In an increasingly unstable world,
hope is still the most important thing.
This month, we are sharing some of our “hope highlights” from the last 4 weeks.
May these short stories bring you hope.
The Gift of Being Remembered
Our Widows Program Director, JoLeta Nash, received funding from her daughter's life insurance company, Thrivent, to assemble and deliver bags of Christmas joy to 30 widows on December 12. The two drove 125 miles making their deliveries! JoLeta called it "a very emotional day" because of how touched the women were that someone was thinking about them. What a great reminder to seek out and love on the widow this season!
We Know Thanksgiving Was Last Month...
But, we didn’t get the chance to share Dustie’s feature story on our local CBS news. This year, Dustie celebrated her second Thanksgiving outside of prison walls in 20 years. And it was even more special to share the day with her precious baby boy. Watch her feature story here.
Jackie Cooper Spreading the Joy
For the last several years, Jackie Cooper Imports has contributed to Christmas gifts for our Life Launch young adults. This year was no different! They provided blankets and VISA gift cards for 25 young adults! Alicia and Hayden distributed the gifts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Thank you Jackie Cooper!
“I thought, 'Is there hope for someone like me?' I’m in my 50s. [The corrections system] said I was a habitual criminal; that I would never be able to change. And I believed that, I really did.
But Rhonda (Stand in the Gap’s Women in Transition Program Director) gave me some hope. I started to dream. I didn’t know if I was allowed to dream because that wasn’t something I was raised with: to have goals, or ambitions, or to dream.”
Connie is a Women in Transition Graduate. She recently gave us an update on her life and wanted to share some good news. “God is still restoring. I found my mother and sister. NO more mugs shots for my family. God is restoring my family because you gave me hope. Just as you gave me hope, I want to let others know that God’s timing is everything!”
Celebrating the Next Chapter
Life Launch Team Noah celebrated his graduation from the program this month! Noah got his GED and is beginning his Graphic Arts degree. Hayden Coffee, OKC Life Launch Program Manager, says, "We are so proud of the way that Noah met his goals and is becoming who he is made to be. There were many successes along the way and we are excited to see his relationships continue to thrive and flourish in the future! Way to go mentors and Noah for an incredible year."
"The only thing stronger than fear..."
Cindy was featured in our Episodes of Hope. (If you haven't seen her story, click to watch!) She wrote to thank people who contributed to Stand in the Gap after hearing her story and her words are too good not to share...
"I am now meeting with a Stand in the Gap small group. I'm blessed to be surrounded by such good examples & strong women. I can't say that I don't still have a little fear of my future or that this journey has been easy so far -- but I can say that the support of Stand in the Gap has been amazing. You have taught me that the only thing stronger than fear is HOPE."
Feels Like Home (Office)
Part of our OKC team met to re-imagine the office space. JoLeta and Hayden totally rearranged everything. JoLeta says, "It now feels like home, and a comfortable space for work, as well. We love it!! I am so excited to be forming a close-knit sisterhood with the other ladies in OKC - Hayden and Kathy!! ❤" We love to see our team bonding and making work life better!
A New Family
Shannon, Jenny, and Margie formed a new Stand in the Gap small group around Cherish! Cherish has graduated from our Women in Transition course in prison and through First Step. She says, "This is a perfect group"
That's what we love to hear!
Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
We still aren't able to teach our Women in Transition course behind prison walls due to COVID. But some facilities are missing our course so much that they are taking matters into their own hands! This month, WIT course books started arriving at Oklahoma County Jail. Women will take the course by reading our book and completing their homework for delivery to our OKC Program Manager, Kathy Peacock. We are grateful to be able to support these women as best we can during these isolating times!
The Best News of All
And of course, this month we celebrate the most hopeful news of all time, that Christ is born and we are saved. We wish you all a happy and safe Christmas. "Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79