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  • David Lyons

Changes in Latitudes changes in Attitudes

No I am not referring to Jimmy Buffett. Below I will include the text from the most recent newsletter for those that don't receive it. I hope it blesses you.

As we have started this new year, we would like to communicate with all of you some of the exciting happenings over the last year. Before we communicate those, I would like to mention that we are always seeking to strive to do at least three things: 1. Always learn. 2. Always strive to provide value to people’s lives. 3. Always practice good stewardship of the generous donations of time, talents, and treasure that people have entrusted to us.

As somewhat of a visionary, I am always seeking ways to impact more and more people. It has been said, “It is amazing what God can do if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” Thus, instead of trying to build up the name of Atlas, we have sought to empower and influence others to take the risks to be in position to help others through crazy ideas. In prayer about 12 – 18 months ago a phrase came to me from 1 Samuel 14:6. The main character in the passage says to his armor-bearer, “Come, let us go over there …It may be the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or few.” In my paraphrase the thought came as this: “Let’s try some crazy things. We might fail, but we won’t know if we don’t try. Also, perhaps God is looking for someone who is willing to step out in faith. Let’s step out in faith and see what God will do.”

Although there is more happening than what we will share, I will quickly highlight three areas. The first is our After-care prison team. While they have been meeting for some time and have helped many people, in the last year the team has expanded to start meeting with women coming out of prison. As with anything, there are growing pains; however, each person involved is committed to bring value to people’s lives that can in turn bring value back to the community. Currently they are in the learning stages as well. Please pray for them.

Next, we were approached last year by Paulette Karolczak from Common Sense Parenting. See the article in this newsletter.

Finally, one of the major announcements is that we are opening a satellite Atlas office for the Lakes Area. There are people everywhere in every stage of life that need a helping hand. Our Atlas office fields calls from all over the place including Emmetsburg, Lake Park, Harris, Sibley, Sheldon, Sanborn, Hartley, Royal, Storm Lake, Rembrandt, Truesdale, Spirit Lake, and beyond. It was apparent we couldn’t meet all the needs, nor would it be good stewardship to try. Thus, we have tried to utilize community partners to help.

As we started fielding more calls from the Lakes area, I started asking Dave Butterworth to meet with and mentor people in that area. After a lengthy time of discussion, planning, and praying we have launched an office to help meet the needs there. We will step out in faith. As mentioned above, our attitude has been, “Come, let’s see what the Lord will do for us.” As also mentioned above, we are always seeking to practice good stewardship. We are pleased to announce that the Okoboji Bible conference has offered us space on a temporary basis rent-free. Also, one stipulation for the Lakes Area office is that funding for it will come from outside sources and not our usual donors. Finally, Dave will be stepping off the board in order to manage that office efficiently. So, my boss will now become my employee. (Muhahahaha. Just kidding.)

We strive to maintain stability, integrity and a good reputation. Arvin Druvenga, who was on the board for many years, will be stepping back onto the board. Also, we are in the process of adding additional members to our board to continue with our stability and accountability

Therefore, we invite you to continue to dream with us. We covet your prayers; we are so deeply appreciative of every donation you have given. We will always strive to best serve you, our clients, and our community. We want to do all with excellence and integrity. We want to continue to offer a hand-up to those in need.

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