Oasis of NW Arkansas
Check out the blog post below
and our facebook page for the latest news!
NEW MINISTRY PARTNERS!
Highlands United Methodist Women
Reentry Coalition of Northwest
First United Methodist Church of
Oasis of NWA is
short-term supportive, mutually accountable covenant communities of 2-4 families,
sometimes sharing homes or multi-family dwellings
subsidized leases on a sliding but disappearing
scale according to need
volunteers mentoring family units in everyday life skills
a cottage industry to build confidence and
skills for employment
an extended family network which can make the difference in achieving
encouragement to maintain safe, sober, healthy environments in which
young children can prosper
Saturday, February 2, 2013
"Live in Gratitude"
12:09 pm est
A year later....and here we are. As one of our covenant tenets proclaims, we are "living in gratitude"! Six
women and one child have been served for varying lengths of time since we opened our first home! All the women have
shown growth in their ability to be economically independent and avoid the pitfalls which led to homelessness through mutual
accountability. The women are beginning to create the "Women's Work" social enterprise which will teach business
and relationship skills. About 36 supporters of OASIS of NWA gathered for scrumptious chili and the fixins', cornbread, desserts
and fellowship at Oakley Chapel UMC on Friday January 18th! Thank you for being there in every way! Thank you
to the board members and residents who did the shopping and cooking! Thank you to the Northwest Arkansas Continuum
of Care for allowing us to show the new media presentation on homelessness in our area. As if our supporters do
not make us grateful enough, a year's worth of grant money received from volunteers at the AARP Recycling Center in BV now
totals $8000. We are incredibly grateful to the residents for their faithfulness in volunteering to help with rent and
utility payments for the townhouse, and to the generous foremen at the center who are now donating their volunteer hours to
OASIS of NWA. Life is good! in faith, Cathy
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The first tenet of our spiritual rule is "Come Together". The phrase accurately describes what has happened
over the weekend in our first home. On Saturday, we added a third resident to the townhouse. Our women welcomed
her warmly, expressing their empathy with the words "We've all been where you are..." On Sunday, the spiritual
community discussed this tenet through the lens of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah in scripture. What a difference it makes when
our first offense/defense as women caring about ourselves is women coming together. On Monday, one woman introduced our
new sister to the AARP Recycling Center where she can earn her share of the rent and utilities (through matching grant hours)
until she has another job. Afterwards, all three women "came together" at the public library where books and
movies were checked out, and assessments completed for updating career possibilities and education needs. We stopped
at the grocery store, then at the shoe box ministry for toiletries. One woman expressed, "I feel like we've been to the
mall." Hospitality and hope abounded in our group. OASIS of Northwest Arkansas is coming together....in faith,
1:20 pm est
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Welcome Home Sisters!
3:46 pm est
I had the privilege to "welcome home" the two women who moved into our first OASIS of NWA transitional
living home this week. Big eyes, smiles, "wow". They were mostly speechless. Add then the knowledge
that 25+ women and men worked tirelessly to clean, paint, and furnish for them comfortable,
safe townhouse. Discover cupboards stocked with food stuffs to get them well into the first few weeks of living
there. An easy to warm-up meal was delivered right away to give them a pampered break from moving in work. The
generous gift was almost overwhelming. Hopefully, this radical hospitality will inspire the women to work their programs
of recovery and attain their goals So far they are energized! Each woman believes that this stablized
living situation is one giant step forward toward regaining custody of their children. OASIS of NWA
is well on its way to being a volunteer neighboring and mentoring program designed to give encouragement
to (near) homeless women who are actively pursuing economic self-sufficiency, mutual accountability and community
We know more women are waiting for a similar opportunity. Now we need to work equally as hard
at raising the money for the next two women. Our residents pay rent and utilities in this living situation according
to an increasing sliding scale as they become more able to pay. OASIS of NWA can only open a facility with money
in the bank to guarentee our share of the rent. That's where you and I can really help. "Can you spare a
dime?" as they used to say in the worst depression of our nation. Every gift small and large contributes to our
overall ability to give a hand-up to these women as they get on their feet. Either use the donation button above, the
mailing address for OASIS of NWA on the donations page, or contact us at oasisnwa@sbcglobal for other arrangements.
As I give thanks for all that I've attained and been given, I cannot help but pay the
way forward for another woman. I invite you to do the same. in faith, Cathy
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Room At The Inn
There's room at the inn for 2011! Our Board of Directors has approved month to month rental, funds permitting, of a
townhouse capable of housing two women and their children. The perfect rental unit has been identified. A
search is underway for the two families we will house as I write. Two families have donated considerable furnishings
to basically outfit the home. Additional furnishings needed, especially white goods and household supplies,
will be announced when we know exactly the ages of our new residents. We hope that you'll consider making
a donation - even a small one - to our funding so that this home can be kept available to these families, for up to two years
if needed, as they develop in the areas of self-sufficiency, mutual accountability, and community responsibility.
If you have time to mentor in any way, to be a friend to these women and children, ask for a volunteer application.
It's the right thing to do.
5:16 pm est
in faith, Cathy
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Proclaim Original Grace...
8:37 pm est
When God finished each day of creation, the story goes, God looked at what had been made and "proclaimed it good".
That's original grace. In my religious upbringing, I heard far more about what I might do in my lifetime or
was doing right now as a consequence of original sin, wrongdoing against the creator and the creation. Wrongdoing
from which I must be saved. No question the human race, and yours truly, have engaged in a goodly share of wrongdoing.
Whatever happened to "original grace" - the state of being in which and for which we were made?
of NWA proclaims original grace as a primary tenet in our community rule. We believe that all of us -
residents, volunteers, supporters, donors, partners - were created good. To think of oneself
as good is new to some of us. To be able to say "Life is good" is new to some of us. Not only new,
but a challenge. It's a challenge worth pursuing for no one has to be defined by that which is wrong or in any way less
than good. Like the news networks and corporate marketers who are celebrating today's "heroes" and the growing
culture of generosity, the OASIS community will always be appreciating, celebrating, and contributing to goodness by
who we are and what we are doing. Join us....it will be good for you and you'll be good for us!
in faith, Cathy
|Women's Educational Circle in Nepal
The inspiration for the OASIS project came in response to this picture
of "Abram's and Sarai's oasis sent home by Navy Chaplain Blake Lasater while serving as a military chaplain
in Iraq. OASIS is a non-denominational effort to carry out Jesus' invitation "Come to me and I will give you rest."
As Oasis volunteers be-friend and serve the homeless, we embody the hospitality of Godself in the world. Through OASIS, more
of God's children are able to share in the abundance and living water provided for in the ordering of Creation.
|Abram's and Sarai's OASIS