Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Monthly Update - May & June 2022

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – May / June 2022 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· HBF gave benevolence to one of our lady’s, so she could get her car fixed on 6-7

· Life Issues bought phone card for man on 6-21

· Life Issues helped pay for one of our students get an MRI for an injury on 6-22

· Life Issues gave a gas card to man in order to help him get to Illinois on 6-25

· We took food to a hungry couple on 7-5

II. Jail update

· We’ve written to several letters to inmates over the last 2 months, and several have written back! The man I’m writing to has completed 2 out of 7 discipleship lessons!

· We’ve got an opportunity to provide an outreach to the young folks at the Cass County Juvenile Detention Center in a couple of months, there’s more to come about this.

III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 6-10

· HBF held their VBS on June 20-24, and many of our leaders and students helped with this outreach to our community as well as our own youth! Chris and Lauren C. were the leaders of this event that ministered God’s word to about 60 young people each night – PTL!

· We had a group of 3 people that helped out at the food pantry in Harrisonville on 7-1

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

o Discipleship 1: Chris H. just signed up to be discipled; Chuck H. & Dave B., Sarah L. & Pam J., Matt & Marcy L. & The Bonnesens, Ed M. & Chris C., Sarah W. & Linda J., Kelly T. is working with two ladies in a group setting, Krystal W. and Krista G.!

o Discipleship 2: Dale N., Caleb L. graduated D2 – see group pic.


o Discipleship 2: Pam A. and Suzanne R. are signed up to take D2 this fall!!!

o HBI graduation: 5 men graduated from our Bible Institute on June 12th, one of them was our son and another is one of our Life Issues leaders, Chris Coen (Valedictorian) – see pic.


IV. Recovery

· Emily H. rededicated her life to Christ on June 14th, and also got baptized on 7-10 – see pic.


· We took a man to rehab on 6-22, pray for him to let Christ into his life.

· Theresa G. completed the Emotions study on 6–17, this was a 10-month class we offered – see pic of her and our instructor (Pam J.).


· We were contacted by a person in Illinois recently and was able to help them via email and connect them to a local church.

· We have 3 men going through The Journey Home (TJH) right now, please pray for them to complete it.

o TJH: Dustin T. & Chris C., Dominick B. & Steve F., Chris H. & Pat L.

V. Events

· HBF had a 4th of July outreach called “Spark in the Park” and Pat Lee led this effort and several of our Life Issues leaders and students participated in set up and tear down and with sharing their faith and distributing American flags and gospel tracks. This was a great outreach, and we praise the Lord for the divine appointments that day!

· Several of our Life Issues leaders and students went to the Faith and Family Day @ the Royal’s stadium on 7-9 and some of us were encouragers and helped lead multiple people to Christ after a gospel message was given by Evangelist Scott Dawson – see pics.


· Our 10th annual Recovery Walk is coming up on September 2nd, this is our annual fundraiser, so please look over the attached cover letter and see how you might be able to help us.

VI. People

· We had a Baby Shower for Sarah W. on 5-13, and she had baby Nova Jean on 6-16 – see pics.


· Zach M. is going to graduate from the Drug Court on 8-5, we’re so proud of him

· Suzanne R. is going through The Women’s Study with Lisa L. right now, we’re excited about Suzanne’s hunger for the things of God!

· This month we’re highlighting a lady who’s only come a few times to Life Issues, but we’ve helped with some physical needs, and we’re excited to share that she’s 80 days sober and is getting to see her children for the first time in several years. I’m excited about what God is doing in her life and she wants to share part of her story with us

"I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was 19 years old. I had a 1 and a ½ year old son, 
Kaleb Nicholas. It was cold that morning. February 16th 2003. I was 5 and a ½ months pregnant 
with fraternal twins. A boy and a girl. They had to rush me into an emergency surgery to deliver 
the babies. You see, on valentines day just two days prior I went to a routine ob/gyn check up 
appt. I had an ultrasound scheduled due to me raising concerns about one of the babies not 
having any movement for 24 hours. The ultrasound shows that my daughter's umbilical cord had 
snapped and she was barely alive. They couldn't take them out just yet because they had to 
administer steroids by i.v. in the hospital to help strengthen their lungs. Again, I was only 
beginning the last trimester so my babies were still way too early. I was aware of the severity of 
everything medically done but also, not so much. I was still quite young and although at that 
point I had 3 babies, I knew little to nothing about most things in the world. Anyhow, on 
valentines day I was admitted to the labor and delivery floor. The doctors, although my daughter 
was dying, had no choice but to keep them in me as long as they could. On the morning of the 
16th, they had no choice but to prepare me to deliver as the ultrasound that morning showed my 
son's amniotic bag had broken and his heart was failing. Later that afternoon, I laid on a hospital 
bed in the operating room, my mother to the right of me. She tried so hard to stay strong for me, 
as she stood up several times to look over the doctors as they delivered Alexia Claudina first. 
She was not breathing and weighed 1 pound 13 ounces. Next came her brother Ty Francisco he 
weighed 3 pounds 15 ounces. He was immediately rushed to the N.I.C.U. and my daughter was 
taken to a separate room to be cleaned up. I’ll never forget the moment the nurse walked into 
the room. They tried to hand my daughter to me the first time but I could barely breathe as the 
tears poured down my face. She looked perfectly fine. I wasn't understanding. Couldn't they just 
get her to breathe and be ok. I mean, their doctors. How is this even happening? She was so 
beautiful. So very tiny. I dressed her in her little baptism dress and placed the pink and cream 
flowered bonnet on her head. Her hair. Oh her hair was beautiful black. Her eyes, she just 
wasn't blinking that's all. Her lips were so precious and I couldn't bring myself to let her go with 
the nurse. I just kept kissing her lips, blowing tiny breaths in her mouth praying to God please 
God please let her just breathe. I went down to the chapel, where my family and I prayed and 
we baptized my precious little girl. 4 floors up in the hospital was my other gift from god. My 
precious son Ty. He was in an incubator in the N.I.C.U.For 3 months actually. 
I know this is supposed to be a testimony and not a short novel. So I apologize to everyone. 
After 5 days I was sent home from the hospital. With my son Kaleb. Leaving behind what I 
walked in the hospital with just 5 days before, 2 BABIES. This is all wrong. I will tell you the 
short amount of time that it took me to become dependent on daily use of marijuana, anxiety 
pills, sleeping pills, pain pills, uppers downers, then to smoking meth. Shortly after my son Ty 
turned 1 I got together with my high school sweetheart. My first love Josh. We had two sons 
together, Peyton Grant and Ashton Fisher. Unfortunately due to my drug addictions, and the fact 
that I was taking approximately 2000 pills each month, Josh had no choice but to pack up 
himself as well as all 4 of the boys and move out. Literally like they were there one day and then 
they were just gone. That was in 2014. I became homeless overnight and without a vehicle, a 
job, any money, and nowhere to go I was forced to go to the homeless shelter here in our town. 
That's where I met Robert Dean. He was 27 years older than me, an ex member of a biker 
gang, retired pipe fitter, he has money out the you know what. He started getting high with me a 
few times a week until i didnt make curfew at the shelter and got kicked out. Within hours I was
moved in with him, higher than ever, leading this new awesome life I thought. I felt like a famous 
person. Like a rock star. We got married then shortly after moved to Missouri, his hometown. 
That's when my meth addiction became the only thing anyone knew about Sarah Jeffries. I was 
a good wife, not a great wife just a good wife none the less i was a stay at home wife, caring for 
my husband who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung and stage 4 kidney cancer. This was 
in May of 2019. We lived on 7.4 acres of his family's land. No running water, just a well. No 
electricity, we had a generator for about the first year but no money to power it. No money for 
the gas. We spent all 3 grand he earned with his pipefitters pension each month on meth, 
cigarettes, all that evil stuff. He was dying, the entire time I struggled and he struggled and we 
prayed and we prayed but that's all. We never truly let go, let God have control and just Be Still 
as scripture tells us. On January 26th 2021 I lost Robert Dean to cancer. I had 100 bucks in my 
wallet, two friends, no family, no idea what was about to happen next. It was about to be the 
best and worst experience and year of my entire life. Yes, the best and the worst. That’s right, 
what started out and continued to be for quite a long time….the worst experience…..its ending 
up being the BEST experience, and journey I could’ve ever imagined being my own. None of 
this would've ever been possible first and foremost without my Lord and Savior. I was blessed 
beyond measure this time a year ago when Pastor Steve saved me. I sat in my barn on the 
phone with him for about 45 minutes. By the time the call ended I was able to shout out loud 
that I Knew For Sure I was going to HEAVEN. That's the most awesome and rewarding and 
fulfilling feeling ever. So I owe a special thank you to Pastor Steve. Whom I would have never 
met had it not been for yet another amazing blessing and gift from god Mrs. Pamela Anderson 
(Granny). She had invited me several times but it just happened to be a Life Issues Friday 
morning . She and I were at Yost Grocery Store. She invited me , as she often had on our 
outings together. I decided to take her up on the offer and little did I know that was going to be 
the beginning of the journey that is ultimately turning out to have Saved My LIfe. Looking back 
on all of it now, even just after 79 short days of being clean and sober, now I realize what my 
brother meant. He would always tell me “Sis you are going to die if you don't change and don't 
move from the place you are living and the way you're living”. I never understood. He would tell 
me he prayed for me often. Not remembering my brother as being a very religious guy, I began 
to try and understand the depth of his concerns and his constant need to pray for me. Things 
like that, I started looking at more and more. I hadn't seen any of these issues and or concerns 
everyone on the outside was seeing and voicing opinions to me constantly , about. But it was 
because I was in a camper all alone, with no food, no running water, no lights, no family , no 
friends , no nothing. I had forgotten the one thing the one person that i did have and had 
obviously forgotten all about. GOD!!! Of course Sarah. How could I have forgotten? The one 
who died on the cross for me. He died for my sins. He gave his life so that I could have mine. 
And this is what I was doing with my life. I met someone else special through all of this. Her 
name is Pam Jackson. She is my angel from GOD!!! Throughout this last year of knowing Pam 
she sure has been a faithful sister and friend to me. Oftentimes, I was probably hateful or short 
or just plain inconsiderate of the positions I was putting her in as she tried to support me 
unconditionally, some of the times not even knowing for sure which way to go and how to deal 
with me at the time. She was yet another person that god was using to help save me. Pat from 
Life Issues. Sometimes people get up and preach a sermon or give a speech and it's a great 
speech but sometimes we don't feel “in touch” with the person or the speech. Point Is…when
Pat speaks I feel like he's speaking directly to me. Like it's just him and I in the room. Meaning, 
he's that intimate and that passionate about sharing his experiences, his love, the words of his 
father and he's sharing and doing all of this with so much compassion. He may never realize the 
direct eye contact and interacting with me during moments of his sermons, how much it affected 
me through this. Pat, you have made such an impact. Thank you. 
I didn’t realize how much this next person impacted my life in just one short pizza dinner after 
life issues that Friday evening. Mom and I drove from Kansas to Life Issues in Missouri that 
Friday evening. We joined everyone after life issues for some Pizza. Mom and I sat with Pam 
and her son Caleb joined us as well. I’m never good at conversation and keeping one going at 
that. Caleb is closer to my age then Pam and mom are and so it was extremely nice and such a 
weight lifted once we started talking. He shared a little of his journey with us as we chatted over 
pizza. But then half way through as the conversations continued I noticed something. Caleb was 
giving me advice and encouraging me as a parent to continue down the path i've been going 
down. And too never give up. And there it was. That direct eye contact. That compassion, 
concern and pure love and support . Caleb and I may have met one other time I think. But this 
was our first real sit down meeting and visiting etc etc so for basically this “stranger” to be 
looking at me almost like my family does. Ya know like someone who loves you and cares about 
you. With all this being said it's just so hard to find the perfect words to describe my gratitude to 
each of you. And there's so many more others as well. Pastor Steve asked that I keep this to 
one page and I think I”m already at 4 . Ey Ey Ey. 
The opportunity to restore my relationship with God, to rise up and conquer sobriety and 
educate myself on addiction more. To get up each day and put one foot in front of the other no 
matter how difficult the day's challenges may get. The all around self care and self healing that 
has come about so comfortably for me is a big deal and I’m so grateful. This is just the 
beginning of an already amazing story. The Story Of  SEJ"

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2022, 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…

Monthly Update - March & April 2022

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – March / April 2022 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· Gave clothing to man student on 3-6-22

· Went together with church to help pay rent for a man and wife on 3-6

· One of our men helped move the Shiloh Center on 3-21

· We were able to purchase a bike for Tony on 4-10-22 – see pic


· Gave gas card to couple living in their truck on 5-3

· We distributed a few bags of food to needy people during the last two months

· We helped a lady get her car fixed (after having it in multiple shops) on 5-5-22

II. Jail update

· Took man to court in Cass Justice Center from Warsaw MO and back home on 3-15 for public defender’s office.

· We’ve written to several letters to inmates over the last 2 months, and several have written back!

· I’m working with the public defender’s office right now to pick up a man from the airport next week; local judges are making people appear in court post Covid, so we’re trying to assist.

III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 3-18 & 4-29

· We had a group of 5 people that helped out at the food pantry in Harrisonville on 3-18

· Multiple people within our group helped with HBF’s workday on 4-16, from cooking breakfast to mowing the lawn to cleaning carpet, to sawing down trees, to installing mulch in flower beds, to weed eating, to clearing brush, to patching concrete, to general cleaning – see pics!


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

o Discipleship 1: Lynzee C. & Diane T., Chuck H. & Dave B., Sarah L. & Pam J., Matt & Marcy L. & The Bonnesens, Ed M. & Chris C., Sarah W. & Linda J., Kelly T. is working with two ladies in a group setting, Krystal W. and Krista G.!

o Discipleship 2: Dale N., Caleb L. are in Jason M.’s class

o HBI graduation: HBF will have 5 men graduate from our Bible Institute on June 12th, one of them is our son and another is one of our Life Issues leaders, Chris Coen. We’re very proud of all these men and their families for sacrificing countless hours over the last 4 years to make it to this point!

IV. Recovery

· We had two salvations in our group within the last two months, Dominick and Zoey, PTL!

· Our Life Issues leadership had a meeting on 3-12, see attached pic


· We added a new Covenant Eyes (CE is anti-pornography software) user on 3-30, to someone who is seeking purity with their online activity / screen time.

· One of our students (Heather H.) graduated from our program (TJH) on 4-29, and we currently have 4 students actively working through our program / pathway to recovery and another thinking about it!

· We rolled out our milestone tags on 4-29, we will revisit it and distribute them at the end of each month to folks with new achievements / milestones

V. Events

· Lily’s House sponsored their first ever 5K run / walk fundraiser on 4-2 and Life Issues had a table / booth at their event – see attached pic


· Five of us went to Butler MO on 4-18 and heard the testimony of a representative of Prison Fellowship!

· Pat Lee gave a great IGO update on 4-5 at our church’s Vision Conference, see attached pic.


· I was ordained as an Assistant Pastor at HBF on 4-6 and got to preach on the final night of our church’s Vision Conference, see attached pic.


VI. People

· We had a Baby Shower for Tom and Niesha on 3-18 & will have another for Sarah W. on 5-13, see attached pic.


· Dustin T. got baptized and placed membership at HBF on 4-17 – see attached pic

· Chuck H. participated in the special Olympics in April, he received 1 silver and 2 bronze medals - pic


· Heather just completed her Pay-It-Forward project, she had a baby drive that raised 2404 diapers and 1500 wipes – see attached pic.


· I used to attend church with a man about 20 years ago and recently he and his family have been visiting our recovery group, here is his testimony from the past 15 years. 

"God never meant for us to be alone. It is good to have friends, family and helpers in our faith journey.

o Gen. 2:18 says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” So God made Eve!

o Ecc. 4:10 says, “but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”.

· Between 2001 and 2007 my wife and I experienced some things in our lives that brought shame, guilt, confusion and anger into our hearts. We had struggles with our kids and struggles as a young couple trying to figure out life, parenting and marriage. We were in our late 20’s/early 30’s. In 2007 I couldn’t bear it any more so left church in anger after a Sunday morning sermon. I never really returned until the fall of 2021.

· During the next 14 years we sporadically attended some church services but no commitment. For me, I was ashamed of my struggles so avoided past relationships. I was angry at others so just avoided people. Certainly, a root of bitterness took hold in my heart. I did not stop believing in God. I did not stop believing in the Bible. I did not stop believing in the Church. I was just angry, confused, ashamed and hurt which led to 14 years of walking in a barren desert bearing the burdens of life without help. Without Christ centered friendships. Without much prayer. Without much hope, joy or things to look forward to.

· When we started having troubles with a couple of our younger kids the burden was too great. We already went through this with our oldest and now problems with our younger teens. What I know now is that God was taking us through a trial too great for one man to bear by himself (or couple). I had no answers and little strength as an older father to power through it. My hand was forced and thankfully my wife and I agreed to attend church around Thanksgiving time in 2021. The sermon, the singing, the encouragement, the smiles and the Word from God filled my heart with manna I had been avoiding for 14 years.

· An old friend at this church gave me a hug and it brought me to tears. I don’t normally show emotions but the warmth and love was too great for me to handle. Since then, we have brought God back into our marriage and personal lives. We attend a small group and Life Issues that help us bear the burdens of life, foster Christ centered friendships and hope for a better tomorrow. We pray more together and attend church more regular. Still learning. Still have struggles. But God is bigger than me and planting seeds for a better tomorrow brings more peace and joy in the midst of life’s struggles.

· Thankful for my past and future Christian friendships, stories and fellowship. Thankful for opportunities to serve and kindle that fire again. Eric M."

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2022, 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, March 23, 2022

Monthly Update - January & February 2022

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – January / February 2022 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· Bought a car battery for one of our ladies on 1-24

· Gave 2 bags of food to a lady on 2-1-22, gave another bag or two in the course of two months. Theresa G. has stepped up to lead our effort to stock and maintain our Morsel’s For Many food pantry, we are currently in a campaign to have items donated to our pantry, see attached flier.

· Gave a night’s stay to a man on 2-11 & worked with HBF to give a week’s stay to a lady around the same time.

· Gave a homeless couple two nights in mid-February, see attached pic of them.


· I often only report about people we’re able to help, but I receive at least 1 call per week asking for assistance with something, and I’ve had to turn down several again recently.

II. Jail update

· Zach M. is actively writing to inmates, so that is a blessing for all involved, PTL & thanks Zach!

· Took box of Bibles to Cass County Jail on 1-21-22 for distribution to inmates

· Met with Sargent Wise, from the Cass County Jail, on 2-9-22 concerning our Recovery Curriculum (The Journey Home – TJH) that we want to get into jails and prisons!

· Gave a man a ride from jail to Independence MO on 3-3-22, to help him and his aunt.

· We’ve had two ladies get out of prison recently and both of them failed to visit us as promised, so please pray for us as we endeavor to help folks who make it difficult or reject our help.

III. Church

· Tom M. spent many hours painting and updating our youth trailer, and it looks amazing; attached is a pic of him and I.


· Received a request to introduce Life Issues Ministry (LIM) to another church on 1-10-22, but haven’t heard anymore from them, but we’re trying to make our recovery group a reproduceable one.

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

o Discipleship 1: Lynzee C. & Diane T., Chuck H. & Dave B., Sarah L. & Pam J., Matt & Marcy L. & the Bonnesens, Ed M. & Chris C., Sarah W. & Linda J., Kelly T. is working with two ladies in a group setting, Krystal W. and Krista G.!

o Discipleship 2: Dale N., Caleb L. are in Jason M.’s class

IV. Recovery

· Jimmie G. quit smoking cigarettes @ the beginning of year – 2022, and he’s still on the wagon, we’re so proud of him!

· Zach M. is near to completing the Drug Court program, which is a 4 phase / 18-month endeavor. Zach should complete it around April, so we’re look forward to celebrating that milestone with him!

· Heather H. is growing by leaps and bounds, she completed a Moral Reconation Therapy course on 2-21-22 (see attached cert.) and also our TJH recovery curriculum on 2-28-22, we’re so proud of her! Attached is a pic of her and Marcy (another wonderful lady in our group)

· Rebecca W. completed an 8-week parenting class on 3-3-22 (see attached cert.), so proud of her too!


V. Events

· The founder of the national PTSD group called Wounded Spirits, and author Doug Carragher, was our guest speaker on 1-14-22 and gave a powerful message in which 3 people gave their life to the Lord, see attached group pic.


· We had a Super Bowl party on 2-13, this was also Life Issues’ eleven (11) year anniversary!

· Pastor Gary Haskel from Pennsylvania was our guest speaker on 2-18-22, he gave a great message and really connected with our group too, attached a pic of him with our men’s group!


· Lily’s House – 5K run – April 2nd, 2022, cut and paste link below for more details! We support Lily’s House as a community partner, so please give to them generously as the Lord leads you!

VI. People

· Zach M. is actively donating community service hours to HBF and has been a huge blessing to us with many things, i.e. set up and tear down for conferences, assisting kitchen for events, helping home-bound member with tasks they are unable to perform, etc.

· Our Life Issues group helped move Shane W. back to Harrisonville on 1-29, he was one of our original leaders and recovered addicts, attached is a pic of him and Barry.


· Cassie A. came home from deployment in the National Guard Reserves in early February, we are so proud of her and thankful for her safe return home!

· Sean Zimmerman died on 2-5-22 and I performed his Memorial Service for his family @ HBF on 2-26-22. Sean came to 5-6 of our recovery meetings, so his death was a shock to us all, see attached pic.


· Carol Thompson completed American Red Cross training on 2-3 (Adult & Infant CPR, and first aid), Carol is a huge blessing to our group and helps us however she can!

· Pam J. has been witnessing to a homeless lady on multiple occasions recently and giving her gospel literature, and one of our Intentional Gospel Outreach (IGO) groups has been praying for her. Pat L. has also spoke to her about her need for Christ and I’m happy to report that she has accepted Christ as her personal Lord and savior, halleluiah!

· Testimony of a former student, Charles N.: 

"Hello Steve, I just wanted to let you know how good I am doing in my life. The Lord delivered me from addiction and buy his grace, I have been clean for 3 years and 10 months. I live my life every day, as well as a sinner can, by Jesus' teachings. At 44 years old I am happier now than I have ever been. My life is evidence of God’s grace and mercy. I live in SE Missouri and am the manager of the Goliath house (Sober Living House) and also work a full-time job in construction. Thank you for all your prayers and for planting the seed. 
God bless you and I hope this gives you some strength to continue the great commission."

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2022, for without him we can do nothing, sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…