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A New Life in Newark

Two things happened to me as I watched Katy-Grace come into this world last Sunday night…  first, I started crying as I watched my wife labor and struggle in pain as the nine month adventure came to a conclusion, and secondly, I seriously started thinking about buying a real big gun… Yes it is true… We have another daughter.  Katy-Grace Elizabeth Iverson became Newark’s newest resident March 1st, at 7:17 pm. Kimbely started having contractions sunday morning and we went to the hospital that evening. An hour after arriving and four pushes later weighing in at 7 lbs 15 ounces of pure joy Katy-Grace surprised us.  Kimberly was 99% sure baby iverson #3 was gonna be a boy and she was right about the other two… (Iverson’s like surprises)  When I saw the lack of male reproduction organs I  was blown away…”We have a baby girl!”  “We have a baby girl!” I found myself repeating.  Kimberly just kept saying… “A girl?” Its a girl?”   Yes she is a girl and these last few days have been so joy filled as we have started to get to know this little one we have waited so long to meet.

DJ and Trinity love her and are doing a great job adjusting. My mom was able to use frequent flyer miles and come from Japan for 12 days to be with us and help during the sleepless nights and dirty diapers (Double now)  Our community has been amazing.  So many people have stepped up to run the ministry while I spend time with my family and so may people have cooked or offered to cook for us.  Mrs. Bush made me some awesome fried chicken last night because she knows how much I like my Newark Fried Chicken, there’s nothing quite like Newark soul food… we feel so loved and so supported by our community and I am very encouraged.  I feel like they are welcoming another member and more than ever feel like this mission  field has become home.  I love the way my son is growing up and the things he gets to experience here.  I am thankful in a weird sort of way for the ways he gets to see and experience the very real brokenness and effect of human selfishness around us but I love even more that he gets to see redemption break forth like the dawn and watch our community become the type of place that any parent would want to raise their kid.  My mom always said that was the hardest thing; raising your kids on the mission field. But she also said it was the best thing and I wouldn’t trade it for all the material comforts we lacked.  The beautiful light of the Gospel shines its fiercest in the darkness, and I am convinced all the more that I want my kids exposed to that light above anything else. I want them to see the hope held out in God’s promises… What hope there is indeed.  Kimberly was so terrified of the thought of having to feel the full pain of childbirth. She has a low tolerance of pain and when we entered the hospital that night and were told the baby was ready to come and there was no time for an epidural I knew she was gonna need supernatural strength.  As we prayed for strength (She squeezed the living daylight out of my hand) I saw a fierce hope burning in my wife’s eyes.  She knew her suffering was not in vain, that her labor would bring forth life, that pain would birth a new beginning.  It was that hope that gave my wife strength. It was a deeper Hope behind the physical hope. its the same hope that continues to drive us forward here in Newark as hard times keep rolling and the fruit of evil within us and around us becomes more and more apparent but less and less powerful.  I am seeing more and more the need to daily connect to Jesus and hear his promises whispered in my ear; to hope in the labor of pain he endured for my sake, to set me free from the womb of my sin that would seek to hold me captive.  1 Peter 1:23 says this: For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.”  I am wondering how much I really believe that and how much I am really hoping in it.  Experiences that Katy-Grace has given us so far this week have made this promise more real and more necessary.  We have been born again… we have been given new life that can never be stripped away no matter how broken this physical world may be.  No matter how much pain we must endure, no matter how far our economy falls, no matter how corrupt a culture can become, no matter how much people disappoint us and we disappoint ourselves and others; there is hope in the promises of God.  The new birth brings fresh life. Those promises motivate us to keep going, to keep pushing; throwing off the sin and doubt that so easily entangles and running with joy and endurance the race that God has set out before us. May we all lean and trust in His strength alone; hoping in the enduring city, the timeless promises, the glorious redemption birthed within us through Jesus Christ the LORD.

We love you all and praise our covenant God that we have so many wonderful people to share this exciting news with.

May God Bless you and keep you as you bring Him glory and bless others.