In the lead up to the Christmas and New Year holiday period, reached out to Pietro Colaci, Pastor at the Oasis Church of God in Luxembourg, asking him to provide information on services and activities during the Christmas period, and asking him to reflect briefly on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. Please tell us about the services and any other activities organised by the Oasis Church of God during this Christmas period. Who can join these services/activities?

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci: The Oasis Church of God held Advent Services throughout this Advent season with Christmas and Gospel messages following the services up with times of fellowship, coffee and cake. These included:

- On Sunday 18 December, we held two ‘All Age Christmas' services run by our Oasis Kids Ministry with drama and music activities for young and old alike.

- ‘A Soulful Gospel Concert’ was organised on Saturday 10 December, which was open to everyone.

- Different Christmas dinners have been organised for various groups in the church: Youth (12-18), Young Adults (18-35), Ladies from the church and beyond.

- We will hold our Christmas Day Service from 10:30 - 11:45 with a Kids' holiday programme. Please remind us of the importance of Christmas for the Oasis Church of God (in Luxembourg and more broadly).

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci: For Oasis, Christmas is about shifting the focus of Christmas from the presents to The Present – Jesus. Yes, we know this was not the actual birthdate, but it’s a date that has been chosen and accepted for more than a millennia to be a memorial a reminder that God gave us the gift of His Son and maybe we should focus on relationships with each other rather than giving expensive presents. Presents will fade, break and become disused. Relationships will take us through the hardest of times – look at Covid. How has the Oasis Church of God responded to some of the challenges of the past year (e.g. the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, etc.; e.g. the church offering its support / being there for people)?

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci: One of our members organises the Luxembourg shoebox appeal for the children of Eastern Europe. (Christmas Child Operation). This involves donors filling a shoe box with some warm clothing, a toy, sweets, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. These boxes are taken to Trier and then transported to various Eastern European countries where poverty is high. Again donors cover the cost of the transport and drive the vehicles.

In this devastating year for Ukraine, many of our members have been working with other agencies here in Luxembourg to drive supplies and bring refugees back from the Ukraine-Poland border. The church had helped build a centre near Fagaras in Romania, originally for training youth, but this is now being used to house, feed and clothe 26 families fleeing from Ukraine. The families stay here until they find alternative places, usually with family in Germany and then we go back to the border for more people. Just last week they took 18 generators to Odessa.

Oasis also works with ADDLUX our ‘sister’ Portuguese church to help feed homeless people in their ‘Hope Center’ complex. There is much to do to make the Gospel real to people and our members are there to do this. What were some of the highlights of the past year for the Oasis Church of God?

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci: As a multinational, and very close community church, Oasis has enjoyed celebrating baptisms, marriages and this year many baby dedications. As a Senior Pastor at the Oasis Church of God, what are your hopes for the new year?

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci: Our prayer is for people to grow in their lives successfully in all areas, spiritual, family, job, school etc. Will the new year bring any new events/services/activities for the Oasis Church of God?

Oasis Pastor Pietro Colaci:This new coming year we will continue with our many activities for youth, young adults, ladies and different events.