By Grace Nordquist, Community Engagement Coordinator
Rachelle “Shelli” Rawson serves as the Juvenile Justice Ministry Director at Siouxland YFC. If you’ve been fortunate enough to meet Shelli, you’ll know that she is one of a kind. Despite being a busy mom of seven, Shelli exhibits energy and joy that is out of this world, and she’ll let you know it’s all for “Team Jesus!” Shelli has a huge heart for all of her “babies,” as she calls the 11-19 year olds in her JJM ministry. Outside of being a mom and an employee at YFC, Shelli is a mentor, gives back to the community through volunteering, and has plans to open a faith-based treatment center to help those in the community suffering from addiction. However, Shelli has had to hit pause recently.
In October of 2021, Shelli was diagnosed with Her2 positive grade 3 breast cancer. This didn’t change her attitude or joy for life, but it did change what the next several months of her life would look like. After giving birth to baby Bravelyn, Shelli started treatment on June 27th and will continue throughout the year. However, she is still connecting with students in JJM and finding matches within the advocacy program as time allows.
Although she admits this is a difficult season, it’s just that – a season. She went on to say, “Life is hard for everyone and Jesus is still good. Tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone. This is just another piece of life and Jesus is bigger.”
A song that Shelli has been jamming to during this season is This is How I Fight My Battles (Upper Room). After her hair started falling out from chemo she decided it was time to go. In an emotional photoshoot of the haircut with her family and close friends, Shelli notes that she wasn’t holding boxing gloves or a pink ribbon but a cross…“boxing gloves are great, but the power of Christ is so much more powerful.” Not only is Jesus in her corner, but many others who are praying and fighting with her. Shelli says that seeing the community rally around her and her family during this time has been beautiful.
This may not have been the season Shelli envisioned for herself or her family, but now she’s using it for the glory and kingdom of God. While at the Mayo Clinic for treatment, Shelli has the opportunity to bless those she’s come in contact with. She’s prayed for others who are undergoing treatment along with doctors, nurses, and staff.
To support Shelli as she continues her battle, please pray for her and the Rawson family, join the Meal Train, or CLICK HERE to contribute to her donation page (not connected to Siouxland YFC) which goes directly to the Rawson family to help with expenses during this time.
If you’d like to send Shelli words of encouragement, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.