Thursday, January 11, 2024

Monthly Update - November & December 2023

Angie and I want to wish a Happy New year to each of you, I'm attaching a recent picture of us.  
We really covet and appreciate your prayers !



Making a difference update, from the recovery field – November / December 2023 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months:

I. Benevolence

· We distributed a Thanksgiving meal that was donated for a family on 11-16.

· We put gas in a man’s tank on 11-26, so that he could get to work.

· We distributed 3-4 boxes of food to families in need, in the month of December, and 21 or 22 for the year (from food that we purchased or food that was donated by HBF members).

· This year, I got to play Santa Claus with other people’s money; 2 separate families gave me $400 each to distribute anonymously for them, below is how I spent the $800:

o $150 went to O’Riley Automotive to pay for parts for a man’s car.

o $100 went to buy a bicycle for a man with no transportation – see pic



o $300 went to help a single lady pay her rent.

o $100 went to a man to help him pay his rent.

o $125 went to help a couple pay for their electric bill.

o $100 went to a single mom to help with Christmas.

o $75 went to buy a giant print KJV Bible for a lady who only had a Morman Bible.

· As you can see, I spent $950 (Life Issues pitched in a little too)!


II. Jail update

· I’m still discipling with an inmate @ Boonville (Ted), he’s on lesson #6 of 7 in our correspondence. We’re also putting money on his books so that he can make phone calls, we talk almost every Sunday evening. Ted is getting released in March, and we were able to help him with his home plan, so we will see him soon.

· I’ve personally written to 3-4 inmates in the last couple of months and I know Jim Stovall has too. Please read this excerpt from one of the men that Jim is writing to:

TM's testimony… "I read my Bible completely through 9 times in 2023 - praise the Lord Jesus Christ for his mercy and grace! The washing of water by the word sure beats all the TV and media most everyone else consumed in 2023... Well, I'm in Mark now on reading my Bible through (10th time this year) so I hope to finish Revelation by the end of this month! Either way I praise my Savior for having read his book that many times this year! The fastest I've ever read my Bible was 17 days! I read it thru twice in 40 days last year this time! I love the genealogies now whereas prior to 2023 I dreaded reading all the names! Now they are some of my favorite parts of scripture! It’s amazing that what I once dreaded reading in scripture I now love and what I once loved reading are no longer the most exciting parts of scripture to me! Amazing! TM"

· We ran an attendance report for a man on 12-12, so that he could submit it to help with a legal issue in KS.

· Jim S. took a box of Bibles to Cass County Jail in early December, and I mailed a box of Bibles to the prison in St. Joseph MO, to their Chaplin for distribution – see pic




III. Church

· Several of our students and leaders are involved in discipleship:

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material –Brian R. just finished with Pat L., Matt L. is with Steve F. (lesson #4), Alana M. is with Betty A. and are on lesson #8. Conner F. is with Rich @ Harvest Baptist (lesson #10).

o D2: Belinda F. is going through D2!

o HBI: Pam J., and Mary W. are both taking a full load of classes in HBI.

o TJH (The Journey Home): No one is currently going through TJH.

  • Sarah led Raquel to Christ on 10-11-23 – see pic. 



  • Jeff A. cried out for salvation over the phone with me on 12-6-23 – see pic.; Jeff’s getting baptized soon. 


  • Becky W. received Christ by faith at our meeting on 12-8-23 – see pic; she’s getting baptized on January 14th. 


  • Anthony B. received Christ by faith at our meeting on 12-22-23, he’s getting baptized in Feb.


· I counted 11 people who have made professions of faith in 2023 (that I know of), who are connected with our ministry, “This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” Ps. 118:23



IV. Recovery

· Matt A. completed Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) on Friday December 8th with Pat L.

· Jenny G. now has two years off meth and a year off alcohol and a year off marijuana and in February she will have two years off cigarettes!

· We ran an attendance report for a man on 12-12, so that he could submit it to help with a legal issue in KS.

· Life Issues provided 7 hours of community service for Tracy W. to keep her out of suspension.

· We updated our LIM website with addiction poem on 11-20, and a new link on 1-2-24, feel free to check it out at www.lifeissuesonline.org.

· Life Issues reached a milestone that I’m excited about, which is a church in Sullivan MO is starting a recovery group in their church, and the pastor is patterning their group from what we’re doing, and they’re calling it Life Issues and using some of our material, here is a message from their pastor – Steve… Thanks so much for sending me everything. I really appreciate it! Our first meeting is Thursday night, January 11th. I am doing a preview of the program tonight (1-4) for our church family and some community leaders so they can come and see what the program is all about. I appreciate your prayers my friend. Thank you!



V. Events

· One of the events that I was a part of this year was helping to distribute “Christmas Boxes” of food to less fortunate families, in need of a boost with buying a big meal for their family. HBF collected food items for the boxes, and a handful of us delivered them to the homes of the families. This year we distributed 13 full boxes (family of 4 or more) and 11 partial boxes (less than 4 people in home). Anyway, usually about half of the folks, or more, are connected to our ministry, so it was a blessing to help distribute the food and visit with folks in their home, PTL!

· I know that several other Christmas gestures were done by our group, here’s a couple of them. One lady went in with other neighbors to pay for a family’s rent in December. Also, one person from our group saw a need that another lady had, and collected a big box of kitchen items and we gave them to that person anonymously.

· As you probably know, Life Issues has an end of the month testimony, and we had Jaylon Taylor come up from Mount Vernon MO to share, and this was a special night. Jaylon is a 22-year-old young man who was hooked on Heroin but is now a born-again believer who is a dynamic preacher – see pic of him and I from 12-29.




VI. People

· The story below is about a family in our church who requested that I give them the names of some families that I think could use some gifts for their children for Christmas, who may not be able to afford much. I gave them the names of 2 families in need that I knew of and 2 other families that could probably also use some help. As it turns out, they decided to give gifts to all 4 families (13 children). There were 4 big piles of presents for these 4 families and even gifts for the parents, it was amazing for me to help distribute some of the gifts (one lady shed tears of joy). It was not only a blessing for the folks who received the gifts, but also for the family who donated them, as you will read:

Isn't it wonderful that our life is hid in God? That Christ loves through us? Every day I remind myself that I am a piece of empty conduit that the Lord flows through. And how I desire to remain empty so I in my flesh don't plug up that flow to others!

The biggest miracle I think that happened for providing for the families was a random neighbor I barely know asked if I might need bags of clothing that they needed to be rid of!

This family had real small babies, so I did not expect any clothing to match the families in need.

When I saw the sizes, I consulted those bags of clothing in my garage and wouldn't you know it, their little girl wore sizes up and they matched the needs!

Another family pitched in also with things last minute as God had also moved in their hearts to give away every year and happened to that very week go through their items to give away with like sizes. And was making a drop off to donate that coming week!

Another blessing was a small business endeavor that never went anywhere containing over one hundred fifty-dollar tree items they allowed us to take back and swap for toys for the children!

I know you asked for a paragraph or so, but it was overwhelming what God did to provide the gifts to give. When he lays a desire on one's heart, he never leaves us alone to fulfill it. He walks with us each step of the way to show us that we are never alone in anything that he asks of us to do. That's just our God! 

Thank you for allowing us to give and serve and love on these families this year! It truly was an honor to let Jesus' love this Christmas be poured out on someone other than ourselves!  "


· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2023, for without him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things! Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…





Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Monthly Update - September & October 2023

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – September / October 2023 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months:



I. Benevolence

· We have a box of food to a lady on 9-15, another to a lady on 10-14, and 3 boxes of food on 10-29. We’ve had several people coming to us for food recently, so on 11-2 we had to go to the grocery store and purchase more food, so that we have 6 boxes assembled and ready to help others.

· Life Issues paid 1 month's insurance for man to get his vehicle legal on 10-5, and also assisted him in getting his license on 10-23.

· We worked with HBF to help pay rent for man on 10-6, and also helped a lady with rent in late October.



II. Jail update

· I’m still discipling an inmate @ Boonville (Ted), he’s on lesson #4 of 7 in our correspondence. We’re also putting money on his books so that he can make phone calls, we talk almost every Sunday evening, and he’s getting released in March.

· A man who does jail ministry in another county (Sam Maston) has had inmates asking for copies of our discipleship lessons so that they can work through them on their own, and we sent them 10 hard copies.

· Please pray for Cass County Jail to approve of our coming into their facility soon, with the leader we’ve proposed, this is an urgent prayer request.

· One a sad note, I went to the sentencing of a former student of ours on 11-8, who was found guilty in February 2023 of a federal drug possession & distribution case. Jason P. received a 30-year sentence for his crimes and he’s in his mid-40’s now, so we may not see this man on the outside again, please pray for him.



III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 10-27.

· I got to baptize our granddaughter on 10-8 – see pic!



· Larry O. placed membership at HBF on 10-15 – see pic.



· Several of our students and leaders are involved in discipleship:

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material –Brian R. is with Pat L. (lesson #16), Matt L. is starting with Steve F. (lesson #1), Alana M. is with Betty A. and are on lesson #6.

o D2: Belinda F. is going through D2!

o HBI: Pam J., and Mary W. are both taking a full load of classes in HBI.

o TJH (The Journey Home): Conner F. completed TJH in June and will be giving his testimony tonight, he also started discipleship @ his church, we’re very proud of this young man! Kevin F. is starting TJH with Brian R.



IV. Recovery

· Larry O. received his 12-year coin from AA on 9-21 – see pic of Larry and I.




· I wrote a reference letter for a former student of ours on 11-7, who’s trying to get DFS and the court to allow her and her husband to have custody of some of her relatives’ kids, so that they don’t go into foster care, please pray that the powers that be to grant our request.

· Matt A. is working on Anger issues in Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) and has been doing a good job so far, through the first 5 Modules. There are 8 Modules to complete and graduate to suffice for the Judge in Children’s Division per DFS.



V. Events

· A couple of follow up items on our annual fundraiser, our “Homecoming” event:

o We mailed out Bill-Me's on 9-16, to those individuals who chose to give after the event.

o We mailed out Thank You notes to businesses who supported us on 10-16.

o Our final income amount was almost exactly $12,000 (which was our goal), PTL!

· Several of our Life Issues folks helped with HBF’s Harvest Party, this year’s event was the largest ever (438 people), and God gave us perfect weather – see pics of Joelle and Larry, and Marcy L. and gbaby.





· Three of our lady leaders just got back from a 5-day mission trip to Monmouth Illinois, where they helped lead a VBS for the children at our sister church there, we’re very proud of these ladies and their dedication to the Lord.



VI. People

· Kevin's coworker, William T., accepted Christ on 10-10; we’re so proud of Kevin and so happy for William!

· Caleb shared a moving testimony about what God is doing in his life with his children on 10-14, at HBF’s men’s retreat – see pic.



· I wanted to highlight Cammie Shaffer’s testimony (Frannie’s daughter) about Harrisonville’s food pantry in this update. Cammie has now been HBF’s leader over it for about a year, and is doing an excellent job; she is also now on the board there, and I’ve asked her to share her heart about serving the Lord in this capacity, here is what she wrote:

"It has been an honor to serve my amazing LORD above through HBF at the Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry in Harrisonville. When asked to assist. with this and represent HBF at the Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry, I was honored yet terrified of what this all meant. I prayed about it and the LORD led me to acceptance.

Over the past year, myself and others who have shined Jesus light at the Shephard's Staff Food Pantry have learned a lot of things. We served 7 Fridays throughout 2023, assisting with making up shopping carts of food for those who are in need or need a little cushion to get by for the month. Everyone should be open to allowing the Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry in the Harrisonville community to help them out when needed. Food at the Shephard's Staff Food Pantry comes from multiple places, Harvesters, stores in the community that donate monthly, churches that donate monthly and If there is a truck that comes in at the WM distribution center that the center is not able to accept, if the food items are acceptable for donation, the drivers can contact the food pantry and donate as well. If the Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry is unable to store all donated items from these trucks, then Harvesters is contacted, and Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry in Harrisonville donates to Harvesters which is helpful throughout the metro as well. All of this food would go to waste if we did not have this pantry for it to be donated to. So, it is a blessing to this community to have such an option.

HBF now has a member on the Shepherd's Staff Food pantry board (me). HBF now has a designated month (October) to share information about HBF and different opportunities that are available at HBF. The month of October is also HBF's designated month to collect food items for the Shepherd's Staff Food Pantry. Every Friday through out October HBF had a team shining for Jesus by sharing packets of information to anyone open to it coming through the pantry line. HBF's team was able to hand out over 800 packets to the community. The packets contained HBF service times and other information, Life Issues information, harvest party information and “Jesus Loves You” bracelets. (We did give out a few dog treats as well, which pet owners enjoyed the thoughtfulness.)

I want to express a gigantic THANK YOU!! to all who have assisted at Shephard's Staff Food Pantry over the past year. Couldn't have done it without you. I look forward to sharing the light of Jesus to anyone who will listen, throughout the next year. Thank you HBF for this wonderful opportunity."
Cammie Shaffer
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16





· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2023, for without him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things! Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…



Monday, September 18, 2023

Monthly Update - July & August 2023

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – July / August 2023 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):



I. Benevolence

· We gave a box of food to lady on 7-14, and a couple of others that I didn’t record the dates. We are in the process of purchasing some more food and restocking our Morsels For Many food pantry.

· We worked with HBF to pay a man’s rent on 8-6.

· We gave emergency housing to a lady on 9-1 & 9-2 prior to her going into a treatment facility.

· I took a man to a “Sobering Facility” on 8-26, from there he went to detox for a week, and from there he went to a halfway house, please pray for Trevor T. – see pic.




II. Jail update

· I wrote to an inmate (Ted) on 7-18, he’s getting out next March; Ted requested a copy of our church’s prayer list so that he could be praying for us.

· Here’s a letter from a man that Jim Stovall is writing to (pretty wild)!

o Hello brother! I went to Potosi death row camp for a few months! Now I am at Farmington! I was in the hole and no access to a tablet. Potosi is crazy DANGEROUS! 3 dudes killed his own cellie while I was there! Now these dudes here are on some prison games! I arrived at Farmington yesterday morning! This is treatment. The parole board stipulated treatment. Someone stole my new Bible from my property. I have one that's tattered and torn that works. Its actually the one from St Jo that your church provided! So, praise the Lord Jesus Christ! So, I was preaching on the door in the hole at Potosi daily - street preaching style! So, I do thank the Lord God all those level 5 men heard the gospel! Even some death row inmates received the gospel of Jesus Christ! They hated the preaching of the cross! The Moslems were deep there they were very much in opposition to the words of God! The LORD strengthened me and gave me more wisdom than ALL my enemies! Amen! Glory to his name! I'm back in the book of Revelation on my 9th reading through the holy scriptures! I plan to write you more later. Now I'm trying to settle in and avoid fights and conflict, but both are inevitable here! May God richly bless you brother!

· Please pray for Cass County Jail to approve of our coming into their facility soon, with the leader we’ve proposed, this is an urgent prayer request.

· One last thing about jail ministry that I’m excited about, is that Word First Bible Publishing (wordfirstpublishing.org) just finished publishing 500 Life Issues Bibles on 8-19-23!!! We will be sending these to jails and prisons (via chaplains).



III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 8-4-23 and will again on 9-15, see pic of Kevin.




· Several of our students and leaders are involved in discipleship:

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material –Brian R. is with Pat L., and Sarah J. just finished with Pam J on 8-30, and Sarah got baptized on 9-10 – see pic.


o D2: Belinda F. is starting D2 this month!

o HBI: One of our lady leaders, Pam J., is taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark. Mary Webster just returned to us from California and is also taking all four HBI classes, see her testimony below.

o TJH (The Journey Home): Conner F. completed TJH in June – see pic! Kevin F. is starting TJH with Brian R.


IV. Recovery

· Our ministry experienced some tragedy the last couple of months as we had to said goodbye to 3 separate ladies who passed into eternity. One was an accident, one was caused by disease, and one was a suicide. All 3 will be dearly missed, so please pray for the families of Kayla, Wendy, and Allison.

· We had a man and his fiancĂ© come to use requesting a parenting class and an anger management class, so that they could get her son back into their home. DFS and foster care are requiring these things and the man has met with our pastor to get things started. Pat Lee is working with the man on anger management and things are going well and this couple are coming to our church, PTL!

· We recently helped a lady move out of a bad living situation (9-8), into a better environment, but please pray for this dear lady.



V. Events

· Our “Homecoming” fundraiser was a huge success and we had about 80 people present and raised about $11,500 for our addiction recovery ministry, PTL! Check out attached pictures!

o Group pic.




















o Picture of Judge Howe and me.




o Picture of me awarding volunteer of the year award to Pam Jackson.





















o Picture of Chris Coen presenting a gospel message.






















VI. People

· Debbie Corum's most recent post: https://www.debbiecorum.com/post/the-whisper-of-a-friend Debbie is Bill’s wife, and both of these folks are prolific speakers and friends of our ministry, and we are trying to enlarge Debbie’s reader base, so feel free to pull up her blog and subscribe to it!

· Heather Haddad spoke @ Congressman Mark Alford's Fentanyl Forum on 8-7 – see pic.





Here's a testimony of one of our new members;

"Hi, my name is MW. I am a new yet former member of HBF. My desire to become a part of the Life issues ministry comes from my calling to help the lost and addicted. My experience with addicted and lost people is a family matter. Don’t we all wish we could find a way to lead our lost and addicted family members to the freedom we find in Jesus Christ. My prior ministry experience at HBF was with Prisoners of Hope ministry and prior to that I was also a Divorce Care facilitator at a church in Gardner KS in 1998. I originally joined HBF in 2008 thanks to David McKittrick, a former coworker inviting me to Church. I was baptized at HBF and completed Discipleship 1 and 2. I am currently enrolled in HBI and look forward to applying what I am learning to help others and bring them to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I became a Christian in 1992 thanks to my daughter April who asked me to go to an Easter Pageant with her. My desire then as well as now was to reach the lost people. You do not find lost people in your church pew, they are your neighbors, family members and coworkers. You never know whose life you will impact, my goal through Christ Jesus and this ministry is to impact as many people as I can. The other members that are part of this ministry are also ministering me. I am impacted and encouraged by them to keep trying to reach my family and neighbors. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this essential ministry. "



Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2023, for without him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things! Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…