Seeing is believing

Stories
03/11/2011

Seeing is believing 
Olivia-Beth Horak


For someone who says that avoiding the future is something she likes to do, Olivia-Beth Horak has done a great job embracing what life brings her way.

In her senior year of high school, Olivia-Beth almost died from a serious leg infection. Her pastor from Zion Lutheran Church, Houston, paid her a hospital visit.

"I know you don't believe in God or the church," he said, "but I do and I am going to pray for you."

After her recovery, Olivia-Beth told her pastor she would "give the being-a-Christian thing" a shot.

It's been nothing but net since.

A full-time graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin, Olivia-Beth works as a cancer information specialist for the American Cancer Society.

As she reflects on what she's done and where she wants to go, Olivia-Beth believes her identity as a Lutheran and a bisexual are central to her vocation and call in life.

She is an active member of Lutheran Campus Ministry at UT-Austin where she also works with Lutherans Concerned for North America and is the advocate for Diversity and Service Learning for the Lutheran Student Movement. An internship as a therapist for high-risk high school students recently ended.

Sounds like a superwoman, doesn't she? For Olivia-Beth, playing dress-up as a child meant becoming the Superwoman character.

When two fires destroyed two childhood homes within three years, she met real-life super heroes.

"I didn't know what it meant to help others until these life changes," she says. "The kindness of people went a long way toward helping my family recover. They taught me what it meant to be a Superwoman."

She will become a licensed master social worker in Aug 2011. When discussing her work she says, “My faith lives and breathes every day through doing exactly what I know God has called me to do.”

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