Launched in 2010, Stand in the Gap has created a threefold focus to the ministry of "Camp Shalom": Evangelism, Discipleship and a Missional Social Justice approach and has blessed 602 children, youth and also a number of our adult guests with "Special Needs."
Stand in the Gap is an extension of our mission to point and empower people to Jesus Christ:Stand in the Gap is a camp sponsorship program that "empowers" people when then attend camp; it is a process that sees poverty as a result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. "Poverty is the absence of shalom in all of its meaning. Poverty exists where one or more of the four foundational relationships for each person are broken: a relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation." Authors Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett, from When Helping Hurts.
Three different approaches to poverty alleviation exist: relief; the urgent provision;rehabilitation; the restoration to positive elements; and development; the process of ongoing change that moves moves all people involved closer to being in a right relationship with God, self, others, and creation. Jesus stated in scripture, Mark 14:7 "For you will always have the poor with you, and when you want, you can do good for them." Our goal moving forward with SITG is to define "good" as the process of ongoing change that moves a little boy or girl, a teen, or an individual with "special needs" closer to being in a right relationship with God, self, others, and creation.
Here’s how it works. The camp partners with 12-15 churches, agencies and service organizations with the capacity to identify and follow-up the marginalized children, youth and individuals that may have "special needs" within their community. In 2017, 70 spaces have been allocated within our programs for Stand in the Gap participants. These organizations pay the first $150 to sponsor each qualified camper which assists in off-setting the actual session costs. The difference is raised through annual sponsored events, like Family Day on February 20th, the Comedy in Motion with Bob Cates on April 28th, and our monthly Stand in the Gap Camper Sponsorship Program.