Oral Roberts University :
As a former student of Oral Roberts University, I decided to write my experiences here.
It was founded by Rev. Oral Roberts in 1965. It was because God asked him to build it God’s authority and the Holy Spirit.
He obeyed God’s command and the result was a breathtaking university, According Oral Roberts he was asked to build this university to raise students who will travel the world, to hear God’s voice to areas where God’s healing power is not known.
Oral built his university based on body, mind and spirit. He believed one must excel in all three aspects. This is why the students of ORU are encouraged to visit the gym as often as possible while attending to their studies. And he did
achieve it. As for years ORU has produced excellent students who eventually became recognized pastors, evangelists, accountants, doctors and engineers.
One student is Evangelist Kenneth Copeland. Since the demise of Oral Roberts, his son, Richard Roberts was named as President in 1993.
My journey to ORU:
It was not an easy one. Born to a middle class family in an island off the coast of India, then known as Ceylon. I finished high school and obtained employment at a local of office of a prestigious international airline
It was shift work some days I worked at the town office and other days at the airport. For four long years I struggled at this job. It was interesting but I hated working till 2 in the morning some days, due to aircraft delays.
One fine evening, an old friend of my dad visited him. Before he left, accidentally or not he left a magazine on his chair. By this time I had started applying for US universities for higher studies. All the answers I received was on the negative.
The reason, I had no funds. I always asked for “scholarships” in each application. The answer was from most of them were, “If you could find funds for the First year of study, we night be able to offer financial aid”
I was devastated. Then when my friend left his magazine. I had a look. It was from OREA, Oral Roberts Evangelical Association. In it was a lovely picture of ORU and details on how to apply. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the pictures of ORU.
In addition, there was an article written by Oral Roberts about Jesus. Then, I was not a Christian and was unhappy in my life. And even contemplating suicide. I had many dreams, ambitions but I was not getting anywhere.
I started reading about Jesus and forgiveness. The Holy Spirits, the works. What caught my attention was the quote by Oral Roberts. “Do not give up”
I wrote a letter to Oral Roberts asking for more information about Jesus and salvation. The rest is history. I slowly started to pray to Jesus secretly. My mum never liked it. But my father encouraged me to learn Christianity since he had studied the bible in his high school.
I applied to ORU but received a letter saying that I need to find funds for the first year. I was devastated.
In the meantime, I met with a horrible motor cycle accident. In which my best friend at the time died three day later. I escaped injury miraculously. And my doctor told me it was “as if someone placed me gently on the ground” after my motor cycle hit the oncoming bus head on.
By this time, I had started to pray to Jesus. And this incident, made me believe in Jesus strongly. Till this incident, I was struggling whether to become a Christian or not. From that I committed myself to Jesus.
Surprisingly, my mother changed her mind and said she would support me with some tuition funds for the first year.
In the meantime, I applied and received a promotion to work in Oman, for the same airline as a sales officer.
And I was never happy working in the middle east. I wanted to go back home. But the reason, for coming to middle east to work was to save money to attend ORU. So I was determined to carry on, regardless.
One sunny day, I received a call from my dad saying that I was accepted to ORU. And I was offered a partial scholarship for the balance money. I was overjoyed. Quit my job the same day. Got ready to fly home and get my US Study visa.
Problem no money to buy a ticket to fly to USA. God is so great. My airline manage offered me a ticket, gratis (free) all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Isn’t that wonderful, This was beyond my dreams.
At ORU :
I flew all the way to London, an eight-hour flight. Then six hours wait at London Gatwick airport, then to Chicago o’hare. Unfortunately, here in Chicago I was off loaded as the flight was overbooked and I was carrying an airline ticket. Spent overnight in Chicago.
Following morning arrived in Tulsa. In total about twenty-four hours in the air. I was exhausted. But I was met at ORU by some nice friendly staff. And I saw the breathtaking beauty of ORU campus. The dream came true. I am at ORU.
The walls were partially made of Gold. It may not be real gold, but looked close to real gold. Many students were American and black Americans and Hispanics. I belonged to the few Asians students. And I liked the attention I got due to it.
I did well and received an A plus for English literature. My major was Communications and Business Administration. I enjoyed my classes, especially TV productions.
We would attend “Chapel” twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, I enjoyed attending them as we used to sing hymns most of the time and end it with a sermon from Oral Roberts.
The singing moved the Holy Spirit. I felt it in my body, I was moved emotionally by it. I felt the presence of God.I still miss the peace I felt then.
I used to get up early in the morning and shower, quickly have breakfast in the canteen and walk to class through a beautiful garden full of blossoming flowers. It was Heaven.
Despite all criticism, Oral Roberts built a unique university. It has no parallel. Since it is a private university the cost of tuition is high. When I was attending it did not cost much but now it would cost a staggering $50,000 a year.
City of Faith :
Oral in a dream was told by God to build a hospital. And he did. And I am partner of it. I donated towards the building.
He believed in both prayer and medicine. So when ever you are treated at city of faith hospital, you will be prayed upon.
And I am now a Lifetime member. It has a state of the ark gymnasium. And I have used it many times. If I get sick,I will be taken care of, free of charge.
Seed of Faith:
Oral believed in “seed faith” concept. I too started believing with him.I gave $200 towards the construction of the City of Faith hospital.
The concept was you plant a seed in the way of money to your church, ORU ministries and God will reward you for that.And believe God will answer your prayers.This works if you have a mustard seed of faith.
Another unique part of Oral’s preaching was of Malachi 3:10-12, which says that you are required to give one tenth of everything you receive and god will multiply that giving for your benefit.
I remember, every Sunday we were required to attend church. Sometimes, due to exhaustion we would skip church and sleep in. But suddenly a senior student would knock on our door and force us to get up and go to church.
International students would sometimes go camping. And sing in front of a fire. This was fun.
I used to play Tennis, and had the privilege of being selected for the ORU tennis team. I played with some talented Australian, South African tennis players on scholarship.
I used to go to the gym very often, And it helped me build my physique. I became physically strong. I used to play Badminton besides tennis.
I met Miss Tulsa at Tennis practice. This was a privilege as I had never met a beauty queen before. She was very friendly to me. I had many female admirers while in college.
There is a theater, where they would show christian films. And I would attend it sometimes. When the movie is on students would hurl bathroom tissues in the air. I thought that was silly.
I was in trouble when the university was closed during summer breaks.All international students had no place to go. Even though they had one dormitory open for us, the whole school was isolated and sounded like a cemetery.
I was lucky during as I got a part-time job in the Library. And it was easy work. And during spring break, my room-mate took me with him to his home and looked after me. Which was great.
On one break I was in Florida, the next was in Minnesota. And also I had room-mates from Atlanta, Ohio, Texas. I was able to stay in all these states with them during these breaks.
The students were very kind and helpful. We also used to gather in a recreation area just below the cafeteria on Friday nights. And they would serve pizza. It was a social gathering.
On Sundays, most churches surrounding the campus, would send in their private church buses to ORU. Here I met a kind old bus driver, Larry.
We hit it off right away. He introduced me to his family. His wife, Susan, and his two sons. They sort of adopted me. They looked after my affairs. I am still grateful the assistance given to me during my stay in Tulsa.
Oral Roberts was asked by God to build university that would produce excellent students who will preach the gospel all over the world. He obeyed,and it is history.
He obeyed God. And built a university and a hospital where power of prayer was a part of the healing process.
He believed in excellence in Body, Mind and Spirit.ORU students are raised on these three principles. Many graduated with flying colors and are holding important positions in the society today.
oral roberts ministries website: https://oralroberts.com/