Going back to where it all began

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Last weekend, the entire Owens clan made a very special trip back to the place that holds a lot of meaning for us and for CAAP. It’s really the place where everything began – our mission, the organization, and our story. I’m talking, of course, about Oral Roberts University.

You may recall that the forerunner of CAAP, the Give Me a Chance Ministry, began when Bill was inspired to help disadvantaged students get a college education at ORU. I myself learned about GMAC and ORU when attending a women’s conference and was similarly inspired to be a part of this amazing ministry.

Last weekend, there was a reunion of former ORU students that included a large number of students who had their degree thanks to GMAC and Bill’s efforts. They wanted to honor Bill, and I wanted to show our children the place where Bill and I met and let them see how transformative Bill’s efforts through GMAC really were.

In the video above, you can get some idea of the love and emotion poured out over the weekend. Credit goes to Pastor T.K. French, a pastor from Maryland, who spearheaded the reunion and had the idea of putting aside the time to honor Bill.

Over the course of the weekend, so many people came up and talked to us about how GMAC changed their lives. Through GMAC and its network, we were able to help more than 400 minority student pursue their dreams. As Pastor French pointed out, it wasn’t just about helping students go to college, it was also about giving them the tools they needed to stay in college.

Being back on the ORU campus was almost like being on holy ground. I told my children about the strict dress codes (ties for men, dresses for women) and mandatory chapel, and how that was really a blessing. It was a different, and special, time.

It was really important to me that Bill have this opportunity to see what a difference he has made – important enough that we even missed my family reunion to attend the award ceremony. I am so happy to see Bill get his flowers while he is still with us. He deserves this honor more than I can say.

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