An American Adventure

Written by Billie Thaw


All Oakes team, short and long-term, raise their own support. No one receives a salary from The Oakes. Those living and eating on-site are even asked to give a contribution to cover expenses. Team raise their support in different ways.

Luke and Daisy Holland raise their own support from the UK and the US (Daisy is American). Last summer, Luke, Daisy and their children, Bethany (7), Caleb (5) and Micah (2), were based in California for three months on “Home Assignment”:

When I tell people I’m from a beach town in California, they often ask how I ended up in Sheffield. It has opened the doors for many conversations about what Luke and I do at The Oakes and why we believe in sharing the gospel here.

While Luke is British, the majority of our financial support comes from churches and individuals in America. In order to maintain contact with them, we return every three years for a Home Ministry Assignment. This summer, we boarded a plane and headed across the pond for three months. Most people think it’s a holiday where we lounge on the beach and catch up with friends. Let me enlighten you!

This was our hardest trip so far. Perhaps it was the fact that we have three small children, aged 1, 4 and 7 at the time, but home ministry assignments are not all they seem. Overcoming the logistical challenges for housing and transportation is the first hurdle. Next, there is the challenge to visit as many of our supporters as possible. This is virtually impossible considering they are in seven different states spanning 7,000 miles. We stuck close to my home town this trip and visited different churches, spoke at small groups, arranged to visit supporters, attended a conference hosted by our sending organization, and tried to make the most of our time there.

Since I started coming to The Oakes in 2001, I have not actually been in California during the summer in 17 years! However, this year we were in the States in July for my mom’s milestone birthday, which was very special. We were also able to introduce my siblings and extended family to Micah, who was almost two. Also, while we were there, our kids went to over 20 play areas – we often met supporters at local parks so the kids could play while the adults talked.

Through the ups and downs of being away, we know God sustained us. We were humbled to reconnect with people who sacrificially support us. We know we couldn’t serve at The Oakes without so many individuals and churches praying and giving. That’s what makes it possible for us to continue to be a part of sharing the gospel with over two thousand campers each year. Through the body of believers, God provides for each of the individuals and families at The Oakes. We are truly grateful to be partnered with you in this ministry!

Daisy Holland

Oakes News (November 2017)

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