Posted by Heather Sewell
on November 30, 2017 / Posted in Darren's Corner
Written By: Darren Washausen
What a great year of progress it has been for Orphan Care Alliance! I would like to thank our supporters and volunteers for all they do to enable this ministry to follow the mission of equipping, connecting, and caring.
This year, OCA saw major growth and accomplishments. I want to highlight some of them and ask you to pray for the continued missional impacts in our region.
We ended last year by joining hands with two local ministries. Here is a breakdown of what Jubilee and Together in the Trenches do for families and children in our community and why OCA added them to our ministry umbrella.
Jubilee Academy operates as a small, Christian, mission school in Crestwood, KY. The school was offered as a donation to OCA by the founder because of shared values and goals and a need for operations assistance. This school meets individual needs of children K-12 with learning differences. Many kids from hard places experience learning differences and this school’s staff and overall mission is a great environment for all children.
Together in the Trenches focuses on foster and adoptive moms to offer a community and ongoing encouragement via newsletters and overnight retreats. The leaders of this ministry work to connect moms as needed, which provides a beautiful link into OCA’s Family Support ministry.
In April, OCA’s Family Support ministry began training state social workers in Kentucky to use OCA Gateway. OCA Gateway provided a link between the church and these workers to meet physical needs with the goal of helping to keep a family together or re-unify a family. Needs began coming in this June and have been met by over 200 volunteers from over 30 churches in the region.
OCA’s Life Coaching ministry exploded this year. This ministry matched 7 life coaches to youth in 2016. This year, over 40 matches have been made with youth and young adults affected by foster care. The life coaches walk with youth and young adults from foster care from ages 12 and up.
OCA collaborates with the local government and several organizations for the purpose of accomplishing our mission. Currently, OCA gets referrals from TrueUp, Boys & Girls Haven, Home of the Innocents, Maryhurst and St. Joe’s Children’s Home. Each of these organizations care for Kentucky’s foster youth. We are engaged with Love Thy Neighborhood, Galilean Homes, Scarlet’s Hope, Necole’s Place, Life House, Christian Alliance for Orphans, and Focus on the Family, as well.
Compassion Cup, Golf Scramble
In September, OCA had its 3rd Compassion Cup golf outing at Lake Forest Country Club where we raised over $32,000, enabling OCA to launch the beginning of OCA Pathways an employment agency pilot aimed at young adults from foster care and vulnerable families in need of employment resources, placements and coaching. We are nearing the placement of our first career seekers.
Family Support Equipping & Connecting Events
In October two major events took place within OCA ministries. Together in the Trenches brought 75 ladies together at an overnight retreat for a time of community, sharing, and relaxation. OCA also presented the 5th annual Help, Hope, Heal Conference which provided equipping to our region’s community working with children impacted by trauma. This year, OCA welcomed keynote speaker Jason Johnson to encourage families in the community to continue caring for children. Dan Dumas also joined us during lunch to address the attendees to give an update on the initiatives he and Governor Bevin work to accomplish.
We have reached out to 40 churches in 2017 for the purpose of seeing our vision carried out. OCA’s vision is for the Body of Christ to lead the efforts of caring for the fatherless in Kentucky and southern Indiana. OCA exists to equip the Christians in our region and to connect them to opportunities to care for the fatherless. Each church is unique and we long to equip each congregation and pastor, according to their call. The Body of Christ can lead the way in caring for vulnerable children.
Thanks for your support and we hope you will be the advocate to bring more people to share their talents in orphan ministry.
Darren Washausen, Executive Director