Thursday, September 10, 2020

Monthly Update : August 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – August 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· We just donated another box of Bibles to the inmates at the Cass County Jail on 9-4, but because of Covid we can’t minister in there right now (it’s been nearly a year). So, before I give my update, I also wanted to share this data from Bill Corum, regarding prisons in the USA: As of September 1, 2020, there have been at least 115,106 inmates test positive for coronavirus. Also there has been at least 973 deaths among inmates. There have been at least 25,267 positive cases among prison staff, and at least 74 deaths from coronavirus. I do not believe we will get back inside the walls this year. If you would like to help the incarcerated receive good books and literature, please go to Bill Corum’s website and donate to them:

· Angie and I celebrated 38 years of marriage on 8-14, and we’re still madly in love! Linda and Kinley celebrated 46 years of marriage in August, and they’re still in love too!

· HBF held its annual men’s retreat on 8-14 & 8-15, and 3 of us attended the Saturday conference, it was great!

· Zach is almost finished with his pay-it-forward project for the Drug Court; he made a raised flower bed / garden and donated it to our church!

· Zach and Connie both finished HBF’s D1 course (1 on 1 Bible lessons) in August.

· Brian has helped in the sound booth for a few of months now and is taking ownership of it by learning all aspects of it, which really assists with ministering to our group!

· Brian and a group of our students and leaders (8 folks) just started HBF’s D2 class, which is a 9-10-month Bible course, so we have a great crop of folks who have kicked the habit and are involved in serving the Lord.

· Another D2 student is Angie, she was 2 years clean on 8-21, we’re so proud of her!

· Kevin bought a house and closed on it on 8-25 and was granted that his 13-year-old daughter to stay with him for the school year!

· Rich and Cole finished installing plywood in HBF’s armory on 8-29, and Rich just bought a car and is in the process of getting it legal and his license reinstated, etc. These are huge steps for this man, and we couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s so thankful too, here are some of his words to us: 

"…I want to thank you and Mrs. Angie, HBF, Life Issues for believing in me and having faith in me that I would do it GOD'S way to find a new way of LIFE cause I was getting nowhere my way and probably wouldn't have ever gotten anywhere. So, it's all of you and my loved ones that I am still alive. So, my most respect and love go to all of you!! You are my walking Angels!!! …Love ya all with all my HEART!!! Dang it my brother this text got my eyes full of tears. But tears of joy. "

· We’re really proud of our leaders too, here’s an interview that Lily’s House did with Kelly Tally recently:

· We are proud to start introducing our amazing staff, board members, volunteers, and women that are involved in Lily’s House! Up first is Kelly Talley, an amazing staff member who has done so much for the ladies and families at Lily’s House.

· In what capacity are you involved with Lily’s House and for how long have you been involved? 

"I have volunteered and been on staff at Lily’s House from the beginning. I help drive the Lily House Moms and their kids where they need to go church, Life Issues Recovery Ministry, I work alongside them at the Lily Pad Thrift Store, Dr. appointments, groceries, daycare, court dates, etc. We spend time in Bible study together. I help support them in their day to day activities at the shelter as they learn to live a life in recovery and support them through the process of reunification with their children. "

· What great things have you seen accomplished at Lily’s House since you’ve been involved?

"I have watched the Moms learn to trust us. That moment when they realize that we care and that they are safe is a beautiful thing to witness. Our relationship with the ladies allows us to introduce them to God and the freedom they can have in Christ. "

· How has serving at Lily’s House changed your life?

"I like to say that working at Lily’s House has given me a front row seat to see the power of God at work. God has given me great compassion to help women walk in truth and peace. I get to be a part of a group of women that give our best efforts to lift each other up, cheer each other on, and support each other. "

· Can you give a specific example of a time when you saw something amazing happen in the life of one of our moms?

"I had the privilege of taking Ashley (now our 1st graduate) to the hospital to deliver her baby and I was present when she reunited with her daughter, Haylie, after 5 years of being apart. What a privilege it has been! Ashley is making a difference on staff at Lily’s House now and has become a dear friend. "

· Lastly, on behalf of our Life Issues group, I want to sincerely thank all of you for helping make this year's Recovery Walk a huge success! Many of you volunteered in one or more ways, many of you gave financially to us, many of you prayed for us, but God gave the increase! We had great weather and a great turn out of people, and we raised a little over $14,500 this year (the most ever) which exceeded our goal of $12,000, PTL!

· The post Recovery Walk was great, and Sarah and Kevin gave great testimonies, and Ed finished the night by singing “Victory in Jesus”, it was amazing!

· Much more could be said, please see our Life Issues Facebook page for some pics; we should have a video by this time next month, so that you can see more of what went on at the event.

Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…

Monday, September 7, 2020

2020 Recovery Walk - THANK YOU !

Thanks to all our family, friends, and supporters who made our 2020 Life Issues Recovery Walk a HUGE success !

In spite of the pandemic and the tough social & economic times, our Lord God saw fit to bless the Life Issues ministry "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" Ephesians 3:20.
We surpassed our fundraising goal by over $1000 dollars !

Life Issues would like to thank the many local and national businesses that supported our fundraising event this year


Monday, August 10, 2020

Monthly Update - July 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – July 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· We were gifted a motorized wheelchair about 2 years ago (a VERY nice one), and on 7-6 we were able to give it away to a good home to someone who can get use of it!

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 7-10, I’m so proud of all who helped with this effort!

· Our girl Cassie started discipleship in early July, and is working in the field of abused women, we’re so happy that this young lady has a burden to help the helpless, just like her heavenly father.

· I’m pleased to inform you that the young man from Nigeria, that hacked my email account and then repented and gave his life to Christ, is going through our discipleship correspondence and is on lesson #3 of 7, hallelujah!

· We have 4 folks in discipleship I, and 3 just completed discipleship! We have 4-5 folks getting ready to start discipleship II on September 2nd. We also have about 5 folks doing our Life Issues program – The Journey Home, and 1 just completed it (see attached picture)!

· We gave out a couple of big boxes of food in July, and also purchased more!

· Ashley graduated from Lily’s House on 7-15, we’re so proud of her! There were about 20 folks from Adrian there that night and also about 20 Life Issues folks, it was a sweet time!

· HBF just had their VBS this last week (8-3 thru 8-7) and about a dozen of our folks helped to teach the kids and served in many areas, including a young lady from Lily’s House, who is fairly new there and doing great! Chris and Lauren were the leaders of this effort that ministered to about 50 children.

· Sarah W. applied to become an HBF member on 7-15 and is getting baptized tomorrow (8-9)!

· Over 60 people came to our Homecoming event on 7-31! Pastor Bill Johnston gave a moving testimony (see attached picture of him and I), and one young man accepted Christ at the end.

· We had more than a dozen folks put their sobriety date and clean time on our sobriety wall. One of them is Rich H., who’s now 1 year clean after 25+ years of addiction. 

· The Joshua House men donated a workday @ HBF on 8-1 to help install sheets of plywood to our Armory building for insulation purposes. That building is where we assemble Bibles, attached is a picture.

· HBF’s Men’s retreat is next weekend (8-14 & 8-15); I’ll be teaching a message on “Ready to Work” on 8-15, so feel free to come be a part of it! Life Issues will sponsor up to 2 men, if they want to go and can’t afford it, so just let me know who and we’ll get them there.

· A lot is going on for our 8th Annual Recovery Walk (RW) that’s being held on 9-4, here’s some bullets:
We now have permission from Sargent Clairbourn to start our walk at the Justice Center again this year, and he offered a police escort for our group.
We’ve given out about 36 pledge forms to people helping us get donations. We also sent out church packets to 4 churches to invite them to participate with us; one church indicated that they would send some people to come walk with us.
We’ve received over $7140 in pledges thus far, on our way to $12000 goal! We’re waiting to hear from a few businesses (one large donation is pending), but we’re still quite a way from our goal and we only have a few weeks before the event, so get off the fence if you’re considering helpingšŸ˜Š
We’re ordering 75 t-shirts and 24 caps this year and have until 8-21 as a deadline to get gold level sponsors names ($250 or more) on the back of the shirts, but we can receive lesser pledges all the way up until the event on 9-4.
We’ve also ordered some supplies for the walk as well as some new guest bags and ink pens for the ministry.
We also now have all the misc. literature for our event so that we can put inserts into our church bulletin, and graphics for the loop in the church lobby and website. We even have little stuffers (800 of them) that Harrisonville’s Sonic will put into each food order they serve for a couple of weeks, so the word’s getting out about this year’s Recovery Walk!
I also wanted you to know that The Sno Stop will be giving free shaved ice @ the end of this year’s Recovery Walk, I’m sure that will be a big hit!
Pat Lee and I were invited to speak to the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce on 8-5, where a group of about 22 local business owners / leaders were present. We only had about 5 minutes, so we split the time, I talked about our history and our upcoming event, and Pat talked about our program and his own recovery through Christ. We gave out literature to all present and one lady gave us a gift card and another man took a pledge form, so time will tell about other fruit from that outing, but it was a blessing to represent the Lord in that way!
So, it’s crunch time for our 8th Annual Life Issues - Recovery Walk Fundraiser; as promised, attached is the promotional video that a good friend of mine produced for this year’s event, you will love it!

Brother Ed shares with us this testimony of God’s working in his life, and insights to what Christ-centered recovery looks like:

"Trust and Obey. Sounds easy enough. But why do so many of us struggle with these simple words. I know I struggled because of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Not to mention I only trusted me and did what I wanted to do. Ultimately it was love that changed me. It is no accident that love is mentioned hundreds of times in the new testament. It is no accident that Paul preached Christ crucified, the ultimate act of pure love. It is love that allows me to Trust His every word and Love that empowers me to Obey HIS commandments. I was the least of the least. I believe the only reason God did this amazing work in me is to be a witness to people that it is possible to love your enemy, it is possible to carry all the fruits of the Spirit, and it is possible to love as He loves.

We must remember also that Jesus is not a magic wand that makes our life perfect. But He does allow us to live perfectly in an imperfect world. He healed my spirit with his love and allows me to love others amidst my storm. But I still have a lot of mental, emotional, and physical healing to do. I lived most of my life in abuse and trauma. I still struggle with the pulls of addiction after being clean for 17 years. But God is faithful. He has given me a wonderful group of people to help me endure and heal and grow. The family who adopted me rather than let me die on the streets, Dr. Bloesser at Harrisonville Family Medical, the entire team at Cass County Psychological Services, and even the faithful people at Life Issues. He has not left me alone to fight my battles. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful God Savior and Comforter. I pray I am able to share the victories He has given me with every breath I am given until I draw my last. Love always, your faithful servant. "

Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…