Let’s Build Future Leaders – Sponsor Kids to Attend Camp!

May 18, 2016

camp-web215x215Seventeen kids and 5 counselors (some who went as campers and now want to attend as counselors) are heading to Bible camp June 12th!

Are you frustrated about our youth dropping out of school, broken teenage families, drug use, and gang violence defining our city?

We are encouraged to be working towards a solution to these heartaches … an investment that is offering our inner city kids a new, Biblical model that they are affected by and listening to. We are prayerfully planting visions in their minds of believing that they can truly BE the next generation of indigenous leaders who return to North Memphis and demonstrate leadership, Godly living, and hope for the next generation.

This process involves a ton of time, love, investment and relational trust that is slowly built over many years. Oasis of Hope has been in the neighborhood now for 14 years. We’ve had the chance to work with kids from childhood to adulthood and are now listening to their ideas for change and leadership.

web215x215-4One of the things these new leaders, like Octavious Johnson, are saying is this: Send our youth to Bible Camp: Offer them this powerful opportunity & exposure!

Octavious was hesitant when Oasis went with him to camp for the first time in 2009. He even tried to back out at the last minute, but ended up experiencing the life-changing urban camp with a mission of “building urban leaders by encouraging, equipping and empowering urban youth and their mentors through camping and education.”

He had never gone to a camp of any kind, never zip-lined, and didn’t know how to swim. He loved tubing on the lake and sitting around the bonfire and making friends from other states! These were all new experiences that he conquered over the next four years as he returned and grew both spiritually and emotionally. He remembers during a scavenger hunt event he carried other kids through the obstacle course and was later selected as their leader! From this experience, it sparked leadership qualities in him which he has continued to grow and develop.

web215x215-3But Octavious’ most memorable camp moment was when he surrendered his life to Christ! His camp counselors shared the Gospel with him which sparked an “aha moment” in his life motivating him to return to Memphis and live differently.

Today, Octavious is a leader amongst his peers in North Memphis and is a student at Lane University (YAY OCTAVIOUS!!!). Last year, he encouraged his family to rearrange their summer schedule to make sure his younger sister, Sharice would be able to attend camp like he had as a teen.

And now Octavious wants to give back … and eventually be an Adult Counselor at camp himself.

HOW EXCITING!!!

But it costs each student $450 to attend. That covers camp registration, transportation, travel meals, medical  insurance, and camp supplies if needed.

We have 17 kids that we have built relationships with, have worked with through various Oasis programs, feel they will benefit from camp, and are willing to send our staff and volunteers to counsel them through the awesome emotional process of the overload of the amazing experience of camp, but we need financial sponsors to help us pay each youth’s camp cost.

camper-reading-bible-web215North Memphis is an ‘under-resourced’ community in our city. This means that families and kids living here aren’t offered the same opportunities as other kids around town. There are zero expectations that they will be taking a trip to the ocean, or Yellowstone, or experiencing a month – or even a week – of fun at a camp of any kind.

Being gifted a chance to attend camp … BIBLE camp … in another city, and even more exciting in another state, is a VERY big deal to kids who have most likely barely even left their own neighborhood.

We are interested in transforming urban youth in our city to impact their communities for Christ. We are interested in developing leaders like Octavious … and Shirice!

If you believe in this mission too, we’d love your support and prayers. Campers leave June 12th and return June 18th.

Donate online or send us a check. THANK YOU for being part of this movement to transform!

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Jasmine. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Batter Batter Batter Swing! It’s Time to Play Baseball!

May 16, 2016

oasis-summer-baseball-100x1Spring always makes us think of showers, flowers … and baseball! We are geared up and ready to play ball with your kids!

How Can Your Child Get Involved:

Practices: Mon-Fri, 4:00-5:45pm at the Bickford Community Center, now until school starts
Ages: 5-14
Enrollment Procedure: Just show up at the field and parents can sign a permission form
Fees: None
Games Played at: Will Carruthers Park, 3880 Neely Road, Field #1

Join Coach Barry (a leader from the neighborhood) as he heads up summer baseball for the 9th year in a row! We are also excited to have KIPP’s PE administrator, Coach Cleo co-coordinating again for his 3rd year. In addition, another local young man, Dante, has joined the coaching staff and is currently playing baseball at Lane College!

Offering a healthy alternative and providing kids a positive activity provides the following:
1: Keeps kids out of trouble when they have ample free time
2: Brings baseball back to the inner city
3: Provides a potential means for a college scholarship
4: Brings our community together

How Can You Help?

We need more coaches. If you love baseball and kids, we’d love to have you join our volunteer coaching staff! We are especially needing a pitching coach and a t-ball coach.

We need donations. We purchase team uniforms, cover all program fees, provide transportation to games, and offer snacks. If you would like to support this ministry, we’d truly appreciate your donations.

Game Schedule for 10 and under (watch website/social media for additional games to be posted):
April 23, 1:00pm
April 26, 7:30pm
April 30, 11:30am
May 3, 7:30pm
May 7, 11:30am
May 10, 6:00pm
May 14, 11:30am

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Summer Leadership Academy…Teen Internships

May 14, 2016

2015-martell-web800As a teen, I craved attention. I wanted to know that my life had significance. Yet, the message I received from the world around me said that I was at best a nuisance. I remember dreaming of doing something significant, but never really thinking it was possible. All that changed when I experienced leadership training from a childhood mentor one summer. I felt I was able to achieve anything after that summer experience.

Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) is a program inspired by my own story. The development I received as a teen must be given to a new generation of student leaders. Some of our youth experienced similar dream crushing upbringings. SLA is designed to encourage hope for the future and to give confidence building exposure through role models and opportunities. Much of SLA is based off of the Great Commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40).  Our passion for the Great Commandment has lead us to focus on the foundational values, 1) spiritual formation, 2) servanthood/acts of love, and 3) love for neighbors/strangers.

With these core values in place, the goal for SLA is to provide cultural exposure, leadership development and service opportunities for students in order to promote longevity and sustainability in Oasis of Hope’s youth development processes:

  • Cultural Exposure – We are providing strategic opportunities to enlarge the worldview and perspective of our student leaders. We want to help our youth see what’s possible when motivated by love and faith. For example, youth will attend a diversity training at Bridges as well as experience racial & economic diversity by attending St. Jude, Slavehaven, art shows and cross cultural service projects.
  • Leadership Development – We seek to provide spiritual, character and vocational training to enlarge the understanding and competencies of our youth. We want to help our student leaders become more functional in their faith.  For example, our business professional mentors are teaching the students many of the business essentials to succeed in the workforce.
  • Service Opportunities – Our students are experiencing the workplace in an on-the-job setting serving as interns at Chick-fil-A and Oasis Appliance. In addition, many served as volunteer leaders at our Summer VBS program and other outreaches designed to stretch their leadership muscles and grow in this essential aspect of their lives.

2015-summer-leadership-acadThe six week curriculum is based around:

  • Love for God (acknowledging the creator)
  • Love for Self (knowing one’s value)
  • Love for Others (engaging community)
  • Acts of Love (the importance of service)
  • Love for the City (stewardship)
  • Social justice and Community Development (equity for all)

One of our teens involved in SLA told me that it’s time for them to give back to their own community. She was so encouraged by her leadership training that she couldn’t wait to find a way to invest in others. The teens are learning the power of Gospel to give them purpose and confidence. Every lesson learned and every time they serve, our student leaders grow in many unanticipated ways. One student even told me that he wanted my job. It was then that I knew our leadership training was working.

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2

Martell Hixson, High School Youth Developer, Oasis of Hope

Rent Selma Then Attend the Justice Tour June 3-5

May 12, 2016

justice-tour-ella-miller-20Did you see the movie ‘Selma’ last year? If not, rent it, then sign up to go on the Justice Tour and watch history come to life as you experience a glimpse of the labored path to civil rights!

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. View the trailer here.

Then after the movie, make plans to join us on the annual Justice Tour, June 3-5 where Pastor Eli and Hope Urban have been walking people over the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL for years to literally and metaphorically give us a glimpse of what African-Americans have gone through to bridge the gap to equal rights, beginning with their fight to be allowed to vote.

Can you imagine what it feels like to walk under the actual arch where Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965 … and hearing how African Americans peacefully marched to gain voting rights but were brutally attacked by police with billy clubs to break up the protest killing men, women and children, ultimately hospitalizing over 50 people … and then crossing that bridge yourself next to unified friends who are both black and white?

1st-baptist-church2-100x116This is just one of the many stops on the Justice Tour as we attempt to walk the same paths as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others did in the late 50s and 60s during turbulent times in our country as they fought for equal rights for all. It is a powerful history lesson listening to the stories of that day from many first-hand witnesses as we visit Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Memorial, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (which was bombed in September of 1963, resulting in the death of 4 young girls – as is seen in the movie), attend services at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and more.

Elle Miller (in the above picture), Oasis of Hope leader, volunteer, and North Memphis resident attended the Tour in recent years. “I really enjoyed everything. I learned a lot of history in such a little amount of time. Everyone should go on this trip! ” – Elle Miller

Eli and urban staff will escort you on this unforgettable journey. We leave Friday morning, from Hope at 6am on a charter bus, and return Sunday at approximately 6pm.

While on the bus we view some movies (Selma included!), have discussions, and get more historical background on the Civil Rights march to freedom from Eli. This is an informative tour about the struggle for equal rights, but also packed with fun as we fellowship and make friends with a lot of Hope members we never knew before! Your transportation, snacks, most meals, hotel accommodations (based on double occupancy), and tour fees are covered by the $225 fee; ($325 fee for non Hope members). You will need money to purchase a couple of lunches and possibly souvenirs.

If you are interested in joining us or would like more information about the trip, contact Megan. If you would like to register, click here. Space is limited to 35.

Who: Adults interested in a 3-day Journey of Civil Rights Heritage
When: June 3-5, 2016
Where: Selma, Montgomery & Birmingham
Click here to view Justice Tour Photos

If you would like more information regarding our ministry, email us. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Bike the Red, White and Blue Ride to Support The Bike Shop

May 10, 2016

RWB-RIde-Red-web500Come out and ride with the Memphis Hightailers for a great cause!

Thank you so much to the Hightailers for choosing The Oasis Bike Shop to receive a portion of this year’s proceeds!

Date: 7/2/2016
Check In Time: 7:00 AM
Ride Time: 8:00 AM
Location: Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis
Cost: $30 for members & $40 for non-members through 6/21 ($40/$45 through 7/3, and $45/$45 day of the ride)
Routes: 28 – 42 – 61
Register online

The Oasis Bike Shop takes in used or new bikes in any condition and refurbishes them when possible to be reused by those in need. Bikes that are not repairable are used for parts. This ministry is not just focused on the kids but also those adults that have no other form of transportation.

The bikes are typically earned through doing some type of supervised community service. All bikes earned through this method come with a bike lock, helmet and a safety class. Additionally, they are focused on taking the youth on outdoor field trips to parks or through bike trails in safe, beautiful settings contrary to riding on the streets where they live.

red-white-and-blue-ride-215Their desire is to expose their bikers to opportunities beyond the inner city that they can own for themselves. Also, the Oasis Bike Ministry is in need of donated bikes (regardless of condition) and any usable parts you may have. So, if you have an old bike, or an extra front fork, or brakes, or seats, or handlebars, or cables, or chains, or cranks, or bar tape, or literally anything else you think could be used to help restore a bike into riding condition, please bring it with you to the ride. They will be grateful to take it off your hands and get another young boy or girl onto a bike!

Of course, monetary donations are always great. Feel free to add some amount to your ride registration, and these funds will go directly to Oasis.

Enjoy fully supported routes of 28 miles, 42 miles, or 61 miles, and return to Hope Church to enjoy the after-party in the air-conditioned gym!

Lunch will be provided. Count on several entree selections, including selections for the vegetarians among us!

Want to volunteer instead? Volunteers are needed in multiple areas. Some volunteer opportunities also enable you to ride as well. You can earn VIP points with the Hightailers for volunteering and also get a FREE t-shirt! Volunteers must sign up by June 24 to get a volunteer t-shirt; sign up by June 30 to ensure you receive VIP points.
Volunteer online

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Hail to the Chief! Oasis and Habitat Week: Aug 21-27

May 08, 2016

web176x176The 2016 Jimmy & Roslalynn Carter work project is coming to Bearwater Park this summer!

Every year Habitat for Humanity and President Carter chose ONE location around the world to make an impact in providing quality/affordable housing. This year it is in partnership with Oasis!

Mark your calendars for the week of August 21 – 27. There will be many volunteer opportunities to build and serve those doing the building. You may even bump elbows with a celebrity or two.

We so thankful that God connected us with Habitat and are beyond honored that our neighborhood has been chosen to receive this blessing. Connect with us on social media and our website to receive the latest updates on the progress.

Ms Outstanding Teen Devotes Her Platform to Inner City Kids

May 06, 2016

gabby-web500Every now and then, someone comes along who challenges my thinking and makes me intrinsically want to do better, do more, and be a better person. Today, I am challenged by an amazingly inspirational 15-year-old (did you hear me say FIFTEEN people??!!) actually speak louder than her perfectly stated pageant expectations. Take notice!

Gabriella Genereaux is the reigning 2016 Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen as of January, and despite seeing a lot of these titles myself, I have to say she TRULY is proving herself to be even *more than* outstanding!!

Winners of such a prestigious titles are expected to have a platform they believe in passionately, make a difference in their communities, and be ready to carry it out with a fierce plan. Gabby desires to “help inner city children in as many ways as possible.” Well … Oasis of Hope is more than blessed for her kind of dedications because she IS making a difference in North Memphis week after week!

More specifically, Gabby’s platform is “Love Never Fails, based off of 1 Corinthians 13 which tells us love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. My passion is working with inner city children, and no matter what I do with them whether it be playing on the playground, or simply just talking with them, the most effective thing of all is just showing them love.”

Gabby … thank you for LOVING our kids!!!!!

Currently, Gabby is mentoring Saniaa in Oasis of Hope’s Read-2-Succeed program, a weekly commitment where she invests in a relationship with Saniaa as well as promotes her increased educational capacity through reading together and improving her educational skills, and investing in her spiritual well-fare as well (after-all, she is working with an Oasis program).

And this is just the beginning. Gabby has lots of additional ideas!! As well as collecting over 2,000 donated books for the Oasis of Hope reading library, she also has plans to use those books for a ‘Little Free Library’ project where she and her dad plan to build poles to put up in North Memphis where families are encouraged to take a book/leave a book. Watch for details on this!

She also has a ‘Bike-a-thon” in the works, scheduled for Shelby Farms in partnership with the Oasis Bike Shop to raise money for inner city kids who desire to attend Bible camp this summer at KAA (Kids Across America). Stay tuned for details about this as well and be sure to support her efforts by being involved! This is compassion, and education, and spiritual development, and physical fitness combined!!!

So Gabby … we are your BIGGEST fans!!! Even if your future titles don’t go exactly as you planned, we see that you are a total SUPERSTAR in North Memphis!! Thank you dearly for your platform involving the investment in Oasis of Hope kids … we absolutely believe they are WORTH it!!!!

Tax Season is Over! Thank You To Our Tax Volunteers!

May 04, 2016

2015 VITA (1)April 15th, 2016 has officially passed and our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) team has wrapped up another successful season of serving our North Memphis families by providing honest, reliable, and free tax filing.

This year, our team filed 95 returns, producing a savings of $271,047!

Since 2016 marked our tenth year of offering this service, we have cumulatively filed 1,667 returns and saved our community $2,984,047, allowing that money to be invested back into families and into the neighborhood!

Director Peggy Fulmer Ball recalls a favorite memory from this year: “We had two stories of men who were returning clients and brought their college student sons with them this year. We were able to confirm they had tax credits coming if they could get the necessary forms from their schools. They each came back with the 2015 VITA (7)paperwork the next week and we were able to help them get the maximum refunds. It was so awesome to assist these families working to improve the lives of their children!”

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for their faithful commitment and willingness to spend weeks of Saturdays serving and loving on people. If you are interested in being involved on this team next year, training is provided and you do not need to be a certified accountant.

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Peggy. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Pastor Coop Recaps the Easter Service In His Own Words…

April 10, 2016

web3-215x215 Check out Easter Extravaganza pics here.

What an awesome God we serve!

We had an amazing time on Easter Sunday; our Easter Extravaganza was a great success! We experienced rocking praise and worship, a radical word, and a remarkable egg hunt for the kids.

For me personally, the highlight of the day was not the turnout of 350 men, women, youth and children, but the highlight happened when I felt lead to break away from the service and check out the parking lot which was filled to capacity to my surprise. As I was outside, I noticed two young adult females walking away from the lot out the back gate. I immediately engaged them by asking, “Hey! Where are ya’ll going?”

One of the ladies replied as I introduced myself, “I don’t have on the right clothes. I didn’t know this was a church service. I need to go change because I don’t want people looking at me and talking about what I am wearing.”

web4-215x215At that moment it became apparent to me why I had been lead to slip outside. It was a moment that God would have no one else to seize, but the Pastor of this “New Kind of Church!” I comforted the young lady with these words, “We’re not that kind of church. You can wear whatever you have to wear. We won’t judge you. This will be the kind of church where all are welcome to come just as they are. No one will judge you here because it is God’s job to judge us all.”

My words assured her, and we went into the building to worship. That moment confirmed for me that God has us in the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons in North Memphis.

Many more stories happened on Sunday and more can be shared by others who also witnessed moving interactions. We’d love to hear other thoughts, highlights, and experiences.

Undoubtedly, I especially want to say, Thank you to all that made this day a success. Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support!

web2-215x215Remember these words, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has entered into the hearts of men, what God has prepared….”

Stay tuned for updates on what is next for the church plant as we reach new milestones, with a goal of launching in the fall of 2016.

Blessings,

Pastor Coop
North Memphis Church Plant

Sign Up with Amazon Smile and Re-Enroll Your Kroger Card

April 08, 2016

kroger 275x303Kroger Requires You to Re-Enroll Your Desired Non-Profit Each January: Shop at Kroger and Donate 3-5% without writing a check!

Each January 1st, all Kroger Community Reward Participants are required to renew their organization of choice to receive Kroger reward payments. We are hoping you will choose Oasis of Hope!

It may seem like a small act, but it’s a huge help! Designating Oasis of Hope on your Kroger card allows you to donate to our ministry each time you shop for groceries or buy gas!

For example, if 2,500 people spent $100, Oasis could receive a total of $7,500!

We can do a lot of ministry with that!

It takes about 3 minutes and registering your Kroger Plus Card is easier than ever:

If you already have an existing Kroger account:

  1. Sign in to your Kroger account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details,’ edit your Community Rewards, and search for ‘Oasis of Hope’ (or 80469). Click ‘enroll’

If you are registering your Kroger account for the first time:

  1. Creat an account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Follow the prompts to enter your email, password, & address.
  3. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details’ and designate Oasis of Hope as your Community Rewards recipient by typing ‘Oasis of Hope’ in the Search box (or #80469). Click ‘enroll’

That’s it!

amazon-smile-logo110x116AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Oasis of Hope! Same products, same service!

To designate your existing Amazon account:

  1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com (email/password); click ‘Sign In’
  2. Type “Oasis of Hope” in the search field (Cordova, TN) & select … then Start Shopping! From then on Amazon will remind you to sign in with using the ‘Smile’ site every time you log on.

If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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