By Tim Callahan
Inlet Oasis is a ministry in the making.
What started as a ministry for widows became a ministry of widows and now it is becoming something for the whole community.
With the help of Pam Wilk, Russ and Cathy Peterson opened up Inlet Oasis this month in the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center, where Salad Creations used to be.
Inlet Oasis is a gathering place for active adults to interact in a variety of health, social and recreational events, including spiritual development and the opportunity to share life’s events. It offers an expanding variety of activities, including: general fellowship and coffee time; bridge lessons and bridge club; “Prime Time Health” classes; Monday movies; stretching and exercise classes; group study sessions; shag dance lessons and knitting classes.
As these are all just getting off the ground, call Russ for more information, 833-2102, or visit the Web site, www.inletoasis.org
Inlet Oasis is an outreach of True Religion (TR) ministries, supported by Pawleys Island Community Church, but it is for everyone, Russ said.
Maybe the best way to describe Inlet Oasis is a place of rest, Russ said, quoting Matthew 11:29 from the RSV Bible: “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
TR began as a ministry to 11 widows at PICC. It now monitors 71 widows and has 36 volunteers, Peterson said. Other TR ministry programs include Grief Share, a grief recovery support group, and Facing Forever, a 13 week Bible study on eternity, which both meet at PICC but Peterson soon hopes to offer meetings at Inlet Oasis, too.
“We began in the spring pf 2010 thinking we would minister to widows, but we developed a sense of purpose to expand and see what we could do for the community.” He said widows volunteer at the Good News Club, Teach My People and at other nonprofits in the area.
Wilk is providing the space at Inlet Oasis. She shut down her business, Salad Creations, and had a year’s lease left.
“I wasn’t going to walk out on it,” she said. “That wouldn’t be right.”
Pastor Don Williams at PICC hooked Wilk and the Petersons up. As the Petersons shared their vision, Wilk, who is a widow, said, “Why don’t you use my space.”
After a lot of prayer and due diligence on the legal aspects, Russ said, Inlet Oasis opened its doors on March 1. Wilk, a certified Prime Time Health Coach, presented the first of four “Dr. Sear’s Prime Time Health” workshops on opening day. Sears is a nutrition expert and author of more than 40 books. He is also an associate clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine.
“It’s my passion to help people,” Wilk said. “The science connecting nutrition and disease is evolving. You can be in the prime of life but you can’t enjoy it if you don’t have your health.”
Sears survived Stage IV colon cancer in his 70′s, Wilk said.
“Prime Time Health” is just one of the many activities that Inlet Oasis hopes to offer in the future. Where it goes from here is in God’s hands.
“I am a retired businessman who wants to say, ‘Let’s do this and let’s do that and get it done,’ but God is saying, ‘Wait, let me build it.’”