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This is Oneida: Encouraging words

 

As many of you visit our campus and I am out and about across our state, you are always such a great source of strength and encouragement to me. It recently dawned upon me that as I receive love, support and encouragement from you, it is my duty to love, support and encourage our faculty and staff. Kind words should be freely given, but sometimes as we become wrapped up in our daily tasks we forget how important uplifting words really are. While we anticipate the Lord doing great things within our ministry in 2018, we also know there will be challenging days and heartbreaking moments.

The third quarter almost always proves to be the most difficult stretch of our school year. Perhaps the Christmas season having passed, cold and dreary weather, an influx of new students struggling to find their way, and the reality for our students that it will be quite some time before they can go home for another break are factors contributing to this difficult time. Below is a portion of an email I sent to our staff and a response I received from one staff couple as we began the 2018 calendar year. You will notice my attempt to encourage our staff led to me receiving great encouragement.

Dear OBI Servant,

John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."As we embark upon 2018, I simply ask you to follow me as I seek to follow the Lord's lead and direction for Oneida. While I will not always make the correct decision, I will always do what I believe is best for Oneida, which includes students and staff. I want to encourage you and remind you of our calling within this ministry. We are called to lay down our lives for the Lord and our young people. It is nearly impossible to do this without staying in close fellowship with the Lord. Please make it a point to walk more closely with Christ in 2018. Every day, every challenge, every victory, and every defeat will be a great opportunity to minister here in this place.

Dear Mr. Gritton,

Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady until sunset. Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. We definitely believe that God has given to you the power to lead us through this journey in Oneida. As Aaron and Hur were for Moses, we will be for you!

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