As you know, we re-opened our K-5 for local, commuting students last school year. I have made my fair share of poor decisions while serving as president of Oneida, but I could not be any prouder of the decision to bring our local children back to our campus. We now have 44 children in our elementary program, and we continue to receive God’s blessings and provision in that program.
This new elementary program has brought new challenges. One of those challenges has been finding, hiring and maintaining a qualified teaching staff. As always, as each need arises, the Lord sends us something or someone to meet that need. Last summer, a sweet lady in a volunteer group from Alabama showed some interest in possibly joining our staff full-time. She is a retired elementary teacher, and we had recently lost our 5th grade teacher. Upon God’s leading, we moved quickly and had this new teacher in place to begin our new school year in August.
During her time with us, she has been an amazing blessing to our campus, the local church, and most importantly the children and families in our elementary division. This fine woman of God recently presented me with an unexpected blessing. That blessing was a book that our 4th and 5th grade students had put together.
The book is called “God’s Plans For Us,” and the primary goal was for the book to be a witnessing tool for OBI. In the book, each student wrote about God’s plan for his or her life and what they have learned while attending OBI. Upon receiving the book, I quickly went to the classroom to personally thank the students and tell them how much their book meant to me.
I was blessed as I read about students who believed God had plans for them to be a veterinarian, missionary, artist, surgeon, mother, teacher, gymnast, video game creator, and much more. Every child mentioned what they had learned and gained by attending a Christian school.
One young lady in this group of kids has some very difficult challenges at home right now, and we are currently working on moving her into our dorm, even though she is below our normal 6th grade requirement for living in the dorm. In her portion of the book she said, “God’s plan for me is to take care of children.” A year and a half ago we would not have had the opportunity to minister to this young lady and her family. I am glad the Lord led us to reach out to more children in our own back yard.
Thank you for partnering with us to reach this young lady and many more in the future. Your partnership and our daily work will have a positive, generational effect on this young lady and her family.
Larry Gritton is the president of Oneida Baptist Institute.