From being homeless to helping homeless
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
By Alana Duffle
The thought of being homeless never enters most students' minds. Often times,
they seem to forget how blessed they truly are.
However, this isn't the case for senior communications major, Sara
Taylor. She not only thinks about being homeless, but she also remembers
Taylor lost her mom at the age of five. Her father struggled to make ends
meet, barely making enough for them to live.
"My dad was a truck driver and a carnie (he worked with the carnival), and
he traveled a lot in the summers," Taylor said. "He hurt his back and
couldn't get disability right away, so we lost our rental home and had to live
in our van for a while."
Taylor's dad depended on her grandparents for support, and through the years,
they helped in many ways. They provided financial assistance and kept her
during the summers while her dad was away.
"I have wonderful grandparents. They are my life, and I have missed lots
of class throughout my college days to help them," Taylor said.
Growing up was difficult for Taylor, not only because she lost her mom, but
also because others made fun of her. She often got teased for her height,
dirty clothes and for having scoliosis. Many times, she would lie to avoid
getting made fun of, but the other kids eventually figured out her lies and
made fun of her even more.
"Before I was a Christian, I had no hope, and I believed that God did not
love me even though the Bible told me so," Taylor said. "He took my
mom, my home and I got made fun of constantly."
Little did she know, her life would turn out better than she expected, and she
would soon learn God really did love her.
Taylor started college at Oklahoma Baptist University as a nursing major but
found it very difficult to maintain good grades and take care of her
grandparents while working 45 hours a week.
"I started looking for other schools; my grandmother and I prayed about
finances and where God might lead me," Taylor said. "The next thing I
knew, I had met Justin Taylor, a transfer student to Oklahoma Christian."
After a semester of prayer and driving back and forth from Oklahoma Baptist to
Oklahoma Christian, Sara found ways to make the ends meet and soon transferred to
While at Oklahoma Christian, Sara has been active in Beta Beta Sigma, serving
as a social service director. She has also brought light upon homeless people
by educating them on their situations.
"I opened the eyes of several students to the life of homelessness that
exists only 14 miles from Oklahoma Christian and told them what they could do
to make a difference," Taylor said. "People always think they are
homeless because of decisions they made, but sometimes people are homeless just
because of their situations and things that they cannot control."
Taylor said not all people ask for money in order to buy alcohol or drugs.
"Sometimes, it's [the money] to feed their kids, like my dad did,"
Taylor said one of her favorite memories at Oklahoma Christian is meeting and
falling in love with Justin, who is now her husband. After nearly two
years of dating, Justin proposed at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Justin is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian, and he now works as an intern for
Memorial Road Church of Christ.
"I am there for Sara and want to be there for her," Justin said. "Also,
my parents and my family have accepted her into our family. We are now her
Since Sara is now married, her responsibilities have greatly increased. She
holds down many jobs, including cleaning eight different houses, cleaning the
Day Springs Church of Christ on the weekends, managing the mentor program at
the Oklahoma City Rescue Mission and being a wife to Justin.
After graduation, Sara hopes to continue working at the City Rescue Mission,
but she is open to anywhere God wishes to lead her.
She credits her care for others to the teachings of her dad and grandparents
and thanks God for her many blessings.
"I have an amazing husband who supports and encourages me daily and who
cares so much about the most important people in my life: my grandparents,"
Sara said. "I am happy, and I know that I am loved and that I have been
chosen specifically for the path that God is leading me down. I am unique and
wonderfully made, and I also have a great job."
Sara has come so far in her life, from being homeless, to helping the homeless
and graduating college.
"I am very proud of Sara. She has worked hard in life and school and is
getting ready to graduate," Justin said. "Sara's past has challenged
me and my walk with Christ. She has had to overcome a lot more obstacles than I
have ever had to."