I help oversee Oasis Zimbabwe’s Tanaka Project, which works with girls who previously lived and worked on the streets of Harare. We have had much to celebrate – we were given funding from UNICEF to re-start outreach work on the streets in November, and have so far assisted Social Welfare in reunifying 18 children (boys and girls) with their families, as a result of building relationships with children on the streets. A highlight for me was teaching eight street children how to play UNO while they waited to be reunified with their families. The kids loved it and we all had great fun. We also recruited a volunteer Social Worker, Kundai, who is a great addition to the team and has a real love for our Tanaka girls.
Recently, we heard that a gang was collecting street children in downtown Harare, promising to give them jobs, food, and shelter on a farm. Some children with hopes for a better life had accepted the offer. However, they were forced to work as slave labor in the fields, working long hours with no food. After nearly a week, two children managed to run away from the farm and came back to the streets, and were able to relate their stories to outreach workers who in turn told the Police and Social Welfare. This was definitely a HUMAN TRAFFICKING situation touching the very ones we are trying to help.
Our current Tanaka girls continue to bring both joy and challenge, at the same time! Three are at university, and three are in their final year of high school, all of whom require birth certificates in order to sit their O’level (10th grade) exams. This is a long, complicated process. They are from broken families with a lot of confusion over where and when they were born, and tracing records in clinics and hospitals in Zimbabwe is nearly impossible. One girl had to have a dental age assessment in order to re-apply for a birth certificate. It was the first time she had ever gone to the dentist and with the pain of taking X-rays, she’s not anxious to go back.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to support me and would like to, here are ways you can: First, I would invite you to pray with and for me. - For our Tanaka girls, that they will continue to grow closer to God and have hope for their futures. - For the completion of registration and renovation of our Tanaka home so new girls can stay with us. - For on-going financial support which is instrumental to the restoration of our girls. - For Home Affairs to grant me a work visa. - For peace and stability in Zimbabwe, especially with upcoming elections this year.
Second, I would like to invite you to contribute financially by supporting me. All gifts are tax deductible too! You can become a monthly partner and contribute funds to my basic living expenses ($800 a month), healthcare ($1000 a year), and air fare to the US ($2000).
Or you can contribute a one-time gift of any amount.
You can make checks payable to: Oasis Ministries.
In the memo line put: For Jerry Johnson. Mail to: Oasis USA, c/o Mission Well Service Center, 466 E. Foothill Blvd. #358, La Canada, CA 91011
Or visit our website at www.oasisusa.org, click on Donate-->Oasis Staff-->JERRY JOHNSON for your contribution.
Thank you so much for your love, support, prayers and partnership with me as we seek to love and empower the poor together.