"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Lake Nemi, Diana's Temple, and Corrupted Truth

Lake Nemi, Italy 
Nestled in a volcano crater 26 kilometers (16 miles) south of Rome is a beautiful and placid lake called Nemi. Surrounded by a forest of trees, Lake Nemi was known by the ancient Romans as Diana's Mirror. When the moon is full, the shimmering surface of Nemi reflects brightly and beautifully the full moon. Diana, according to the ancient Romans (8th century BC) was the goddess of the Moon, wild beasts, and of the woods.

The Romans believed Diana inhabited the forests around Nemi. They built the sacred Temple of Diana, called Diana Nemorensis, or Diana in Nemi's Woods, on the northern shore of Lake Nemi.

Ruins of that Temple at Lake Nemi can still be seen today, but few people make the trip to see it, and fewer still understand the significance of what they see.

Some of the most fascinating and colorful stories of ancient Rome occur in and around Lake Nemi. That's right, in Lake Nemi. Visiting Lake Nemi should be on your bucket list. If you ever travel to tour Rome, take a day trip to visit Lake Nemi, or better yet, stay at the city you see perched on the top of the hill in the above photo. That city, the modern city of Nemi, is only a quick train ride from Rome. Events that have occurred over the past three millennia around the lake and in the lake are stunning in scope.

Before I show you the importance of Lake Nemi, let me give you some context.

The Roman goddess Diana is the counterpart to the Greek goddess Artemis. I have written about Artemis and how much the Greeks believed in her powers. The Romans revered Diana as the Greeks revered Artemis. The two goddesses are often conflated.
The Roman goddess Diana

The Roman goddess Diana is the counterpart to the Greek goddess Artemis. I have written about Artemis and how much the Greeks believed in her powers. The Romans revered Diana as the Greeks revered Artemis. The two goddesses are often conflated.

If you know your ancient history, you're aware that the Republic of Rome eventually replaced the Grecian Empire as the ancient world's superpower. In 146 BC, Rome defeated the Greeks at the Battle of Corinth and made Greece a Roman province. After the death of the Roman Republic dictator Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar's nephew and adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (63 BC-AD 14) became the first officially recognized Emporer of Rome and received the title Augustus.

The Senate of Rome crowned Octavianus Caesar as Augustus (e.g, "Supreme Emperor") of Rome in 27 BC. That event marks the official beginning of the Roman Empire. Caesar Augustus reigned as the first Emperor of Rome until his death in AD 14. The name "Caesar" was Octavianus' adopted surname. Augustus was Caesar's title. Thus, Caesar (the) Augustus is the Roman emperor mentioned in Luke 2 at the birth of Jesus:
"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of all the inhabited earth... Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the City of David, which is called Bethlehem in order to register along with Mary. While they were there in Bethlehem...she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger." (Luke 2:1-7)
The reason Jesus grew up speaking Hebrew and Greek and not Hebrew and Latin is that the Roman world in which Jesus lived kept the culture of the Greek Empire (the language, the arts, the religion, etc.). Keeping Greek customs in a Roman-ruled world is called Hellenization. It's no wonder that the Roman goddess Diana and the Greek goddess Artemis are often conflated.

However, the worship of the Roman goddess Diana and the worship of the Greek goddess Artemis had origins that extend to a much earlier time than the days of Jesus and the Apostle Paul.

The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus
For example, The Temple of Artemis (the Greek goddess) was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, It was built in the ancient city of Ephesus (now a city in modern Turkey) in 550 BC by the wealthy King Croesus of Lydia. Croesus was a friend to the Greeks and a worshipper of the Greek god Apollo.

 King Croesus once traveled to Delphi, Greece (just north of Athens) to inquire of the Pythian Oracle at Apollo's Temple. In appreciation for Apollo, King Croesus desired to build a monument to Apollo's twin sister, the goddess Artemis. 

So Croesus built the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. The famous stories surrounding the ancient Temple of Artemis at Ephesus are abundant. Any understanding of the biblical book of Ephesians requires some grasp of the culture of that city since Paul wrote to encourage followers of Jesu who lived among a people dominated by Artemis worship.

Aventine Hill in Rome today (site of ancient Temple of Diana)
When the Romans heard in the late 6th century that a new Temple had been built to the Greek goddess of the Moon, hunt, and woods (Artemis), they decided they would build a Temple of Diana in Rome. 

So King Servius Tullius of Rome (575-535 BC) ordered that this new Temple of Diana be built on Aventine HillServius also built a wall around the Temple bringing it within the boundaries of the city of Rome. The Romans could never let the Greeks get the upper hand.

This 6th century BC Roman Temple of Diana stood until the barbarians destroyed the city in the 4th century AD and subsequent Roman Christian emperors tore down the pagan temples. Today, if you visit Rome,  there is a short street named the Via del Tempio di Diana which commemorates the site of the ancient Temple of Diana. Part of the Temple's original wall is located within one of the halls of the Apuleius Restaurant (it's worth a lunch visit).

But here is the key point you need to remember:
Before the Temple of Artemis was built by King Croesus in Ephesus (550 BC) and before the Temple of Diana was built by King Servius on Aventine Hill in Rome (est. 545 BC), there existed a Temple of Diana in the sacred grove of trees on the northern shore of Lake Nemi. It was called Diana Nemorensis.
Diana Nemorensis, which means, "Diana in the Woods of Nemi" was a small, secluded, and sacred shrine. It predates the Temples the Romans built, evidenced by the fact "Diana in the Woods of Nemi" refers to a sacred grove of trees. Ancient worship of the gods took place in forests and groves, called a Lucus in Latin.

When in Rome, do as the Romans. Go to Lake Nemi, or otherwise known as Lucus Nemi.

The History of Lake Nemi and Diana Nemorensis

Aeneas Discovering the Sacred Bough
For over eight centuries, from the founding of Rome (753 BC) to the days of Empeoror Caligula, bizarre rituals occurred on the northern shore of Lake Nemi. Romans would make their way to the sacred grove to appeal to Dianna for conquests in combat, harvests in the hunt, and fertility in the fields.

The Roman poet Virgil (b. 70 BC) writes about Aeneas discovering the golden bough in the lucus of Nemi. Aeneas breaks off the golden branch from the sacred tree, giving to him access to, and power over, the underworld (Hades). In a merging of Roman mythology and history, Aeneas' discovery of the sacred tree is the reason for Diana Nemorensis being deemed a sacred place of worship shortly after the founding of Rome (753 BC). 

When King Servius built the Temple of Diana in the city of Rome (est. 545), Romans had already been worshiping Diana in the forests around Lake Nemi for nearly 200 hundred years.

The rituals the Romans performed at Lake Nemi involved fertility rites in the woods, requesting fertility in their fields, animal sacrifices to Diana from hunters who seeking blessings on their hunts, and a host of other religious rituals for the purpose of invoking blessings on the people of Rome.

But of all the rituals involved with worship at the Temple Diana Nemorensis, the most famous of them all involved the King of the Woods (Rex Nemorensis).

A statue of Diana over Lake Nemi today
The King of the Woods served as the High Priest of the Temple of Diana. He was the only male among many females associated with Diana worship at Diana Nemorensis.

In the center of the grove of trees on the northern shore of Lake Nemi stood that large, sacred tree that contained the golden branches to the underworld. It was absolutely forbidden for anyone to break off a branch or bough (pronounced bow) of the tree. For once a branch was broken, he who broke it had declared his intention to fight the King of the Woods to death to become the next King of the Woods and the next High Priest of Temple Diana Nemorensis.

Some men wanted that job because of the fertility rituals which they involved themselves in with the priestesses of Diana's Temple and the power it gave them over the underworld.

The King of the Woods (Rex Nemorensis) was mystically married to the goddess Diana. The rituals he partook in at Temple Nemorensis with the priestesses of Diana were sexual, symbolic, and sacred. The King had the power to restrain the underworld and invoke the blessings of the gods.

But the King never died of old age. He would die a violent death, to only be resurrected to new life in the form of another deified King (the one who defeated the previous King) and continue the sacred rites in Diana's Temple.  

19th-century painting of Lake Nemi
The violent death ritual of the King on the northern shore of Lake Nemi is mentioned in ancient literature by Strabo (b. 63 BC), where Strabo calls it "sacred to antique religion."  Strabo adds that the King of the Woods  "holds his reign by strong hands and fleet feet, and dies according to the example he set himself" (Strabo, Geographia V, 3, 12).

It was said by the ancient Romans that worshipers of Diana entering the sacred grove at Nemi would often see the King of the Woods, sword drawn, protecting the boughs of the sacred tree from any interlopers. The King, having himself once crossed the sacred line and broken the golden bough,  was constantly vigilant for the one who would come to break the branch and seek to slay him. Legend says the King of the Woods of Nemi often appeared wild-eyed, frantic, and restless, knowing that by death he entered his position as King, and by death, he would exit it.

The King of the Woods ritual was put to verse by British historian Thomas Macaulay.

The ghastly priest doth reign
The priest who slew the slayer,
And shall himself be slain.

One of Caligula's pleasure boats on Lake Nemi
Even during the time of the Roman Emperor Caligula (12 AD - 41 AD), the ritual slaying of the King of the Woods in the Sacred Grove at Nemi was in effect. Caligula himself sent a slave into the woods to "break the bough" and fight the High Priest of Diana, a battle which Caligula's slave won.

Caligula, a devout worshipper of Diana and her rites of fertility, built two huge massive and luxurious "pleasure barges" for himself on Lake Nemi. They were palaces of sexual rituals with women, even the wives of his soldiers and Rome's politicians. Lake Nemi held a special fondness in the most profane emperor in the history of Rome.

Caligula's barges on Nemi were deliberately sunk after his assassination in 44 BC. For centuries there were rumors of huge structures at the bottom of Lake Nemi. Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, fashioned himself a new Emporer of Rome. Mussolini drained Lake Nemi and had Caligula's barges brought to the surface and the ancient artifacts cleaned and displayed in a museum. During World War II, the museum at Nemi was destroyed, but one of the mosaics that decorated of Caligula's Pleasure Boats eventuallwound up serving as a coffee table in New York City.

When you go to the new and rebuilt Italian museum on the north shore of Lake Nemi, you can read about the history surrounding the lake.

Mussolini and Italian soldiers surveying Caligula's barges in the Museum on Lake Nemi, pre-World War II

The Golden Bough

In the 1890s, half a century before Mussolini found and dug up Caligula's barges at Lake Nemi, Sir James George Frazer, a British anthropologist, wrote his seminal work The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religions.

Sir Frazer based the thesis of his book on the rituals that occurred on the northern shore of Lake Nemi at Diana Nemorensis. Sir Frazer traces the common elements of the worlds religions, including fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat, and many other symbols and practices whose influences have extended to modern day to Lake Nemi. Frazer's thesis is that ancient religions were basic fertility cults that revolved around the worship and periodic sacrifice of a sacred king (the King of the Woods at the Temple of Diana). Frazer believes that mankind evolves from rudimentary animism or belief in magic, to a belief in personified deities of religion, and finally to modern scientific thought.

In other words, to Sir Frazer, the rituals of the Temple of Diana at Lake Nemi are a glimpse into the evolution of man by examining an ancient ritual that endured even into the classical age of western civilization. The barbaric King of the Woods ritual at Lake Nemi and other ancient sacred rituals continued at Lake Nemi long into civilized times (the Roman Empire) because Lake Nemi was especially secluded and especially sacred. The Temple of Diana at Nemi, for the sake of illustration, would be like your great-grandmother's China. Don't touch it. Be careful with it. Don't give it away.

The Romans treated Lake Nemi in the same manner. It was a sacred place for them.

At Lake Nemi, according to Sir Frazer, we see the basis for belief in dying and reviving god (eg., King of the Woods), a solar deity who undergoes a mystic marriage to a goddess of the Earth (the King was married to Diana, queen of the earth's harvest, and the Moon of the skies).  Frazer claims that this legend of rebirth is central to almost all of the world's mythologies.

The Golden Bough scandalized the British public when first published, as it included the Christian story of Jesus and the Resurrection in its comparative study. Christians were furious that the Lamb of God was treated by Frazer as a relic of pagan religion. Frazer called Christianity "merely a perpetuation of primitive myth-ritualism," and he wrote that the New Testament Gospels were "just further myths of the death and resurrection of the king who embodies the god of vegetation." Due to the enormous backlash, Frazer excluded his discussion of Christianity in subsequent volumes.

Sir Frazer and Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton (Kneller Portrait, 1689)
People who study comparative religions all believe that religions around the world share common teachings and beliefs. For example, flood stories are found throughout the world, among all cultures and religions. Death and resurrection, afterlife, and the sacredness of fertility in field and homes are also common themes. 

Either this world is evolving from pagan beliefs in animism, magic, and religion to scientific thought, or as the great Sir Isaac Newton believed, this world is devolving in intellect and moving from true religion to a corruption of the Divine truth.

I take Newton's position.

Many years ago I read Sir Isaac Newton's The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, and I became convinced that the history of the world's religions is best understood by seeing every religion, both ancient and modern, as a corruption of Divine Revelation. Newton is even clearer in his superb work The Original of Religions, where he shows that a loving Creator gave true religion to His creation in the form of Divine revelation, and all other religions are a corruption of the Divine through a fall into idolatry.

In other words, Greece and Rome corrupted the Divine revelation of God and began to worship the creation. 

Lake Nemi and Revealed Truth

A sacred tree.
A sword to protect it.

The Grove of Nemi
The Garden of Eden.

The Regent (Rex) of the earth (mankind)
Mankind fails and falls into death.

The Death of Rex
The Death of Adam

Through thorns and thistles, the earth gives fruit.
Through mankind's corruption, idolatry flourishes.

The History of Rome
The History of Mankind.

By blood, a new Kingdom shall rise.
By sacrifice, a new way is made

The Temple of Diana and Blood Sacrifice
The Love of God in the Gift of His Son
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever trusts in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting" (John 3:16). 
I could go on and on, but my point is that you must either believe mankind is evolving from pagan beliefs or that mankind is devolving from Divine Revelation into pagan beliefs.

I, like Isaac Newton, hold to the latter belief. And I look forward to seeing Lake Nemi where the former found its birth. 

Until then, I am quite comfortable with the belief that the ancient Greeks and Romans fell into the practice of idolatry because their forefathers had corrupted the Truth of the one true God which was passed down to the nations through the children of Noah. The nations, including Greece and Rome,  eventually fell into the practice of worshiping the creation rather than the Creator.

The Ruins of Diana Nemorenis on the northern shores of Lake Nemi today

Better the Balance, Better the World Is God's Way

Yann Forget/Wikimedia Commons
Today is International Women's Day. The theme for this day is "Better the Balance, Better the World." 

Sadly, many of my male evangelical friends who are pastors will either privately or publicly denigrate this day as another cultural sign that society is going "liberal" and the church will soon follow.

That's just not so.

Society is just now beginning to reflect what God's Word has always taught as truth. 

Better the balance, better the world is God's way of doing things. God created males and females with the equality of value, and God created males and females with the equality of vocation based upon His image bearers divine giftedness.

In other words, the world is a better place when we understand intrinsic worth is a settled truth and that integrated work is a superior tactic.

Let me prove this biblically and then anecdotally.

At the time of Creation, the Bible says:
So God created man (Hebrew: Adam) in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.   (Genesis 1:26-27)
Adam is the Hebrew word translated "man" in English.

Notice something very important. Adam is created in God's image. Adam is not just the half-portion of the human race called "male." The Hebrew word Adam encompasses the "female" half of the human race as well.

"Male and Female" compose the biblical definition of "man" and together reflect the "image of our Creator" (Imago Dei). 

Nobody should be offended by using the word "man" to refer to both males and females. The Bible does it. Man is both male and female. The way I put it is simply this:
"You will never see and appreciate the full-orbed image of God until you view both males and females relating and working with one another in equality."
That's God's way.

Anytime society works to have males dominating females (patriarchy) or females dominating males (matriarchy), you have a society that is "curse-filled."

When the world is balanced, the world is better.

Wade Burleson and Vera Porter at Emmanuel Enid
I've written multiple articles on God intending, creating, and sustaining male and female equality (go to the top left of my blog and type the word "women" in the Google search bar). I'm a conservative, Bible-believing Christ-follower who believes that homosexual behavior in the bedroom is sinful but that gender equality in the boardroom is sacred. 

I realize that my friends who identify as homosexual will be offended at the first part of the previous sentence just as many of my conservative evangelical pastor friends will be offended at the last part of the previous sentence.

I don't' consider those who disagree with me an enemy. I'm just telling my homosexual friends and my pastor friends my mind can be changed. It will require your ability to show me in God's Word where I'm wrong. As it stands now, none of you have convinced me.

I believe the Bible makes a massive distinction between sexual identity and sexual behavior. If God intended sexual behavior between males to be the creative norm, then males would be able to give birth to babies. Likewise, if God intended sexual behavior between females to be the creative norm, then God would have created females with the ability to generate babies without males. 

But God did intend males and females to be co-regents, co-workers, and co-heirs of the Universe.

It may be that those who struggle with sexual identity have never come to an understanding of the worth, dignity, and value of both males and females because a cursed world attempts to exalt one gender above the other.

God's way is better the balance, better the world.

An Anecdote

I have been the pastor of the church I lead for over 27 years. When I came to Emmanuel in 1992, it was a traditional, patriarchal church where males only were in roles of leadership and females only were in roles of service. Leadership at the church was based on position and authority rather than service and humility. Only males could be in "a position of authority."

Gifted females were restricted in their roles. They couldn't teach (with other males present), serve in leadership roles (if other males were present), or provide direction to God's people unless "in submission" to the male leaders present in the room.

I've often scratched my head how followers of Jesus speak so boldly against homosexual behavior in the bedroom but then practice homosexual behavior in the boardroom. 

Both, according to God's way, are sinful behaviors.

Today, after years of change, Spirit-gifted females at our church now provide leadership, publicly teach from the Scriptures, and give direction to others without even caring whether or not males are in the room.  The Chairman of our Leadership Team is female. Half of our trustees and standing committee chairmen are females. Women teach men and women, men teach and women. Women lead males and females, and men lead males and females. We appreciate giftings regardless of the gender of the gifted. We've noticed that God gives the same gifts to both males and females. That gifts of the Spirit are given to both males and females is proved by the Bible, our experience, and the logic of a world balanced by the genders. 

Our church is much better off today than it was a quarter-century ago. We are more balanced. We've been prevented from many mistakes because of the full-orbed image of God (males and females) at Emmanuel. It's a settled truth among us that men and women possess equal worth and perform integrated work. 

Why? Are we following the society? No. We follow the Scriptures. Better the balance, better the world is God's Way

A friend of mine in Washington D.C. said he had lunch with a well-known pastor who said to my friend: "Word is Wade Burleson is promoting women pastors. That's the word on the street."

When I was told that, I laughed.

"No. Wade Burleson is tearing down any philosophy or practice in the church or society where males dominate females by position or Divine authority as well as any philosophy or practice in the church or society where females dominate males by a hierarchal position or any alleged spiritual authority."

The problem is a skewed view of authority in the church (and society), which unfortunately is a sign of the original curse brought into this world by Adam's (men and women) rebellion against God. When either gender seeks to rule over the other gender, God's way is not being followed.

Better the balance, better the world.

Happy International Women's Day.

Giving Praise to the Enid Public School System

The local newspaper printed the state report cards for Oklahoma state public secondary education schools. Many people outside of Oklahoma may be unaware that Enid is the hub for northwestern Oklahoma, and that there are multiple public school systems in what bigger cities would call "suburbs" of Enid.

For example, there is the excellent Chisholm School District in North Enid, Pioneer School district in southwest Enid, Waukomis School District five miles south on Highway 81, and a handful of other school districts just outside the city limits of Enid, including Drummond, Garber, and Cimarron. There are also some stellar private Christian schools, including Oklahoma Bible Academy and Emmanuel Christian School, two of the finest Christian schools not just in our state, but in this region of the United States.

Enid is definitely not a one school district city.

That said, I want to praise Enid Public Schools. Schools, like churches, will always have their detractors. I'm not one of them.

There are few public school districts in the entire state of Oklahoma that experience the challenges that the Enid Public Schools system faces.

Nearly 5,000 Pacific Islanders live in Garfield County, over 3,000 of them Marshallese from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Enid is the county seat of government for Garfield County. The city of Enid, Oklahoma has the highest percentage of Pacific Island people, per capita, than any other city in the United States. Emmanuel Enid even has a Pastor to Pacific Islanders (Yohanes Arwakon) who is in Majuro, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, to learn the language, make contacts with government officials, and get as much knowledge as he can on how we can help our Pacific Island friends acclimate to American culture and help those who live in Garfield County develop their community standard of living.

When the United States government conducted nuclear testing in the Pacific during the 1940s and 1950s, we destroyed the livelihood of many Pacific island cultures. Specifically, the Marshallese people were devastated by nuclear fallout.

In what can only be considered "government atonement" for the devastation caused in the Pacific, the United States government allows the Marshallese, Chuukese, and other indigenous Pacific Island people groups affected by U.S. nuclear testing to freely move from their homes in the Pacific to the United States without a visa. They can also work in America, join the American military, and be considered permanent residents of America without all the official U.S. government approvals required by every other immigrant who desires to come to America. The Marshallese and Chuukese have chosen three places in the United States to live: Portland, Oregon; Springdale, Arkansas, and Enid, Oklahoma.

Once again, Enid has the highest percentage of Pacific Islanders per capita of any city in the United States.

Though the Marshallese, Chuukese, and other Pacific Island cultures are given free access to enter America and work, they are barred from benefits, including medical insurance, welfare, and other government subsidies that even some illegal immigrants obtain.

It's a catch-22.  America says, "Come and enjoy our country. Pay your taxes. Fight for our military. Oh, by the way, no benefits for you."

The Pacific Islander families in Enid can't afford private education. Many of them can't afford nice homes in the suburbs of Enid. Though there are some Marshallese in all school districts in and around End, the vast majority of the 5000 Pacific Islanders in Garfield County are affiliated with Enid Public Schools.

When one looks at the "State Grade" for Enid High School, one will see that EHS received an overall grade of "C." 

That's a miracle.

Drill down a little further and you'll see why that grade wasn't the "A" or "B" the school deserves.


I know enough about school grades that if a student gets two "D's" and one "F" out of a possible six grades, the student would be ecstatic over a "C" grade.

Listen carefully. I don't blame our Pacific Island friends for the "C" grade of the Enid Public School System. Not at all.

I'm saying that a final grade never tells the entire story.

I'm thrilled with the progress of Enid Public Schools and challenge every Enid citizen to "step up to the plate" and help.

Volunteer Tutoring of Pacific Island Children
The Pacific Island Culture is different than American culture. Nobody wears a watch. It's called "Island Time." Meetings start two hours late and it's considered proper. In America, that's called "Chronic Absenteeism." It takes seven years to become fluent in the American language because English is a very difficult language to learn. "Proficiency" takes time - well into college-age years, so Pacific Islanders will never be as English proficient as American kids of privilege. In addition, Pacific Islanders have low expectations regarding jobs. There's no need to "graduate" and go to "college" if one needs to make money to help pay the family bills through manual labor.

Kudos to Dr. Darrel Floyd, Superintendent of Enid Public Schools, the administrators,  the teachers, and all who help make Enid Public Schools a great school system.

Have you driven around Enid lately and seen the progress in infrastructure to our Enid Public schools? I've been in Enid for nearly three decades, and we have been making unbelievable strides in upgrading and expanding our educational facilities these last five years.

Building the Pacific Island Ministry Center, Enid, Oklahoma
The church I pastor is also doing our part to help our Pacific Island friends. In addition to supporting a pastor and his family who minister directly to Pacific Islanders, we're building a Pacific Island Community Center in partnership with Forgotten Ministries. We are teaching those from the Pacific Islands English every week through a ministry called "English as a Second Language" (led by Monda Lowen). We also pull in all the Pacific Island children we can to tutor them every Monday, helping them with their homework. Many of us are talking to the state government officials to possibly get Pacific Islanders including in state medical insurance programs which will help our local hospitals. We are working with local colleges and universities to increase graduation rates of Pacific Island high school by offering scholarship incentives for a college education. When we get our Pacific Island Ministry Center finished, we'll be offering job training and career days to allow local businesses to help Pacific Islanders in career advancement.

It's the least we can do for our Pacific Island friends to help them acclimate to American cultural expectations.

The point of this post is to encourage you to realize that what is happening at Enid Public Schools is extraordinary.

And it's due to great leadership.