Through Stand in the Gap, we do not offer handouts. Instead, through healthy relationships, education, and prayer, Oklahomans in need are empowered to break unhealthy patterns in their lives and achieve self-reliance.
Through Stand in the Gap, we focus on serving three distinct populations; orphans, widows and prisoners. Since 1997, we have been developing focus programs aimed at empowering our target populations by addressing their unique life situations. But at the heart of every program is our belief that people experience healing in relationship with God.
The idea is simple.
Through Stand in the Gap, people in need are connected with people who care.
Through Life Launch, we are investing in the lives of at-risk young people. Our staff and volunteers support youth “wherever they are” and encourage them on their journey to independence and self-sufficiency.
After a training period, a team of volunteers meet with a young adult who is aging out of foster care at least twice a month. Volunteers initially focus on getting to know their young friend. Then, the team begins to help the youth vocalize his or her goals and chart a path to achieving them. Our community connections mean that volunteers never give hand-outs, instead, with a healthy and trusting relationship as a base, they connect youth to the resources they need to give themselves a hand up.
Our goal for each of our Life Launch youth is to see them move toward healthy independence with the support of positive, healthy, stable relationships.
Our society and our churches do not know how to care for a widow in her grief. Sure, there are casseroles and sympathy cards for the first few weeks… But what about one year, three years, or ten years later?
Many widows feel like they are in a “fog” after their husband’s death. They often lose friendships, experience financial hardship, or struggle with illness themselves. The realities of life as a widow usually bring their own, fresh grief.
But being a widow does not have to mean being alone.
Stand in the Gap empowers the church to come around widows and support them in practical and emotional ways. Whether hosting regular widows-only social gatherings, providing practical home maintenance education, or facilitating small groups of widows in relationship with each other, Stand in the Gap provides tested and proven methods to help widows adjust to life after loss.
Women in Transition is a three-stage program.
First, SITGM Women in Transition staff (all formerly incarcerated women) teach our Women in Transition curriculum inside seven Oklahoma prisons and jails. Our course facilitators share their personal stories as well as practical education about: 1) anger management, 2) the power of “no”, 3) characteristics of co-dependency, 4) dealing with stress, 5) communication skills, 6) facing addiction, and more.
Second, after a woman is released, our course facilitators provide one-on-one mentorship support to ensure that course graduates are willing to follow through on their commitment to life change.
Lastly (and this is where you come in!) SITGM recruits and trains a small group of volunteers to come around a woman who is actively pursuing a healthy life after incarceration. Women in Transition volunteers commit to meet in their small group at least twice a month, for a minimum of one year. A Stand in the Gap small group walks with a woman through her transition process, offering encouragement, mentoring, and most importantly, providing prayer support.
Since 1997, only 3% of women who have completed the entire Stand in the Gap program have returned to incarceration. (Nationally 67% of people who have been incarcerated will return to prison or jail within three years.)