Early in my service at Oakdale (now 20+ years ago) I came to realize that not everyone shared my optimism that God had a plan for Oakdale. In some instances, they outright told me as such! “I don’t see a future here,” is what one person said. Another said to me, “I don’t want you to waste your life.” Time and again, people dismissed Oakdale as being worthy of time, effort, or investment. Perhaps the reason it surprised me so much is because God had clearly directed me to serve here and indeed I saw other people who watch God’s will carefully respond by coming here to work. I also saw God directing people to support Oakdale with their time and resources.
I had seen God work in teenagers’ lives and in the powerful Christ-centered way of carrying out this ministry, but not everyone had that “front row seat.” Now 20 years later, as I step outside of my own experience, I can begin to understand others’ perspectives. After all, we had no accreditation, our facilities were in poor condition, and financially we were not always able to even make payroll. What evidence did they see to support my experience?
Thankfully, God spoke to the right people who responded by saying “yes, I believe that God has a purpose for Oakdale!” Their response came in the form of giving financially, volunteering, and serving on our staff.
God was faithful to provide for Oakdale. And what has been the result? We now enjoy dual accreditation (ACSI and SACS), we have six new campus buildings and a mostly renovated campus throughout, we have been able to expand into fields of technology and develop a highly impactful leadership development program.