I became a Christian just before I turned 18 and my parents were very influential in that happening. They had both become Christians through Bangor Elim and invited me to their baptism. I went along that night, started to go to the church and the youth group and 8 months later I decided it was time to become a Christian.

Around 10 or 11 years later my dad became ill and passed away within a few months. I was 28. He missed me meeting my future wife, my wedding and the birth of my 2 children. We have missed him being there – my children would have loved him!

I have also missed having that father figure present in all of those stages. When we are younger we underestimate the importance of the wisdom of our parents!

As someone involved in youth ministry and ministry with young adults I see many in their 20s and 30s in our churches craving those father and mother figures in their lives. Many struggle through the first few years of marriage and parenting and are crying out for mature Christians to talk to, run to, cry with and learn from.

There is a vital ministry that those ‘more mature’ members of our congregations and communities can offer and it is their experience and wisdom. They have ‘been there and done that’ and the younger generations need them!

I often feel I have muddled through various stages of life, making it up as I went along and I am so grateful for those older Christians that have been there for me. I will never underestimate their impact on my life and on the lives of my family.

Andrew Frame: I was born in Germany but moved to Bangor when I was 7 and have mostly lived here ever since. I am married to Jude and have 2 daughters, Lucie and Niamh as well as a dog called Macey who loves to watch TV. My record for BBQ’s in one year currently stands at 40!  I have been involved in youth ministry since 2001 and have moved into wider church ministry and am currently part of the staff team at Kings Church in Bangor

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