I often receive letters from former students who wish to return to Oneida. These letters are typically from students who struggled and made some poor decisions during their time at OBI and had been asked to leave or not return for the next school year. Many of our students struggle with being here and desperately want to leave, but many of those same students later realize that Oneida was a good place for them and ask to return.
About once every year or two, I read some of these letters expressing a desire to return to all of our students in chapel. After recently doing that and sharing the story of the prodigal son, one of our young men approached me and said he took my message that day to heart and was planning to make some changes in order to make the most of his Oneida experience. The following is a letter I recently received from this young man expressing his desire to make a difference.
Dear Mr. Gritton,
Recently my roommate, who is from China, and I argued until very late at night on a great subject—“the truth behind God.” He criticized me for believing “fairy tales.” He encouraged me to look from a new angle and to change my perspective. He said, “I am not of religion. If you weren’t you would see that I am right.” He accused me of being closed-minded and seeing others as fools. He said so many people think they are right and think their God is right, but the only way to see the truth is to look at them all, without believing any.
I gave him reasons the Bible was true, but he said I would be wrong and that I was stupid for thinking all others were wrong. I gave him the reason for my faith, as the Bible says. I was again told I was wrong. I took this as a test or a challenge. I will stand for the many Christians who can no longer stand for the lost. I will not take a “no.” It is my duty as a believer to spread this faith. I could impact so many and start a ripple effect. With so many people from so many places here at OBI, imagine the difference I can make!
A few days ago, I prayed for a chance to be challenged and God answered my prayer. Nobody will stop this opportunity I have been given. Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. I want to start a ministry and it will be called “More Than Conquerors.”
Please pray for all of our students and, in particular, this young man as he seeks to minister to his Chinese friend and to other students on our campus.