Life continues to flourish at Oasis Village, it is such a ‘happening’ place with so many activities going on.
Oasis ChildrenWe now have 48 children living at Oasis. I was phoned one Friday morning concerning another Children’s Home that hadn’t passed a surprise inspection – we were asked to take in the 9 children that had been living there.
They moved into Oasis that evening and haven’t looked back. Then just last week two sisters moved in as their father had died some time back and their mother has abandoned them. They didn’t speak a word of English, but you know you are doing something right when you turn up at Oasis a few days after they move in and they run over to hug you! Auntie Pauline, their house mum, had given them dollies and they haven’t put them down since they got them – so excited to have a simple toy that most kids would take for granted. The children have continued with their swimming lessons and their coach, Sophie, has been amazed at their progress – they are so determined to learn to swim.
By the end of the season (ended in April), all the children aged 7 and above could swim a length of the pool. There is a new swimming club starting in town – Ndola Rapids and the children will be a part of that and the swimmers making the most progress in their age groups will even start performing in galas – how exciting is that? The Grade 6 teacher in school has started helping some of the Oasis children that are a bit behind in their school work with extra lessons, so that we can be sure that each child gets to reach their potential. One child that we support – Joe (17), has got severe learning difficulties and started going to a special school. On assessment it was decided that he really wasn’t making progress and so he was taken out of school and instead started an agricultural course in farming and he is absolutely LOVING it! He was frustrated in school and I’m happy that we have found something else that he can enjoy and will hopefully take him somewhere in life.
School life is also making steady progress. We recently had a school inspection and they were pleased with what they saw. We are currently working on the school being allowed to be an examination centre so that our Grade 7’s will be allowed to write final exams at Mountainside rather than having to go to another school. We will be having Sports Day this term and the children are all eagerly practising their races. We enjoyed having Career Day with the children, they dressed up in what they wanted to be when they grew up and the teachers dressed up as pupils. We believe that if the children continue to work hard, they can indeed achieve their dreams.
Our first intake of Grade 7 pupils wrote their final exams last year and got their results at the start of January. We had a 100% pass rate, with our top boy and girl getting 812 points which meant they could select any school they wanted to go to. We were very proud of them and all the teachers that work hard to help the pupils reach their potential.
Oasis Christian Fellowship
The church has continued to grow and Ziso has a BIG heart for church planting and reaching the Lost for Jesus. We currently have 11 churches that are under the umbrella of Oasis Christian Fellowship .....reaching all the way to Lusaka – the capital of Zambia. This is an exciting time for us, we are also planning in the next month or so to open a City Church in Ndola Town Centre – the plan will be to move the church from Oasis Village to this new venue. Please pray with us as the church continues to grow, that lives will be saved and that we will have a positive impact on the local communities.
We have recently been very blessed with well-wishers from within Ndola, coming to make donations and spend time with the children at Oasis. For the last three years on YOUTH DAY (public holiday in Zambia) young people from Ndola Baptist Church have come bearing gifts and encouraging the children to work hard in school, so that they can go far in life. Then Citi Bank Zambia, chose Oasis to have their community day – they donated paint for the chalets and textbooks for Mountainside Primary, as well as bringing snacks for the children. They also helped us to paint and cut the grass. An Indian family, who found Oasis on the internet turned up with lots of lovely snacks for the children – fruit, yoghurts, biscuits, drinks, etc. It’s so nice for people around us to see the work that we are doing and to come onboard to support. Teams We will be receiving some teams and individuals over the next few months and we are very excited at the work that we anticipate will be accomplished – updates on what they got up to will be in the next edition of the Latest News. Conclusion Annalisa recently sent me a bracelet that said ‘Dream Big’ - when I look at Oasis and everything that has been accomplished – it surpasses all my original dreams and expectations and I know that God is not finished with us yet. So I will continue to dream big – knowing that I have a heavenly Father that can accomplish ALL things.
We just want to thank all our loyal supporters that support the practical work of Oasis and also the children that live there. You are playing a HUGE role in the running of Oasis and we pray that God will continue to bless you all.
Love Nicki, Ziso, Zach, Zoe and Zara xo
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.
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.
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.
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