Stand in the Gap

> Tulsa, OK

JeffBrought up in an alcoholic family, Jeff had little incentive to succeed early on in life and had a number of run-ins with the law by the time he reached adulthood. After having a profound spiritual experience, Jeff was referred to Bob Althoff of Tulsa’s Stand in the Gap (SITG) ministry by someone within his church. “When Jeff came to Stand in the Gap, he had no support system”, Althoff comments. As Jeff himself describes it, “I was in Church 3 or 4 times a week. Plus all my AA meetings. I needed help, I really did. I was making changes, but I knew there had to be more to life than this.” Out of this desire for more, Jeff made a two-year commitment to SITG’s mentoring ministry. He’d receive a spiritual family that would come alongside him in all his activities and provide him with counsel and love.

Over time, the friendships that developed between Jeff and his team at the formal weekly meetings began to spill over into informal contacts throughout the week. “My Stand in the Gap team is truly wonderful,” Jeff comments. “I never thought I would meet such wonderful people. I often wondered: What in the world would these people want to do with me? They all were wearing business suits. And I am a jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes type of guy. But after I got to know them, I became best friends with all those guys. They know my background and accept me just as I am.”

In addition to helping Jeff stay sober and grow in Christ, the SITG team assisted him in launching his own automotive detailing company. In describing the value of becoming a business owner, Jeff says, “That was just a blessing, because there are a lot of temporary jobs here in Tulsa, but I could do this full time.” Since opening the business, Jeff has secured full-time employment elsewhere and continues to run his business on weekends.

SITG believes in reciprocal ministry. Jeff’s team mentored him in issues of business. But he returned the favor, as they learned from him about faith, trust, and dependence on God. For everyone involved, the greatest joy of the mentoring was their common “God sightings” – when they could recognize God’s hand in the transformation they all experienced.

Although his journey is not complete, Jeff’s story of transformation is representative of the powerful work being done throughout Tulsa by SITG. As Bob Althoff describes Jeff’s story, his voice exudes both resolve and gratitude for the team. “They loved him, wrapped themselves around him, advocated for him, and were willing to give time to him. That has made all the difference.”

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