Easter just fills me with hope.
It doesn’t matter where we come from, if we are rich or poor, surrounded by family or alone…we all need hope. We thrive when we are full of hope. Hope blows the cobwebs away. Hope renews our strength. But what does hope mean? Does it just mean trying to trust in a better future which may or may not happen or is hope more concrete than that?
We keep hope at the heart of everything we do here at Oasis. From the moment someone first walks through our doors, we have hope for their lives. I have so many stories of hope I could share with you. I remember when Tess* first walked into our centre a few years ago. She had been signposted to us by the job centre with a 90-page document that needed filling in. The pages were all in the wrong order and they were coffee stained and damp. As I looked up from the soiled document, I saw the pain, confusion, and fear in this precious lady’s eyes, “I don’t know how to fill this in, I am in a mess. It’s all gone horribly wrong, and I just don’t want to live anymore”. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by Tess’s plight I was full of hope…you could say I was even excited. Why? Because I have seen so many people come into Oasis over the years suffering tragic and chaotic circumstances and watched them journey into a place of stability and hope for their future! I have also had the privilege of watching those same people stay in that place of hope with the help of their Oasis family. So, with confidence, I reassured Tess that our Crisis Support team would be able to help fill in that 90-page document and introduced her to a craft workshop that was going on at the time. I assured her again “We are here to help you in any way we can, and I know in a few months you will feel like a different person”. And OH, MY GOODNESS that hope was certain. A few months later Tess was now receiving the financial and mental wellbeing support she so desperately needed and had a brand-new set of friends that she called family. Hard days naturally come, but now Tess has a supportive Oasis family to help her in those bleak days and Tess is also there for others when they fall on hard times. Hope is in Tess’ eyes on a daily basis reminding us all to be thankful for this wonderful hope!
Oasis is built on the Easter portrayal of hope. This hope is sure. This hope is certain. This hope won’t let you down. At Easter, here at Oasis, we are reminded of God’s love for every single human being and that love spills out into the most profound hope. Hope that reassures us of God’s love. Hope that we can be accepted. Hope that we can be forgiven. Hope that we can walk out a different story for our lives despite past mistakes, failures, pain, hurt, or rejection.
This hope also challenges us…if God loves me, how can I not love the person in front of me? If God has accepted me, how can I not accept the person walking through our doors? If God has forgiven me, how can I not forgive others? This is the foundation we put our hope in!
Prayer is central to Oasis, and we know that many of you have been praying faithfully for us for years. We are so grateful for your vital prayer support throughout our Oasis journey. Our God has been so faithful in blessing us and in answering our prayers - continuing the good work that He started 20 years ago!
We are often asked for prayer updates so that our supporters can pray specifically. So, from May, we will be sending out monthly updates, sharing all that we are thankful to God for, as well as sharing our prayer requests.
If you would like to join us as prayer partners, please contact Angela on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will add you to our prayer mailing list.