Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Monthly Update - November & December 2022

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



I. BENEVOLENCE

· We purchased some food and restocked our pantry on 11-12

· Life Issues gave away 4 boxes of food in December, and more than 22 boxes for the year, from our Morsels for Many food pantry; Pam J. and Theresa G. are doing a great work with this outreach!

· Our church made up 26 Christmas boxes of food, including a turkey and all the fixing’s for a nice family meal, for families in our church as well as those in recovery that we’re trying to help, it was a blessing for all involved.

· We gave a gas card to a faithful couple on 11-11 & purchased some clothes for them from the Lily Pad on 11-15

· We donated some money to help a former student with her children on 11-11.

· I helped distribute anonymous gifts to 5 different students around Christmas time, from 3 benevolent Christian families, what a blessing that was for me! One lady wept openly when she saw what was given to her and a man said he didn’t know how he was going to pay next month’s phone bill till now!



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 the discipleship course that we were on, and now he’s starting a new study with me!

· We sent nearly 20 Christmas cards to inmate right before Christmas, thanks to Pam Jackson!

· A man (CB) was released from prison around Christmas time & will be @ Life Issues this Friday night!



III. CHURCH

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 11-25!

· Cammie S. has agreed to oversee our church’s efforts with Harrisonville’s Shepherd’s Staff Food Pantry (managed by the Ministerial Alliance), see a pic of her and the group from 12-9!



 

· Sarah W. completed discipleship on 12-1-22

· Dottie B. had surgery in early November, several from our group took meals to her. Kelly T. also had surgery (late November I believe), and we also took some meals to this dear sister.

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

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material – Krystal W. is with Kelly T.; Chuck H. with Dave B., Ed M. with Chris C., Brian R. with Pat L., Kalee R with Linda J.

o D2: Suzanne R. and Pam A. are in D2 and are about a third of the way through this 9-month class!

o HBI: One of our lady leaders, Pam J., taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark.

o TJH (The Journey Home): We had a new lady (Kayla C.) start TJH with Pam J. in December!



IV. RECOVERY

· The Lily's House girls came back to Life Issues on 10-21, they have 2 residents there now and we’re thrilled to have them and the Lily House staff attending our meetings again now!

· Rebecca got full custody of Tayton on 11-9 – (pic below) and she has 2 years clean on 1-1-23



· Brian and Angie P. are now both 4 years clean – (pic below)



· Theresa G is now 3 years clean, as of 1-1-23

· A lady in a nursing program audited our meeting on 11-11 as partial fulfillment of her studies!

· We helped a man (SK) get into detox on 12-27, he is a friend of Sarah F.

· We lost a couple of former students in the last month; 




John DeHues died 12-5


We lost Mary Wolfe (Sara Jack-Bidondo’s younger sister) too, she died on 1-1-23





V.  EVENTS

· Our group supplied 3 volunteers for KLOVE’s Christmas tour on 12-4. Pam J. headed up this effort, below is her testimony:

"Last Sunday was a great time at the KLove Christmas concert. Frannie and I met Belinda at Sheffield Family Life Center (see pic below) and was trained in our role as a Child fund advocate. 
There was a total of 40 volunteers for this particular task. It was very easy, and we got to smile and interact with all the people in our section-approximately 100. 
We were able to watch the whole concert, sitting in some great seats that were offered no charge for the volunteers. The music so great by Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Brandon Heath, Tasha Layton, and Jon Reddick. 
The best part of the evening was Danny Gokey giving a devotion to 50 individuals that included Frannie and myself. It was a powerful devotion about Jesus feeding the 5,000. Danny compared that story with how he feeds us the Word of God during his concerts, praying that all men should be saved. 
I will definitely go back again if there is an opportunity. We met several people who have volunteered many times. It was beautiful and Christ Jesus was honored that night!"



· Tommy McGee's testimony on 12-30 was outstanding and he brought about 15 folks with him - (pic below)




VI.  PEOPLE

· Debbie Corum's post: Happy New Year 2023 (debbiecorum.com) Debbie is Bill’s wife and both of these folks are prolific speakers and friends of our ministry (we hope to hear from Bill in July 2023), and we are trying to enlarge Debbie’s reader base, so feel free to pull up her blog and subscribe to it!

· Bill F. went to India at the end of December and returned on 1-3-23, we hope to get some pics from him and hear a good report from his mission trip!

· Kalee R. and her husband, Brian R., are special folks to our ministry, Kalee got saved at one of our meetings and Brian received Christ will incarcerated. Both of these folks are several months clean; below is a brief testimony from her.

"The Lord has blessed my life in so many ways! I was saved in March of 2020 (at Life Issues) and although life hasn't always been easy; knowing and trusting in the Lord is how I've been able to overcome the trials. I am so truly grateful for all the amazing blessings.

When I was first saved my life was a bit messy to say the least. Over the last two years the Lord has helped me clean it all up! He has paved the way for my husband and I to get married in November of 2021. We are both blessed that the Lord has put our toxic past far behind us, and I was baptized @ HBF on Easter Sunday 2021.

Our two youngest children are in our full custody which was not the case at first because Elijah was put in DFS custody when he was born and not long after he was born, I became pregnant with Noah out of wedlock. With that being said we have since been married, regained custody of Elijah, got to bring Noah home from the hospital with no issues. I have also got shared custody of my three-year-old back!

We have a house to call home that will be all ours one day! We still have some goals we're working towards and with the help of God everything is possible! So, in conclusion the Lord is blessing our family so much! Brian and I are both in discipleship 1 and are learning and growing in our faith so that we can teach our children the way God wants us to. God is so good, and I'm reminded by everything I see every single day."



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…



Thursday, November 10, 2022

Monthly Update - September & October 2022


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


I. Benevolence

· One of our ladies took food & water & Bible to a homeless lady on 9-21.

· Gave food to a lady that Shiloh's helping to get into Restoration House on 9-23.

· Gave a lady $50 gas card on 9-23 and some Culver's coupons.

· Gave a lady and daughter a box of food on 9-29.

· Gave box of food to couple in need on 10-3.

· Helped a lady move on 10-30



· Because of such a great fundraiser this year, we were also able to partner with another church to help one of our students get her new dentures / teeth on 10-22, which she needed because of meth use, now she can smile big, PTL!

· Life Issues paid for a single mom to get her electric turned on at her new apartment, on 11-2!

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 6 out of 7 discipleship lessons!

· The outreach at the Cass County Juvenile Detention Center got counselled due to them not having enough staff for us to come into their facility, I’ll notify folks if that door opens again☹

· One of the inmates that we’ve written to for a couple of years, got out of prison on 10-14 and has been coming to meetings and church, here is a brief testimony from him:

"Well, I've learned in recovery that you got to work it, you got to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. You got to put action your desire, you got to change the people know and places you go. Surround yourself with people with either similar goals, or just a God-fearing mind set. You have to get uncomfortable to get comfortable.

For me, I had to step out of my comfort zone and ride it out. That’s what drew me to Life Issues group. I wanted to be a part of something to where I could share anything and not feel judged but feel the total opposite. I feel accepted by my newfound family. I feel unity, security, and honesty.” C.R.



III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 10-14

· The Word First ministry in our church made 300 Freedom Bibles for Life Issues on 10-12, and we dropped off a box of them (21) at the jail on 10-22

· Our church provided 2 days of Community service for a high school student who had to complete 100 hours, it was a blessing for him and us, and his parents appreciated us working with him!

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

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material – Krystal W. is with Kelly T.; Chuck H. with Dave B., Ed M. with Chris C., Brian R. with Pat L., Sarah W. with Linda J.

o D2: Suzanne R. and Pam A. are in D2 and are about a third of the way through this 9-month class!

o HBI: One of our lady leaders, Pam J., taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark.

o TJH (The Journey Home): Right now we only have one man going through our program, Dustin T.




IV. Recovery

· Sarah J. has over 200 days clean now 


o Sarah is a bright spot in our ministry, she led an alcoholic woman to Christ a little over a month ago, who is going to church with her, and a couple of weeks ago she led a family to Christ (man, woman, and child), hallelujah!

o See her before and after pic as well as the one with her sons!


 

· Several of our Life Issues men recently attended HBF’s annual Men’s Conference



· A good friend of mine, Raymond H., has been teaching big group a few times recently and is doing a great job, we’re very thankful that he’s got a heart for the addicted and is using his gifts to minister!

· We had a Planet Fitness 1-year membership certificate given to us for our fundraiser this year, and we were able to pass it onto one of our students who has be praying about joining a gym but not able to afford to go, it was a true blessing to her!



V. Events

· Chris (one of our leaders) performed his brother's wedding on 9-23!

· Some of us helped with the Memorial Service for Parrott’s on 10-1 @ HBF. The Parrott’s are a faithful couple who have come to Life Issues for over 3 years, and Brian’s parents both died in July, so we were glad to have a place for them to honor their parents!

· Our 10th annual Recovery Walk was held on September 2nd, this is our annual fundraiser and it raised almost $16,000 (see money thermos pic), here is the video link: 2022 Recovery Walk video - YouTube





· I want to sincerely thank ever person who contributed to this event, from the bottom of my heart; thanks for sharing my burden and for “Making A Difference”!



VI. People

· One of our disabled students moved to nursing home on 9-12, which was a blessing for him and it’s also closer to church so it’s easier to get him to meetings and church!

· Krista G. got full custody of her son, back in September, we’re so happy for her




· I got to lead a lady to Christ over the phone on 9-20-22!

· Sara Bidondo got her PTSD certification a few years ago, but just not got her certificate



· I went and worked @ the Harrisonville food pantry on 10-21, there were about 8 HBF & LIM folks there that day, but I failed to get a pic☹

· I agree with John when he said that “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3rd John 1:4. Recently one of our former students and his wife (I got to marry them 5-7 years ago) came to our house to visit. This young couple are still in love with each other and the Lord and are involved in serving Christ at their church. They are both working jobs and also have a home business selling plants, here’s their website in case you’re in the market for something: www.peacefulrootsco.com



· 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, September 28, 2022

Monthly Update - July & August 2022

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



I. Benevolence

· Took food to hungry couple on 8-14

· Gave bus ticket to blind man trying to get to Nebraska on 7-26, he was lost in the city and a former student found him and helped direct him to safety and to us.

· Bought a walker for a handicapped man on 8-26

· We teamed up with HBF to help a single mom get her car licensed on 8-29

· Life Issues helped a homeless family get some gas recently and while my wife talked to the oldest child, I got to lead the father to Christ, right beside the gas pump on 8-30!



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 4 out of 7 discipleship lessons and thanked me for supporting him!

· We’re starting up our outreach at the Cass County Juvenile Detention Center again soon, it has been shut down for a couple of years now. This ministry will be called “Young Arrows” based on Psalm 119:9 and Psalm 127:4, and are working on the details now, pray for this endeavor to be fruitful please!

· When someone is sentenced to a term in the Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC), their first stop will be at the Western Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph MO. This facility is also known as WRDCC. The person may be there for several months while they await their final camp assignment.

· Life Issues often receives requests for bibles from inmates at WRDCC. For many inmates, this is the first time they have been in the prison system, and they are seeking comfort from God's word.

· Life Issues desperately wants to help these folks, but for security reasons, the1 MODOC does not allow Life Issues (or anyone else) to send bibles directly into a MODOC prison. Bibles must be sent to inmates via an approved vendor such as Amazon. Life Issues has often sent bibles to incarcerated folks via Amazon. Unfortunately, this can be expensive, and it is hard to meet the demand. Furthermore, we would rather send the inmates an HBF produced "Prisoner of Hope" bible, but that has not been an option ... until today!

· Recently, Jim Stovall made contact with the Chaplain at WRDCC. Jim asked the Chaplain if there was a way Life Issues could get HBF "Prisoner of Hope" bibles to inmates at WRDCC who requested them. The Chaplain is familiar with Gene Purtle's ministry (The Keys are at The Cross) and has heard great things about HBF. The Chaplain agreed to distribute the HBF Prisoner of Hope bibles for Life Issues at the WRDCC. Praise the Lord!

· Last month Jim sent the Chaplain a case of HBF "Prisoner of Hope" bibles. The WRDCC Chaplain will keep them in his office. When a WRDCC inmate requests a bible, Jim will ask the Chaplain to distribute the HBF bible to the inmate. We have already distributed one HBF bible to an inmate seeking comfort in God's word. Hallelujah! God has truly opened a closed door.



III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 7-22 & again on 9-2

· We had a group of 4 people that helped out at the food pantry in Harrisonville on 8-26 – see pic



· Life Issues distributes over 100 Bibles per year and we’re almost out of them at this time, so we’ve asked our church’s Word First – Bible Publishing Ministry to make 300 Bibles for us!

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

o D1: A couple of folks have dropped out of D1 during this time period☹. However, these folks continue, Krystal W. & Krista G. with Kelly T.; Chuck H. with Dave B., Ed M. with Chris C., Brian R. with Pat L., Sarah W. with Linda J.

o D2: We graduated 2 folks from D2 this summer and now Suzanne R. and Pam A. have started!

o HBI: We graduated 5 men in June (1 from Life Issues leadership), we now have one of our lady leaders, Pam J., taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark.



IV. Recovery

· Rebecca W. gained custody of her son, on 7-13, she will graduate from the Jackson County Drug Court in Mar. 2023. Concerning drugs, she told me “Doing good, no turning back ever again”, PTL!

· A former student reached out to us to receive help for his alcoholic son recently, and on 7-20, Pat got to lead Keith L. to Christ and helped him connect to a sober living facility in his area, PTL!

· We get calls from the Public Defenders Office from time to time, to help transport people to and from court dates, who don’t have a ride for various reasons. We worked with 2-3 folks during the last two months and on 8-2 Pat L. got to lead Justin to Christ after his court date, very exciting!

· Krystal W. graduated from LH on 7-27, we’re very happy of her, she’s gainfully employed and now living on her own – see pic



· Zach M. graduated from DC on 8-5, we’re so proud of this accomplishment and 2 years of hard work, he is also a hard worker and has kept a job for several years and also has a good living structure!

· We only have 2 men going through The Journey Home (TJH) right now, one of them is trying to also quit smoking cigarettes, so please pray for him / them to be successful.

V. Events

· Theresa G. and I were at the Farmer’s Market on the Harrisonville square on 8-20 – see pic



· Our 10th annual Recovery Walk was held on September 2nd, this is our annual fundraiser.

o This year we had almost 50 walkers and we also had 30 volunteers or so and several others join us for our post walk program, attached are a few pics.




o This year we raised $15,733 to help the addicted in our area, halleluiah!!!

o The last several years we have started a Memory Wall to post pictures of folks who have been a part of our ministry in some way but have died (for various reasons). This year we added 5 new pictures of people whose lives were cut short, very sobering – see pic
a




o I want to sincerely thank ever person who contributed to this event, from the bottom of my heart; thanks for sharing my burden and for “Making A Difference”!



VI. People

· I wrote a reference letter for Pam J. to help her obtain a substitute teaching job at Harrisonville on 7-25

· I gave my testimony on 7-29, it’s still humbling to give but good for me and hopefully others.

· One of our former students OD’d on 8-16 and was in an induced coma for a couple of days, but they have made a full recovery and now live in our area again, so we hope to minister to them again soon.

· Ed's story... I have been blessed to know the life issues group for three years now. They have been there for me through both highs and lows. The thing I like most about this group is they made me feel like family almost right away.

· I have traveled a lot and have found few places like our Life Issues. I wish we could replicate it across the country. It is much needed. So many across the country are left to suffer.

· I come back each week because the message is always good, and the testimony nights always grip my heart. The small group helps me to keep myself accountable and end each week on a good note. When I have to miss a week, my spirit feels the loss.

· 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…