Happy New Year to Everyone!
We hope this newsletter finds you well. We do apologize that it has been a bit since we last wrote. It has been quite hectic around here over the last month!
Welcome Evelynn Noelle!
Since we had decided not to find out the gender of our baby during Rachael’s pregnancy, it was a wonderful surprise when we saw we had another little girl to welcome to our family! This little one choose to enter the world the hard way however, by being face up, which is not the way babies are supposed to be born! After almost 24 hours of labor the doctor told us that Rachael would probably need a cesarean. Without trying to be disappointed or afraid, our only concern at that point was for both mommy and baby to be healthy and safe; we decided we needed to pray one last time, out loud, and declare that this baby would come! Immediately, Rachael felt a difference. Evelynn had turned, and literally was born naturally, within15 minutes! We were tremendously relieved! We knew a lot of people around the world were praying for this baby, and we felt those prayers because they were surely needed!
After such a long and difficult labor, it has taken some time for Rachael’s body to recover, but with each passing day she’s feeling better! Poor Evelynn was diagnosed with jaundice after birth and for 2 weeks frequently needed her blood drawn to make sure the bilirubin level was decreasing. Also, they have both been sick since the first of the year and are still recovering from that. Phew, it’s been a trying month, and having a baby in the middle of winter is no fun at all, but little Evelynn has brought such joy already to our family!
She is currently weighing in at 11 pounds and has grown 2 inches since birth! Now that her jaundice is gone, she’s a completely healthy newborn! She loves to coo, is already making eye contact, and our hearts fill with joy each time she smiles at us! “Baby” quickly became a new word for big sister Rylie who absolutely loves her baby sister! She always wants to know where baby sister is, loves to hold her, rock her in her bassinet, and to sometimes help mommy with retrieving a diaper or pacifier, etc. Life has been crazy since we became a family of four and there’s never a dull moment with a toddler and a newborn!
Atlas of Spencer News
In early December David officially completed his first year as director of Atlas. We’ve reminisced over the last year, about its highs and lows, but overall, we are grateful we’ve had this opportunity to minister to the down and out, who come in seeking help for their physical needs, and often leave with emotional healing they didn’t know they needed. Recently, a lady met with David who came seeking help for her friend and asked; “What do I do for my friend who keeps making bad decisions? I’m afraid she will harm herself.” The miracle of Evelynn’s birth and what God did for us in the moment or our greatest need was still fresh in our minds. He relayed to her the story of her birth and what God had taught him through it. Sometimes we can push and push in the natural and seem to not get anywhere. But we know that the Bible encourages us to not grow weary in doing well, because at the proper time we will reap the harvest. He told this lady to keep “pushing” figuratively, even if against hope, because at the last moment when all strength seems to fail and disappointment sets in, that’s when at the snap of a finger, a head or heart can turn and what previously seemed impossible is now possible.
With winter settling in here in Northwest Iowa, more and more people come in claiming homelessness. A gentlemen we’ll call Carl came in some time ago. He had been arrested and extradited back to our area but then released on bond. He was required to stay in the area until his court date, but in the meantime he had nowhere to go or to stay. We were able to work with a local church which provided him with a transitional house. We also gave him a Bible and some clothes. Last we heard, he had found a job and was doing well. Another gal came in that was homeless with her daughter. Within 24 hours they had a place to stay and our female staff mentor is now meeting with her weekly. Another lady we will call Beth called asking for help. We met with her at her place of employment, because her husband had threatened to kill her with his nine millimeter pistol. She is currently safe, but still she and her family are not completely out of the woods. A man recently came in with congestive heart failure and no money to get his medication. After several days with no meds, his body was swollen with fluids. After about 45 minutes with him, we discovered a way to help him medically. We were able to pray with him and learned he did not own a Bible. We were able to bless him with one and hope he will continue to meet with us.
These are the people we see, hear, and deal with on a weekly basis. Often, we feel helpless to know what to do, especially when we can’t fully solve people’s physical needs.
However, we can listen and pray with them, and to try our best to refer them to someone who can meet their physical needs. We desire deeply for everyone we encounter to come to the revelation of the Risen Jesus and for Him to set them free. This doesn’t happen with everyone we meet, but we are thankful that we can plant a seed and know that in due time, God will bring in the harvest!
We thank you for your prayers and support!
David, Rachael, Rylie, & Evelynn Lyons