Bringing the hope of Jesus to refugees and asylum seekers in Traiskirchen, Austria.
What is the Oasis?
The Oasis is a centre providing assistance to those seeking asylum and refuge in Austria. It is located in Traiskirchen, Austria, close to Austria’s largest refugee camp. It is operated by International Teams Austria, a partner organisation of International Teams Australia. International Teams Australia workers, Colin and Rebekah Lyons, have been serving with us since 2012. Their ministry is based at the Oasis.
Why is the Oasis needed for refugees in Austria?
The perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea is one made out of pure desperation. People seeking asylum and refuge from war and persecution are glad to arrive in a peaceful country like Austria. However, relief is only temporary. Thousands bear terrible scars from the trauma they suffered in their homeland. Finding a new way of life in a new location brings many of its own difficulties. The initial scars of trauma can be compounded by feelings of rejection, isolation, grief and marginalisation.
Austria’s cities, towns and rural communities host many who are without a home. Refugees, asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of visa applications, and those who have been denied permission to stay, but cannot yet return to their country of origin all live among Austrian communities. At the end of 2018, there were more than 38000 pending applications for protection status for people from places like the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa.
What can the Oasis do to help?
International Teams Austria is acutely aware of the struggles asylum seekers and refugees experience and is passionate to help them. Staff and volunteers at the Oasis provide clothing, baby needs, and emergency overnight accommodation. They run programmes for women and children, bible studies, German language classes, evangelistic evenings and regular Jesus-film nights. They connect refugees with local church communities and other believers to reduce isolation and loneliness.