Caring Support

Watch our Caring Support video to learn more about this ministry

Struggling to Stand

When our recovery group was over, people started gathering up their belongings and heading for the door. As I began to gather up my own things, I noticed one guy struggling to help another guy get out of his chair and onto his feet. The sight of their struggle struck me, and I had to stop and take it in. The man struggling to stand had a weak leg due to cerebral palsy, and the man helping him up was wearing a walking cast and leaning on a cane due to a fractured kneecap. Here was one wounded person helping out another wounded person. As they struggled together, it occurred to me that here was a perfect picture of what our Caring Support ministry — or any gospel ministry — really is: Struggling and forgiven people reaching out to other struggling and forgiven people. 

­Carrying out gospel ministry through Caring Support groups is all about helping people to see how the God of all grace not only loves and forgives us, He also equips us to meet the struggles of each new day, by turning to the one who says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mat. 11:28-30)

Chaplain Philip Merten


Grace Oasis is a ministry of caring support for people struggling with: drug or alcohol addiction; moral injury or post-traumatic stress; or returning to society following incarceration. Our support groups provide a safe place where we can explore personal struggles, everyday challenges, and things that have gone wrong in our lives.

Addiction Recovery

Addiction has the power to ravage the body and hold the mind and spirit captive. Grace Oasis offers ongoing support and a positive environment, providing God’s unconditional love and strength to help combat the urge to return to the slavery of addiction.

Read our Featured Addiction Story

Watch the Recovery-Friendly Church

Frontline Workers

First responders and those in the helping and healing professions regularly find themselves assaulted by the worst of evils. This not only causes physical stress, but moral injury that scars the human spirit. Grace Oasis provides an opportunity to talk to each other, to be reminded that our Lord endured evil so that we might have a place to go with our burdens and find strength beyond our weaknesses.

Read our Featured Frontline Workers Story

For Returning Citizens

After serving time in prison, returning to society can be an overwhelming adjustment. God's love for returning citizens is unconditional. Grace Oasis is a place of forgiveness where individuals can gather together and discover true freedom - freedom of the body, mind and spirit.

Read our Featured Story

Latest Caring Support Articles

Check out our IM.Life stories, articles and experiences.


After 34 years as a chaplain with Institutional Ministries, it can be tempting to think I’ve seen it all and done it all. But no. God has an endless bag of surprises, and he loves to pull new stuff out.

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Blooming in Grace

Clarice had been in jail for more than a year. She had pretty much resigned herself to the possibility that she would soon be sent to prison. Her situation seemed dire.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Recently at a women’s prison, Maggie shared with our Bible study group how Satan tries to prevent her from actively participating in recovery meetings like Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

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In 2003, an aging Johnny Cash covered a song by the Nine Inch Nails called “Hurt” which became a hit almost overnight. The song includes these lines:

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Are you feeling lonely? One of the emotions that chaplains encounter in all of the institutions they serve is loneliness. People living in institutions are cut off from family and friends. Loved ones often can’t visit them...

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Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.