When Owen speaks about his early childhood, he remembers times of abject poverty and hopelessness. He grew up with a single mother, who herself never went to school. The only source of income was a small garden, which never produced enough for Owen and his two brothers. Near their home the water taps released water for a period of two hours, only once in a month. The family would get their daily water from the river, which sadly was contaminated from a slaughterhouse.
Owen tells about his worst memory: "I spent all my childhood knocking on people's doors trying to get some food to eat. Each night I would go to a different home. If it wasn't knocking on people's doors, I was digging in the dumpsters."
In 1994, when Owen was in second grade, his mother enrolled him in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. At the child development center he received a balanced meal and fresh water to drink. He also was given items he never knew about: a mosquito net, Christmas gifts, and birthday gifts. Owen says: "At the Compassion Center I was loved on and encouraged so much not to give up in spite of my circumstances. Most importantly they gave me Jesus. This is the reason why I did not quit."
After high school, Owen joined the Leadership Development Program to attend college. He received training and mentoring and learned even more from the Word of God. Through missions and seminars he gained courage to stand before people and preach. Owen says, "I am now a servant leader, an all rounded mature Christian adult."
Of all the people in Owen's extended family, he is the first person to ever finish high school or go to college. Owen says, "The unlikeliest of them all is the one that God used. Compassion International released me from poverty in Jesus' name."