OSCAR Press Releases & Articles

This section lists OSCAR's press releases in reverse chronological order:

 

25th Febrary 2011

OSCARactive passes 300

After nearly a decade of resourcing mission workers through their main website, two years ago OSCAR (www.oscar.org.uk) launched a mission-focused social network, called OSCARactive. In the last month, this network passed the 300 member mark.

Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director, says 'With the growth of social networking, the Internet has changed from primarily being an information source to being an everyday communication tool. We are reflecting this trend in OSCAR's services by going from a centralised resource to a peer-to-peer support network.' OSCARactive provides a dedicated space where mission workers, senders and supporters from all denominations and organisations can connect with, encourage and support each other. Whatever your role or interest in mission, this is a great way to connect with others. See www.oscaractive.net

 

3rd March 2010

OSCAR hosts Virtual Party for 10th Birthday

On 1st March 2010, OSCAR, the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, celebrating its 10th anniversary online with a virtual coffee party on their website.

Party goers were able to meet and chat with each other online, as well as take part in a number of fun activities and discussions.

"We're so grateful to God for ten years of ministry and growth. We wanted to mark this milestone with an event that would potentially involve everyone who uses OSCAR's services, wherever they are," says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director.

Mike adds "We recently launched our own mission-focused online social network, called OSCARactive, and we used this as a platform for the party. We had people 'drop in' over a period of 24 hours from across five continents. We started with someone from Sri Lanka just after midnight and ended with someone from Australia just before midnight a day later. For most of the time we had between 10 and 15 people logged on, interacting and participating. There was a great buzz about being involved in something truly global in real time."

To read more about OSCAR's 10th birthday, go to www.oscar.org.uk

 

8th February 2010

Virtual Coffee Party for OSCAR's 10th Birthday

On 1st March 2010, OSCAR, the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary online with a virtual coffee party on their website.

Party goers will be able to meet and chat with each other online, as well as take part in a number of fun activities and discussions.

"We're so grateful to God for ten years of ministry and growth. We wanted to mark this milestone with an event that would potentially involve everyone who uses OSCAR's services, wherever they are," says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director.

Mike adds "We recently launched our own mission-focused online social network, called OSCARactive, and we will be using this as a platform for the party and other subsequent interactive events."

Everyone is invited to join in the coffee party on 1st March at www.oscar.org.uk

 

17th March 2009

OSCAR Launches Online Mission Community

OSCAR, the UK Information Service for World Mission, has launched it's own social network for those involved or interested in cross-cultural mission.

OSCARactive, as it's called, includes a number of interactive features to help people across its network and beyond give peer-to-peer support, advice and encouragement.
"So many mission workers and supporters are already using Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools." says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director, "OSCARactive interfaces with many of these and creates a place online for people to interact with each other on mission related issues ... from the practical to the spiritual. All of those who are interested or involved in world mission are welcome to join."
Go to http://www.oscaractive.net

 

1st March 2007

OSCAR Launches New Blogging Facility

OSCAR, the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, has launched a new section of its website for mission bloggers.

The facility pulls together the blogs of a number of people involved in mission around the world and makes them available through one website.
"We're excited about what could be a very dynamic resource" says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director, "mission supporters and those thinking about working in mission can get a day to day insight into the lives of those 'at the cutting edge' around the world.
This is 'Reality Internet' serving the purposes of world mission and helping to build the Kingdom."

 

17th February 2006

Join in the Virtual Party as OSCAR launches new website

On 1st March 2006, OSCAR, the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, will relaunch it's website with a virtual party on the Internet.

Party goers will be able to play virtual hide & seek, virtual pass the parcel, and mingle with other virtual party goers during activities and discussions.

"We wanted an event that would potentially involve everyone who uses the OSCAR website, wherever they are," says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director. The re-launch also co-incides with the organisation's sixth birthday, so the idea of a virtual party came about.

Mike adds "Like any six year old, OSCAR is growing up, and the website re-design and re-launch marks the beginning of the next phase of OSCAR's life. I'm thrilled with all that OSCAR has achieved over the last six years, but even more excited about what lies ahead."

Everyone is invited to join in the party on 1st March at www.oscar.org.uk

 

17th September 2003

Mr OSCAR goes to Gloucester

OSCAR, the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, has moved office from its base of the last four years in the East Midlands to the premises of Redcliffe College in Gloucester.

"This is a strategic move" says Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director. "During discussions with Redcliffe College earlier in the year, God seemed to impress on us the various benefits of co-location. From then on, the doors just opened!"

"OSCAR is one of the outstanding resources in the contemporary mission scene"

Redcliffe College Principal, Rev Dr Simon Steer, comments "We are delighted to welcome Mike Frith to the Redcliffe College community. OSCAR is one of the outstanding resources in the contemporary mission scene and I believe there will be an exciting synergy between OSCAR's networking and equipping ministry and Redcliffe's commitment to effective and cutting edge mission training."

Mike adds "This is just a physical move for OSCAR ... 'virtually' the service can still be found at www.oscar.org.uk and our email and phone details remain the same. It does mean, however, that anyone visiting, working or studying at Redcliffe College will have the added benefit of OSCAR's services on hand."

 


1st April 2003

New OSCAR Sponsorship Scheme

OSCAR, the UK Information Service for World Mission, is offering a unique opportunity for you to help mission work overseas by sponsoring a section of the OSCAR website.

OSCAR provides information, advice and resources for those involved in mission work around the world. For a small donation you can help keep a section of the OSCAR website online so that mission workers and those who support them can continue to benefit from this free web-based resource.

Mike Frith, OSCAR's Founding Director, says, 'It's a tough time not just for the mission organisations who are struggling in the current economic climate but also for overseas Christian workers who are under increasing pressure and risk because of the current political climate. OSCAR is there to help and resource them in their work.' Mike continues, 'I feel that it's important for organisations, companies, churches and individuals to be able to do something that will directly affect mission work across the world. OSCAR's new Website Sponsorship Scheme is one way through which they can be involved.'

If you are interested in supporting the scheme, go to www.oscar.org.uk/sitesponsor.htm or contact OSCAR for more information (Email: info@oscar.org.uk , Tel: 0870 765 6722).


14th September 2002, Christian Herald Article

Online mission support

JOY PIPER introduces a new website which aims to build support for missionaries worldwide

Mike Frith was taking a shower one morning in Uganda when he finally decided on a name for his new 'baby': "One Stop - OS - OSCAR - One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources."

Conversations with missionary passengers while he was an MAF pilot in Africa convinced Mike that relevant, committed support for individuals was a significant 'weak link' in world mission. He wanted to change this.

The internet seemed the ideal way to equip people worldwide with information, advice and resources. Mike and his wife, Cheryl, decided to leave their work with MAF to return to the UK and work for the support side of mission instead.

In September 1999, Mike began to research what computer resources were available for missions and the possibility of establishing an internet-based resource centre. Responses to his enquiries indicated considerable interest in the idea. He interpreted this as God's confirmation that he was on the right track.

Mike asked Wyre Compute to help design the initial templates of the new website. "I received these early in 2000 and began to build the site around them. The website was launched on 1 March 2000 with about 100 pages and 700 links to external sites and services. Two and a half years later the site has over 230 pages and 4,000 external links. The number of website visitors has also increased during this time from around 30 a day at the beginning to an average of 260 a day now (roughly 50,000 hits a month).'

The mission-resourcing site aims to provide a comprehensive, independent and interactive information service for anyone involved in or interested in the subject. It includes message and discussion boards; country profiles; advice on travel, shipping, home-leave planning; details of opportunities for training, orientation and development; pastoral support; supporter resources; the 'Who Wants to be a Missionary?' online quiz and lots more.

"The site covers topics on just about anything that an individual involved in world mission might be interested in. If it doesn't cover something that someone thinks it should, we want to know as we will research it and put it on."

Help is not only available online, however. Mike is a Methodist lay preacher and available to take church services or lead world mission weekends as well as being involved in training missionaries through Equip (a training organisation based at Bawtry Hall) and running various day courses around the country.

These include Serving As Senders, a course to help local churches support and encourage overseas workers, and God on the Web, which looks at the huge variety of Christian resources on the internet. "I also do demonstrations of the OSCAR website and show how it can help folk whether they're from local churches, mission organisations or whatever."

OSCAR is in the latter stages of registering as a charity and survives on very little finance. Mike's salary comes from faithful personal supporters who share the vision of what he's doing. For the last two years, approximately half the project's funding has come from trust funds and half from donations and sponsorship from various interested organisations.
However, more funds are needed.

Mike's vision for the future is that this website will help equip Christians worldwide to invest time, money and effort in mission effectively. "If, as a result, missionaries stay on the field longer and feel more supported and fulfilled in their work - then I'm doing what I feel God wants me to do."

So next time you need help concerning mission or Christian work overseas don't panic, just "ask OSCAR" the UK Information Service for World Mission!

* Joy Piper is a freelance writer, a moderator for OSCAR's online Supporters' Forum and author of Bringing the World to Your Church: The Mission Promoter's 'How to' Guide.

MORE INFORMATION

Mike became a Christian while studying Mechanical Engineering at The University of Salford. He married Cheryl in 1992. He served with MAF in Africa for ten years, including three years training in the USA and two terms in Africa (Madagascar and Uganda). They have two children, Joanna and William, and now live in Earl Shilton, South Leicestershire.
For further information visit OSCAR UK Information Service for World Mission: www.oscar.org.uk or contact Mike Frith, email: info@oscar.org.uk tel: 0870 746 2132.

* Article reproduced courtesy of the Christian Herald www.christianherald.org.uk


1st May 2002

OSCAR Launches Forum for Mission Mobilisers

OSCAR, the UK Information Service for World Mission, this month launches a new online forum specifically for local church mission mobilisers, secretaries and representatives.

'It can be pretty lonely as a local church missionary secretary or missions rep.' says Mike Frith, OSCAR's director, 'It's not unlike being in an isolated mission field of your own! This forum will help these individuals discuss their helps and hindrances and generally have a
place where they can share their experience.' Overseeing the group, in partnership with OSCAR, is Joy Piper, author of the book 'Bringing the World to Your Church'.

The forum has been launched in response to a number of OSCAR website users who have requested the facility. It is one stage in the ongoing development of OSCAR to help and provide online resources for individuals involved in mission work. To access the forum, log on to www.oscar.org.uk, click on 'Forum' and then 'Mission Mobilisers'.

 

26th March 2001

Who Wants to Be a Missionary?

Ever fancied a go at 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' or the opportunity to prove you're not 'The Weakest Link'?

OSCAR, the web based UK Information Service for World Mission, has launched it's very own 'Who Wants to Be a Missionary?' quiz online.

Designed to test your knowledge as a world Christian and potential missionary, the quiz comprises of 15 multiple choice questions on various topics like geography, religion and the history of mission. Anyone achieving a score of 10 or more will be entered in the bi-monthly 'High Scorers' prize draw.

Confident? Why not give it a try and see how globally minded you really are? Go to www.oscar.org.uk and click on the 'Who Wants to Be a Missionary?' link.


26th February 2001

OSCAR's First Birthday

March sees OSCAR ( www.oscar.org.uk ), the web-based UK Information Service for World Mission, celebrate it's first year online.

The OSCAR website (an acronym of 'One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources') began in March 2000 with roughly 400 links to external sites and services, and attracted an average of 20 visitors a day. One year later, the site has grown to include over 2000 links and now attracts an average of 130 visitors a day.

Although primarily designed to resource missionaries and overseas Christian workers before, during and after their time overseas, OSCAR has developed into the UK's most comprehensive world mission web portal. It truly is a 'One Stop Centre', providing links to virtually all UK based missionary sending and support organisations, along with a wealth
of other information relevant to world mission goers and supporters.

The reaction from mission agencies and personnel has been very positive. George Verwer, founder and International Director of Operation Mobilisation, remarks about OSCAR 'Your site ... is really great. This kind of information and communication is greatly needed if we are to reach our global goals!' The November edition of Christianity magazine reviewed the OSCAR website and hailed it as 'a tremendous step forward in missionary resourcing and equipping'. Mike Frith, who is founder and manager of OSCAR comments, 'I'm very pleased at the response and take-up of the service. It's been wonderful to watch the vision turn into reality and see it make an impact on world mission. My hope is that this service will continue to grow and increase the effect & efficiency of mission work throughout the world.'

For the anniversary, several new facilities are being launched on the OSCAR website including online forums, automated webpage-by-email retrieval and free web pages for missionaries & overseas Christian workers. For more information, see www.oscar.org.uk or email info@oscar.org.uk


13th July 2000

Calling All Missionaries

The OSCAR UK Information Service for World Mission is calling all UK missionaries, whether at home or overseas, to visit the OSCAR website ( www.oscar.org.uk ) and discover for themselves numerous resources that will save them time, energy and money.

The OSCAR (which stands for 'One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources) web based service has been up and running for over 4 months and has attracted much interest from the World Mission community in the UK and around the world. Mike Frith, who runs the service, emphasises that the site has been developed with missionaries and overseas Christian workers in mind and therefore will likely prove most beneficial to them. 'I've had many emails from missionaries based overseas who have wanted to express their delight at finding the OSCAR website on the Internet' says Mike, 'Now that such a resource is available, I wouldn't want anyone to spend time, energy and money researching or looking for information that can easily be found through OSCAR.' Over 3000 leaflets and countless emails have been sent out to serving and prospective missionaries, mostly through established mission organisations. However, Mike believes that with roughly 8000 UK missionaries on the field, there are many more who still do not know the service exists. Mission organisations and sending churches are also realising the usefulness of OSCAR in providing support for their overseas personnel. Where, before, a member of the support team would have had to research and arrange many practical details for personnel, OSCAR now provides the necessary links and shortcuts, making it possible for even the overseas staff to sort out their own arrangements. Likewise, for those who run mission support services, there has never been such a 'one stop' facility like OSCAR for making their services known to missionaries. OSCAR is also available for those who just have email but no direct Internet connection. For more information or if you would like some leaflets to pass on to missionaries or overseas Christian workers, send an email to info@oscar.org.uk.


8th February 2000

New information service for missionaries

March 1st sees the launch of a new Internet based service for missionaries. Called OSCAR (an acronym of 'the One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources'), the web-site is billed as 'The UK Information Service for World Mission'.

OSCAR ( www.oscar.org.uk ) is part of the Resource project that has been running since September 1999. The project was set up in co-operation with Global Connections (formerly the Evangelical Missionary Alliance) to look at new and different ways of resourcing missionaries on the field using new technologies. Mike Frith, who has spent the last 10 years working as a pilot overseas with Mission Aviation Fellowship, manages the Resource project and is the person behind 'OSCAR'. 'Whilst overseas, I came to realise how difficult it was getting the right information from the UK on mission related issues', says Mike. 'I was also in the unique position of meeting with other missionaries on a daily basis and realised many of them had the same problem.' Based on this need, Mike put together the Resource project and is determined to see this 'information shortfall' improve for future missionaries and overseas Christian workers.

OSCAR is a collection of links to information and resources that relate to missions and missionaries, all brought together in one place (called a 'portal' in Internet terms). There are two main sections: an Opportunity zone and a Service zone. The Opportunity zone includes information about mission organisations and where they work. The Service zone is categorised under the following sub-sections: logistics, finance, medical, training/orientation/development, children, communications, pastoral support, resource materials and supporter resources. There is anything from 'where to buy cheap equipment for the mission field' to 'where to take a holiday on home leave'. Comprehensive links to mission support organisations are being included as well as links to useful UK sites that provide services or information of relevance to overseas workers.

Mike hopes that missionaries and mission organisations will start to use OSCAR as a base for sharing information. 'We have so much to gain by networking together' says Mike, 'what one person needs to know, another person can help with. OSCAR is just a forum by which they can do it.'

In the coming months, Mike will be working on ways to distribute this information by email as many missionaries do not have direct access to the Internet.

Take a look at www.oscar.org.uk and register your interest online or by sending an email to info@oscar.org.uk