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 when she was given the opportunity to work with children in a housing project in San Antonio and later, children in foster care in Waxahachie.
Since 2014, she has made five trips to work with the children at Coreluv in Haiti. With each trip, Tina's heart hurt more and more for children who had been left behind.
In April of 2016, Tina befriended a homeless man that had been in foster care and had aged out. This man had been homeless most of the 18 years since he had aged out of the system. God continued to put it on her heart that she needed to do something about the increasing amount of young people that age out of foster care in the Houston area.
During a family dinner on August 19, 2016, 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.
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.
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 literal 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.