The Oasis Ministry within Xenos exists to provide a fun, biblically-based environment during adult Central Teaching where children can respond to and grow in the truth, grace and love of Jesus. Many volunteers are needed to keep this vital ministry running.
Andrew Collins has been involved with the ministry for numerous years now, first as a student and now, on the other side, as a teacher.
“One of my favorite experiences I can remember in [leading] Oasis is when we were talking about a really difficult topic. Our class was very small that day, consisting of a couple of girls and one, maybe two boys. One of the boys was known to cause trouble and not be as spiritually interested. After talking about this really difficult topic during the teaching, I could see that they were having a hard time grasping it, so I got down on the ground with them and tried to explain it again in a different way,” he recalls. “After doing that, they were still struggling, and the student known for causing trouble said to me ‘This is really hard to think about’. I loved this so much because it was so obvious how engaged and interested they were in this topic. They were visibly trying so hard to wrap their minds around this difficult topic. It was so awesome to watch them think about it and try to learn more about God and what the Bible says.”
Currently in his 8th year of serving in Oasis, Andrew has helped lead children from first to fifth grade, having enjoyed nearly every class he’s been in. “My experience in Oasis has been a great one. I was in Oasis and TNT when I was a child, and then immediately started working in Oasis [after graduating from it] and have loved it ever since”. He has been able to serve alongside teachers who once guided him as a student in these programs. These teachers, he adds, consistently express how seeing kids they once taught come back later to serve as leaders in the same ministries has been such an encouragement. Now Andrew has begun to experience revelations like these of his own. Students that he helped lead in Oasis and TNT are now returning, like he did, to serve and guide others.
New examples of God’s work within these classrooms present themselves daily. Andrew marvels at how much these children continue to grow, not only physically and behaviorally, but also spiritually. “One specific girl in my Oasis class has come in multiple times now and talked about how she is sharing the gospel with her friends...it is so encouraging and convicting to see.”
A simple but significant phrase continues to circulate between him and his peers regarding the children within the Oasis ministry. “The same Holy Spirit that is in them is the same Holy Spirit that is in us”.
The goal of Oasis is to help children know Jesus personally, to grow in God’s truth and their relationship with Him and to share this good news with the world. It is clear to see that Andrew has and will continue to be an integral part of this mission.
Is God calling you to serve in this way? Oasis volunteers are being lined up now to start the new Oasis year in June. Visit http://www.xenos.org/oasis/volunteer to get more information and apply.