Introduction - Oasis of Love
The International Central Gospel Church, California, is a full-gospel, missions-oriented ministry. Consistent with its commitment to human dignity and goal of influencing society with the principles of the kingdom of God, through Christ, ICGC California will pursue and promote issues of social justice through a holistic application of the gospel to the needs of humanity. In collaboration with others of like-mission or faith, ICGC California will engage in preventive and intervention programs through its Compassion & Recovery Ministries, The Oases of Love. These programs will be aimed at interrupting or disrupting the Cycle of Poverty, in all its degrading and dehumanizing forms, and fostering individual and/or collective spiritual, physical, intellectual, social and economic uplift among underprivileged people groups and/or communities.
Philosophy & Rationale:
The Mission of Oases of Love is predicated upon the Doctrine and Principle of Incarnation.
Principle of Incarnation:
In what is theologically referred to as ‘Incarnation’, "The Word" (Jesus), "became flesh, and dwelt among men" (John1:14).The doctrine of Incarnation, demonstrates God's desire to be present where humanity is, actively involved and participating fully in mankind's everyday life.
From this perspective, we believe that the Gospel should not be relegated to the spiritual realm, where it only touches the hearts/spirits of men; it must also take on "flesh" or substance in its application. In essence, the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost...”(Matthew 28:18-19, Mark 16:15 – 20), with its focus, traditionally, on SOUL-WINNING and DISCIPLESHIP, must operate concurrently with the Great Commandment: "Thou shall love the Lord thy God" and "thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself..." (Matthew 22:36-40), which is a call to Social Work, Service and Justice. Practical solutions to real human need (Felt-Needs), in other words, must be seen as part of the gospel message, and therefore included in its delivery. ICGC’s focus, theologically and practically, will be the TOTAL MAN – Spirit, Soul and Body (1st Thessalonians 5:23).
Christ forgave sins (spiritual dimension) during His earthly ministry, but also healed physical diseases (physical dimension). His Mission Statement outlined in Luke 4:18 had a ‘holistic’ bent, which means: Practical benefits were offered to those who believed - the poor, oppressed, the brokenhearted etc.
The Apostle James:
James, the Apostle, reiterates this by stating that, "pure religion... is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction" (James 1:27). He states, furthermore, that: "If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food...and you give them not those things which are needful to the body, what does it profit?" (James 2:15-16).
It is against this backdrop that Pastor Rick Donkor: Lead Pastor of ICGC-California initiated the establishment of OASES OF LOVE...
Where a deficiency exists in the physical, social, and/or economic order or conditions of a people or community, therefore, it is the goal of ICGC to intervene, where our resources allow and enable us, regardless of race, color, creed or gender, and help bring help and healing, under the auspices of our Compassion and Recovery Ministries: The Oases of Love.
ICGC plans to pursue and undertake the following project goals, among others, under the auspices of Oases of Love (501C3), our Compassion and Recovery Ministries. They include:
1. Create an Entrepreneurial Development Board:
Most people, given the opportunity, and consistent with the innate human desire or quest for dignity and significance, will rather work for a living than wait to be given a hand-out.
Spirituality and Prosperity (Financial) can co-exist. God is not against financial and material prosperity; in fact, you can have as much money and material things as you want, as long as they do not have you.
- Create an environment conducive to the cultivation and development of an entrepreneurial spirit in the House of God in general, and in the ICG Churches which the Lord may lead and enable us to plant.
- Encourage business ownership among Christians in general, our members in particular and the general community at large.
- Conduct seminars to these ends.
- Establish vocational training centers that will facilitate the acquisition job skills by the socio-economically challenged and marginalized people-groups in our community.
- Job search issues: completing applications, creating resumes, preparing for interviews, dressing for success. etc.
2. Establish a Youth Center - Diversion Programs for Youth:
- Providing a Practical Alternative to Life on the streets for Youth in our community, through the establishment of diversion programs.
- Incorporate the Total-Man/Woman Concept into youth programs and activities.
- Youth Career Counseling Services and Vocational Training Programs.
- ESL programs for marginalized people groups; removing language barrier and empowering people to enter mainstream America.
- GED Classes and Tutorials.
- After school programs – extra-curricular activities
- Computer Literacy Programs - bridge the digital divide/gap between rich and poor.
- Crisis counseling and Intervention for troubled teens; runaway kids, pregnant teens etc.
- Partner with community institutions (e.g. police department, probation officers, juvenile hall and other institutions) to undertake diversion programs.
3. Establish Recovery/Addict Programs: Disrupting the Cycle of Abuse:
- God created ‘man’ in His image, whole, and complete, with no defects or deficiencies; any distortions, wounds or imbalance caused by any form of abuse or violence (sexual, physical, verbal or psychological) is a deviation from His original intent or purpose.
- Establish abuse prevention programs
- Establish rehabilitation centers for substance abuse/chemical dependency; offer drug & alcohol counseling services
- Offer anti-gang and anti-drug programs for Youth.
- Provide services to victims of violence and abuse: Sexual - rape/incest/molestation victims. Physical - Victims of domestic violence; shelters for battered women etc.
- Address compulsive behaviors and related issues, e.g. alcoholism, workaholism, sex addiction, eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia) etc.
- Day-care centers - Support single parents & two-income families in our church and community.
- Fitness Programs – Balance Spiritual Life with Physical Health and Fitness.
- Food/clothing distribution to the urban poor and underprivileged.
- Cultural awareness and sensitivity programs/seminars: making our racial/ethnic diversity a strength, instead of a weakness.
5. Establish Christian Educational facilities:
- Schools - Create a healthy Christian environment in schools, so kids can develop Godly, moral convictions, while achieving academic excellence.
6. International – Resource Center:
- To always maintain a Christ-like sensitivity and compassion towards those in other parts of the world, who may be less privileged than we are in the United States, with respect to, their dignity as humans, condition and standards of living.
- Become a resource center, providing hope for living and impacting destinies through the provision of food, clothing, medical supplies and educational resources to the less fortunate in America, and the two/thirds (2/3) world.
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