This week we want to help you get to know Lisa Owen, OCA’s Safe Harbor Ministry Director. Lisa has a heart for families in the community who are in crisis or who are struggling.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you are from, where you grew up and your background.
A: I was born in FT.Worth Texas and was raised in Texas and Oklahoma. I met my husband of nearly 40 years at Oklahoma Sate University where I graduated with a degree in Sociology/ Psychology. I am blessed to have 7 kids who call me mom, two beautiful daughters-in- law, and 6 precious grand babies. Our oldest two children are our only biological kids. The Lord used many different avenues to bring our other children to our family along with giving us the opportunity to be foster parents to several more.
Q: How long have you been with OCA and what is your role here?
A: I originally came to OCA over 10 years ago when it was still strictly a volunteer organization. At that time I ran the OCA Teen Mom’s program for pregnant and parenting teens who were in foster care. I stepped away from OCA for several years to focus on my children and to continue foster parenting. I came back to OCA in the spring of 2017 as the director of the Safe Harbor Ministry.
Q: What’s a typical week look like for you as the director of the Safe Harbor Ministry?
A: It is my privilege to not only work with some pretty amazing staff and volunteers but some wonderful families in our communities who are trying to navigate through a very difficult season of struggle. A typical week for me at Safe Harbor involves talking with Safe Harbor area coordinators and Hub leaders and developing different volunteer recruitment opportunities, I also spend time meeting with other area ministries and agencies working on ways that we can partner together. The best part of my week is when I have the opportunity to engage with parents in crisis who desperately love their children and want to do the hard work to bring stability back into their lives.
Q: Share a memorable way God has moved over the years at OCA.
A: God has done some pretty amazing things over the years here at OCA. One of my favorite things is being allowed to have a front row seat as I watch not only the lives of the people we serve being changed but watching as the volunteers lives are changed as well. Volunteers come into the different programs wanting to bless others, but soon discover that God is using their time with OCA to bless them as well. God puts people together, who at first glance would seemingly have very little in common, and before you know it very deep and meaningful relationships are formed. It’s fun to watch these relationships form into the most unlikeliest of friendships.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Working full time and with three active kids at home I find I have very little time for hobbies. Although, my 12 year old daughter and my 10 year old son and I plan to jump back into gardening again this year. We have enjoyed this in the past, but gave up on it last year after the wildlife enjoyed more of the fruits of our labor than we did!
Q: What is your favorite book/resource/speaker on adoption /foster care?
I would have to say that Kristin Berry, Confessions of an Adoptive Parent is one of my favorite speakers and authors on fostering and adoption. She keeps it real!
Q: Why are you so passionate about foster care and adoption?
A: Even as a young girl, I always thought I wanted to adopt a child one day. I’m not really sure why the Lord laid that on my heart at such a young age, but I always knew it was something I would do. However, fostering was a different story. I really did not know much about foster care growing up and I never knew anyone who was a foster parent. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I became aware of the needs of so many hurting children in our community and I knew my family had to do something to help. I wasn’t really sure what that would look like at the time, but God knew! I always say we just kind of”fell” into foster parenting, but really God had a plan all along. Once we made ourselves available to God to step into help hurting children it seemed like God brought opportunity after opportunity for us to minister to hurting single moms and hurting children. It wasn’t long before God chose to use one special little boy to bring us officially into the world of foster care. We took this little guy in when he was a newborn and became his official foster parents when he was about 6 months old. Since that time we have cared for over 13 children in our home, some from state Foster Care and others through different care arrangements. I have seen the impact that providing a safe place for traumatized children to land when their whole world is crashing down around them can bring. We hear so many horror stories about foster care and unfortunately many are true. That’s all the more reason why we as Christians should become involved in helping these children in some capacity. Foster parenting is hard and it’s messy. It’s certainly not for everyone and that’s okay! There are so many other ways to help these children and their families. Bottom line, these children are important to God, so as believers they should be important to us too!
Q: What is your favorite Bible verse?
A: Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If you want to find out more about OCA’s Safe Harbor Ministry and how you can be involved, contact Lisa at email@example.com.