This is Oneida

Answering a call to service

By Brian Presley

Published: January 1, 2020

Lord, guide your children at OBI, those enrolled and those now serving, As the staff endeavors to make You known, with dedication unswerving.

The backgrounds of these students are as varied as the stars, but You are their Creator and know just what their needs are.

Sustenance and shelter, biology and math — Among the things provided as youth are guided down the path.

After school activities: academic team, sports and band, Make for a rounded experience and great base on which to expand.

Work program is added to instill responsibility, After school job, activities, according to ability.

There's cleaning crew, mowing crew, dorm crew, and cheer, Choir, track, and cross country — options are plentiful here.

Many city youth arrive thinking a hog house has no charm, Yet, students have tried, and found that they fit in well on the farm.

The Ag department is stellar, teaching youth of farm work, Keeping all the chores done, to the outsider, might look like clockwork.

Each person given a task, and how it should be done, They're laboring for a greater cause; they're working for God's Son.

For everyone who comes to this place, regardless of age or creed, Of a relationship with Jesus Christ, they have an incredible need.

Incredible but by His immeasurable grace, brought here to hear His Word; For we know that by trusting in the Lord, salvation is assured.

The message here is never forced, but we sow the seeds and trust, In Jesus to reap the harvest, as He lovingly did with us.

For we know that harshness won't get it done, we must operate out of love; For real love is a virtue, that's gifted from heaven above.

And while we can never meet the bar that was set by Jesus, our Lord, just the thought of aiming for anything less should simply leave us floored.

So, I thank you, Lord, for equipping us with this tool for spreading the Word … Of the free gift of salvation, made available to all the world.

It doesn't cost a soul a dime, it can't be bought with gold and is our only ticket to that land where folks will never grow old.

So many have come before us; so many have now gone home, We walk in the footprints of many who now rest beyond the foam.

For we yearn to cross that river and to hear You say, "Well done," As we bask in eternal tranquility, in a city that will outlast the sun.

Please continue to bless this beacon of light, entrenched in the Clay County hills, And all those who work here so diligently — your Great Commission to fulfill.

Brian Presley is a former Oneida Baptist Institute student and now an OBI staff member.