The 22 ClearView missionaries who made up the sixth annual trip to Oneida Baptist Institute in eastern Ky, returned home five days later with gratitude for the opportunity to serve, a new closeness with fellow team members, and an increased conviction that God is at work in and through this school, its faculty, and the surrounding community.
As one of several who is blessed to have participated in each trip, I am reminded that no matter how much believers give while serving Christ, God always multiplies our blessings. Our 2017 trip was no different.
Al Parks, who first had the idea of an annual ClearView mission to Oneida, had to drop out to undergo knee surgery. Steve Smith and Kevin Kelley stepped in to fill Al’s role with the full support of the team.
When Dr. Parks learned that a house our construction team had begun rehabbing in 2016 for a faculty family remained incomplete, he asked how much money would be needed to buy supplies to finish the job. Oneida President Larry Gritton came back with the figure of $20,000.
That seemed too large a sum to raise in a short time. However, we again were reminded no amount is too great for our God. ClearView, small groups, and individuals donated and raised funds and we delivered a check for $19,900!
The nine-member construction team went to work with supplies bought with the donated funds. They sanded and stained the existing hardwood floors, began laying laminate flooring in other rooms, painted 14 doors, installed light fixtures and ceiling fans and discovered a couple of small snakes in the backyard. They also got to see the joy on the faces of members of the Monday family of six eagerly anticipating a move from their double-wide trailer into their new home.
While the gift shop team usually has spent the week creating gifts for the shop to sell, this year they made 35 aprons for the kitchen staff to use when serving catered meals at the school. Fabric was no problem since the shop has been the recipient of yards of beautiful fabrics.
For the second consecutive year, Beverly Kelley set up shop in Baker Hall to provide free haircuts to faculty and students. She completed multiple haircuts, including a detailed request for a “modified Mohawk” style that would meet the school standards for an appropriate hairstyle.
The Library team of four spent the week cataloguing, labeling and shelving 150 donated books and taking on other projects that arose.
At the Friendship House thrift shop for the school and the community, we spent the week unpacking, sorting, sizing, and hanging up clothes. One of the most popular items is what the store manager calls “grab bags.” Clothes that may be more worn or need washing are placed in large garbage bags. The bags are sold for 50 cents and almost always sell out on the first day each week the store is opened to the public. Donated clothes come from many churches by the truckload and some new items are delivered by clothing companies. Our team takes clothing donated through ClearView each year.
On the way back to Franklin, talk sometimes turns to next year and how we might help the school in September 2018. In the meantime, we thank God for providing this opportunity to serve others in Jesus’ name.
Written by Linda Still