VBS is June17-20 with a Grand Finale and We Need You!

May 31, 2013

oasis-vbs-2012-100x116ARE YOU READY to jump in on an exciting adventure with inner city kids as we explore God’s Word, play games, sing songs and make crafts together during Oasis of Hope’s Vacation Bible School?

As an extra special conclusion on the last day (Thursday) we will take all the kids to our 2nd annual “Day of Fun in the Sun” at Shelby Farms! We will need lots of help as we station groups through horseback-riding, paddle-boating, playing in the new playground, and biking the trails (thanks to the Oasis Bike Shop!). Last year was many of the kids’ first time visiting Shelby Farms and enjoying new experiences like riding horses!

The kids look forward to VBS every year and it’s impossible to not be moved as you work side-by-side with them! We’d love to have you join in on the crazy fun!

Event: Oasis of Hope VBS
Date/Time: June 17- 20th from 5-8pm
Location: The Green House / In the Cut

We need volunteers to help throughout VBS week
We need donations of individually wrapped snacks & drinks

Kids are hungry! We will need LOTS of SNACKS!! If you can help in this way, here’s what we need (carts will be in the main foyers at Hope Church to place your donations):
- Fruit snacks/fruit roll-ups
- Rice krispie treats
- Chips (1 oz serving bags)
- Cookies
-Cheese Its
- Capri Sun Pouch Drinks
- Monetary Donations (donation info here)

If you would like more information regarding this ministry, contact Terrice. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and checking our website for pictures, videos and current information.


‘Rockstars Summer Sessions’ Teach Girls Life Skills

May 30, 2013

oasis-sweetshirt-summer-sesSweet-Shirt Summer Sessions are fun events that will take place throughout the summer to provide middle school girls something safe to do. We will meet every other Saturday from June 1st until August 3rd (Upcoming Sessions: June 15, 29; July 13, 27; August 3) at 10:00am in the Sweet-Shirt Shop in the Oasis Appliance Store (directions).

We will have guest speakers talk with the girls about life skills such as: nutrition, body awareness, money management, and education.

Lunch will be provided at each event. We are hoping to have between 8-15 girls involved with the program.

June 1st was the kick-off event and Laura Johnson and volunteers from her organization April’s Action helped facilitate the initial meeting. The girls learned about individuality and creativity while painting rocks. This projected stemmed from the Bible verse “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:4.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, we’d love to have you join us! Contact Jasmine for more information. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and checking our website for pictures, videos and current information.

Lives Are Being Changed This Very Week at Bible Camp!

May 25, 2013

camp-collage-web5002013 Kids Across America Camp Theme: Rooted
Scripture Verse: Colossians 2:6-7 (MSG)

“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”

Brenda Lampela, Oasis Children’s Developer writes: Someone asked me the other day, why I thought it was so important that we take as many of our young people to a Christian summer camp each year as possible, specifically to Kids Across America, which is a long 6-hour bus ride from Memphis to the Ozark mountains of Missouri. What makes this place where we take our kids to enjoy seven life-changing days of Christ-centered excitement so special?

Well … Kids Across America, or KAA as it is affectionately called, is located on a picturesque mountaintop, far from civilization, but the camp itself is anything but dull and quiet.  The moment we arrive, camp counselors dressed in crazy costumes, chanting and singing, descend on our bus and literally carry our kids away on their shoulders. From that point on, these well-trained and dedicated college-aged counselors take care of, and love on our children. During the week the campers are challenged spiritually and given practical ways to live out their faith when they return home, through daily Bible studies, faith-building talks and worship. Not only that, but everywhere you look, young people are participating in classes chosen from more than 20 different competitive sports and recreational activities, including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, mountain biking, archery, golf, cheer, and dance, just to name a few. Youth also participate in self-esteem building activities like a high-adventure ropes course in the treetops and the challenge course.

I love how one adult youth leader from Hixson, TN, describes it: “Just imagine standing in the middle of all this activity.  Close your eyes for a minute and listen. What do you hear? Teens laughing together. The shouts of the counselors encouraging the young people, challenging them to be their best and do their best.  And the music! Loud, urban contemporary Christian music with a beat that just makes you want to dance! Designed from the ground up with teens in mind, KAA is an exciting, challenging escape from the humdrum of just another boring summer.”

For me personally, one of my favorite experiences that happens every single summer, is when we’re out with the campers late at night, and one of them happens to look up into the clear night sky, and you can literally hear their breath being taken away when they ask excitedly what all those millions of sparkly lights are!  You see, for many of our kids who have never really been outside the city limits, they have no idea what a night sky full of stars looks like. When you sponsor a child to go to camp with us, you are providing them with the experience of a lifetime – to learn about how much Christ loves them, while surrounded by the beauty of nature that God has created.

Thank you so much,
Brenda Lampela, Oasis Children’s Developer

If you are interested in volunteering for any of our youth programs, contact Brenda for more information; we’d love to have you! Stay up-to-date on this ministry by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and checking our website for pictures, videos and current information.

Busy Oasis Seniors Partner With Hope Again & Urban Plunge

May 24, 2013

mens-retreat-100x116Oasis Seniors meet daily from 9a-1p at the Bickford Community Center and have a plethora of daily events that make growing older look fun and exciting!

Here is a glimpse of what the seniors have been up to this past month alone:

Recently 17 men and women participated in a field trip from North Memphis to the suburbs to visit our partnering ministry store, Hope Again-Second Hand Boutique. This was especially touching because some of the funds raised from Hope Again benefit Oasis programs, like the Senior Program. It was meaningful to witness this cyclical support of ministries working together, supporting one another, and benefiting from the drastically reduced prices in the store! Treasures were discovered such as clothing, jewelry, purses, belts, ties, home decor, bath products, and new friendships were forged! A second trip is already in the works for those who wanted to attend but could not.

And speaking of field trips, in conjunction with the Aging Commission’s requirement of providing high impact, educational outings that allow seniors to experience local resources and cultivate knowledge, upcoming regional trips are being planned to visit Sikeston, Gatlinburg and/or Hot Springs! Last month they enjoyed attending a Senior Expo, Africa in April, and visiting Casey Jones’ Country Store and Restaurant!

Other exciting news is that the Oasis Senior Program recently received an additional $10,000 to implement an improved fitness program! These funds allow us to offer additional exercise classes like therapeutic massage, water aerobics, or weekly wii games to help improve overall health and wellness.

Another touching interaction recently happened between partnering ministries when the Senior program was given a very special donation so that our senior men could enjoy a little pampering at an In-House Men’s Retreat! This was sponsored by Dr. Tom Carrier, Hope Church volunteer, after his visit to Bickford in September during the Urban Plunge. Keusi Donald, Master Barber and Stylist from Rone’s Hair Gallery, gave haircuts, shaves prayer, and education to several deserving men. We are grateful for Dr. Tom’s gift that meant so much to so many!

So, although succinctly describing what we ‘do’ is hard to summarize, one thing is easy to point out: our Senior Program is growing and our seniors are on the move living longer and living stronger!

Furniture (New) Blowout Sale at Hope Again June 7th-8th!

May 24, 2013

thrift-store-100x116What: Huge Furniture Blowout Sale!
When: June 7 & 8; 10am – 6pm
Where: Hope Again Second Chance Boutique, 1140 N Germantown Parkway. Look for the tents behind Humdingers (next to the Malco Cordova theatre) in the back parking lot of the store

Thanks to a volunteer scout, Hope Again was blessed with the opportunity to buy the remaining inventory of a furniture store going out of business. Because of this, we have brand new furniture that we will be selling for extremely affordable prices … and remember that proceeds benefit local, national and international missions so you can shop for a cause!

If you would like more information about how to Donate your gently used items , Volunteer your time in our store or Scout for deals to help us provide wonderful products, please see our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Funds to operate Hope Again come from private donations and the sales from the store. If you would rather support our efforts through a financial donation, please see our donation page for details. Tax donation receipts are available and we are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.

Three ministries of Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018 joined together to make this store a reality: Oasis of Hope, Hope’s Urban Ministry, and Hope’s Global Outreach.

Rrrrrrroad Trip (May 31-June 2)! Join Us for the Justice Tour

May 15, 2013

justice-tour-2012-webCan you imagine what it would feel like walking over the Edmond Pettus Bridge after learning that Bloody Sunday occurred there on Sunday, 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?

That is just one of the many stops we take on the Justice Tour as we attempt to walk the same paths as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others 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), attend services at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and more.

Elle Miller, Oasis of Hope leader, volunteer, and North Memphis resident attended the Tour last year. “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, Terry, Sharon and Di 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, 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, contact Di or Register Online. Space is limited to 35.

Who: Adults interested in a 3-day Journey of Civil Rights Heritage
When: May 31-June 2, 2013
Where: Selma, Montgomery & Birmingham
Click here to view Justice Tour Photos

Hope Again: The Green Scarf … (Miracles Happen Here!)

May 14, 2013

green-scarf-story-100x116Hope Again,Store Manager, Diane, recounts a special ‘heart story’ that happened last week at our newly opened boutique:

Recently, a customer was shopping at Hope Again, when she suddenly turned and exclaimed ‘Y’all I cannot believe this scarf is here! I have been looking everywhere for this scarf!’ Holding up a beautiful green scarf she continued, ‘My friend gave me this scarf for my birthday.’

I was thinking she had donated the scarf by mistake because she was so animated and excited about finding the scarf. So I asked, ‘Did you mistakenly donate this scarf?’

She said,’No, my dear friend wanted a scarf just like this one that I had received! She doesn’t need for anything, and she loved this scarf so much! She shopped everywhere looking for this scarf for herself. Another friend of mine had purchased the last one as a gift for me. No other stores had the scarf. I have personally looked all over to find one for this special lady. She does do much for others, and asks for nothing in return.’

The customer then proclaimed, ‘This is a God moment! I am buying this scarf for my friend. It was here just for me today!’

We all had chill bumps as we took a moment to appreciate how great is our God!!


End of 2013 Season, VITA Tax Update

May 01, 2013

End of 2013 Season, VITA Tax Update: The Oasis of Hope VITA Site has been providing tax preparation assistance to the citizens of the Caldwell area since tax year 2004. By targeting this area of our city with an emphasis on helping people get the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and by providing electronic preparation and filing free of charge, we have provided a valuable service to an undeserved part of the city. But there are so many more people we need to reach.

During our 9 years of preparing and filing returns we have done over 1400 returns with an economic impact of close to $2.5 million in direct funds going to and being kept in people’s pockets. This dollar amount reflects a combination of how much is saved by not paying to have the return prepared in addition to the total refund value that people have received that would include the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Operating out of the Bickford Community Center, at 233 Henry Ave, we are open on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 PM and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, from late January till early April. Since we are using a City operated facility we are restricted on putting up any signage and advertising, relying on word of mouth and referrals to grow our business, which we have done every year since 2004.

The Earned Income Credit is the best kept secret in the tax code that provides a substantial refund to low income families and the more people that can learn about our site and the convenient location could benefit from the assistance we provide to the citizens of the Caldwell community.

28 of 34 Campers Sponsored; Camp Starts This Week!

May 01, 2013

UYI-camp-ambassadors-2012-web 100x116It’s hard to believe, but we are already halfway through April, the school year is beginning to wind down, and we are gearing up for our summer Bible camp season! In fact, we’ve been making our plans and praying about the children that God would have us include this year, and have our reservations set for 2 camps coming up soon:

- UYI Student Leadership Camp – May 29-31 at For The Kingdom Camp, Memphis, TN

- Kids Across America – June 2-8 in Golden, Missouri near Branson

The other day I received a letter from one of the KAA camp counselors. It really touched my heart, and I want to share just a portion of it:

“I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Marquisha & Mykah the past 2 summers, and I continue to pray for them, as well as the other campers you’ll be bringing this summer. Camp has changed my life and I hope it’s doing the same for them. Thank you for all you do. In Christ’s love, Miss Gil – Galatians 6:10”

That’s the kind of positive role model behavior and Christian love that our children get to experience when we take them to camp, and you all are a vital part of that!

This year we are planning to take a total of 34 young people, and 6 adults, and we humbly ask that you might consider sponsoring a child. $200 will cover their registration and transportation fees, but any amount would be greatly appreciated (donation information). In addition, we are asking for prayers for the children. Here are some of the students that are going:


Thank you for all you do to support these children and their families!

Very sincerely, Brenda (Children’s Developer)


Oasis Bike Shop Teams Up to Provide Bike Rodeo

May 01, 2013

bikde-rodeo-100x116Come and be a part of the fun by joining the Oasis Bike Shop as we partner with the Greater Memphis Greenline and Berclair Elementary School to host a Bike Rodeo!

Just what is a Bicycle Rodeo?

Bicycle Rodeos are for approximately 4–13 years old. The activities that are provided are suitable for each age so that no one is bored during the event. Each rodeo usually begins with a short lecture on bicycle safety and a safety course that includes a safety check for both the rider and the bicycle. The safety check for the rider is the helmet and bicycle fit. An ABC quick check is performed on the bicycle. The ABC quick check consists of checking for proper air in the tires, checking to see that the brakes work, and checking that the chains are on properly. Following this the real fun begins by navigating a road course which offers real life situations such as traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians crossing the streets, and road intersections. Children learn to handle riding their bikes in this life like setting.

bike-rodeo2-webIn a typical bicycle rodeo there are eight different stations with chalk courses that the children have to master in order to pass the course. The objective of each course is to make sure that each child knows how to operate his or her bike correctly. The stations are: mounting and dismounting the bicycle, changing direction and turning in circles, steering through tight spaces, weaving, having the ability to stop quickly, turning around, riding the bicycle very slowly while maintaining balance, and learning to maneuver tight turns.

There are always plenty of fun things to do! After each child is finished with the safety course they are free to go around to the different booths to check out what they have. There is usually plenty of food and free prizes. A local bicycle shop might be giving away a bell or light for the bicycle. There might also be competitions held where the children can show off their newly learned skills. Some of the competitions may involve racing.

The Oasis Bike Shop is a ministry of Oasis of Hope where volunteers meet regularly with local children from North Memphis to teach them how to work on and repair bicycles. Children track their time with the goal of earning themselves a new (gently used) bike, a mentor, a biking team to go on outings with, and a healthy alternative in using their time wisely. This is a win-win for the kids and the mentors!

Come join us and be a part of our biking team!

Date: Saturday, May 11
Time: 8:15am
Location: Berclair Elementary School, 810 Perkins, Memphis, TN 38122
Volunteers Needed: At least 6
Contact: Bill for more information