I just want to thank you for your continued, prayerful and uplifting support over the last few months. It is so helpful for me and the team to receive such encouragement and positive feedback about the work we are doing, particularly after events such as the AGM in June. The feedback to the newsletters, encouragement through conversations with you in the shop and the affirmation that you can see the impact of the work we are doing, really lifts our spirits and motivates us.
In fact, the changes and adaptations we have made in responding to the pandemic mean that we are having a much greater impact than ever before and are playing a more significantt role in young people's lives. We are often pointed to as the only intervention that is having a positive impact, at a time of crisis!
However, as I am sure you will be aware through the news and social media, we are facing a crisis in young people's mental health and for Oxygen, an increasing challenge in the number of young people being referred to us (now over 150) for 1-2-1 crisis support and mentoring. Just a couple of days ago I sadly received a referral for a 15 year-old girl who is the victim of sustained sexual abuse over a six year period. They have had no intervention or support to deal with the impact of the abuse and we are being asked to help with mentoring so that they can engage in education!
We are being stretched to our limits and struggling to cope with the demand, fighting battles on several levels. The fact that we are having a deeper and more significant impact on young people is going to draw attention, especially on a spiritual level! The opposition is not keen on us bringing hope to some of the most vulnerable and damaged young people! We need your prayers for the spiritual battle. So, please pray for:
Spiritual protection for me and the team and for our physical and mental health which is certainly under attack right now.
Faith that God will provide the resources to be able to grow and equip the team with the skills and expertise needed and bring the right people to us. Specifically, to fill the vacancy we have for the role of Head of Youth Work and Mission.
Wisdom and discernment as we make key decisions around our finances and strategy for the future.
the Messaging to our supporters, as we seek to engage churches in telling them about the huge need we see in front of us and how we are responding and changing young people's lives. Specifically for us to be able to speak to churches and local Christians and maintain that strong foundation and roots which enable me to say that "we are a Christian charity supported by several local churches".
This final point is where you can help on a practical level by thinking of opportunities where you can tell others in your churches about the work we are doing and invite us to come and talk about the impact we are having as part of the wider body of the church.
The last prayer I ask for is that of thanks for the many blessings we have received which confirm to me that God is faithful to us! Just last month we had a surprise gift from a church which was four times their normal contribution to Oxygen's ministry!
Thank you so much and may God bless your day.
John and Lisa, Oxygen Further reading: