A Manager’s Message from Oaks 1

I will always be grateful to my God and Father for guiding me to this ministry.  He has blessed this ministry so much and has brought so many wonderful people to this ministry also.  I have been so blessed to be given this opportunity as House Manager.  All of the women that have come here I can very easily relate to since I had been through so many trials myself.  When I tell them about  my different trials they open up to me about theirs.  My Father has taught me to show grace, kindness and patience with the women.  I try to shine God’s Light through me so these women will follow my example.  It is so rewarding when the women grow spiritually and become more confident of themselves. With all of the different resources in this ministry the women are able to get back on their feet and become financially stable.  We have all remained sisters in Christ so they gain lifetime friends.  This ministry definitely gives most of these ladies a lasting change of life for the good. – Paula Swain

The Oaks Ministry Board of Directors appreciates all Paula does to help us help others.  She is a gift from God to us and to the women in our program.

We are still looking for a person to invite 6 friends to join them at a tea party on Saturday, June 17th from 1-3 PM.  If you are feeling the tug, “I can do that!”, please contact Robin at 484-368-7268. No charge for the tea and the fellowship. Free will donations are appreciated but not required.

Thanks you for your support!

Robin Martin, President and Founder of The Oaks Ministry

Abiding in Him

John 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  The whole chapter is written in red, meaning the words recorded are the words of Christ. Christ knew that he would soon be leaving this world and the disciples would be left behind until his appointed time. Jesus was reminding them of things they would need to know in order to carry on with their mission on earth. The message he gave them is also true for us today.

Jesus reminded his followers that they need to abide (stay connected) to Him, and if they did they would bear much “fruit”. He also stated that if they did not bear much fruit they would not be useful to Him and fulfill their holy purpose. He reminded them that even if they stayed connected to Him that they would go through difficult times (pruning), but their difficult times would enable them to become even more “fruitful”.  In the book of Galatians, chapter 5, scripture reveals that the spiritual fruit in a Christians life is “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control”. Now who wouldn’t want more of those characteristics in their lives? If we do, we must stay connected to Jesus. How do we stay connected? By spending time in His Word, the Bible. By spending time in prayer and meditation. By living according to His word and walking in obedience. To learn to love Him, and trust Him more and more every day and by doing so we will experience the sweet fruit of salvation.

This is a message that the Oaks Ministry shares with our residents. It is our desire that the women entering our program will grow deeper in their relationship with Christ or come to know Christ in a way that truly satisfies and produces good fruit in their lives.

As we work with hurting women, we have been blessed to see them grow, blossom and become new creations in Christ. To see God heal the brokenhearted, to set free those that are in bondage, to comfort those who mourn by placing on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They become new creations in Christ, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3) Just last weekend we had a Benefit Luncheon and one of our previous residents shared her testimony. Jennifer is not the same person she was when she entered our program in Feb. 2016.  She is a beautiful example of what God can do and an inspiration to others. To God be the Glory!!

Please keep The Oaks Ministry in your prayers as we strive to show the love of Christ to women in need.  We thank God for you who have come along side of us in this faith journey. We know that together we can make a difference in the lives of the women God sends our way.

There are many ways you can help us help others. If you would like more information, please contact us at 484-368-7268 or visit our website at http://www.oxfordoaksministry.com.

Never Underestimate the Power of an OAK!! (Isaiah 61: 3b)

Last week I received a beautiful Hallmark card and I’m sharing it’s message with you.

It is a reminder that life is sometimes hard but when we are rooted in Christ, we will be able to withstand any problem we encounter and will come out victorious!!

“THE OAK TREE” A Message of Encouragement

A mighty wind blew night and day.  It stole the oak tree’s leaves away.  Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark, until the oak was tired and stark.  But still the oak tree held its ground, while other trees fell all around.  The weary wind gave up and spoke, “How can you still be standing, Oak?”  The Oak tree said, “I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, Carry every leaf away, Shake my limbs, and make me sway.  But I have roots stretched in the earth, Growing stronger since my birth.  You’ll never touch them, for you see, They are the deepest part of me.  Until today, I wasn’t sure Of just how much I could endure.  But now I’ve found, with thanks to you, I’m stronger than I ever knew”.

Isaiah 61:3…..and they shall be called “Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor”. 

Ministry Update:

Thank-you to the ladies who are co-hosting a tea party in April to help raise funds for our ministry.  We have spaces available in June. If interested in helping us out, please call and make your reservation soon. 484-368-7268

Saturday, May 20th, 11 AM we are planning a Ladies Luncheon at the Melrath Residence in Nottingham.  Theme: Portraits of Women  This is about women coming together to help women. This is a private party and seating is limited. We still have 3 tables of four left that are in need of a sponsor. All proceeds benefit The Oaks Ministry. Call 484-368-7268 for more information.

We are looking for a few more ladies to serve on a Financial Team to help our residents, in addition to a few ladies to be an assistant to our manager and spend a few hours week with our residents at our Waterway location while our manager, Paula is working her part-time job. All positions are on a volunteer basis.

Mark your calendar for an upcoming yard sale on September 8th and 9th. We will be accepting donations. More information to come.

We currently have  openings in our program for women in need of transitional housing and faith based support services.  Applications on on our House Policy and Procedure page of this website.

The Oaks Ministry Team Thanks all of you for your prayers and your support!!

 

Happy Endings and New Beginnings

This past month has been emotional for me.  Having our first graduates move out was an emotional surprise.  When Jen moved out early February, I shared with a friend that I felt like I was dropping my daughter off to college for the first time and then a little over a month later Anita followed and so did the emotions.  Even though we know that they are where they belong, we will miss having them in house.  They both want to fill out Volunteer Applications so they can give back by helping us help others as we have helped them.  How sweet is that!!

Vicky came into the program at the same time as the others, but because she is heavily involved in the ministry in a different role, by managing Oaks 2, it feels as if she hasn’t left.  By the way, she is doing a great job!

The Oaks Ministry has had a positive influence in their lives and has helped them overcome some of the obstacles that were holding them back.  We thank all of you again for your support.  Together we CELEBRATE a HAPPY ENDING and a NEW BEGINNING for our first residents.  To God Be the Glory!!!!

This is also a HAPPY ENDING and a NEW BEGINNING for Oaks 1, as our ladies have moved on and we are eagerly awaiting the second group of women that God will bring to us to help in their time of need.  We are busy getting the rooms ready and reviewing our programs.  If you know of anyone that may need what the Oaks Ministry offers, please have them fill out the application online and send in.  W have openings in both houses.

A few things we are asking you to pray about as we move forward:

  1. Greg Gouty, our treasurer’s term has ended and he has chosen not to renew it. Therefore we are looking for a replacement.  We thank God for Greg’s time with us. He helped to get this ministry up and running and has done an incredible job at handling our finances and keeping excellent records.  We are trusting that God will reveal the one who He has chosen to replace Him.
  2. We have discovered that handling the finances of 6 women is too much of a workload for our Financial Adviser to do alone, therefore we are looking to form a “Financial Team”.  We are looking for 5 female volunteers to work directly with the ladies on a one on one basis.  If you enjoy working with numbers and helping others, this would be a position for you to consider.  You would meet with your resident on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on how often they receive a pay check.
  3. We are also looking for ladies that would like to help raise funds to support this ministry by co-hosting a Tea Party.  This is a great way to entertain friends with no responsibility, no expense, no work, just FUN! (See “Tea Party” page on website for more information)
  4. We are also looking for volunteers to give of their time to come to Oaks 1 on a regular basis and spend time with our ladies when our residential house manager is working at her PT job.  This could be as little as 1 day a week for 4 hours. Your responsibility would be to lead group devotions in the morning and oversee the responsibilities of our in house program.  It would be a great way to develop friendships with our ladies and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in helping out with any of the above,please contact Robin at 484-368-7268 or e-mail questions at info@oxfordoaksministry.com

Note:  Sorry for the double e-mail for those who liked our page. For some reason it did not send the updated version of the blog.

 

 

More than we could imagine….

Ephesians 3: 20 states “now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus thorough out all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

A month ago we asked for you to pray for God to provide a place for our ladies to reside after completion of the Oaks program in January. We thank you again for your prayers that moved the heart of God to provide a beautiful apartment in a beautifully restored house in Coatesville. Both of our ladies will be sharing the apartment and expenses.

Never in our wildest imagination did we think that the ladies would be moving into a place even more beautiful than the one they were leaving, but they are.  It amazes me how God not only provided them with a beautiful, affordable place to live but also He is providing them with everything they need to begin again through the loving donations of His wonderful people.

Please continue to keep these  women in your prayers as I’m sure they will face much temptation being out from under our umbrella therefore we am claiming the following verse for them that “He who began a good work in them will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 1:6)

When our first three ladies entered the program February 2016, only one had a vehicle. They had no jobs,  no home and very little to no income. After a year in our program, they all have jobs, vehicles, money in the bank and a place to live but most importantly they have a greater understanding of the love our Father has for them and are learning to trust Him more and more as they see Him at work in their lives. They have also built strong, healthy relationships with other women that we hope will continue a lifetime as we walk together in this journey called life. To God Be The Glory!!

The Oaks Ministry once again thanks each one of you that have partnered with us in many different ways.  Physically and spiritually and financially. Together we can make a positive difference in the lives of women in need. All for His glory!!!

Spread the word that if anyone knows of any women facing difficult times that are in a transitional state of life that might be interested in our program, to fill out an application online at (www.oxfordoaksministry.com)  and send it in. For more information call 484-368-7268.

 

 

 

 

 

Let your SMILE change the World but don’t let the World change your SMILE!

A new year brings thoughts of new beginnings. As we review this past year, we are thankful for the many things God has done for this ministry.  It’s been exciting to be part of God at work in the lives of his daughters. To watch the ladies in our program, grow in their faith and become more responsible individuals is a blessing, but it has also taken many hours of time, energy and effort and yes sometimes heartache.

Caring so very much sometimes brings heartache. Knowing how to respond in each situation that arises takes wisdom and discernment. Love is patient, and kind and not easily angered (1 Cor. 13) but love at times needs to be firm and yet gentle.

Not everyone that enters our program will be able to complete it but those that do will be changed. (Isaiah 61:3b) The Holy Spirit reminds us that “Love never fails”. That we are called to love and if a resident leaves the program before the year is up that it doesn’t mean that we’ve failed. We release them, in love, and trust that God will be faithful to complete the work that He started in them.

We have 5 ladies residing in our two Oaks houses along with two managers.  We are still waiting on God to reveal the next steps for the two residents that graduate from our program in February. We are trusting that he will supply a safe, affordable place for them to live. We are looking for a low-income apartment, or a room in a private residence that they can rent or do light housekeeping, cooking, companionship in exchange for room and board. We are very happy with the progress both of these women have made. They have overcome many obstacles in their lives and want to move forward in Christ. They would like to stay in the Oxford community so the relationships that have been formed can continue to blossom and they can give back to our community.

Please contact Robin at 484-368-7268 if you have questions or if you know of any place available or anyone that may be interested in a Christian companion.

Thank you again for you love, support and prayers for this ministry.  As the winter season is upon us, our expenses go up. If you would like to make a financial donation to help us with expenses, please send your donation to The Oaks Ministry, 290 Bethel Road, Oxford, Pa  19363.

All donations are tax exempt to the fullest extent allowed by law & don’t forget our 2017 challenge to you: “Let your SMILE change the World but don’t let the World change your SMILE”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Winding up 2016…

I can’t thank all of you enough for coming out and supporting our Christmas Bazaar at Oaks House 1 last weekend.  Donations came pouring in and people came to shop on a very cold weekend to show their support. We raised over $2,300  and since things are still set out, people are still purchasing. We praise God again for His provision.

People often ask me what does the Oaks Ministry need?  Lately I’ve been responding, we don’t “need” anything as of this moment but “PRAYER”. Specifically for the two ladies in our program who’s time in house is up February 1st, 2017. As of today, they do not know where they will be going. If you know of anyone with a room to rent in their house or if you hear of a low cost apartment that may be available, please let us know. God often shows up at the last minute, teaching us valuable lessons and I am trusting that He will do so again. I also know that the prayers of God’s people stir His heart into action.  We believe God has great things in store for the Oaks women as they learn to trust Him and continue to surrender their lives to his will.

As we celebrate this Christmas Season in our warm comfortable homes surrounded by friends and family, lets remember the many women who are currently living in the state of homelessness across our nation and the world and please remember The Oaks Ministry team as we seek to do the will and work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and again we thank you for your support. We could not do what we do without the support God’s wonderful people who are called to partner with us in our mission. Together we are making a difference….

We at the Oaks Ministry wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year….

“they will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” Isaiah 61:3b

 

 

 

 

 

Oaks 2 has opened….

OAKS TWO has officially opened!!! The inside painting is completed and this home is beautifully decorated.  We are excited to have another safe haven to help women in need retreat, reflect and renew their lives to the Lord in addition to working hard to become financially stable.

The Board has chosen Vickie Chandler to be the residential house manager for Oaks 2. Vickie came into our program last February as a resident. She has done amazingly well during her 9 months in the program and the Board is pleased to have her join our management team. Having experienced homelessness she is able to relate more fully to the ladies entering our residential program. Vickie is very grateful for the Oaks ministry and the love and support she was given at a time in her life when she felt hopeless and wants to help others the same way we have helped her. On October 26th Vickie moved into Oaks 2 with one resident. In the near future two more residents will be joining them. Please keep Vickie in your prayers….

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who supported our fund raising breakfast at Sawmill Grill on the 12th.It was a huge success. The funds raised will help us to continue to provide a safe place for women in need. As funds continue to come in we will open more homes…..I wonder where Oaks 3 will be located and how soon will it open?  We are prayerfully waiting on the Lord to reveal that to us……

Christmas at the Oaks will be on December 2nd,3rd.  For an up close look at one of our Oaks houses and a fun way to support this ministry, please make plans to join us.  We are accepting donations of Christmas decorations, crafts, gift items and baked goods. Call 484-368-7268 to make arrangements for pickup. We thank you in advance for your support!! (visit our Christmas at the Oaks page on this website)

Together we can make a difference…….

Counting our Blessings

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone again who came out and showed their support at our 2nd Annual Benefit Concert last evening.  We also want to give a special thank you to Mt. Vernon Christian Church for providing a beautiful place for our event, The Nottingham Four for blessing us with their musical gifts as well as  Jim and Laurie Stanton and the Craig family for their help and donations for the fellowship time following our concert. It takes many hands to make an organization like ours work and God is providing through special people like you!

As I shared at the concert God has blessed us in so many ways, I refer to them as miracle’s because I know it is God at work. We do our best, but still cannot do only what God can. He constantly reminds me that this is His ministry and He has it covered. Those that help are His chosen for such a time as this. I have met so many wonderful people that I would not have met if this ministry did not exist and I love each and everyone of you and I consider you a special blessing!!

Update on Oaks 2:   We are hoping to have Oaks 2 open in the near future. We are putting the final touches on the painting which should be done in about a week and then the fun part of turning the house into a home. We have a good possibility for a House Manager thanks to the prayers of God’s people and hope to start the interviewing process for residents soon. Please pray for us that we will know whom God has chosen for our program. Its getting cold outside and many will be looking for a warm, safe place to stay. If you know of anyone who is in a transitional stage of life that our ministry could help until they get on their feet, now would be a good time to apply.

Please continue to pray for our residents in Oaks 1. They have 4 months left in our program. Pray that they will continue to grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord and that they will discover where God is calling them next. If you know of any rental residential possibilities that might work for them, please let us know.

Those of you who came out to our Benefit Breakfast at Sawmill Grill in Oxford in June and enjoyed the food and fellowship we are doing it again on Saturday, November 12th at 8:30 or 9:30. Please contact Robin at 484-368-7268 if you would like tickets. $12. Adult/$6.Child. Reservations are limited so make yours soon. Hope to see you there!