Summer school has begun, and we have a great group of students that bring life to our dorms, dining hall, classrooms and sports fields.  We have several new students who are planning to enroll also in the fall, in addition to other new students who have applied to attend.  Around us, with the joyful activity that comes with our students in summer school, we see signs of life!

Those are not the only signs of life, however.  There is life in the dreams and expectations of our staff members who are reenergized for their areas of ministry.  We just completed a phenomenal year at Oakdale – topped off with each of our graduates having coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before they graduated and each one having college plans for the fall.

Not content to rest on our past accomplishments, the Oakdale staff continues their strivings toward excellence.  Teachers are learning new technology and taking continuing education classes.  Cooks are planning how they can provide even better and more nutritious meals.  Dorm parents are strategizing on how to make the evening and weekend experience more effective.  Staff members at every level of the organization are seeking ways to make Oakdale stronger and the service we provide students better than ever.  That is a sign of life that reflects the core of our ministry.

I see signs of life in you, too!  When you who seek an opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives by investing in this ministry, you are extending your legacy by allowing teenagers to gain the tools they need in life to succeed in their social interactions, in their academic pursuits, in their career preparation, and in their spiritual lives.

The other night we had a bonfire out by our staff duplexes.  It was great!  Students and staff were cooking s’ mores, laughing, singing campfire songs, and at one point two of our students led us all in some lively, fun, silly, but completely positive song… signs of life!