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All Souls in Kenya | Trip Update
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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017

Dear Friends,

The Oasis is a refugee ministry center in Traiskirchen just down the street from the largest refugee camp in Austria. Refugees who declare themselves in Austria are sent to camps like this one while they wait for their application to be reviewed. 

The Oasis
The Camp

We had the chance to walk right up the the gates of the camp. You might be surprised (like we were) to find out that this building  (above) is part of the camp. Originally this was an army barracks, but now it's housing for refugees. It looks nice on the outside, but it is very sparse inside and sometimes up to 15 refugees share a room. At the height of the refugee crisis, 5,000 people lived on these grounds, many in tents. Today, there are only about 800 refugees in residence and no one has to sleep in a tent, which is great because it is super cold outside.

Just around the corner from the camp, refugees can find the Oasis, a Christian center offering weekly activities and services. The missionaries at the Oasis offer German classes, host coffee houses, give away clothing, provide craft projects for women and children, and share the hope of Jesus with everyone who visits.  

While we were there, we had the chance to learn about and pray for the ministry and to help staff move donations into an all purpose room for sorting.

donations at oasis

On our walk to and from the camp we stopped to welcome the refugees along the street and invite them to Oasis events. We met one refugee named Charles who had arrived in Austria only a day before. He told us he was from Nigeria and he looked cold so we brought him back to the Oasis and gave him a winter coat and hat. Before we left for the airport, we left our own coats behind to be given away to other refugees like Charles. 

I was encouraged to hear from Micki, one of the Austrian staff members, about the ways that her local church in Baden  is partnering with the Oasis and refugee Christians. Apparently, they have a Farsi translator in their services and discipleship groups for refugees.

But just like in the states, not everyone is happy about welcoming refugees. There was a church in Traiskirchen just down the street from the camp that, unlike its counterpart in Baden, is uninvolved with the camp. It's a sad reminder not to miss the opportunities for ministry that are literally right outside our doors.

Peace,
Angela Webster
All Souls Kenya Team

Flags made by refugees hang around the Oasis

The train station just outside the Oasis. It's the perfect location.

Boxes of Bibles in so many languages!
Copyright © 2017 All Souls Kenya Trip 2017, All rights reserved.


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