The History of Oasis
THE FIRST FIVE YEARS...
Oasis Dufferin Community Centre began with a burden placed on Phyllis Ortiz’ heart. As a returning missionary, she saw the need for immigrants coming to Canada – a need for a community centre as a place of refreshment and meeting emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
The doors opened in 1994 and the first classes of hairdressing, crafts, E.S.L., and the food bank had their humble beginnings. The Board of Directors was formed and Oasis was incorporated with a charitable status.
In 1995, the first walkathon took place. New programs such as advocacy, housing assistance, immigration, and counselling for emotional and spiritual problems began.
Cashier Training and Bank Teller courses commenced in 1996. Discipleship classes in Spanish were offered. Prevention of wife assault workshops were sponsored by the Women’s Directorate.
Reverend Orm Bowsman of S.I.M. was assigned to Oasis and came on Staff in 1997. A job-training course was funded by the North American Baptist Women’s Union.
In 1998, the education wing (computer lab) was built in the balcony of the church. An international dinner was held and monthly prayer letters were distributed to prayer supporters.
The education wing was dedicated in 1999 and a second section of the balcony was completed for bank teller and cashier courses. At the same time the telephone system was updated. Reverend Bowman was reassigned to High Park Baptist Church as a multi-cultural home missionary. The children’s Saturday morning program and senior’s club started.