Many of the families of Clay County, Ky., have a long history with OBI. One of these families is the Couch family. Multiple generations of this family either attended or graduated from Oneida. Dr. Amon Couch formerly served as superintendent of the Clay County school system and now serves in the same capacity for Williamsburg Independent Schools. Dr. Couch’s siblings all attended OBI and he had plans to attend beginning with his ninth-grade year, but when we stopped running our buses, he attended and then graduated from Clay County High School. Dr. Couch has always remained a fine friend and proponent of the work of OBI.
When the opportunity arose to hire Amon’s daughter, Cassie, I was happy to interview and ultimately hire Cassie to teach in our elementary division. I interviewed Cassie last year during her Christmas break while she was home from teaching in Russia. I was so impressed with Cassie that I offered her a job on the spot. It has been a blessing to watch Cassie get started in our ministry, but it has also been uplifting to see the love and support she is receiving from her family in this venture. The following is from a recent Facebook post from Dr. Couch:
“When I was a 7th grade student at Oneida Elementary School, my teacher Ralph Hoskins, put up a bulletin board that made a massive impact on how I viewed myself and my future. It read, ‘Today Oneida, Tomorrow the World.’ He wanted us to know that we could do whatever we set our minds to and that there was a whole world out there that we could take by storm if we were willing to work hard enough. Ordinarily, classroom bulletin boards don’t have that kind of impact, but this one did.
“Cassie is working on putting that same message on her third-grade classroom wall at OBI. That makes me so proud. You never know what you as a teacher do in the life of a child with a simple, compelling message. There are so many kingdom implications to this also. There are people next door and also around the globe who are dying to hear the message of mercy and grace that only the gospel can give. This message is the same today as it was in 1982 and is portable across any community. TODAY ONEIDA, TOMORROW THE WORLD!”
As I consider the Couch family’s history with OBI, I can’t help but be amazed at the irony, but even more by the providence of God in it all. Dr. Couch didn’t attend OBI because we stopped running our buses, but Cassie now serves at OBI because we are once again running buses to bring in our local kids. God works in and through the Oneida ministry in amazing ways.