My husband & I felt called to help refugees after hearing Joani & Mark speak at our church last fall. The Good Neighbor Initiative is a great way to make an impact directly on a refugee family. We thought we were JUST joining a ministry, BUT what we RECEIVED were BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS!
Our nation and our world have been shaken by our President’s executive order on refugees coming into our country. Many refugee families anticipating a new life in the United States have been stranded in airports and turned back from coming here to St. Louis and many other cities. Amidst the confusion, shock, anger, fear and discouragement we have seen people of all walks of life rise up, march and speak up for these families who are desperate for a new life.
In John Chapter 17, Jesus has some specific end results that He is praying for us. One of them is that the church would be perfected in unity. Perfected means to bring to the proposed end or fulfillment. What is the purpose of this perfected unity?
We always look forward to March because we have college students come on their Spring break to serve at Oasis International and connect with refugee families. Many deliveries were made to new refugees because of these awesome young people.
International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8. One of our ladies from Iraq wrote a paper and read it to our ladies on the importance and significance of women. We set aside a day to bless our English students at Oasis with a Salon Day to let them know how much we love them and value them.
What a great group from First Baptist Church Cookeville, Tennessee. This talented High School choir sang some beautiful songs for us and some of our refugee friends. In one day, they delivered furniture to refugee families, mowed and trimmed the grass in the park across the street, cleaned the building (they even do windows) and cleaned the waterfall and the flower beds.
Ameren Missouri volunteers came to Oasis for their Diversity Day. Sangeetha Kulasekaran, an engineer at Ameren was thrilled to be able to visit a refugee family and bring them their furniture.
Since 2008, we have taken refugee kids to the Kids of Victory (KOV) Camp in Crestwood, Missouri. Continuing this great tradition, we loaded up a school bus and took more than 30 kids over for a week of singing, games, and learning about the love of Jesus.
We were blessed to have Lisa Davis train our staff on First Aid, CPR and AED. We are all now certified through the Red Cross. Lisa has been our intern over the summer. She is getting her degree in Emergency Management. She has written an Emergency Operations Plan for Oasis International, giving us a plan for Medical Emergency, Evacuation, Severe Weather/Tornado Sheltering, Shelter-In-Place and Lockdown.
We are excited that we have a new driver’s training car and a new driver’s training instructor. We are so grateful to our anonymous donor for this wonderful 2014 Ford Focus. Along with Ben Settle, we now have another instructor, Robert Claus. Both of our instructors are so compassionate and caring for the students. We look forward to hearing of even more students receiving their driver’s license now.
On average 40 students & their 25 children under the age of 5 are loved and encouraged twice a week in 5 levels of English classes & 1 citizenship class on our campus. Their 48 teachers & childcare helpers teach them basic “Hello” & “My name is” to more complicated grammar and sentence structure.
We do it everyday at Oasis... Give Glory To God! We never know how the miracle will come, or through whom it will come or even when it will come, but we know it will come. The task always seems monumental and impossible but the people of God respond. This holiday season we have seen it happen; young and old, rich and poor — GIVE.