Tina James, Founder of OAI, has always had a heart and desire to work in the mission field, but did not have an opportunity to do so until 2012. Through an active church life with the Church at Creeks End, she was given the opportunity to join the mission trips that worked with underprivileged children of San Antonio and foster care children in Waxahachie.
Since 2014, she has made five trips to work with the children at Coreluv in Haiti. She is so thankful that Coreluv stepped up and is now a voice for these beautiful children of God that were abandoned at such a young age. Her heart broke for children that come from hard places, a little more, with each trip.
In April of 2016, Tina became friends with a homeless man that had been in foster care and aged out of the system. This man had been homeless most of the 18 years since he had aged out of the system. God kept putting it in her heart that she needed to do something about the persistent amount of young adults that age out of the foster care system in her area.
On the weekend of August 19th, 2016, God spoke to Tina in such a way that she could not deny what He wanted her to do. During a family dinner, Jen, her sister-in-law began talking about her research on healthcare for the homeless. Jen continued to explain how she had come across a place called Mobil Loaves and Fishes and Community First! Village based in Austin, Texas. These non-profits provide assistance to the homeless and are changing lifes.
The Community First! Village caught Tina’s attention! It was very much what she envisioned for those that age out of the foster care system. She felt this was God getting her attention to help! That night as she went to bed, she prayed to God, asking Him to scream at her if this was what He wanted from her, which was extremely out of her comfort zone, besides being a crazy idea and much too overwhelming.
On Sunday, August 21, 2016, she received four text messages, all pointing her to the idea that God did indeed want her to pursue helping those that age out. During a drive the same Sunday, she began thinking of all the research she would need to do, of all the people she would need to talk with, and finally where would the money for the land and building of the facility come from when the planning was done and the vision was ready to be implemented. As soon as she finished this thought, she looked to the side of the road and there was a sign – definitely from God – that simply said, “THE LORD WILL PROVIDE…….GENESIS 22:8”.
Tina has never doubted for one minute that this nonprofit vision is from and for God - not hers. She feels it is unacceptable to not help as many of the young adults that age out of the system as possible. Our prayer at OAI is for the nonprofit to stay in God’s will and plan, not our own. We pray for Him to place the right people to help with our program and that we would play an important role in training, lifting up, and edifying His chosen children into becoming adults that will make a positive influence in the world, and above all else, that OAI will bring glory to His name.