My husband and I felt helpless… our daughter was being abused by her boyfriend. She was pregnant and confused by his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of behavior. She thought she could handle things although she would fear for her life, at times. One day in 2009, she found herself dialing 911 after he had become physically violent with her which sent him to jail… temporarily. Domestic violence had touched our lives in a way that was hard to understand and difficult to handle. It was even harder to reach the heart of our daughter. Thankfully, in time she and her children found a safe place to live. She also found hope and healing with God’s help and His truth. Today, she expresses her new life in this way, “I am so glad that I am alive and a daughter of Christ.”
God began to lead other women into my life who had been significantly affected by the trauma of domestic abuse. “Debra” was my friend and had just left her husband… again. She was fearful, broken and suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. She felt unsafe returning to her home in spite of the pleas of her husband. She felt alone and without a support system, especially after having to leave her church where her husband continued to attend. I offered to take her to a domestic abuse class. We both learned the truth about domestic abuse which was the beginning of untwisting this dark and complex issue. This was just another step for me in my own journey with the Lord in understanding His plan and purpose for my life.
In the meantime, God has given me several unexpected opportunities to organize, plan and implement training seminars for church leaders and the faith community in Pennsylvania. By the end of that summer in 2013, I was sensing God’s prompting to write a faith-based curriculum with a teaching/discussion model. After much prayer and a lot of confirmation, the first Oasis Bible Study class was launched in September of 2013 as a result of two courageous women who had stepped forward desperately looking for help. It has been led by women who love the Lord and have answered His call to teach and love these precious women. To this day, I am thankful for these dear friends who have come together for “such a time as this” to fulfill God’s will at His appointed time in all of our lives.
The Oasis Bible Study is a place that is safe and nurturing where women find hope and healing… an oasis in a very desolate desert. As God opens doors, we walk through them in our efforts to bring truth and hope to those who are unjustly suffering from abuse. In the same way, we are available for training seminars for church leaders and the faith community.
This is a joint effort with my husband who is a wonderful support, a seminary graduate and one who understands that abuse is also a man’s issue. He has been my advisor, Biblical consultant, editor, tech support, business manager, trusted friend and faithful prayer partner.
We are humbled and honored to be able to come alongside of the work of Jesus Christ as God sent Him “to bring good news to the afflicted… to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners (Isaiah 61:1 NASB). We give God the glory for all that He has done.
In His Amazing Grace,
Ray and Diane
They will not hunger or thirst,
Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them
And will guide them to springs of water.