Sure, we held the service of dedication on November 1 and we celebrated the construction of The Inn in a big way. We published it in the Oakleaf Newsletter. We’ve been talking about it for months. You’d think that the move-in day would be anticlimactic, or a footnote.
Friday night was the day when, after almost ten years of planning and eight years of fundraising, the dreams, the prayers, the giving, and the efforts of so many have resulted in girls actually living in a new dormitory! The girls moved their things out of O’Connor Hall and the duplex overflow space and into The Inn and spent their first night there.
It was chaos and it was wonderful!
In the weeks, months, and days leading up to move-in day, it became clearer and clearer what a magnificent facility this would be. But it was lifeless. The building was never going to be complete until it was occupied! I finally really understood that on Friday night.
If I may use The Inn as a metaphor, it brings to mind the empty shell of a person we are without the presence of Jesus in our lives. Now and then the self-aware person will experience the sentiment of goodness and of God’s presence without jumping in and deciding to follow Him in a real way. Maybe it happens upon hearing a masterful and heartfelt performance of a song, or even just being near to someone who is near to God. They feel the presence, but there is no indwelling.
That is perhaps like bringing the girls into the new dorm before moving in and hearing their delight. It’s not the same as seeing them actually move in and reside there. In the same way, it isn’t until we go “all in” that we come alive.
This is the purpose for which we were created: to enjoy life infused with God. And, if you’ll allow me to further stretch the metaphor, when the students are “all in” The Inn, we get to see the true purpose of the building, much like we see the true purpose of our lives with God’s indwelling.
Immediately after completing the Beacon Center in late 2005, we began to plan for the construction of a new girls’ dormitory and raise funds to make it possible. It’s happened! The Inn is alive!
Thanks to the opportunity that you give Oakdale students to attend through your support, they become alive in Christ!