Greg and Pam Ayers were faced with a life altering decision. After the loss of two very close relationships they asked God for a clearer and more meaningful purpose in their lives. Both Greg and Pam’s careers were very successful, but did not have an impact in God’s Kingdom. God dealt with their hearts and in the fall of 1995 Greg and Pam both resigned executive management positions to pursue full time pastoral ministry. Throughout the next three years God began to instill and birth a vision in them that would be the catalyst for an extreme walk of faith.
Founders Greg and Pam Ayers resigned executive positions in the finance industry and with two young children moved to Tucson because they believed God had called them to minister to the “widow, orphan, the hungry and naked.” Through the years, GAP Ministries’ many programs have stemmed from that basic calling – caring for our modern day “orphans”, foster children who have been removed from their families due to neglect or abuse, and providing for struggling individuals in our society who are in need of help to get back their feet.
GAP Ministries began in 1999 in their own home. With spare bedrooms and extra space in their garage, they used what was already “in their hand” to begin impacting the hurting in our community. Their home became a place of honor for the hurting foster children it served. As the first house parents, the Ayers family soon adopted four of the children they had come to love.
The need for loving homes for foster children grew over the years and GAP has increased or decreased the number of homes depending on the need. At the peak of the foster care crisis in 2014, they opened a total of 14 homes to care for close to 150 children each night. GAP Ministries also licenses and trains individuals and couples to become foster parents. Additionally, we are licensed by the state of Arizona to provide supervised visits and parent aid to families of the children in order to see healthy reunification of families when at all possible.
From a food pantry in their garage, GAP’s food and basic needs programs have grown over the past 20 years. It is now housed in a 40,000 square foot warehouse. In 2012 GAP formed a partnership with Good360, a national gift-in-kind organization, and added household goods, hygiene products, and many more items to the food that was being shared weekly with organizations serving hurting people throughout Southern Arizona.
In 2014 GAP opened a commercial kitchen, along with a mobile food truck to better help disadvantaged people in our community. We could now take the highly perishable food that was donated and turn it into nutritious meals that could serve many more children and adults. GAP Kitchen serves 1000 meals each week to low-income school children, preschools, and to the homebound elderly. The Culinary Training Program is a highly competitive 40-hour/week 10 week program giving a second chance in the culinary industry to adults coming from difficult pasts.
In 2018, GAP added Miracle Center to our family of ministries. This transitional housing program for women struggling with addiction was a perfect fit because it serves many of the same population we are already striving to care for.
Through the years, GAP has been involved in many different outreaches, including Backpack-2-School, where GAP gave away approximately 50,000 backpacks filled with supplies to low-income schools. We have stepped out in faith to try new endeavors, some of which have remained, and others have been replaced.
At our 20 year mark in 2019, GAP had cared for over 2600 foster children, at least 200 of whom had been adopted by GAP staff. GAP’s Community Warehouse had shared 13,900,000 pounds of food and $20,300,000 worth of basic needs items with the hurting in our community through the partnership of over 50 local nonprofits and churches. The GAP Kitchen had prepared 546,000 nutritious meals, and graduated 71 culinary students now working at top restaurants in Tucson. And we have supervised over 10,000 visits with parents working hard to reunite their families.
As we look toward the future, we trust God to lead this ministry where His heart directs, serving “the least of these,” and bringing help, healing and hope to children, families, and our community.
Standing in the GAP for those in need, bringing HELP to Children,
HEALING to Families,
and HOPE to our Community
Our Core Values
We are a faith based ministry Standing in the GAP for our community.
Matt. 6:33 • Prov. 2:2-10
We are faith driven, choosing to seek God first and pursue wisdom from heaven that will produce creative solutions for the personal and social issues we all face.
Jer. 29:11 • James 1:27 • Matt 28:18-20
We are empowering, realizing that people are more important than projects. We will make a significant effort to create a sustainable community, where we develop people not just programs.
1 Peter 4:8–11 • Luke 21:1-4
We are compassionate, learning to love our neighbor and serve rather than being served, realizing there are needs that are always greater than our own, so being faithful to give even when it does not seem there is enough to give.
Matt. 6:33 • Prov. 2:2-10
We are collaborative, setting aside our own agenda to work with each other and other like-minded organizations with common purpose.
1 Peter 4:8–11 • Luke 21:1-4
We are adventurous, wild, fun and slightly crazy, pushing the boundaries and expecting God to move in extraordinary ways
GAP Ministries is grateful for our foundational and corporate sponsors that make it possible to serve thousands of children and families, and our Southern Arizona community.
Take A Tour
Tour the 4 buildings that make up the 5-acre Campus of Hope. Start in the Admin building at 11:30 am with lunch prepared by the GAP Kitchen team. At noon, walk to the Family Center, the Community Warehouse, and the Career Plus building and future home of the GAP Kitchen. (If you or someone in your group has difficulty walking, please reach out to us before scheduling a tour so that we can make accommodations.)
We schedule tours during working hours because we want you to get the full picture of GAP’s many programs. For those who have jobs that do not allow them to get away that long for lunch, we will take private tours! If you would prefer to schedule a tour on a different day or time, we are happy to work with you (however, it will not include lunch). Reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-392-8436.
We are located at 2025 W. Highway Dr. (I10 & Prince Rd.)
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