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Over the last five years, Danielle Stendahl has run the Stand in the Gap office with professionalism, grace under pressure, and a quick smile. Danielle was introduced to Stand in the Gap as a neighbor when she was released from prison in 2007. She wrote a beautiful tribute to her Stand in the Gap “neighbor” experience below.

We wish her the best as she moves ahead in her career.Danielle

“A New Tree”

A mother taught her daughter, from a young age, how to love the lord. The mother tendered the girl as if she were growing a tree that was to last a lifetime and to bear much fruit. The girl very much accepted all the nourishment from the mother and as she grew, she was alive and began to bear the fruit her mother had always dreamed she would.

It was time for the girl to go into the world and provide for others the fruit that she bore. The girl was weak though. She made friends and a lover that didn’t bear the same type of fruit. She didn’t take for herself the nourishment that her mother had taught her to take. Over time the girl began to become dry and bitter, as a tree would without water or sunlight. The girl was so distracted with life that she never realized that she had died inside.

Trauma, its what brings the dead to life. By the choices the girl made, trauma happened. Like a tornado that strips the leaves from a tree, the girl was stripped of everything that she knew her life to be. When the ‘Pruner’ came to trim away the old and dead from the girl, she was too dead. He had to completely cut down the tree that once bore him beautiful fruit. The girl only had her roots, and in her roots she found the love of the Lord that her sweet mother had taught her. She began to learn for herself how to nourish her roots and what was necessary to bear the fruit she once bore. She began to live. She started A New Tree.

The girl was introduced to a Stand in the Gap family and it was exactly what she needed to stay consistent in her nourishment. She was encouraged and nourished exactly like she was by her mother. The Stand in the Gap family grew close and became a support for each other. When the year commitment was up, the family love remained. The girl still relies on the nourishment from the Stand in the Gap family.