Happy Summer Everyone!
It seems we jumped right from winter to summer in one months’ time, since just a month ago we still had 15 inches of snow on the ground & then by Memorial Day we had temperatures over 100 degrees. With such a wet “spring” farmers are getting their crops planted late this year, just as in life, ministry is sewing & reaping as well, & sometimes all we can do is offer our very best with what is before us & leave the results up to God.
With that analogy in mind, we have spent a lot of time sewing in the past few months. As always, names will be changed for privacy. Tonya, recently came to our ministry office & seemed reluctant to come in. She had been crying for quite some time & David invited her inside. She has stopped by before with some really tough issues, that in the natural will be hard to overcome & move on from. Because you see, it’s not just her that was affected by happenings in the past, but her kids suffered even more so. As we continue to walk alongside & counsel her, we are praying Jesus would win her heart, heal her pain, & bring comfort to her children.
Another visit was from a young man who is in his mid-20s. He proceeded to tell us that he has stage 4 terminal cancer but is also addicted to meth. David talked to him about his addiction & of his need for a Deliverer. We spent about two hours talking & praying for him, but he walked out & has not come again.
Ruth called the office needing help to move some appliances in their home in preparation for a move to another house. When we arrived, we noticed she was virtually immobile. She has a skin disease on her leg that is literally eating away all of her flesh & also filling her leg with fluid. We prayed with her to receive healing and talked to her about the Lord.
An older gentleman was referred to us by a local church. He needed gas money for a cancer treatment appointment at a larger hospital 2 hours away. At the time, he was living in his car with his dog & seemingly with no hope. Thankfully, he is a believer so we talked with him & prayed with him & sent him on his way not expecting to ever see him again. Well, a week later David was at a Rotary meeting & a gentleman tapped David on the shoulder; he was on the phone with a veterinarian who had put a dog to sleep. It turns out it was the same man who had come in a few weeks earlier. He was hurting after losing his only “friend,” so we spent the remainder of the day with him trying to help with his various situations & prayed with him to find hope. We pray he will stay in contact with us & we are for healing of his cancer.
Another gal who we’ve come in contact with has recently moved to the area. She has a baby, as a result of a crime done to her. It’s obvious she’s led a very rough lifestyle & does not have much knowledge of the love of God. We’ve been able to bless her with a bed, a crib, furniture, & other household items. She has contacted us regularly to thank us & updates us on the progress of when she will receive her baby back from foster care. Her last words to us were, “I am trending back to Christianity.”
It isn’t just the “down & out” we are serving either. From the beginning of our return to Spencer, we have had the desire to unite ministries & churches. Currently, there are 5 pastors (out of the 23 churches) in town, all from different denominations, who are meeting weekly for a time of prayer, Bible study, & fellowship. David has also been tag teeming with another ATLAS employee in leading & teaching a men’s bible study at a church in town.
Our baby girl is not a little baby girl anymore! We celebrated her 1 year birthday on April 27th & what a year it has been! We’ve watched her grow from a sleepy little infant to an always on the move little tot. Every month still brings new & exciting changes in her. We’re still waiting for those first confident steps on her own, she has gotten pretty efficient at walking behind her “walker” toy & has taken a few shaky steps on her own, but she still prefers the easier mode of transportation in crawling J She’s been such a joy to our lives!
We’d like to thank all of you who faithfully pray & support our ministry, without that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do! We’d like to encourage continued support as well as ask for new support since we are still very much involved in full-time ministry! Raising funds is what allows us to continue doing what we do. Your support goes towards being a continued blessing to a few good friends of ours serving full time in Peru & who are continuing the labor there (we will be featuring some of them in our upcoming newsletters). It will also go towards our own basic family needs & to support local missions here in Iowa. We are still receiving funds through our mission’s organization of Fire International, so how to give to our ministry has not changed.
We will leave you all with this; 1 Corinthians 15:58 says in the ESV version, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” As we mentioned earlier the analogy of sowing & reaping, we all as brothers & sisters in Christ do the work of the Lord, which the Bible calls us to do. Sometimes we don’t see the results very quickly of our sowing, but isn’t it great that the Bible says; to not grow weary in doing good, for if we don’t give up, in due time, we will reap a harvest. (Galatians 6:9) We want to encourage you to keep persevering in your work for the Lord, in your life & areas of ministry that even if you are tired, or not seeing the results you desire, to not give up, be steadfast. For we have this promise from God that it is Jesus Christ who gives us the victory! (1 Corinthians 15:57) God is the one who brings in the harvest as we remain faithful!