The Spirit of Poland’s Oasis Movement
This was the first ministry team of Campus Crusade for Christ which came to minister directly to the Polish Campers of the Oasis movement in the summer of 1976. This team was led by Dick Sanner seated in the front and middle along with his wife Linda standing above and behind Dick’s left shoulder . The Holy Spirit used this team to open the doors wide to the largest Catholic youth movement in Europe. Team members above included Dick and Linda Sanner, Allen Weed, Mike Eales Charlotte DeMos, Thera Smith, Barry Rush, Urszula Piotrowska, Linda ‘Goebel’ Lukens, Debbie Hodgman, Gwen Todd, Billy Grammer Jr. and Larry ( sunglasses ) Hunt. These are the people used by God to start the greatest evangelistic outreach in the past 500 years of Poland’s history. In following years hundreds of others came to serve and to build upon the good will, Gospel message and precedent set by these servants of the Lord. A good number of those who came later, lived in Poland for seven to fifteen years or more to do the great work of developing a national staff which today is the strongest evangelistic organization in Poland. You can have a big part in their ministry today !
|Ks. Franciszek Blachnicki was the founder of Europe’s largest Roman Catholic youth movement. In 1975 he invited Campus Crusade for Christ through the great missionary statesman Bud Hinkson pictured to the right here while visiting Lublin, Poland in 1975, to take part in future summer retreats which were held all over Poland. Bud Hinkson put the above team together.|
|The first group came in 1976. The Four Spiritual Laws written by Bill Bright was already in Polish and the good news spread like wild fire among the thousands of young campers who now understood the Gospel and how they could have a personal relationship directly with God based on God’s word. Professor Blachnicki then allowed Campus Crusade to take over the teaching at all the camps for the next two years. Blachnicki was eventually given a passport one day before martial law was declared in 1981 and he could never come back to Poland. Blachnicki died in Germany in 1987. However, much fruit remains today from that great shining moment. Pastors, ministry leaders, lay leaders and even whole Bible churches were formed. Many in the Oasis movement today still use the four laws and the Jesus film which was first translated into Polish.|
In 1977 men like Dave Bratton ( pictured above with his wife Donalyn ) , Dwight Eckholm and Steve Sternberg led the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ with an even greater outreach to the rest of Poland. More materials were developed, including the Ten Basic Steps to Christian maturity, year around Bible training for priests in Lublin and an evangelism crusade using the Gospel of John was prepared for all the major Catholic churches in Poland. By 1979 the Jesus Film was first translated into Polish ahead of all other languages of the world and was being shown across the country. All three of these staff leaders had a history of leadership with Campus Crusade for Christ in the States and all three graduated from the Dallas Theological Seminary. Dwight Eckholm and Steve Sternberg who were the first two national directors for Poland are pictured here below, standing near the headquarters of the Oasis movement.
The Message of Campus Crusade for Christ was the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Bible, which is the only book in all of history which contains the words of Jesus, the Apostles whom He chose and the holy prophets He often quoted. When the Good News of salvation and going to Heaven being a love gift from God freely given to those who trusted in Him alone was taught from the Scriptures, thousands of lives were transformed and testimony of that is still seen all over Poland. Knowing for sure that you are going to Heaven by God’s grace as a free gift and having a personal relationship has a great liberating power.
Franciszek Blachnicki understood fully that the Churches emphasis and traditions needed to be in keeping with the Scriptures. He spoke of this often. He understood well that salvation came by grace through faith in Christ alone. He knew that only those who have already come to faith could do good works which were acceptable to God, for Jesus said, ” Without Me you can do nothing “. Today in Poland, the original leadership of the Oasis movement trained in the 1970’s prayerfully awaits a new awakening among the Catholics of Poland and unfettered preaching of the Gospel. Here is “The Way” to this priceless new birth and Amazing Grace ! ” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
1. Jesus proved His claims to being God by: Fulfilling over 300 prophecies and types from the Old Testament, His brilliant matchless miracles, His witnessed resurrection from death and His foretelling the future which is unfolding before our very eyes today. There is no one in all of history who compares with Him and everyone in the world wants to live near His true followers who live by His word and in His Spirit of love. “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” John 8:23-24
2. Jesus did not come from Heaven to condemn people but to save them from condemnation. He came to rescue and save sinners ( God’s Love ) who needed forgiveness from guilt and the penalty of eternal condemnation in Hell. This great gift of salvation also includes rescue from the power of sin here and now. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
3. Which side of the Cross of Jesus Christ determines your eternal destiny and salvation. Two thieves were crucified on either side of Jesus; One did not believe in Him, but the other repudiated ( meta-noia ) his sinfulness, saw it for what it really was and did believe in Him. One died in his sins and the other went to Paradise totally forgiven. You must decide yourself if you will trust in Jesus alone and accept His full payment on the cross for your sins. “ He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” Col. 2:13-14
4. Jesus, the God – Man said that only God is good. He even told the Apostles that they were sinful. In Heaven it is recorded by the Apostle John, who was taken there in the Apocalypse, that Jesus Christ, who is also God was the only human to live a perfect and holy life. This means that every other human in all of history is not good and in need of Salvation. “ Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. ” Mark 10:18 ( This statement is recorded in Luke and Matthew as well. )
5. Jesus Christ offers eternal and abundant life, starting here and now to all who commit their full trust and faith to Him alone. If you believe only in Him, He will change your life now and forever. Believing in Him means taking Him at His word without reservation and taking His word seriously enough to take a step of faith for Him. It also means that you agree with Jesus about rejecting sin ( meta-noia ) in the future. You will never be condemned for your sins once you surrender yourself to Him alone. His salvation is a free grace gift of love to you, paid for by Him on the Cross where His shed blood paid the full penalty for all our sins – past, present and future. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
6. He looked for those who would trust in Him alone for salvation and not in their religious works of self righteousness or by following any religious system. The finished work of Christ and His shed blood on the cross of Calvary is our only hope of ever seeing Heaven. None of us can ever earn our way to Heaven. True goodness is the result of His changing us from within after we come to Him for salvation. “ He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
7. An individual relationship with Christ must be our most important relationship. As we accept Christ and His gift of Salvation by believing in Him alone, we begin to learn how to walk in the power of His Holy Spirit. ( Holy Spirit) The overcoming victorious life of a follower results in good works by the power of the Holy Spirit within and a new way of living which is specified clearly in Scripture. This relationship with Christ will also involve: Daily Bible study, church fellowship, believer’s baptism, partaking of communion with other believers, Confessing our faults one to another, confession of daily sin to God in prayer, daily repentance ( burning all bridges to sinful and harmful ways ), walking by faith being filled with His Spirit of love, being dressed in the full armor of God for the good fight, overcoming the world and fulfilling God’s mission for all of us ( the two love commandments & the great commission ). This life of purity, love and goodness is impossible for us to live apart from Him. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:33-35
Thirty years later – Oaza / CCC