Last Editor’s Page I used to hear these stories about Oasis. Back when it was spelled o@sis. I owe so much to the senior classes of previous years for showing me the scary world that was known as high school. Believe me, I wanted to make our ministry not everything it was, but everything it could be. I don't think I did. I’m sorry. Here's why: we can't. If there's anything that I've learned, it's that only God can. Every time we try to do something, we would fall short, in Oasis or in history. Again and again, nothing is done without His power. But we can be assured of this -- God is moving, all the time. I think when I first believed, there was a God who “was.” But the word says that He was and is and is to come. I want you guys to know that He is an active and personal God. The scary thing is, sometimes we forget about God in Oasis, in our ministry, which would be nothing without by definition. Anyway. I don't know how to say all I want to say to you guys. There's a lot to tell you, but they'll all come out as commands; just
know that this comes my heart. You can read this and take this to mind, but nothing is solid until you experience it yourself. Your story at Oasis is in itself a praise. When I came in to Oasis in freshman year, I never opened my mouth during worship. I didn't understand what these people were doing, hands raised high, and I definitely didn't want to have people hear this voice that was not born to sing. God created all of us to praise. I believe nothing should feel fake in worship because it is likely one of the most authentic things you will experience. So if you don't get it, don't sing, take it in. But when you know, then raise your voice to the Lord. My parents almost didn't let me come to Oasis. Week after week, I came, with persuasion and fights, with determination written on my forehead. I'm so glad I stayed, though. My high school life would not have been the same without it. Most of my closest friends I've made through here. Freshmen, your life is about to change, if you let it. I'll be the first one to admit that there were times I "strayed away" from Oasis. I want you to know that this is okay. There is no shame or guilt in reorganizing and reaffirming your faith alone. To be still, to take time. In fact, your faith depends so much on the other six days of the week that you're not here. Still, know that there is no home like the Oasis family. Though we are all so different, there is community here, there is healing here. Iâ€™ll miss this.
Every one of you is a leader. Some are naturally born leaders and will be awesome worship leaders and small group leaders by the grace of God. Some are not, some make themselves so, some take on the call. There are so many places in this ministry that need to be filled -- worship, small groups, the Vine, A/V, photo/video, clean-up, hospitality, snacks, whatever. Whether or not, you are a leader by title, you are a leader because you are here. Simple conversations can change lives. They've changed mine. And let them change yours. Listen. Praise. Pray. Look around and see the beauty of this fellowship. See its potential if we all stepped up and came together. Love. As brothers and sisters, and more importantly, as I've learned, as friends. Be the light. Let it go forth from here to the nations. God bless.
- Alice Liang
Differences Recently I decided I needed a new blanket. If you've ever come over to my house, you may have seen mine. It's an old blanket -- not quite a duvet or comforter, not quite a quilt -- that's been with me for as long as I can remember. It's so old that the buttons on it have started to fall off, and these irritating holes keep appearing; yep, it was time to upgrade. I questioned myself on what to buy. A month of wondering, thinking, questioning, pondering, and googling and still nothing, but here were the choices: A quilt - a thick, quilted blanket/ comforter with various patterns, some ancient, with quilting or stitching throughout, securing the top layer, stuffing, and bottom layer together in decorative shapes; a bedspread - which is a prefilled bed cover with stuffing to be used as a decorative and warming bed covering made from a single layer lighter weight fabric. Bedspreads don't need to be used with quilts, duvets, or comforters; a duvet - a comforter filled with down feathers, usually white, beige, or creamy off-white, and usually placed in a duvet cover; and a comforter - a thick, quilted, fluffy blanket. It's decorated and colored with dye, unlike the quilt's embroidered surface. It doesn't have a cover and is just washed when dirty. (And by the way, I hope all you little underclassmen get something from this. Blankets are a serious thing). Which blanket did I get in the end, you ask? Here's how I decided.
One dark and stormy night I realized something. These blankets are all representations of different kinds of people. BS, you say? Nope. Not even. Just think about it a little bit. Are you a quilt - an old fashioned, conservative stick-in-the-mud? Now this isn't always a bad thing. Being conservative can lead to great things! You can be a senator, even president! You can be a nun - exciting! You can be a math or history teacher, maybe even professor. Go for it, quilts! But you know what it takes to achieve your dreams? Open -mindedness. Now I'm not calling you guys out or anything, but really now. How do you expect to be great when you can't change the way you think a little? Think outside the box! When a chance comes, don't be afraid to take it. I think being conservative stems from a lack of confidence or shyness. At one point in my life I was like that too. No, I'm being totally serious. I thought, "I'm never going to wear dresses to school. That's so weird." and "Look at those girls wearing weird tank tops and earrings and makeup. I'll just wear t-shirts and jeans forever. Red on Yellow on Denim Blue #1." I know some of you know this is true. Until sophomore year I wore nothing but t-shirts and jeans and sneakers. Embarrassing. I also thought, "I'm going to med school and I'm gonna be the greatest doctor ever." Look at me now, English/Music/Education major. And I'm perfectly happy! So don't be afraid to change. If you wanna take AP art, go for it! Drop that Spanish AP class and take yoga (it's worth it)! Lighten up! Are you a bedspread -- you don't need anybody! You can do everything by yourself! This was me once too. I didnâ€™t need people to have fun. I could sit here and play video games all day and be awesome with my online friends. Yep. WRONG. This summer I actually did the did the aforementioned things. I sat at home on my
online friends. Yep. WRONG. This summer I actually did the aforementioned things. I sat at home on my awesome laptop and played League and Guild Wars 2 and XBOX all summer. And you know what happened? I was lonely. I had separated myself from my friends earlier this year and I regret it SO much. This applies to workaholics too. My mom's a workaholic. Yeah, it's great because she's a genius and does all these cool things and goes to cool places and things, but she's pretty lonely. So for you bedspreads, please go out with your friends more. My friend Rebecca Wang (class of 2010) told me once, "I was always trying to get my friends to hang out with me. I always organized the hangouts. Don't be afraid to ask." I wish I had taken this to heart. Real friends will be with you forever. Just think, in 5 or 10 years, where will you be, at work or at school terribly bored and tired? You NEED a girls or guys night out. Go out and be social! And don't worry, this day and age, nobody will be rude to you. Just go up to someone and say, "Hey. I like your shirt. Let's be friends." (Don't actually do this, but you get what I mean...I hope.) You could be a duvet -- a squishy, pillowy, shy kid covered in a thick over-protective parental shell. That's great and all, you can go to med school and be the great little daddy's girl/momma's boy they wanted you to be. But you know what? Rebellion is okay. Go out at night! Hang out with your "bad" friends! As stated above, when an opportunity shows itself, jump on it! Charles Ko last year had a rant on how our little city of Troy was a "bubbo.â€? That's bubble for you newbies. Go out and have an adventure! I was so blessed as a high schooler to have these great upperclassmen to take me out to Birmingham, Detroit, Royal
Oak, and all over the place. And I'm sorry for not reaching out to you guys more while still in high school. But you don't need us old people! We're outdated and boring anyways. Get some friends and go on a road trip! And I know your Asian parents will say no, but just go one step at a time. Maybe go hang out at a park late at night and watch the stars. Have a sleepover! (Gasp!) Have a partyâ€Ś at your own house! Step up! Being leaders requires you guys to be brave! Strong! A little rebellious! Run, my little gazelles! Be freeee! (Also, you guys can always call me and I'll take you on an amazing adventure haha) (p.p.s. honor your parents. They still know what's best for you. Don't go super crazy and run away from home please. Your parents will have my head qq). Or maybe, youâ€™re that comforter - You party animal you. Yeah, I was here before once too. Pretty recently too, haha. You don't have a care in the world what happens, because you can just forget about it if anything happens. (The washing part, if you didn't get my parallel.) SO MUCH FUN. It's great, I know. I did anything and everything I wanted. I played with people, threw around money, and did some stupid stuff haha. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being playful and relaxed. You flow with the wind, carefree and social. Oh what I would give to just do this forever and ever, but all good things come to an end. I was recently at an party for something, and of course there were all these cool people I wanted to talk to and things I wanted to do. But that night I promised I'd be back at 12 to talk to a friend of mine. Also my parents would probably worry since I didn't tell them anything, and a promise is a promise. I left the party and my parents were happy and my friend was grateful. I was pretty content too. I made the right choice; yay, everyone's happy! So for you comforters, reign it
in a little. You can still have sleepovers every other night or go out on weekends, but remember that there are things more important than that momentary pleasure. God, school, parents, friends, they should all be put before your own need for that tiny moment of fun (boy do I wish I realized this earlier haha). So you can always still be that insane and crazy fun person you were, but make sure to get what's more important done first. You can do it secretly if you want. Nobody ever needs to know that you're actually a straight A student with a serious talent in violin or flute or whatever. I love all of you guys, you're all adorable underclassmen that I'd love to get to know more. Especially you, freshmen! And I'm not telling you that you guys have to change yourselves. Especially not just because some dumb college student told you to. I'm just saying that change is good, and sometimes even encouraged. Go out and be the great people God made you to be! He has a plan for you, you just need to let it happen. So best regards from me, and all the other college kids. We'll always be here for you when you need us. You only need to ask. Love,
Claire Jiang (btw, I got a duvet. So fluffy and soft and nice)
Alvin Chiang So I have nothing to write about so Alice kindly sent me this list of questions to answer: .
1. Name? Alvin 2. But people know you as? Alvin 3. School? College: MSU High School: Troy High 4. Future plans? College 5. Hobbies? Sleeping, guitar, sports 6. What will you miss the most? Underclassmen, healthy food, lettuce, fruit, squishing Felix, driving, etc. 7. I view Oasis as: Oasis is oasis. It changes with each class. 8. Iâ€™d like to thank: All the leaders for sticking around. 9. I hope next year, Oasis: Continues to grow. 10. Bye! Bye.
High School Memories As I grew spiritually in the time of when I was in Oasis, God has always brought new things to me and gave me courage to these things that He wanted me to do. In the spring of 2011, Brent told me that Refresh is in need of one more male small group leader and he would like me to help out. I was surprised that God was giving me this opportunity because although I was growing spiritually, I thought I just didnâ€™t do good enough or giving out all Iâ€™ve got to meet what He wants me to be. After praying and of course, asking my uncle who had to sacrifice his time to be my chauffeur and counselor after I take the offer, I thought that why not try something new a small group has gotten me to think a lot; like whether I am doing it right or whether am being a good example for the kids, and also seek for what God wants me to get out of it?
Leading a Refresh small group has gotten me to think a lot; like whether I am doing it right or whether I am being a good example for the kids, and also how they got so much glycogen to breakdown for their “daily activities.” Time goes by fast as I graduated from being a Refresh small group leader to an Oasis small group leader in the school year of 20112012. Honestly I felt a lot of pressure being a small group leader of Oasis, because our conversation can get deep enough that I would ask myself if the answer that I give them would be correct. Thankfully, God put Alvin who was so much more spiritually mature and knew so much more than I do in the bible in my small group to be the one answering a lot of the questions, who also supervised me and made sure I didn’t go all crazy. Although good time passed and God has taught me so much through my fellow mates in the “posse,” I asked God then that why should I be a small group leader when there is obviously a better candidate in the ballot than I am? I remained clueless of the answer to that question for the remainder of the school year. Now that I have served in Xi-men, Taiwan for the Aroma church for two more months, I think I got the answer to that question. God doesn’t expect me to know the answer why He wanted me to be a
small group leader given that there were so many people that were more spiritually matured than I was. In fact, God didn’t care at all if I knew the answer. As He calls me to do something, it means that whether I think I am a good candidate to do the job, he KNOWS that I am the best person to do the job. God is always doing this kind of things—the unexpected; in addition God is always using the unexpectedness to tell us, “Don’t use your logic to understand things, just obey and I will greatly award you.” This concludes my memory in high school, and I pray that for you guys, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that you find what God wants you to do and have the courage to obey it.
- Curtis Hsiung
Denny Zhang 1. Name? Hi my name is Denny Hall Zhang. 2. But people know you as? Generally Denny besides the few (zhangaroo, denden, ...) 3. School? University of Michigan Engineering, Go blue! 4. Future plans? Have an awesome time at college, get a job, get married, and have kids? 5. Hobbies? Camera-ing, and some other stuff. 6. What will you miss the most? I shall definitely miss the people (you know who you are, even if you don't), though of course some more than others. 7. I view Oasis as: A place that I have gone to for the past four years for fellowship. 8. Iâ€™d like to thank: All of you for putting up with me; me being mostly the technical difficulties and slides. Slides are just never done well. 9. I hope next year, Oasis: I hope next year Oasis becomes more of an oasis because that is what it's supposed to be. Spread that maniacal monkeyz mentality. 10. Bye! Bye Oasis! I'll be back. (just like at IA, when most of them want me gone.)
Bridges â€œWe cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that once our eyes wateredâ€? â€”Guildenstern, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard Well, I guess I have come to the end that bridge crossing from the shelter I have lived in for the past eighteen years of my life into what seems to be an entirely new world, filled with new kinds of responsibilities, commitments, pains, and joy. I hold the torch in my hand now, trying to remember everything that has influenced me these fourteen years, holding all of it close to my heart. The smell of smoke is already filling up my lungs, yet I still take deep breaths, hoping to hold onto those memories until the day I die.
The bridge, oh how I remember you so fondly. I remember the splinters that dug deep into my skin and also how I felt your firm support as I walked above the rushing waters. Your support beams have always held me up, and I gratefully thank you as I never really could let you down. Each of your planks are different: some giving me a firm foothold while others letting me fall straight through, only to have a beam catch me and help me pick myself back up. So I stand here with the torch in my hand ready to move on only with the things I can hold onto: God, my family, and my friends. I am ready to move on to a new chapter of my life, a different bridge where I may lay planks on. As of now, I do not know how long this bridge may be or how treacherous the waters below it are, but I know that my supports are still there and that they are the ones that will always hold me up.
- Jerry Xu
Read This Maybe As I’m typing this article, not knowing exactly where I’m going to go with this, I am still unable to grasp the idea that I am leaving. I remember looking at the seniors for three years, each time thinking how I can’t wait until it’s my turn to be a leader (boss) and have a wonderful time at senior send off. Well now that it is my turn and I get to be at where I’ve always wanted to be, I am unable to find the glory and authority that the term “seniority” has always seemed to have. Leaving Oasis is definitely bittersweet not only because of the cliché “oh I’m going to miss you all” business, but because my chance of making a difference is over. The idea of being an inspiration to others is probably something that all of us thought about when we picture ourselves as seniors. Needless to say, I could’ve done a much better job. Even if it was to show just a bit more passion during worship, saying hi to a freshman – even though they all seem to run away from me, or talk a bit more. Looking back, I don’t know how the previous classes have managed to do it. They made Oasis feel so lively and warm! I must say breaking the selfconsciousness and restraint that we all place on ourselves is
one of the hardest tasks of being a leader. On a brighter note, the flame is easily spread once there is a powerful ignition. Ok, so now onto the “sweet” things. I must say Oasis has given me a family that I always look forward to seeing every week. Everyone is so loving and most importantly, I have had many of my role models be students of the ministry. Our church has so much potential as passionate bodies of Christ because I have seen them crying out for God! I have seen them get on their knees to pray. I have seen them worship with passion. I have seen them surrender. I have seen enough to let me know that God lives in them. After being with this peer group for four years, I have found a home that I want to be with forever. Some advice for the underclassmen, small group is a great time to talk! Don’t be afraid to share; your small group sessions should be dandy times of laughter and joy. When Brent is giving announcements at the end, be prepared to rush to the snacks right after. The line builds up fast. Lastly, don’t be afraid to shape the ministry. You are more powerful than you think. Oasis has taught me so much, and I have so much faith and hope for the next class and the next and the next and the next…
- Jessica Liang
so it ends We made it! I made it. Throughout my Oasis tenure, I’ve had aspirations that were met and knocked down, and all I can say is that it’s just been a terrific journey. I’ve gone from being absolutely thirsty for Christ to not caring at all to even disapproving faith, then going all the way back to craving God. There were years when I would spend every moment possible at Oasis functions and with Oasis people, and there were years when I wouldn’t show up to anything for months on end. It’s been a journey for sure. So when I asked myself why I decided to return consistently this summer, my answer was because no matter where I am with Jesus, he is still my home. I’ve become close to him through Oasis, so Oasis is still my home—regardless of how many of you I don’t know. Now, I can’t say that me showing up to Oasis recently has had any impact on myself or anybody else faith-wise, but it’s the people
that still make it a welcoming home—people who I’ve been with since eighth grade. You know who you are. I value you, and I thank you, for being consistent when I wasn’t. For showing Christ in yourselves when I couldn’t show him in me. For helping me keep at least one foot in all this time. So for you young people, appreciate Oasis. Appreciate what it is and what it’s doing for you. Thank your leaders. Thank the parents. Thank Beth and Brent. And never forget to thank your friends sitting right next to you, because they are who make Oasis your home. Without them, it wouldn’t be home. And never, ever forget to thank God for this fellowship. It saved my life.
- Tiffany Su
From the Editors
This past year, I’ve seen the whole of Oasis drift, bend, and rise again. I’ve heard stories of hopelessness yet the same amount of hope, of people who decided it wasn’t worth their time and people who found a sanctuary in these three hours. The truth is that even if the leaders of Oasis may reach a conclusion of what they believe it is becoming, it is not any truer than what the silent newcomers feel when they enter, worship, and share in small group. I believe that almost everyone has a different view of what happened this year, how Oasis is changing, and what it will become, and that is perfectly okay. No matter what individuals of this fellowship think of the ’12 seniors, they will always, always be our ’12 seniors and our leaders, whether good or bad in our subjectivity. Each graduating class holds a year of example for us; would this class be an inspiration to be as passionate for you, or maybe a challenge to learn and create a closer bond with your own class? Oasis becomes what we make it to be, how we see our mistakes as a chance to grow instead of wallowing in defeat or guilt. This is what I saw in this past year: I saw the senior class giving more effort in their final stretch; I saw some coming back to Oasis, to their home; I saw juniors stepping up,
ready and eager to take the lead for a new example; I saw a class discovering the importance of standing united, so that we could lead, but more importantly so that we could love, no matter how drastically â€œincompatibleâ€? we seem to be at first. However we think Oasis is changing, we are right in that Oasis is constantly changing. The single direction of this fellowship, of any fellowship, should be to know God more and more through the Word and through loving each other. Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I wholeheartedly congratulate and thank the class of 2012, for four years of putting up with the countless ups and downs, for hearts really thirsting for Him (no matter how deep inside), for the hard effort despite the frustrations and personal setbacks. Class of 2012, go change the world with His love. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
- Melody Zhang
From the Editors
It feels weird. Having a Senior Issue when all the “seniors” have already graduated and are now entering college as freshmen. As the sun sets on their senior year, it is rising on mine. Knowing that I’m now an upper-upper-classman is a joy as it is a burden. A burden to be an example, to lead, to give my all, All the time. A responsibility half of me wants to recoil from as the other half runs to embrace. It is strange, knowing that I’ve been in everyone’s shoes that I see – I’ve been the freshmen, the sophomore, the junior, and now I will experience what it is like to be a senior. My class is now the oldest. Our time has come. But as I think upon these things, I look at the faces of those who will be leaving us soon, for better and greater opportunities, to pursue careers, interests, dreams, who’ve contributed so much to Oasis, whether it be as simple as a smile or full-time service. I don’t want to feel any regrets one year from now, when I’m standing where they stand, looking at the new seniors, telling them advice, of what and what not to do.
I don’t want to feel as if I only gave a mediocre amount of energy, something that I have done in the past. God has given each of us so much in talent and ability, some of which I feel I haven’t fully invested in or explored. I could be so much more of an instrument, but instead I’ve walked towards my own pursuits that do not glory Him. I suppose that I’m making a resolution – to stop procrastinating in effort and commitment, and to start putting forth the maximum amount of effort possible from myself. Keep me accountable, guys.
- Kelly Yu
From the Editors
You know, it’s like we never imagine actually growing up. At least, not me. Then all of a sudden, bam here we are. In my mind I am still an incoming freshman, every year; because goodness, me, being a senior? 2013—what? That year would never come. But now here we are. Time likes to play games. When does it cease to be a game but rather become a journey we willingly take on? You always hear about how life is full of choices, and all those clichés like “live without regrets” or “tomorrow will be better” so then why does it seem as if our generation is still the end result of such restlessness? Everything we still wish to do, everything we didn’t do and wish we had done—there becomes an almost vicious cycle of longing for something that is certainly unattainable, at least of mundane quality. Where is our shooting star when we need it? And so I reminisce upon my life through the years (was I really that trusting? Was I really that shallow? Was I really that quiet? Was I really that passive?), but shall I look at it as a depressing well of regrets of everything I didn’t do or as a reminder of how small our lives are in such a huge picture? And so again it is a conscious choice. It is a matter of perspective. Isn’t it always? It is a sweet kind of freedom, for those of us who have chained our souls to our thoughts that are always kept inside; a freedom finally found when we break through our own limitations and through it find peace. We have but one race to finish; where the Lord leads us by still waters, there are thirst will be quenched and our hearts renewed. It is a choice, to desire this, but more so a choice to live out that desire. I take seeing a new day
dawn, every morning, so much for granted. I expect to live until at least my fifties. I mean, that’s a whole other… 33 years. But in reality—the end is coming sooner than we think. It is this sense of urgency that violently shakes us from our slumber because He is like the thief that comes in the night. Is it enough that I tell myself “tomorrow will be better,” tomorrow I will give my heart to God? Our tomorrows are numbered. So with the passing of one class onto the next, it is a blunt realization that this is no longer a half in half out game with time. Ah, running is seriously such a good metaphor for life. You leave it all out on that course; there is no next race if you don’t give it your all. We are binding together the ties of many graduating classes, linking together all the ones to come; there is a lasting legacy that is carried on only through the spirit of the people moving in line with the spirit of God. And what greater thing is there than this? The church, fixed upon Christ our cornerstone. We are His church, His children. In this we find our identity and forthcoming freedom. We are a fire, slowly burning, and there is no turning back. Ignite.
- Sharon Shen
Prayer To the Seniors I pray that the Lord our God will protect you, sustain you, be glorified through you, overflow you with hope, never cease to bring you joy, and preserve your undying faith. And may Jesus Christ be with you forever and ever. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33 Thank you for everything you have done for us :) I want to say more, but that would probably just be repetitive and useless.
- Peter Sun