Olivia Ostergaard

Olivia has a BA in Psychology from Cal Baptist University, ’77, and a second BA from Cal State Bakersfield, in Fine Arts, with a concentration in  Vocal Music/ English. She taught Choir to K-6 Graders for Fresno Unified, from 1990-92. She has been married to her husband Jim, for 25 years. They live in Fresno, with their son, James, who is 17.  She enjoys Oldies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, old-Time Radio, baking, biking, bowling, hiking, and reading. She is active in Bible Study Fellowship, and her Women’s Ministry at church, and sings in the Choir. She has been an advocate for the blind and disabled locally, statewide, and nationally.

As you can see by the title of her book “Looking at the Unseen: My Guide Dog Journey-How God Led Me Every Step of the way”, I am legally blind, a wife, mother, blogger, and wear many other hats. I love God’s Word, and I try to implement the Word in everything I write about. I occasionally blog on my Facebook Author page about what God is teaching me. I’m partial to writing for women, but I’ll write about issues that effect us as believers, not matter who or what we are.


     

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Olivia’s Faith Story

Coming to the planet at just 1 ½pounds, dropping to 14 oz. I was a big deal at my home church. Since I was a premie, babies born three months early weren’t expected to live. However, that didn’t stop my home church from having daily prayer meetings for me. It worked, because I’m writing this story. The oxygen they administered to me in the incubator destroyed my retinas, causing them to crisscross. This wasn’t normal, and it left me with diminished vision. I had 20/200 in both eyes, making me legally blind. I had to go to a special day class for the Visually Impaired, and in third grade, I was transferred to a city school, with a teacher for as we were called “partially-sighted.” We used large print, and I learned to type.

At seven or so, I barely remember our pastor coming to the house to talk to me about becoming a Christian. I must have, because I was baptized on Easter Sunday evening in 1961. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I went along for ten years going to church, Sunday School, VBS, and singing in the youth choir, and all. It wasn’t until I was in my second year in college, that I was with Campus Crusade for Christ, now CRU. Our College Life House turned out more staff for them, under the direction of Cal and Faith Myatt, now deceased. They were our spiritual mentors, and taught us everything we needed to know to live the fulfilled life of a believer.

We had “Action Groups,” where we went through the “Ten Basic Steps to the Christian Life,” by Bill Bright. We were at a Spring Conference at Arrowhead Springs, where Josh McDowell was the key note speaker. A friend had share with me about how God wanted to fill us with His Spirit, and I was interested. On April 14, 1973, I found a quiet place, and asked God to fill me with His Spirit. I can’t explain how I felt, because it was like the light bulb was turned on. I finally began to understand all that stuff I’d learned at church those ten years earlier. I really began growing, and God did wonderful things in my life.

I then went for another BA in Music/English at Cal State Bakersfield, in ’86. I had begun their Fifth Year Teaching Credential Program. Things got whey-laid because I met and married my husband, Jim, in ‘87/’88. Our son was born in ’97, and is in his Freshman year in college and doing great. Yet again, God used my involvement in BSF about ten years ago, to help me seal my faith. Due to intense Bible study, I grew so much and now it was my faith not my parents, friends, or anyone else.

One of my life verses is. Isaiah [42:16] which says,
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

Another life verse is 2 Cor. [4:18], which says,
“For we look not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen; For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal. KJV

God has certainly made some of those rough places smooth, and led me in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. There is so much more I could share, but time doesn’t permit. Suffice it to say that I now write for His glory, and am just really getting started. I don’t know where this being an author will lead. It’s not up to me. I just follow His orders, and obey.

Looking at the Unseen: My Guide Dog Journey

This the story of Olivia’s ten-year struggle to get a guide dog. Not just any dog—but the one God has for her. As a legally blind wife/mother, Olivia goes from a novice to a competent guide dog handler. After three difficult attempts, the wait was worth it.

What types of obstacles does she encounter? Can she conquer her doubts, fears, and criticism from others? Come along with her on this incredible journey of faith in everyday life, for both blind and sighted alike. it is one that will definitely inspire, challenge, and inform..