Greetings from all of us at ATLAS--
As a kid, summertime meant bike riding, exploring, working in the garden, mowing lawns and running through the lawn sprinkler. Our family didn’t have air conditioning growing up so we didn’t miss it because we didn’t know what we were missing. Many summers of my youth were very hot, similar to this past summer. When we finally did get air conditioning, we felt that we would never want to go back to life without it.
I think that’s how it is for many people who come to know Christ. They haven’t experienced God and they don’t know the full extent of what a relationship with Him can do for them. They don’t know the impact a relationship like that can make in their lives. Christ changes everything. Once an intimate relationship with God has developed, they would never want to go back to the old way or old life prior to Him. Christ is our air conditioning.
So how does a person get from not knowing Christ to knowing Him? He has given us His word so that we can know Him. To know God is to know His word. His word is life to all that would know Him. Many people are not into God’s word often enough. The Bible is not like any other book and shouldn’t be treated as such. The deeper a person goes into the word, the more the Holy Spirit becomes an active participant in their lives. His word is a living word. At ATLAS of Rock County, we encourage everyone to engage Him and see what God will do in their lives.
Here at ATLAS, it has been a very busy summer. So much so, that we are amazed at where it went to so fast! Fall is now upon us and has us thinking of our huge Christmas decoration sale on Friday and Saturday November 10th and 11th. There will be treats available for you to eat and prizes to register for during Redeemed Remnant’s regular business hours held in our Community Room.
The ATLAS Community Room can be rented for $150.00 for a full day or $75.00 for a half day. We have had a variety of different events to date and are eager to have you check our Community Room. You can call the ATLAS office at 507-449-5777 for more details.
I would like to thank everyone who supported Second Mile Bicycle this year. This is our second year of bicycle ministry serving Rock County residents. We repaired and refurbished 151 bicycles this year and participated in the Bike Rodeo and the opening of the trail system. We also gave away 10 bicycles to people who needed them for transportation. The four volunteers we have that worked on the bicycles did a fantastic job and will be back at Second Mile for next season. In springtime, we will be looking for one more volunteer to join our team. Our season is from May 1st to October 15th. Again, thank you for supporting us with your business and your donations.
In continuing our thanks, we would like to say thank you to everyone who donated to our thrift store, Redeemed Remnants. Your donations help to fund our one on one work that we do with people at ATLAS and also provide needed household, furniture, and clothing items to many people for low cost or at no cost to them. When donating to Redeemed it is good to keep in mind the quality and working condition of the items donated. We try to pass items onto others that you yourself would be proud to own. If you think an item is a piece of junk, it probably is, and it should go into the landfill.
Many people probably have heard of ATLAS, but don’t know what exactly we do here. ATLAS is a place to come to when a person is wrestling with something in life or just needs someone to talk to. We listen, and try to help as we are able. Help may come in a variety of forms. Sometimes, just listening is a big help. Many people are very lonely and struggle to just get through life alone. Help may come in the form of pointing out other resources in the community for them to access. Helping people directly with some of their needs or helping them to budget their money is another way we connect with them.
People need to be encouraged and also need to be held accountable for their actions. At ATLAS, we do both. We know that a relationship with God is much better than none at all so we encourage getting to know Him. As a faith based non- profit organization, anyone who comes here should expect to be encouraged to follow Jesus because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. All that we have here is because of Him.
Many people come to us looking for emotional and spiritual support. We can help with that too through our mentoring program. Mentoring is a big part of what we do at ATLAS. Our gift to others, through mentoring, is walking alongside them while navigating the things of life. ATLAS is an acronym for Attaining Truth, Love and Self-control. We want that for everyone we come in contact with. The three pinnacles of ATLAS are to help the hurting, equip the saints, and unite community. We are blessed to be a part of people’s lives in Rock County and are eager to serve others into the future with your help. Your support of ATLAS helps you, your neighbor, and many people you don’t even know. God is Good!
I will end this fall newsletter with a true story of a person who came to see us. Becky (not her real name) came into our office one day. She was working part time at a local convenience store and was sickly. She was struggling with several issues and we did mentoring with her for a time. After that, we didn’t see her again for about a year until one day she just walked back into ATLAS. I could hardly recognize her. She looked healthy and had a great smile. We didn’t see that while we mentored her. The difference between then and now was God. She is now a manager of a popular nationwide food chain in Sioux Falls. She said she is making more money than she ever made before and has great insurance benefits. Becky is attending church now which she hadn’t done before. Her life totally changed. Becky volunteered to us why her life had changed. She said, “I came to ATLAS and you spoke truth to me. You said what I needed to do and kicked me in the butt (not literally) and helped me to see who I am and what my potential can be in Jesus.” After much discussion, I told Becky that it is not us but the power of the Holy Spirit working through us on her behalf. She thanked us again and went on her way. Praise the Lord!
I would like to say this happens all the time but it doesn’t. To decide to want to follow Jesus is a choice. To be in submission to Him is a choice. To reap the benefits of an abundant life in Christ is a choice. You have to want it! Becky wanted and needed a change and knew deep down who it was that could make all the difference in her life.
May God bless you and keep you always!
Michael Blank, Director