Issue 20

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Oasis Village Update

Life is as busy as usual at Oasis. We just returned in September from furlough in Northern Ireland. It was great to catch up with family and friends and to visit lots of churches to talk about our work in Zambia. Zach, Zoe and Zara also had a wonderful time and have made many happy memories. It is very hot in Zambia at the minute – but thankfully the rains are just about to start!

Oasis Village Children

We support 38 children, who live with us at Oasis and we have another chalet ready to move more orphans/vulnerable children in. Please pray with us that God would show us the children in most need and that we would find the perfect house mum to look after them. All the children are making steady progress in school – with a few of them achieving exceptional standards. This makes us so happy. One of the girls Claudette had never been to school before and now she is No. 1 out of 60 children in her grade. It shows the potential that these children have and we’re so happy that we are able to help them become what God intended them to be. Our youngest child Shepherd (we got him at 3 months), is now 8 months and is 9kgs and is thriving – beginning to talk and crawling and is such a happy child. Quite often when we get toddlers they are malnourished and it takes us months to try to get them to be the weight they should be. Shepherd is a very healthy little boy and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him. We have just returned from a two night stay at a Game Reserve. We took 13 children who had never been there before. It was such a delight to see their faces light up when they saw giraffes, zebras and all the other animals. We love making special memories with the children and just giving them the chance to be kids and to enjoy their childhood. The children have been having tennis lessons and I’ve also managed to arrange for them to have swimming lessons starting from next week. I’m so excited that they will be learning this valuable life skill. Some of the children have also been learning the drums and keyboard and we recently had visitors that also spent some time teaching them the guitar. Mary and Gilrinnoh have joined the Praise Group in Church and are blessing us with their worship. Louis, Learnmore and Gilrinnoh are currently writing their Grade 9 exams, they have been getting tutored for some time now and hopefully will achieve the results they deserve.

 

Mountainside Primary

The school is continuing to make steady progress. We now have about 500 pupils. We never really planned for the school to be so BIG but it has been such a blessing to the community. We constantly have testimonies from parents who have seen such a rapid improvement in their child’s education. It’s a blessing for us to be able to help so many children. The school is also a big help to the general running of the Children’s Home and also the Church. The school looks after itself and also pays things like the water/electricity for all of Oasis Village.

Future Developments

In the near future we have plans to develop a sports complex and a library with money that was raised from our last formal in N. Ireland. This will be such a blessing for the Oasis children and the school will be able to use these facilities as well. We are also making steady progress with our guest accommodation and we will be able to facilitate teams there in the near future. We are currently replacing some of the thatching in the cafeteria as it leaks in the rainy season – so hopefully this problem will be solved once and for all. We use the cafeteria for Church and School Assembly as well as for school lunches. Please pray for us for finances to build a large hall that can be used for School Assemblies and also for our Church. At the minute we have people standing at the back in every church service – it’s great to see the church growing but ultimately we would love to have a much larger hall to cope with the growth rate.

Oasis Christian Fellowship

On returning from N. Ireland Ziso has put a huge emphasis on outreach and seeing souls won for Jesus which is the heart of Oasis. With a lot of hard work and commitment from him and church members we have made a lot of progress. We had outreach for a month in a local compound called Mushili – where people where witnessed too and the Jesus Movie was shown and we had great responses with people giving their lives to Jesus. Please pray as we continue follow ups and that people would start coming to the church. We have started an outreach using football – initially it was just providing a pitch and a kit to some youths who really aren’t doing anything in life and are getting mixed up with drinking and drugs – to give them something to do. If you are involved in the football you MUST attend the Sunday and midweek meetings. This outreach has really taken off and the Oasis Team is actually very good and they play against local teams on a Sunday afternoon and generally win all their matches. We have started another team in an area called Pamodzi - with both these teams we can have up to an extra 70 young men attending church services and our ultimate prayer is that these young men will give their lives to Jesus. In June a church was planted in Sakania, which is a village where we have been doing children’s ministry for 17 years. It’s so good to have a church there now and the children’s ministry continues with hundreds of children turning up on a Monday afternoon. We also have a programme with the children on Tues/Wed/Thurs which is run by Whiteson, a Zambian who has a real gift with Children’s ministry. The church has about 40 people who attend and we are praying for church growth. We had our first overnight prayer meeting there last night and had about 120 people with some choirs coming in from other churches in Sakania. Last Sunday an Oasis Church was also planted in Kabwe – a town about 3 hours from Ndola. For now we are renting a classroom but in the future we hope to buy a plot of land and put up a structure. Next week we will be buying a plot of land in Baluba – which is about 30 minutes from Ndola to plant another church. The people in this area tend to be drunks and prostitutes so please pray for us as we start to reach out to them.

Teams

We recently had a LIFT team - this stands for Labour in Faith and Trust. These guys are always a blessing to us as they give up their time and finances to come and work. They did a very professional job painting the guest house as well as lots of wee odd jobs. They also took part in ministry and took all the Oasis kids out to Hungry Lion for chicken and chips. We look forward to hosting them again next year. We also had a retired couple Simon and Christine, who were with us for six weeks. They were amazing and really did anything and everything. Christine is a teacher and was able to watch our teachers in action and provide feedback as well as running a workshop. Simon helped with the LIFT team and also made us a picnic table and chairs with donated wooden spools. Hopefully someone else will be able to make more using his example as we have been given a lot of spools that used to have cables on them. Simon and Chris also spent a lot of time in our storage – and have organised everything so that I actually know what is there and that has been a great help! Simon also spent time with our Praise Group in church and took part in the Services. He also taught some of the children to play the guitar and ukulele. Most importantly they spent quality time with the children at Oasis and made each of them feel LOVED and SPECIAL. We are hoping they will come back to be with us again in the future. We’re also looking forward to future teams from UT Belfast and Portadown Elim. We LOVE having visitors and teams.

So as you can see there is a lot going on. We are very grateful for support, both financially and prayerfully. Thank you for your interest in Oasis Village and for taking time to read our update.

God bless Always, Nicki & Ziso

Issue 19

The last six months have just flown past since the last latest news. So much has happened at Oasis Village, it’s hard to keep up, but all very exciting!

The children

Fifteen new children have moved into Oasis – except for two of them they are all below 5 – so there is a lot of joy and noise in the village as the older kids have now got lots of little brothers and sisters to look after. The older children have adapted well and we are ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY....most of the time!

In the last update I had mentioned about cousins Henry and Rachel that we were hoping to move in. Henry has moved in but unfortunately while we were waiting for Social Services to respond to the case, relatives for Rachel took her during school holidays to the village and never brought her back..... even though they had agreed to send her back once school started again. There is no way to contact them! Unfortunately this is all too common in Zambia – where relatives like to offer to take girls...not to look after them and put them in school...but rather to teach them to cook and clean!

The last two children moved in just a few weeks ago – Shepherd who is just over two months and his sister Elizabeth who is two years old. Elizabeth has started baby class and is very excited to start school for the first time and looks completely adorable in her new school uniform and sparkly shoes (I couldn’t get school shoes small enough!).

Moses, Anita and Sylvia started baby class in January and so that just leaves the triplets at home – Given, Miracle and Blessed. They have turned two and so technically they can start.... but they were so late to start walking and aren’t really talking very much that I’m not rushing to put them in class, they can start in the third term or next year in January.

In April there will be a church camp and 17 of our children, the ones aged 7 and above will attend this 4 day camp, the children are very excited and looking forward to it. Shortly after this our teenagers will also get to attend another camp, this time a Youth Camp and so the Easter holidays will be a busy and fun time for them all. The children are also looking forward to the summer (African Winter) when Lydie, Loucinda and Molly will come to spend time with them.

The Church

The church continues to thrive.... we recently had Maldwyn and Ruth Jones from the UK to come out and minister... last Sunday we invited all the Elim churches in the area to come for a service and we must have had more than 350 people in the service....... one of the highlights of the service was when the Praise Group were singing and Mary came forward to lead a few songs and Gillrinnoh accompanied her on the keyboard..... these two girls will go far and it’s such a blessing for us to be able to provide opportunities for them to develop their God given talents!

Ziso has been really pushing the evangelism side of things and has a faithful team that go out with him a few times a week – this led to a lot of visitors coming last Sunday and about 10 of them responded to the message and gave their lives to Jesus.... the church is the heart of Oasis .... ultimately our main purpose is to reach out to the lost, to help them materially but most importantly to point them towards Jesus!

The School

We have now finished the wooden classroom we were building and a Grade 3 class has moved in. Our school P.T.A. have taken up the challenge to build three more classrooms and work on the foundations has already begun.

 

Our ablution block is almost complete.... and will provide 10 more toilets for boys and ten for girls, this should be ready for use after the Easter holidays.

We recently took four teams to play in a football competition at Simba International School. There were four schools in the competition. All the children did really well and we were very proud of them. The U11 boys came a close second and the U11 girls won the cup..... this was the first time we had even made a girls U11 team so we were overjoyed with the result. They really looked the part with football shirts that were donated by various football clubs from Ireland.

Our Grade 7 pupils will be writing their final exams in October and depending on these results they will be placed in Secondary Schools. We are pushing them as much as we can with extra lessons during the holidays, Saturdays and also an extra hour after the rest of the pupils finish school. We have three new male teachers, who have taken up the challenge of the extra lessons as they have all tutored pupils for Grade 7 exams in the past. They are proving a real asset to the school and also to the quality of education that we provide.

Future Projects

There are a few things in the pipe line that we would love to turn our attention to as soon as finances are available. We are hoping with this trip to N. Ireland and also the formal, marathon and other fundraisers that are planned that these projects will start as soon as possible.

- creating proper sports facilities: we have the space but just need to clear land to put proper sports grounds.

- a common room for the Oasis kids to use, which should also include a library and T.V room that we can also use with Mountainside pupils for educational purposes.

- an assembly hall : we have 450 pupils and so we have two assemblies as they can’t all fit into the canteen – it would be great to have a structure that all the children could fit into and we could also use this for church on Sunday and then our cafeteria could actually be a cafeteria!

Looking forward to catching up with some of you very soon as we’ll be home for furlough in a few weeks time.

God Bless and thanks for the continued support.

Much love,
Nicki, Ziso, Zach, Zoe & Zara

Issue 18

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It’s seven months since the last news and as usual so much has happened.

Building work – We have now completed 11 classrooms, which is great as it means that now all the pupils of Mountainside, except one class are in the school site instead of chalets. We are also in the process of moving the final class as well. A company called WARTSILA has kindly donated 48 tons of wood which is comprised of large pallets that can be put together to make classrooms, offices, etc. The classroom project has been very costly and we are so blessed to have been given materials for free.

 

 

We are also working on another ablution block. We have just finished a computer lab and have been able to purchase 10 computers due to a kind donation.

 

 

 

 

We were also blessed with money to buy text books for the pupils for grades 5,6 and 7 for Maths and English – previously only the teacher had a book and had to write everything on board.

 

 

 

 

Oasis Official Opening – This took place on Friday 5th August and we were delighted to have friends, family and supporters over to join us for this event. The building of Oasis started back in 2007 and it was so good to be able to finally say we are officially open and have a celebration with the children. Typical zambian style – hectic as always – making banoffee for 150 people at 4pm when the event started at 5pm. We got there in the end...thanks to a production line involving Annalisa, Geoff, Zara, Zoe and Me!

Mountainside Primary – We entered an Art competition in April, competing against Private and International Schools and we were awarded 21 prizes. Many thanks go to Jessica (an American missionary and my vice principal), who helped the children with their Art work. We also had our first sports day, which was a huge undertaking to make sure that all the children had various races they could take part in. It was a great day – with Clever Cats – winning the trophy, which was kindly donated by Raymond and Linda Wray.

Visitors – We have been blessed with many visitors over the past months including Raymond and Linda, Fred, Molly, Kirsty, Christy, Annalisa and Geoff, Lydie and Loucinda. They have each contributed a lot to the work of Oasis and have brought much joy to the children at Oasis – who always get to go on wee trips when visitors come over. A highlight being an overnight to Nsobe Game Park.

It was particularly interesting to see the reaction from Molly, Lydie and Loucinda as they had also been here last year when most of the children moved in. They were overwhelmed with the change in the children in just one year and commented on how they had blossomed and were developing their gifts and abilities. I’ll not go into too many details as I’m sure in the near future you can read about their experiences in the visitors section on the webpage.

Oasis Children – I constantly get emotional in Church when the Oasis children get the opportunity to play the keyboard, drums or lead a worship song. There is so much talent that would probably have gone unnoticed if they had never come to Oasis. I count it such a privilege to be able to give the children these opportunities. Recently we have been teaching the children how to play chess on a Sunday afternoon and they have really got into that. I have also been approached by Simba Seals (local swimming club that Zach, Zoe and Zara are in). They have kindly offered to sponsor 4 children to learn to swim in the swimming club, with the possibility of competing in galas if they do well. The children they chose were Paul, Elijah, Francis and Christine.

Church – Our membership continues to grow and our worship team has reached a whole new level, even Ziso has started dancing in church. Church is alive and exciting and I can’t wait to see it continue to grow and develop. We have just celebrated our second birthday.

We are in the process of moving more children into Oasis, please pray with us that this happens quickly- the social worker we usually deal with has been on leave and no one else seems to be able to give us the go ahead. We have two children in mind so far – cousins: Rachel and Henry. We have been sponsoring them at Mountainside. They are orphans and live with their granny, but she isn’t coping and their living conditions are very poor. Please pray for these children and the others that will move in and that God will help us to find the perfect house mothers to look after them.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

God Bless you all,

Nicki, Ziso, Zach, Zoe and Zara.

Issue 17

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We now have 20 children living at Oasis Village and I couldn’t be happier! The majority of them moved in during August 2015. They are all really well settled and loving life at Oasis. For some of them - this is their first opportunity to go to school. They have also been having music lessons. We had a kids Sunday at Church and it was so encouraging to see Mary and Learnmore leading the singing, while Billy played the drums and Gillrinnoh the keyboard. I LOVE the opportunities that these children are now getting. One of the highlights has to be that each child will get a cake and a present when it’s their birthday – it’s such a joy to do such simple things, that we take for granted but these children have never experienced.

 

 

Gillrinnoh, Louis and Learnmore have now gone to secondary school and the rest of the children go to the school that we have at Oasis – Mountainside Primary. The little ones are doing very well, picking up English and learning to read and write. We are helping the older ones to catch up, with extra lessons and tutors, as education was obviously not a priority where they came from.

We took the children on a trip to Livingstone in December and what a memorable time it was. We were overwhelmed with gifts from well-wishers which meant that we could take the children on safari, a boat cruise, to see Victoria Falls, a 3D movie in the cinema and also a morning of go-karting. It’s such a privilege to be able to start giving these children happy memories.

We have some visitors coming in the summer that were here when the children moved in and I can’t wait to see their responses... one year later. The children get so excited when people take time out of their busy schedules to fly to Zambia just to spend time with them. If you’re reading this and you have never come....what are you waiting for?

Thanks for your constant prayers and support.

God Bless, Nicki & Ziso

Issue 16

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Where do I begin? There has been so much happening and things are busier than ever at Oasis Village.

As you probably know – we opened a school, ‘Mountainside Primary’ at the start of this year. The response has been overwhelming – we had prayed for 50 children and we now have over 200. The main reason for opening the school was that when our orphans move into Oasis there is a school for them to go to. When we started to calculate how much it was going to cost to send the children to local schools it seemed better to open a school ourselves. The children coming to the school, pay school fees, which is helping us to build classrooms, pay the teachers and pumping money back into Oasis. The children at Oasis will come for free and also get a free school dinner.

We now have 20 children living at Oasis Village and I couldn’t be happier! The majority of them moved in during August 2015. They are all really well settled and loving life at Oasis. For some of them - this is their first opportunity to go to school. They have also been having music lessons. We had a kids Sunday at Church and it was so encouraging to see Mary and Learnmore leading the singing, while Billy played the drums and Gillrinnoh the keyboard. I LOVE the opportunities that these children are now getting. One of the highlights has to be that each child will get a cake and a present when it’s their birthday – it’s such a joy to do such simple things, that we take for granted but these children have never experienced..

 

 

Gillrinnoh, Louis and Learnmore have now gone to secondary school and the rest of the children go to the school that we have at Oasis – Mountainside Primary. The little ones are doing very well, picking up English and learning to read and write. We are helping the older ones to catch up, with extra lessons and tutors, as education was obviously not a priority where they came from.

We took the children on a trip to Livingstone in December and what a memorable time it was. We were overwhelmed with gifts from well-wishers which meant that we could take the children on safari, a boat cruise, to see Victoria Falls, a 3D movie in the cinema and also a morning of go-karting. It’s such a privilege to be able to start giving these children happy memories.

We have some visitors coming in the summer that were here when the children moved in and I can’t wait to see their responses... one year later. The children get so excited when people take time out of their busy schedules to fly to Zambia just to spend time with them. If you’re reading this and you have never come....what are you waiting for?

Thanks for your constant prayers and support.

God Bless, Nicki & Ziso

Issue 15

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As 2013 has drawn to a close and a New Year begins, we trust that you had a lovely Christmas – spending time with family and friends; and we pray that you will have a blessed New Year.

Christmas Day
It was exciting for us to go to Oasis Village on Christmas Day to deliver a few small gifts and a bike each to Gilrina and Elijah. Their faces lit up to receive their first ever bike. Even at ten years old Gilrina has never riden a bike before – something that most of our children take for granted! Then on Boxing Day we had 15 for dinner which included Gilrina, Elijah and all the workers from Oasis Village. It was their first time to have a turkey, Christmas pudding and an 'After Eight'! It was a great day.

School

Gilrina and Elijah are doing well at school. During this holiday the children are off for about 5 weeks and so we have employed a tutor to spend two hours a day helping them with English and Maths. They are also getting keyboard and drum lessons at our church. So they will have no time to get bored.....! I think that they are enjoying someone finally taking an interest in them.

Trees

In November a group of 33 children from the Bible Club in Simba International School visited Oasis Village to plant trees – both scrubs and fruit trees. Thirty three trees were planted and will be enjoyed by all the residents at Oasis for many years to come. The children ranged from 5 yrs to 12 and it was amazing to see them plant their own tree for the benefit of all the people who will one day live there.

Sakania Christmas Party

My dad came to visit for the first two weeks of December; he is one of the directors for Oasis and he was thrilled with the progress that has been made since his visit the previous year. During his stay we had our Christmas party and brought 50 children from Sakania for a bbq. We also hired a bouncy castle, which the children had never been on before; they had great fun! Then ‘Santa’ came and the children got a party bag each, filled with sweets and a santa hat. The older boys also got construction kits to build their own cars, the younger ones target shooting games. The older girls got an umbrella each, the younger ones a doll.

In Sakania there are hundreds of children so the following week we took 300 party bags to try and ensure that every child got something during the Christmas period. We would really like to thank the group of people who gave us the money to do this. You made many children very happy. Check out the pictures in the photo gallery.... you might recognise Santa’s little helpers!

Fundraising News
We had six brave people who decided to do a cliff jump for Oasis up the North Coast in November 2013 - they raised over £1200 which is fantastic, and it brought a smile to many faces at Oasis! The money paid for the Christmas Party at Oasis and the 300 party bags for Sakania Village. The rest of the money will be used to make bunk beds for when the children move in.

We were also very blessed to have a bag pack at Tesco, Newtownbreda on Saturday 21st December, a very special thank you to everyone who sacrificed a couple of hours to help; we couldn’t have managed without you. Apparently the average bag pack there raises around £1000; ours raised an incredible £1747.17! Our next fundraiser is the Lambeg Players Panto at the Island Centre on Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th January. The money raised through the ticket sales has already gone to buying Elijah and Gilrina their first ever bikes which they received on Christmas Day, as mentioned above. The rest of the money will go towards their upkeep and school fees.

Future So much has been happening and with our new borehole dug, we’re believing that 2014 will see many more wonderful changes and additions at Oasis Village.


Thank you for taking the time to read this update; again we want to wish you a very happy and blessed 2014.

Lots of love, Nicki & Ziso

Issue 14

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Gilrina (11) and Elijah (6) arrived at Oasis Village at 4pm on Wednesday 18th September and they have been all smiles. They are wonderful children and I thank God for this opportunity to play a role in their lives. I also thank God that we can finally say, after 6 years of building – WE HAVE CHILDREN!!!!

A few days after they arrived we took them out to a fast food restaurant for chicken and chips and then to an ice cream parlour for dessert. Thanks to Auntie Anna for paying for this! They had a wonderful time.

Last Friday I brought them home and Zoe and Gilrina made scones for the first time. Then they all played in the paddling pool. This was followed by dinner and Kung Fu Panda!

Elijah has started school for the first time and Gilrina is completing her grade 5. On her first day she got 100% in everything.

Zach, Zoe and Zara get on really well with Gilrina and Elijah and that’s good as I really want them to become great friends. They have given away their clothes and toys to Oasis, which I love, as I really want my children to realise how privileged they are and to be a blessing to others.

 

We look forward to having more children in the future and for Oasis Village to be filled with smiling, happy children.

God Bless, Nicki and Ziso

Issue 13

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Summer Report 2013

I am back from my 5 week trip to Zambia and I had a wonderful time! It was brilliant to catch up with my family and to see the progress at the site. I wanted to leave my own touch at Oasis Village so I spent some time making window boxes for the site and designing some canvases for the first 3 chalets.

There was a team from my church (UT Belfast) on a working visit to Oasis in August for two weeks and I had the pleasure of working with them during their first week before I returned home. They were up for anything that needed done and worked very hard at the site. They also planned programmes for Sakania Village and Itawa Elim Church, where Ziso is the pastor.

A highlight of my trip would be the day we brought over 80 children from Sakania Village to Oasis Village for a day out. The day was fully funded by the team from UT and the children made bracelets, danced, played on our jungle gym, got their faces painted, played rounders and ate candy floss for the first time! Incredibly it was also a first for the Zambian workers at the site! We had a scrumptious BBQ as well, when a lot of the children had burgers for the first time too…it’s a very humbling experience to see not a crumb thrown out…then to round off an wonderful day we gave the children a party bag each, packed with goodies. Every child also got a football top, donated by children from N Ireland. I am sure you will agree that they look class, completely different from when they arrived. Then they headed back to their village, squashed into the truck and singing their hearts out all the way home to Sakania.

A day like this fills me with so much excitement and hope for when we finally open the gates to our orphans, and at the end of the day we won’t have to say goodbye to them! That’s what it’s all about, changing the world one life at a time. Thank you to everyone at this point who has supported our work from the beginning; your prayers and financial support are making a huge difference and helping us not only to build an orphanage but also to create a home for children who deserve a better chance in life. In some ways our journey to this point has been long and frustrating, but it has also been full of rewards and blessing. Everything is in God's hand and I know that the orphanage will open in His perfect timing.

Progress at the site

As you are aware our biggest problem has been the borehole. On the fourth attempt it was finally dug and there was an abundance of water, but when the casings were being lowered they fell, smashed and got stuck. Ziso has been to a few companies and in September work will recommence to have these casings removed. We would really value your prayers that the borehole will be overflowing with water in the near future.

The plumbing and carpentry work is still ongoing and is almost complete in the first three chalets.

The UT team from Belfast worked tirelessly, arriving at the site at 6am to start painting. They painted the outside of the five remaining chalets and the roofs. It was great to get this job completed so quickly. We are truly thankful for all their efforts and the financial support they left behind to help with the project.

Fund-raising News

Oasis Formal

The Oasis Formal is only a couple of weeks away. It is being held at La Mon on Friday 27th September. We are aiming to have 300 people attending on the night and there are still a few places available. It’s going to be a fabulous night and all the money raised will go straight to Oasis Village to help get it up and running asap! Tickets cost £40 and not only will you have a great night but ultimately you will be joining with us to help transform precious lives in Ndola, Zambia.

Please get in touch if you would like to attend at oasisvillagendola@yahoo.co.uk I would LOVE to hear from you. Thank you all for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated.
God Bless
Annalisa