From the Director
As we have rolled into December, the words of John Lennon play in my head with a little twist. “Another year [about to be] over…a new one about to begin.” Lennon died just about six months before yours truly was born. The man who proclaimed that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ is no longer, while we are about to celebrate the birth of the One that defeated death itself.
What does that have to do with Atlas? I have been hearing a lot lately about leaving a legacy. Recently in a marriage course my wife and I are a part of, we heard a question. “What will the legacy be – not to our children or even their children – but beyond?” Proverbs 10:7 says, “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” How will I be remembered? How will you be remembered?
A pastor came to me recently and said he wanted to donate his vehicle – as he had just been given a vehicle. Conveniently, I know of a man that has, in the last year, been diagnosed with a potentially crippling disease. This other man has a few children and is a single parent. He is currently interning and working towards a skill set to be able to get a job doing some kind of office work should the disease progress. He had been looking for a vehicle through the Sioux Center Atlas car program.
We were able to be a conduit of blessing. Some people call it paying it forward. This pastor had been blessed with a vehicle. He in turn was able to bless others. That is what Atlas is called to be and to do. As others are able to come alongside those who need a hand-up (opposed to those just looking for hand-outs), we are able to continue to be channels of blessings to those around us.
In this new year, we hope to continue to partner with you all in our communities to continue to seek ways to help people in their hour of need. We are so very thankful for your partnership this year and continue to strive to learn how we can better serve our clients and continue to be great stewards of our time, talents, and resources.
Thank you for your partnership and support. Thank you for all who have volunteered in some capacity this year. Thank you for all who have prayed for us and we many never know it. Thank you for standing with those that are down and out.
The days fly by, and sometimes in the day-to-day, we don’t always see the changes we are trusting God for. It is when we look back that it becomes clearer. It reminds me of a time when I was climbing a mountain in Arizona. (Actually, it was a very large hill but to this Midwest girl, it was a mountain!) There was not a direct path so I had to pick my way up the hill. As I got closer to the top, it became more difficult to know which way to go. I also realized I had to lean into it. When I got to the top and looked back, I could see so clearly where I had been and that it had been the best way to go. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that we make our plans but God directs our steps.
Bringing this story back to Atlas….
Recently I had a client come into the office. She was very distraught and frustrated with situations she was facing, and I wasn’t quite sure the direction to take. In fact, I felt at a loss as to how I could help her! But as I was leaning into God, on the inside I was saying, “God, help!” I felt led to have us lie on the floor and to play some worship music. As we were worshiping before the Lord, He began to give her a picture that went straight to her heart; it changed everything for her! It gave her a direction for how to go forward and find peace in the situation. When God says something, nothing changes, but everything changes!
Kyle Norris, Coordinator
The Aftercare Team meets every Tuesday at Atlas of Spencer, regardless of whether we have someone to mentor or any business to discuss. We gather to pray for the future of the ministry.
Historically, the Aftercare Team has been a group of men helping men re-enter society upon release from prison. These men would come to us by referral from the Church of the Damascus Road in Rockwell City and Fort Dodge Correctional facilities.
Last year, the wife of an inmate was referred to us. Her husband was expected to be released later that year. We met with her weekly to help her understand what to expect upon release. When her husband came home, she was ready. We met weekly with both for a while. God is expanding our territory.
Recently, the mother of a female inmate was introduced to the team. We met with her weekly to help her understand what to expect upon release. Her daughter was to be released soon. This was a new area for us, so we prayed. God provided us with a team of female mentors so he could expand our territory.