The Oneida ministry benefits from the generosity of so many — Cooperative Program giving, WMU gifts made possible through the Eliza Broadus Offering, gifts from individuals, churches, foundations, special offerings and so many more enable us to minister in new ways to kids in our care during what will be one of the most unique years in our school's history.
We will operate as both a day school and online school for the 2020-21 school year and will plan to reopen the boarding portion of our ministry for the 2021-22 school year.
In the midst of great uncertainty, I do know for certain that whether it is a local student on our campus, a local student in our online program or a student from Kentucky, across the country or across the world in our online program, we will provide each student with a distinctly Christian education.
I am excited to see most of our resources, largely provided by the generosity of Kentucky Baptists, go toward our local students and families.
Ministering to primarily local students will constitute a return to our earliest days and mission. The Lord's direction to reach back into our local community several years ago has driven lots of decisions and now gives us even greater cause to operate for the sake of the mountain children for the 2020-21 school year.
Six years ago, we only had nine local commuting students. We now have 100-plus. When you add our staff children, that number pushes up to 125. The mission field of Oneida/Clay County is ripe for a harvest and we will do all we can to minister here in our own back yard. We will have a great year with those the Lord has placed in our own Jerusalem (Acts 1:8).
We have many fixed costs, regardless of the number of students or type of format being utilized, and we are grateful for you and your generosity toward us. We simply could not minister to these in such great need without you.
I am grateful that Eliza Broadus understood sacrificial giving and service, and I am also extremely grateful that Kentucky Baptists not only understand this biblical principle, but take action on it. We praise the Lord for His provision and also for His direction during this time. Thank you for your love and generosity, and may the Lord bless you with health and peace.
Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.