family with me at all places. For me church was figuratively and literally my family. I feel very blessed to have grown up with such a strong Christian influence in, not just my immediate but also my extended family.
2. Has there been a time in your life where you have experienced God in a real way?
I remember one of the saddest times in my life was when my grandmother passed away back in 2007. She went without any warning and while I was in Northern Ireland on a gap year youth work programme with the Methodist church (TOM Team). It was a very emotional time as she was the first person close to me to pass away. Despite the sadness of losing her I surprised myself with how positive I was able to remain. I thanked God that I had been home about a week before and spent time with her. That was the first time I had been home in months. I was comforted to know that she had gone on to join my grandfather and be with her Lord in Heaven. I think going through experiences like that really teach you a lot about your faith.
3. What impact does your faith have on your day-to-day life?
Well practically speaking it makes me busier! I’m enormously thankful to God for everything he has given me and I’m always eager to share those gifts to build his Kingdom. I spend a good bit of time playing music and helping to lead worship, volunteering at youth events and helping to design posters and websites for Christian events and other projects. It helps that when I play music is also when I feel closest to God.
4. What are your dreams or hopes for the future?
I guess my hope for the future would be that I could continue to grow closer to God and be a positive influence to young Christians as so many were to me.
5. What does it mean to be a child of God?
I like this question because for me I believe children have a special place in God’s heart. I’m also very interested in the idea of having a child-like faith. I admire the innocence and wonder children have for the world around them. I think we all lose a little something when we grow up. This isn’t to say we should be naive in our faith, anyone with children will be able to tell you how much they question things!