As Oasis heads into its 13th year, I‘ve been wondering… are we still the same? Is our vision and passion as sharp and intentional as they were the first day we opened our doors? It’s an important question to ask as we look into the future with hearts full of expectation. My first thought is NO – we are not the same! Not at all. Back then we opened just 2 hours a week serving hot drinks and biscuits to anyone who needed our help. We saw an average of one client a week! Now, we have 4 part-time staff and 15 dedicated volunteers. We are open 3 days a week with an average footfall of 100 people. We now offer a wide range of services, which meet both the immediate (emergency) needs of our clients and tackle the barriers which prevented people living life to the full. My second thought is YES – we are still as passionate about the vision God gave over 18 years ago… to see a building pumping out His unconditional love 24/7. In our recent client survey the common life experiences of those accessing our services included: physical, emotional and sexual abuse or exploitation; mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety; worklessness going back as many as 4 generations; low levels of literacy and numeracy; high levels of personal debt; and serious drug and alcohol dependence, often from a young age. The economic, social, emotional and health issues which blight the most deprived in Gorton might seem intractable and overwhelming. We believe the biggest factor to help someone overcome their struggles and achieve their goals is consistent and non-judgemental love and support; providing services people can access with ease. The Oasis Centre has demonstrated that, with a great deal of prayer, patience and a skilful balance of compassion and ‘tough love’, lasting positive change is possible. Our vision is to see God-given transformation for the people of East Manchester – from chaos, isolation and hopelessness to stability, community and fullness of life. Such radical change is not easily achieved but we are committed! We won’t give up until we see people recognising their incredible worth in Christ and understanding His unconditional love is for everyone!
In July we decided to celebrate our 13th Birthday with a Summer Achievements Awards Ceremony. It was such a fantastic day! In all, 20 of our regular clients were awarded certificates relating to the incredible milestones they had reached through our Basic Adult Life Skills Training Programme and our Getting Work-Ready scheme. There were many stories to celebrate, from overcoming addictions and personal difficulties to learning new skills and reaching their personal literacy, numeracy and IT goals. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place! On the reverse of this newsletter are some of the incredible people who received an award. I hope you are blessed as I am by these courageous people who are finding stability, community and fullness of life through the work of Oasis!
God bless you all for your continued love and support! Victoria x
If you would like to partner with the work of Oasis in seeing broken lives transformed there are three vital ways you can help!
1) Pray: join our monthly prayer support
2) Give: by setting up a monthly direct debit or a one off donation visit theoasiscentre.org.uk and click on You Can Help.
3) Volunteer: we have many ways you can give your time supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged in East Manchester. Please email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring/text me on 07565511132.