I wrote this article from the passenger seat of our little Ford Fusion as David Robinson, assistant to the president, drove us back toward the hills of Oneida. That poor little car gets run into the ground, but it helps carry out the Lord’s work at Oneida.
Our travels had taken us to Florida for some meetings, contacts and visits with some longtime and new Oneida friends. On this four-day trip, I also had the privilege of speaking in chapel at my old school, Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers. I told the ECS students and their teachers that they were a part of the second greatest school in the world. I am sure you can guess which school I said was the greatest school known to man. I know of no other school that does what God has allowed the Oneida school to do for so long. The ECS headmaster and my good friend, Dr. John Hunte, may have disagreed and should disagree with my claim, but perhaps I need to get him to visit OBI in order to convince him of my assertion.
Of course, I couldn’t help but tell the ECS students some about Oneida, but I also brought them a word the Lord laid on my heart for them. I shared Exodus 20:12, which tells us to honor our father and mother so that our days might be long. I used that scripture to challenge those students to be grateful for what their parents are doing for them in sending them to a Christian school. Having served there and also having paid tuition for my own children to attend there, I knew very well what this investment entailed. I also challenged them to consider what it might be like to have to go away to boarding school.
In many ways, the ECS students are much like our Oneida students. They are young people with real struggles and challenges. However, most of those students have a solid Christian foundation at home. Some of our Oneida kids have this same blessing, but many do not. Many of the young people attending OBI have faced some very difficult things at home and in school. Oneida is often times a last chance, but it is also a new beginning for many of our kids.
Our road trip was about ensuring Oneida has the friends it needs to enable our current and future students can attend Oneida, even when their families can’t afford it. Please continue to help us spread the word, find families who need us, and secure the resources we need to continue sharing the gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission right here at home. Friends in Kentucky, Florida and all over the country have enabled us to reach and teach so many wayward youngsters about Jesus, and for that we are eternally grateful.