Guy and Mysi Murray joined the Oakdale staff in 2008 and immediately became significant figures in the lives of our students. Both currently serving as teachers, their involvement and outreach to Oakdale students extends much deeper as they fill the roles of mentor and example. Click on the images to view Guy and Mysi’s video introductions.
We came to Oakdale six years ago looking for a place to serve and to heal after the closing of a school we dearly loved in South Dakota. Oakdale has given us the opportunity to do both. It has been such a blessing to work with everyone here. It’s exciting to live, work, and grow with people who are “kindred spirits.” In the give and take of ministry, it’s so easy to trust the hearts of those in this community and know that they, too, are seeking the Lord.
Mysi: Oakdale is a place where individuals are encouraged to speak into each other’s lives as we seek to build a community of faith and grace.
Before moving to Oakdale, I taught at Lakota Christian Academy, a small Native American school in Rapid City, South Dakota. I arrived In South Dakota full of ideas and projects and programs. It wasn’t long until I realized that my students moved to a different drum, beating at a totally different pace. Things weren’t important; people were. My students were happier sitting at my kitchen table drinking tea and eating brownies than they were doing whatever amazing and complicated activity that I was promoting. And even though I had been certain that I had come to teach these kids about God, God began to use these kids to change me. My focus began to change.
When I came to Oakdale, I knew that I would be teaching history and getting involved in all kinds of extra activities on campus, but I strongly believed that my call was to love these students in a way that they could see God’s love for them. Our home is open to those who want to visit or just “get away” for a few minutes. Since I am a tea lover, a pot of tea is an important a part of these visits. Every year, I have had several students or groups of students who come for tea every week. It is so exciting to watch and grow with these students as we share a few moments of time together in our journey.
Sometimes these moments are just peaceful reminders to slow down and spend time with those you love. Sometimes they become times of pursuing the deep things of God. To me, that’s the purpose of Oakdale. It gives us the opportunity to live and love and grow together in community while providing a safe place for our personal pursuit of Christ.
Guy: When I first came to Oakdale, I was a dean in the boys’ dorm. Since being a dad was my most favorite thing in the whole world, it was exciting that God had given me the opportunity to be a dad to each of the boys in the dorm. There were so many times that God allowed me to empathize and connect with guys who were going through the same things that I had gone through as a young man.
Although I really loved being a dorm dean, I was really missing teaching. Last year when the math position opened up, I began to pray about moving back into the classroom. I wanted to teach again, but it was hard leaving the intimate dorm relationships. After teaching math for a year, I can see how God has used this move to allow me to be a part of the lives of both the young men and young women of Oakdale. While the dynamic is different, the ministry is the same.
Coaching basketball is also a big part of my ministry here at Oakdale. It is such a blessing to see young men who are focused on their own game slowly become part of something bigger than themselves. And in my mind, that’s also the thing that Oakdale does best. It brings together struggling individuals and gives them a place to become a part of an amazing community that desires to follow God.