“Thomas” is a local, commuting student who enrolled two years ago. He left us and went back to the public school in our county on two occasions, but has now been back with us for about a year and a half. Thomas has experienced some tough breaks in life, but through it all has been a pretty good boy.
He did have his moments in his early days with us. On one occasion, he was upset and decided he would walk home, which is about three miles, rather than ride the bus. My wife went and picked him up and made him ride home that day.
In spite of being a pretty good kid, Thomas still needed Jesus, just as we all do. He took a liking to our middle school basketball coach, who is an OBI graduate. Thomas soon began attending a local church with his coach, and gave his life to Christ about a year ago.
After finding Jesus, Thomas went from being a good kid to being a great kid. We began to see marked improvement in his grades, behavior and attitude. That improvement was on full display a few weeks ago when he spent his own money to give a pair of sneakers to one of our less fortunate young men. I wish I could show you the video of this gift, but the following is what we posted on our social media about the event.
John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” During the month of February, we hear a lot about the meaning of love and expressing that love to those we care about. One of our students was recently led by God to meet a need of a classmate who he didn’t really know.
“Thomas” is a freshman who lives in Oneida and attends OBI as a day student. He explained that a classmate was looking at the holes in his shoes one day and commented that he wished he could get new shoes. Thomas recalled, “I felt bad. I’ve always said, ‘Put God first and others second.’ I went home and told Papaw that I had some money and I wanted to get this guy some shoes. He said OK and ordered them.... I really didn’t know him, but now he talks to me a lot. He used to be really quiet. I just wanted to make him feel welcome and let him know that if he needed someone to talk to, he could talk to me.”
We are so proud of Thomas, and are so glad that the local kids of Clay County, Ky., from grades K through 12 can experience what Oneida offers. Thank you for helping us reach Thomas, and thank you for helping us put Thomas into the position to minister to someone else.