Published January 1, 2021
Every life — born and unborn — is sacred to the Lord and should be to each of us as well.
Many young lives have passed through this little place called Oneida. My best educated guess is that well over 30,000 students have passed through our halls, and each of those lives meant as much to the Lord and us as any other. Some of our students are unconditionally loved by the parent, grandparent or guardian who sent them our way because they believed it was the very best thing for them. Unfortunately, however, some of our students have been cast off or discarded by someone. There is a place for most anyone at OBI and there is certainly a place for all of us in the Lord's kingdom.
While OBI is not a children's home, we often play that type of role in the lives of our students. When our dorms close for required breaks, some of our students stay in the home of staff members.
My wife was one of those kids. One of our house parent couples took Angie in during her seven years at OBI. Wherever Gary and Suzi Garrett went for Christmas break, spring break or summer break, so went Angie Berry. My three children have always referred to the Garretts as Nana and Papaw. Servants like the Garretts have always opened not only their homes to our students, but their hearts as well.
OBI is a friend of life, a friend of young people and a friend of parents and guardians who need assistance. God created each child who has found his or her way to OBI and each of them was made on purpose, for a purpose. We do our best to teach them God loves them and that we love them. When an unborn child's life is taken away, there is no opportunity for any of us to minster to that child. I am grateful my parents chose life for me and that the parents of the young people who have attended OBI also chose life.
Oh, how America's genocide of the vulnerable unborn must both grieve and anger our Creator! How sad is America's and our world's disregard for life and for what God's Word tells us in Psalm 139! "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
May our nation repent of this atrocity and return to valuing all human life. Whether this happens or not, OBI will continue valuing the life and future of each and every young person the Lord sends our way.
Thank you for helping us to direct young lives to the One who gave them life.
Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.
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