Our Story

In Spring of 2006, the idea of the Oaks came from a conference in Europe with Campus Crusade’s Red River Region Wives where I counseled those serving in the Middle East and North Africa. While I provided counseling, I saw so clearly the need for a safe place to process field and team experiences on the field, not just in furloughs or re-entry processes. While at the conference, I began to seek the Lord about the need I observed. I kept thinking of Isaiah 61 and the “Oaks of Righteousness”. It was that Spring while walking and praying through the streets of Paris, that the Lord put in my heart to start a ministry called the Oaks to come alongside missionaries and cross cultural workers. I spent several months first just praying about this idea. During the Fall of 2006, I shared this ministry vision with Dr. Jim Masteller at CIFT where I had been trained professionally and worked as a therapist. Dr. Masteller and I began to outline a missionary care ministry within CIFT and looked into launching the “Oaks”. The Oaks was informally under CIFT as a missionary care ministry beginning in the late Fall of 2006. Due to my family relocating to Texas and as a natural transition of growth independent of CIFT, Oaks Counseling, Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit in the State of Texas and as a 501(c)3through the IRS in July 2009. Dr. Jim Masteller continues to serve on the Board of the Oaks and we are incredibly grateful to CIFT for their encouragement and support through the Oaks beginnings and continued growth.

Since July 2009, the Oaks Counseling, Inc. has ministered to thousands of missionaries from varying mission agencies in over 70 different field countries. We could never have even dreamed of this level of growth, and feel so humbled to come alongside these dear saints so they can continue about sharing Christ’s love in nations.

By His grace,

 

 

Jamie Shepherd
President & Founder of the Oaks