Arvos in Straya

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Hello to my wonderful supporters!

You might ask…Why does Oksana work with refugees? What does Oksana’s work with refugees look like?

The Refugee Highway Introduction (2016), from the International Association for Refugees, is a great place to start in answering these questions (copy and paste vimeo link above into your browser to view). But to summarize, there are over 65 million displaced people in the world. As Christians, God calls us to love those around us. The following verse also summarizes it well for me.

Leviticus 19:34

“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Working alongside refugees is meaningful ministry. Sometimes it just means sitting with them and having a simple conversation to help them learn English. Many times, whether they are Christian or Muslim, they are often happy to let us pray for them at the end of a visit.

One of my new refugee friends just finished up chemotherapy and is currently in nursing school while her husband is going through English classes. Another family is facing a much more somber situation, where we bring food to a mother with five kids and her husband who has cancer. The help we provide is really important to the family, and a wonderful opportunity to share the hope of Jesus.

Despite their difficult situations, the hospitality of the refugees is something that has really touched my heart. Our visits to the homes of our refugee friends almost always include coffee and also biscuits.

Besides working with refugees, I am doing administrative work alongside the team leaders of the Syndey Refugee Team. During the past month, this included planning a wonderful Volunteer Connection Arvo.* We had discussion, training (on vicarious trauma – SEE PICTURE!), prayer, a devotional and lunch! It was great to get to see the volunteers get some time where they could be rejuvenated through fellowship with other volunteers and time with Jesus.

On Fridays, I help with the planning of Ride for Refugees, a family-friendly cycling event, currently held in three different cities in Australia (Sydney, Toowoomba, Brisbane). It has been really wonderful to be able to take the skills I learned from working on citywide events and use them here! Abby (my Ride for Refugees supervisor) and I can see how God set up my planning experience for great use here.

We are working on our master planning sheet for the event and prioritizing what needs to get done and when. I am also keeping in contact with past riders through social media and email updates.

If you want to help me stay longer in Australia (up to just under a year), you can become a monthly donor here https://give.iteams.us/.

 

You might also ask …how does Oksana talk, now that she is in Australia?

Below is some Aussie (Australian) lingo!

Australia – Straya

Fish and French Fries – Fish and Chips

Cookies – Biscuts

MacDonalds – Maccas

Sunglasses – Sunnies

Breakfast – Brekkie

How are you? – How are you going?

University – Uni

*Afternoon – Arvo

I think – I reckon

Friends – Mates

Lots – Heaps

Thank you – Ta

Joking – Mucking around

Barbeque – Barbie

Gas station – Servo

Pickup truck – Ute

 

Finally, you might wonder…Is Nick (Oksana’s boyfriend) coming to visit?

Yes! Nick is visiting along with our friend David in early April. I am so excited for their visit.   I’m grateful to Rod and Abby for allowing the boys to stay with them. We plan to visit the beach, go into the city and attend a BBQ that I am thankful to my super cool supervisor for hosting.

Praises:

  • Thank the Lord that the heat has subsided!!!!! Yay.
  • Thank the Lord that I am feeling much more settled in to Australia after being here for two and a half months.
  • Thank the Lord for my fantastic co-workers at International Teams who have helped me settle in.

Prayer requests:

  • Pray I will hold steady in my faith and desire God above things of this world.
  • Pray for the refugees, many of whom have experienced a lot of trauma on their way to Australia.
  • Pray that God will work in the hearts of the non-Christian refugees we help.

 

Thank you so much for your support! Comment below to let me know you are praying or with future questions you want me to answer in blog posts!

 

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The Countdown Begins!

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My federal background check came in the mail! Hooray! Praise God!

My VISA was submitted last week – the federal background check was the last component needed 🙂 Hooray again!

The countdown for leaving for my field work with refugees in Australia is 1 – 3 months, according to my application. Once I get the VISA back, I will leave as soon as possible!

Still want to support me? I still need supporters at $10, $25, $50, $75 and $100 a month to meet my goal along with prayer support! YOUR SUPPORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! Thank you.

Click here to donate or paste give.iteams.org into your search engine.

Let me know if you will be praying for me!

Thank you for being so patient with me on this journey 🙂

 

Blessings,

Oksana

 

 

Australia Calling

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God planted the seed in my heart for missions a few years ago.

It was missions night at church and group was coming in to tell their stories about how God had worked in the lives of those around them. They also shared what organizations helped facilitate the stories.

I sat in my seat and listened to them talk and thought it would be cool if someone was called to go overseas. However, I was sure that someone was not me. There were so many people who needed help around me, why would I need to seek someone out in a different country?

By the end of the service, I was ready to go back to my dorm and finish my homework or just go straight to bed. Midterms week was always like this. But God had other plans for me.

While singing the last song, I felt a strong calling to Australia. I didn’t know at the time, but that evening would mean something for my future.

The calling to Australia didn’t go away, and God changed my heart, beginning that night.

God reminded me that there are people who need Him everywhere and He calls us where we will best fit in His plan for us.

God reminded me that some things are far bigger than me and that people like YOU want to make a difference.

God reminded me that, ultimately, fundraising is a way for me to connect with YOU and fulfill his vision for OUR lives.

I will be going with International Teams, which is a global nonprofit with offices in both the US and Australia. Our shared vision statement is to see lives and communities transformed by the power of God. The organization really speaks to my heart because they do not separate ministry and compassion because Jesus did not. The organization is filled with people who are willingly following God in his call for them. I am thrilled to be a part of God’s plan through ITeams.

During my stay in Australia, part of my time will be helping refugees with both their physical and spiritual needs. With a team, I will be doing home visits with refugees from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and Pakistan, just to name a few. These home visits will allow me to connect refugees with local resources and supply them with daily needs.

The other part of my volunteer work in Australia will be to support the Australia ITeams office through administrative work such as updating their website and event planning.

Australia is the destination.

One year is the timeframe.

Summer 2016 is takeoff date.

But…the story has just begun and YOU can make a difference. Will you be a part of my story and God’s plan?

This blog is one way for YOU to connect with God’s plan for the world and everyone who benefits from your generosity. Updates will be posted regularly once I am in Australia.

Blessings,
Oksana

Want to learn more?

Donate **

About ITeams

International Teams Australia Website

 

**Note that the above “Donate” link is the right link to donate. Donations go through ITeams United States as I am being sent by ITeams US. Write in the donation box “to the ministry of Oksana Carlier.” If you click on the “give” link on the International Teams Australia Website, the donation will not go to me. Thank you and let me know if you have questions!