Life Launch is a program of Stand in the Gap Ministries that provides support for youth aging out of foster care.
Program Director John Venture, says that Life Launch began after research about what happens to youth who age out of foster care. “We were just amazed at the numbers of kids ending up homeless, jobless, in prostitution, couch surfing, on drugs, etc. so we decided that we needed to do something and we created Life Launch under Stand in the Gap,” Venture says. He explains, "Life Launch provides relational, emotional and when they’re ready spiritual support to a youth who is aging out or has aged out of foster care and doesn’t have any stable, consistent adult relationships in their life.” Every week or every two weeks a youth meets with volunteers of Stand in the Gap’s Life Launch in a social setting. During these times people share their life, advice, and encouragement. Life Launch was created around two and a half years ago. Venture has been involved in Stand in the Gap for over ten years. Stand in the Gap has been in existence for over fifteen years co-founded by Buddy Stone. Venture says, “It’s a fascinating ministry with the recognition that it can no longer be the state or the government that helps our brothers and sisters. We need to get the involvement of the Christian community. They make the difference.”
Venture asks for prayers for youth going through transitions because most of those who end up in foster care are there as a result of physical, mental, or sexual abuse or neglect. In addition to prayers another vital way to help is through communication with church leaders. Once church leaders are aware of Life Launch, they can invite Life Launch to give a mini-presentation at their church. The presentation can be from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. Follow up to the presentation is an orientation with those interested in volunteering. Orientation is about an hour to an hour and a half. Then volunteers who complete a short application and background checks can begin meeting with a youth coming out of foster care as a Life Launch group. For those interested in a presentation for their church, call John Venture's cell phone at 918-231-1517 or the Stand in the Gap office at 918-585-6112.
Financial contributions are also needed. Along with giving financially, other gifts are welcome, such as birthday gifts and bus passes. Monetary donations can securley be donated on their website: sitgm.com under the “donate” tab.