19 years ago, Ray and Laura Pittman felt the call of the Lord to go to Fiji. Fiji, although a beautiful vacation spot, is also the home of many local communities that suffer from broken homes, poverty, and unreached people. The Pittmans have a heart for the poor and lost, and a heart to equip young people to go out into the world and empower others. Among the many mission projects started by the Pittmans, one of the projects with the help of KMF has begun a redemptive business to provide nutrients and health to others. The greenhouse, located on their Oasis farm, is a place where with the help of Capernwray Bible School from New Zealand and The Anchor Church youth group, the Pittmans have begun growing seedlings for a "miracle tree" called Moringa. Moringa grows well in Fiji and is known to be a cure for many illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, heart disease, anemia, and many other chronic illnesses. The goal of growing these plants is to provide healthy food for the people in Fiji, while also giving the seeds for other ministries and communities to grow so they can provide their own income. So far, the Pittmans have been able to grow a batch of seedlings and has given them to a single mothers home in Fiji. This project was created to sustain long term missions while giving Fijian people the chance to get the nutrients they need from the Moringa plant.
When Laura and Ray Pittman moved to Fiji, they saw the need for long term investment for long term change. This idea spurred them to create the Oasis Farm, to help serve as a community center, study abroad center for students, camp for children, training center, and farm.
The Oasis Farm is funded as a nonprofit, so many of proceeds made from the plants sold go into helping Island Encounters fund themselves as well as fund other ministries. Their business was created in hopes of supporting long term ministry without having to depend on donations.
The goal of the Oasis Farm is to show the love of Christ to others while empowering students to go out into the world and help others. Laura and Ray Pittman have been able to scale Island Encounters through growing the Kingdom of God in their children’s ministry, student ministry, while growing their impact on Fijian communities through their Moringa plant seedlings.
The Pittmans are the founders and co-directors of Island Encounters Fiji. Ray and Laura first came to Fiji in 2001, and have been working in community development and student ministry in Fiji since that time. Their 3 daughters Eden, Elani and Isla were all born in Fiji, and the family has been blessed with dual USA/Fiji citizenship. The Pittmans have a heart for the poor and lost, and a heart to equip missions-minded young people to go out into the world. They often have several missions interns staying with them, and enjoy opening their home to guests. They love people, photography, and stories.