On the 12th May this year, it was the 20th anniversary since The Oakes was purchased by the Oakes Trust, the charity that owns and runs the centre. We decided to mark this milestone by having a small service of thanksgiving for a few of those who were involved at The Oakes in 1998.
As we reflect back on the last 20 years, it is hard to put into words our thanks and gratitude to God for His many blessings.
These blessings have arrived in many forms.
The physical gifts of the house and grounds and all the ways in which these have expanded and improved over the years.
The team, both the gap team members who arrive each September from all over the world, and the permanent team who work so hard, without salary, for the sake of the Gospel.
But surely our biggest thanks to God is for the many young people who have visited and opened their eyes to see the truth about Jesus and chosen to live their lives for him.
Last February, we received a copy of an article, written by Gill Brackett who is Reader and Team Leader for Children’s, Youth and Families Ministry at Holy Trinity, Heath Town (Wolverhampton).
If I could have read this feedback 20 years ago, when we were just starting out, I could think of nothing that I would have found more encouraging. Her description is exactly what we hoped and prayed that The Oakes would become.
We share it below as a tribute to all those who have worked so hard, or provided generous support, to make The Oakes what it is today, but most of all, as a tribute to our gracious Heavenly Father, who has supplied and exceeded all our needs.
To God be the Glory!
*Staff sleep in separate rooms on school residentials