As summer draws to a close and another school year begins anew at Oneida, I am reminded of how God always provides for this unique ministry. As our teachers and support staff frantically make preparations for another school year, I spend much of my time interviewing and subsequently hiring new staff members. One of the greatest professional responsibilities I have is securing and maintaining a quality staff for our ministry.
People often ask, “How do you find your staff members?” I can tell they are often surprised by my response when I tell them we don’t really actively pursue folks. Sure, we post job openings on our website and periodically do some other things to advertise, but for the most part people find us on their own. Our folks work for very modest salaries, so I don’t really have to question someone’s calling when they reach out to us, even knowing how modest our compensation is.
It never ceases to amaze me when the Lord provides who we need just when we need them. For instance, we lost a longtime history teacher this summer, and within a few days we had a recent college graduate who is also an Oneida graduate agree to come on board as a teacher and, of course, her major was one that would lend itself to teaching history. This young woman is one of the brightest and best to ever graduate from Oneida. Perhaps her Oneida calling will be one year. Perhaps it will be 30 or more years. But now is the Lord’s timing for her to teach at Oneida.
Because of the benefits package we provide, we always require a husband and wife team who lives in our housing to both work for us. A couple of years ago, I was in the process of hiring a campus minister. During the interview process I could tell that his wife was tremendous as well, but I wasn’t exactly sure where we would place her within the ministry. I asked her to be patient and flexible as we neared their start within our ministry.
The day this woman began work we suddenly had a need for a daycare/pre-school director. Yes, you guessed it, this woman had previously owned and operated her own daycare for over a decade. Even more critical in this process than her background and experience operating a daycare was her willing spirit. When I brought her into my office and asked her to take over our daycare, she immediately said yes, went right to work, and has been serving in that capacity ever since.
I could tell you story after story of how God provides for this ministry. I must admit that my lack of faith sometimes causes me some anxiety in regard to staffing, but please know the Lord meets every Oneida need in His perfect timing.