Features for 2021

December 2021

Christmas observance and traditions vary around the world. This Wikipedia page has a detailed summary of some of the main practices for around 70 countries. It's a great reference if you're new in a country or just want to understand what the inhabitants or mission workers in that country might be doing during the festive season. 

Allchurches Trust has launched an emergency grant programme to support churches and Christian charities helping to tackle the Afghanistan evacuee crisis. The programme will help churches and Christian charities to support evacuees resettling in the UK from Afghanistan, giving them a better chance of a fresh start. 

OSCAR's Christmas section includes a comprehensive range of Christmas cards and gifts that you can buy to benefit mission, as well as some other useful Christmas and advent links. There's even a Nativity Escape Room game!

We have been working on our Pastoral & Spiritual Resources section, knowing that there are more people than ever at the moment wanting to access counselling, coaching and mentoring services. There are some newly researched organisations and services added to help you through the current tough times.

Every December we encourage all those who use the OSCAR website to consider supporting our free-to-access service. It actually costs us around 20p for every visit made to our website. With around 1000 visits per day, this soon builds up. Your contribution enables us to continue to freely serve all users with the tools and resources they need to carry out God's mission. Please help if you can.

November 2021

Have you ever made a video update for your mission or ministry? For this month's article, W. Ashley Maddox, of Missionaryfilms.org, gives an easy visual way to share your ministry, bring clarity on what you do, and give actionable steps to the viewer.

One of our regular contributors, Alex Hawke, has put together a three part video devotional on perseverance from Hebrews 12:1-3 called Keep on Keeping On. It's particularly aimed at those in leadership and mission workers but relevant to anyone seeking to faithfully follow Jesus through the challenges of life.

We recently came across a great site of driving guides for over 100 countries. Along with basic country info, it includes advice about driving licences, renting, documents required, insurance, safety, traffic regulations etc. A real gold mine if you're looking to drive in another country for the first time.

We have long had a Partnership Requests message board in our online community, OSCARactive. It has mostly been used by individuals looking for others to partner with in their mission. Last month we had an organisation contact us looking for projects and initiatives to partner with. They are now listed here. In this new era, do you need to partner with someone? Put your request here.

OSCAR now has over 100 organisations on our annual, all-inclusive Gold package for advertising. We are opening our bookings for 2022 with an early bird special offer. Book now for 2022 and get the rest of 2021 for FREE! 

October 2021

With the UN climate change conference happening in Glasgow at the end of this month and the extreme environmental events happening around the world, it's time for a focus on creation care. In this month's guest article, Caroline Pomeroy from Climate Stewards helps us determine what our travel strategy should be post-pandemic.

This new book by Debbie, David and Jamie Hawker, subtitled 'Applying the Bible in a climate emergency', is a series of Bible passages unpacked to show the Bible's relevance to environmentalism, and how we can all play our part in limiting the negative effects of climate change. Debbie Hawker explains about the book's relevance to mission.

Do you wonder what it takes to power our online habits and consumption? This guide, from Energy Helpline,  gives a great overview of global internet useage and suggests some things you can do to reduce your internet carbon footprint.

This month sees several mission organisations running enquirer events online. It's a great chance to learn about them if you're hoping to do any kind of mission work in the future.

We are at Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) National in Esher, Surrey, from 12th to 14th October. We will be running the jobs and mission resources boards. 150 organisations and 4000 visitors are expected, along with 50 seminars taking place. Come and visit with a free ticket on us! 

September 2021

As many support ministries attempt to get back on their feet after the pandemic, we want to help them. This month we feature one particular gem that every Christian visitor to London should know about: The Highbury Centre.

If you lead or manage a group of people, whether in mission or ministry, this new book entitled 'I See You' by Mark Billage will give you some great advice and practical help for making the best of everyone in your team.

We have put together a two minute video to explain OSCAR's vision and what we can do for you. Something to share with your church or online groups so we can help more people be equipped and resourced for mission.

If you have returned recently to the UK or are planning to return over the next 6 months,  this day course will help you make sense of the challenges you face during transition. Our next course is on Saturday 2nd October. Book now!

From Sep 1st we can offer our Gold advertising package for the rest of the year at 33% of the annual fee! That gives organisations and churches a great opportunity to try out our all-inclusive advertising service over 4 months for one low fee.

August 2021

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘resilience’? Alex Hawke focuses on the impact of God’s love on our resilience. He believes it’s a key resource for living resilient lives. This is an article with questions for reflection and/or group discussion.

‘Utterly Amazed: Following the call of God in Japan’ is a new book which tells the story of how former OMF worker Miriam Davis went for two years but stayed on for forty-two, as well as the surprising challenges of retiring to the UK in 2017. Reviewed by Mike Frith.

Over the last year, many families all over the world have had to do some measure of home schooling. Some have developed a deep appreciation of school teachers (!) and others have decided that they might like to continue to home educate their children. Here are some tips given some time ago by a seasoned home educator from the mission world.

Dutch-based mission travel agency, Siama, maintain a page of links and information for up-to-date advice about travelling. Along with general advice, it includes specific advice from countries and airlines. Very useful as things start to open up again.

This month we are back on the road and running exhibition stands at events. You can see us at Bangor Worldwide (Northern Ireland) and David's Tent (West Sussex). Come and say Hi if you're visiting either of these. We will have a gift for you if you do!

July 2021

How do you care for your older parents back home whilst you're serving in mission? It's a huge issue that brings many people off the field at a certain stage of life. Alison Packer, member care coordinator with Echoes International, has put together some thoughts.

After our jobs/opportunities section, this is OSCAR's most visited section of our website. As the UK continues to open up, you might like to use it to find a place to holiday or for your next furlough/home assignment.

As Sports Fan Outreach International opens an office in the UK, they are planning outreach campaigns at many major UK sports events. They even run a training course if you would like to be involved.

If you are concerned about the amount Google, or any any other company, might know about you, there are some alternatives to using their products. These are all good suggestions for improving your online privacy generally.

We now have a page of instructions for utilising OSCAR's new Personal Accounts facility and what's available to account users. We are planning to expand this gradually.

June 2021

Do you, like many people during this time, feel isolated, alone and disconnected from God and others? Life coach Jericho Bulaun gives us a little exercise to try that might enable us to stay centred on God and recognise His leading amidst the challenges. 

This resource, based on author Helen Calder's experience, provides a method for discerning a personal level of Christian giving. It’s written specifically for Christians considering the level of their overall giving or their giving to a specific cause.

Global Connections have produced a useful resource called 'Post-Brexit: mission partners living and working in European Union countries - access to free NHS healthcare when visiting England.'

We have expanded our Disease and Ailment Support section to include various addictions. If you have anything to add to any of the categories, please let us know.

You can now register for your own personal account on the OSCAR website! This initially enables you to subscribe to and manage any of your mailing list subscriptions plus receive Saved Search notifications about new opportunity listings. More to come!

May 2021

Stewardship have refreshed their website as the first part of a bigger, gradual roll-out of a new vision and strategy, improving to partner and support you in your giving, fundraising, ministry and mission. This includes the new Stewardship CauseFinder making it easy to manage your giving, helping you to choose and support the causes you care about most.

With Mental Health Awareness Week in the middle of May, it's a good reminder to be aware of those around us but also to build up our own wellbeing and resilience. Thrive Worldwide are providing a range of resources and events to improve mental health.

Rekonnect camps offer children and teenagers five fun-filled days with others who have lived overseas and now find themselves back in the UK. There are camps for those aged 6-12 (rekonnect kids) and those who are 13-18 (rekonnect teens) planned for this Summer.

OSCAR’s newest sponsor is a US based service offering charitable workers worldwide full coverage health insurance as well as access to their specialist flight search engine and booking system, which includes humanitarian/charity air fares. Access is for registered members only but membership is FREE!

If you are planning to return to the UK in the next year or have returned from overseas in the last year, this online day course, run by OSCAR, will teach you the basics about making a healthy transition from one culture to another. It's also useful for those who want to understand and give care to those who have returned.

April 2021

We all have some level of support network, whether we recognise it or not. Here’s an opportunity to look at your support network and consider ways to strengthen it. This may be especially relevant for those whose situation is changing or has recently changed.

If you are away from 'home' and have parents with needs, what are the challenges and issues that you have faced that you would have liked help with? Please fill in this survey, from Echoes International, as we are working together on some advice and resources for future publication on OSCAR.

CMS are holding an online day on 21st April exploring Pioneer Practice – sharing wisdom, struggles, stories and how it works on the ground. There will be multiple venues, an interactive labyrinth and prayer spaces, themed conversations, research findings, workshops, networking spaces – a place to meet friends old and new, to be inspired and encouraged.

OSCAR has a unique collection of children’s resources for children, youth and parents/teachers. These include mission themed resources, like the recently created ‘Stories of Hope’ from Latin Link.

As we emerge from the latest lockdown, job and opportunity listings have increased significantly, with over 70 submitted in the last week. Do keep any eye on our Opportunities section if you are looking for your next role in mission or ministry.

March 2021

With the UK's latest influx of migrants potentially coming from Hong Kong, we have a renewed challenge to be hospitable and welcome the stranger into our communities and churches (when the restrictions allow). Connie Yu from Chinese Overseas Christian Mission gives us some great biblical and personal reasons why we should open our hearts and our homes.

The secondhand books market has benefitted hugely from online selling. The trouble is there are a huge number of secondhand booksellers. If only there was one search engine that covered the majority of them. Sylvia puts the case for secondhand books and tells us about such a search engine and how you might find books on some of those specialist subjects like mission. 

Whether you're in mission or ministry, good stewardship means you should have a good pension provision. We have updated OSCAR's pension section to help. This includes information, advice and resources for state, workplace and private pensions.

If you need to take out a new or change your existing travel insurance policy, many things have changed over the last year. There are also issues around coronavirus vaccinations and pre-existing medical conditions like long COVID symptoms. Check out OSCAR's travel insurance section for solutions.

OSCAR is 21 years old this month! This time last year, just before coronavirus hit, we celebrated our 20th birthday with a Mission Resources Exhibition and reception alongside the Midlands CRE in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. It seems like a different age! You can see a short video and read about the event at https://oscar.org.uk/mre and you can read about OSCAR's history and impact over the years via the link below.

February 2021

Lockdown has highlighted that we need to be connected with others and how much we miss the active support of relationships. This works for organisations as well as individuals. This month's guest author, Steve Beegoo, encourages us to re-invest in our connections and support of others to rediscover the mutual benefit that we all crave.  

So what does it mean for a family who believe they should heed a call to go to  all nations with good news? What will it mean for a child in that family? For the first time, adult children of missionaries tell their stories in a new book dealing with joys, grief, faith, cultural adaptation and relationships. 

Over the next two months, Pioneers are hosting a series of five free webinars for those thinking about going into mission. You don't have to sign up with Pioneers but it will give you the chance to glean insight from staff and field workers in a large, dynamic mission organisation.

Staycations may be the only option for taking breaks and holidays over the next year. OSCAR has lots of good suggestions for places to stay geared for those in mission and ministry, both in the UK and around the world.

The OSCAR website currently receives around 140,000 page views per month from around 26,000 visitor sessions (2020 statistics). Our Website Sponsorship Scheme offers you a unique opportunity to sponsor part of this growing, mission specific website and reach out to this audience.

January 2021

Caring for ourselves can seem selfish but if we don’t then we can’t sustainably serve those around. It also means that we’re at serious risk of burnout. Alex Hawke helps us think through what we can resolve to do this year to avoid one of the worst things that can happen to our work and ministry.

In the light of the current crisis, this free book will help you prepare for any future emergencies. If you haven't rewritten your personal or organisational risk assessment during COVID, then you probably should and this book will help think through the potential issues.

If you are concerned about how you might plan your travel and trips from now on, this page, on the 'Comparethemarket.com' website, about ATOL protection, highlights some of the key things to consider.

If you have returned from overseas in the last year and are struggling with the partial transition back to UK culture because of lockdown restrictions, this day course, run by OSCAR, will teach you the basics about making a healthy transition from one culture to another. It's also useful for those who want to understand and give care to those who have returned.

Our online job advertising prices are remaining the same for 2021. That includes both our individual listing and our package fees. As the most comprehensive, most viewed and most reasonably priced Christian jobs website in the UK, that makes us even better value than last year!