As we end 2018 and begin 2019, I want to take time today to pause, reflect, and renew, and I invite you to do so with me.
We benefit from an occasional break in the routine to take stock of our lives and the world around us. The Christmas and New Year season is a wonderful time for that, especially as many of us are able to change drastically our rhythm of activity and rest, contemplate, and look ahead.
That is the case for Oakdale Christian Academy, as well. As the members of our team have scattered for a week or so, we can think perhaps differently about our progress and our tasks at hand. The sum total of this time when we pause: We are blessed!
2018 has been a year of significance in varied and notable ways. First and foremost, Oakdale continued a ministry that impacts its students and their families. This is seen in the lives of our eight graduates in May, each having grown significantly while at Oakdale. For some, completing high school was anything but a foregone conclusion when they enrolled. During their time at Oakdale, they received a character-building and leadership experience that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Of most significance, each of our students during 2018 was the recipient of discipleship and guidance. This is such a profound truth that it warrants the credit given over and over to the deans and the teachers who give such love and care to their students so regularly and faithfully, to the support staff who serve with excellence and diligence, and to the members of the administration who coordinate efforts and bear burdens for the work they do. Because of these great efforts, our students have seen and experienced Christ’s love.
If serving our students for another year in this exemplary manner was the sum total of what we accomplished, that would be enough to end 2018 on a highly satisfactory note.
Adding to the outstanding achievement of our mission as evidenced by our students’ experiences are other endeavors that support the Oakdale mission:
- The completion of the expansion and renovation of Odermann Hall, our boys’ dormitory, is a major improvement in our service to boys. This $600,000 project, completed debt-free, would have been significantly more expensive had we not had the excellent work teams and the leadership of our own maintenance staff. Mirroring the quality of The Inn, our girls dormitory completed in 2015, Odermann Hall stands as a compelling argument for the quality we pursue in all areas of our program.
- The completion of the ACSI boarding accreditation process – Oakdale being the first in the U.S. to receive boarding accreditation – is both a demonstration of a quality boarding program and our intent to find new ways to increase our effectiveness.
- Upon the successful raising of $1 million toward Phase I of May Hall, a new cafeteria building, we have begun construction. If, by July, we receive gifts totaling the additional estimated $500,000 needed for Phase II, we will be able to continue construction for completion by 2020.
- The participation of Oakdale donors. The quality of program that the ACSI boarding accreditation team spoke of so glowingly and the facilities we are able to offer is not sustainable only through tuition income. These are possible because of the support of our friends who give and volunteer. In 2018, we received an outstanding level of support, voluntarily given by our friends.
Together with the amazing efforts of the Oakdale staff, you as an Oakdale supporter and volunteer made these things possible!
A new year represents another opportunity to reexamine who we are in Christ, how we are called to serve, and ways we can refine our approach to fulfilling this call. Although a new numerical year should never be the only time we do such introspection, this is one of those natural times as we are reminded so tangibly of the passage of time.
This is a time for an evaluation of the activities, relationships, and goals in our lives. We consider goals for our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Oakdale as an institution also makes goals for itself.
With May Hall now underway, we hope to see this project through to completion in a timely manner. With your help, we seek to complete the funding of Phase II, the interior of the building.
Obtaining ACSI boarding accreditation left us with a more keen awareness of how we can continue to improve our program. The entire staff has been engaged in the process and joins together in seeking to make this the best Christian boarding school possible.
As I think of you, our faithful supporter, I pray that during 2019 you will be able to become more fully the person that God calls you to be. As this becomes increasingly your story, God’s work around you – your church, overseas missions, community charity needs, and Oakdale Christian Academy – will flourish as a natural outgrowth of His work in your life. You will be blessed and those around you will be blessed.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve with you and on your behalf.
May you know rich blessings during 2019!