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.
Back in Prisons and Jails!
After more than a year of being closed to volunteers, the Department of Corrections is beginning to reopen! This month Kathy and JoSonda (pictured) returned to Mabel Bassett and Rhonda and Shaunte returned to Eddie Warrior to teach our Women in Transition class. The class provides hope to thousands of Oklahoma women each year. We've missed them and are so happy to be back!
An Extension of Family
We celebrated a Life Launch team graduation! While in the program she was gifted a car (through a Stand in the Gap connection), was able to obtain a full time job as a store manager (the car was very helpful in that process), is raising her daughter and doing a fabulous job! She says, “My mentors are an extension of my family. I love meeting with them because it gives me a break from the stressors of life.” *Faces obscured for the safety of our Life Launch graduate and her daughter.
Welcome Back Widows!
One of our community partners, Beautiful Day Foundation, hosted a drive-through event on May 1st to "Welcome Back" their Kindred Community widows. Kindred Community is the widow program of Beautiful Day Foundation, and is dedicated to loving and serving women in the Duncan, Oklahoma area who have lost their husbands. This was the first event since March 2020 and in the words of Jan Palovik, Kindred Community Coordinator, was "super simple, but super impactful." Jan also said that seeing the ladies again was "Food for my soul." Volunteers passed out cards and decorated boxes with a yummy homemade cinnamon roll inside. Thank you to Beautiful Day and Kindred Community for loving on the widows in your community! Well done!
Road Ready (almost)
We love celebrating milestones in the lives of the young adults we serve through Life Launch! Cody just completed Driver's Ed! That means he is one step closer to independence and self sufficiency. His Life Launch Program Manager, Alicia, says, "He couldn’t have done it without support from others at Stand in the Gap. I'm super excited for him." Join us in praying for Cody as he takes his permit test and then license testing.
"I can make it through..."
Amie graduated from her Women in Transition small group! Looking back on her Stand in the Gap experience, Amie said she learned "that no matter what happens in life, whether it's anger or a bad boss or whatever, I can make it through it without the use of drugs and that I can make it in life on my own and be happy." She was reunited with her children, got a car and an apartment, and saw growth in her ability to deal with her anger, all with the help, prayers, and encouragement of her Stand in the Gap small group.
Returning the Favor
Tish's Stand in the Gap family has a lot to celebrate. During their time together, Tish was able to get her license, get a job, began the healing process with her parents, and reunite with her children.
AND... Tish's Stand in the Gap family have decided to mentor another Women in Transition with Tish being part of that family as a volunteer!!! Many of our WIT graduates have such a positive experience that they want to help other women. This is such a beautiful part of the Stand in the Gap story. When the cycle is broken for you and you are empowered to stop the cycle for someone else. What a legacy! Congratulations, Tish.
Cars Building Communities
Our partner, Church of the Highlands in Alabama, recently hosted their first event for widows in their congregation. Volunteers from the church washed cars and hosted a car clinic for widows. Mark Brazeale, the organizer, said the car wash was a "huge success". We find that this kind of practical help is so appreciated. Sometimes the simple act of sharing knowledge and washing a windshield can show a widow that she is seen and valued by her church family, opening the door for deeper relationships and care.