What is it that we all seek?
What's that one thing that breaks down every barrier?
What makes us truly glad to be alive?
We all need it.
We all crave it.
We all know it changes everything....could it be we were created to love and be loved?
But what is love? I have searched high and low for the best definition of love and I found it in 1 Corinthians 13 v 4 – 8:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Read it again slowly and let your heart and mind digest these words. Doesn’t it make your heart sing?! Here at Oasis, we have made these words the core of who we want to be. Our culture. Our benchmark. These words are so important to us we have them on the side of our centre as you walk in as a daily reminder! Don’t hear me wrong…we aren’t there yet. We often fall short of love. We get it wrong. We fall down BUT we get back up again, quickly and ask God for help. We start again choosing patience, kindness…putting the person who walks through our doors first, watching them flourish and become the person they are meant to be.
Here’s what some of our Oasis family have to say about living in a culture of love:
Nathan “I came to Oasis to brush up on my skills and do job search and join in whatever I can do. When I came, I was hiding a big secret that no-one could know. I was nervous of people finding out but then I told one of the staff and they accepted me and still wanted me. Now I’ve changed, I used to be quiet but now I am not and I love everything”.
Sarah “From the very beginning, Oasis have been happy to see me, they welcome me and care about me. When I’m not in, they think about me and miss me and are pleased to see me when I come back. They help me out with any problem, in my times of need I know if I can get to Oasis, they will help me find a solution.”
Jane “Coming here has got me out of my flat and out of my shell and I like helping people. I like Unity English and helping people who don’t speak English. I’m part of the community here and I know there’s lots of support when I need it.”
Eric “I first came to Oasis because I learnt about the education classes. Coming here has inspired me and I feel so much more confident. When I’m having a bad day, I know there’s someone will help me sort out an issue. Before coming here, I never went on trips but going on trips with the centre has opened my eyes to what is outside of Gorton. I’ve always felt welcome here and that’s a big thing. Since coming, I’ve become more confident and I like to help people. When I see someone struggling, I want to help them like Oasis helped me. I love helping in Unity English supporting people to learn their words and actually I help in all the lessons where I can. I was nothing before I came here.”
Maggie “I love the people at Oasis, you get lots of nice people and nice staff and friends that help you. I’ve got more outgoing and like meeting different people and people who speak different languages and their ways that are different. I like learning people English and helping them feel welcome”.
Saleema “I knew I was welcome and safe when I came to Oasis and I told all my family and friends that this is the place they should come. We make friends and are happy here. I tell new people that this is a good place with good people and people will help them here”.
Glynis “I tell people that when I came here, I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t do Maths and English and now I can. When new people come, I tell them that I was nervous at the start too but that they are one of the family now. The staff will help you learn to do things and it doesn’t matter if you get things wrong because you’re learning. I love it here, it’s my second family. Sometimes it’s more like my first family because I know Oasis is always there and I can go there every day”.