Friday, March 6, 2020

Monthly Update - February 2020

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

· One of our graduates, Dennis Bell, died on 2-5 due to a heart attack. Dennis was my age and we’ve known each other for over 20 years, so this was difficult, but he was a strong believer and he’s with the Lord and now healed of his cancer! Dennis’ funeral was well attended, and his son gave the message and God was glorified.

· On 2-5 we wrote reference letter and report for one of our leaders, Sara, to assist her in getting her Missouri Recovery Support Specialist - counsellor’s certificate!

· On 2-7 we sent TJH (recovery program) to a lady inmate.

· In January we began having childcare on Friday nights again, to help facilitate the Lily’s House girls. Mickie is in charge of this and she’s prepared a schedule and is working in different mom’s, so it’s a blessing to many!

· My email got email hacked on 2-7, which caused us a lot of difficulty, but after changing my password a couple of times, I sent a heart felt email to an unknown address which must have resonated with the hacker, because he responded to me with a broken and contrite spirit for causing me confusion. The hacker reset all the damaged he did and promised not to cause trouble again. I convinced him to call me and over the course of our conversation, my wife and I led him in a prayer of salvation, and I’m still in contact with him nearly daily, PTL.

· We helped a homeless couple with emergency housing on 2-10 & 2-11

· HBF updated our donation button on our website ( for simplicity, so try it out:-)

· A young lady, Heidi, prayed to be saved on 2-11 at our Tuesday night meeting, and a man and his girlfriend prayed to be saved on 2-14 after a Friday night message on “hope”!

· A couple of us helped a man and wife move their items out of a storage unit 2-17, to keep from losing them.

· I took a man from Jail to the Salvation Army on 2-19 for the Public Defenders Office, he had gotten saved in jail!

· We helped Hannah get her car licensed on 2-19, see attached picture.

· Sam celebrated 9 years sober on 2-21, he has attended Life Issues faithfully since our start / his start!

· Brian and Angie completed discipleship on 2-27, kudos to them and their disciplers (Mark and Laura).

· I transported a man from the Salvation Army to court and back on 2-26.

· Pat attended a Journey Pure workshop on 2-26, and one of their leaders, Brandy McCool attended LIM on 3-3-20. Brandy is a veteran and military liaison to the addicted and those suffering from PTSD.

· Pastor Vincent Barrea gave a great testimony on 2-25, and Mickie gave a great testimony on 2-28 (see pic); we also had a Christian comedian / fellow recovering addict (Bradley) give a great message on 2-28 (see pic)

· Life Issues will be taking its annual group picture on 3-27, so try to come out that night and be in it!

· Following is a testimony of a great young man that’s on a good path now, I hope you enjoy it… 

"Born in the year of 1994. My childhood was not your typical. However, in earlier years my Grandmother had sat me down at her bedside and we prayed an important prayer. A prayer I’ll never forget to this day. I was not at an age to comprehend exactly what it was I was doing but I wanted it. We prayed for Jesus to come into my heart I do remember that. Now, 15 years of age, I felt lost but now filled with rage from deep hurt inside. I was in high school and we know how that is, high school that is. Had found an outlet in sports like wrestling in fact and football. Inside, however, I was spiraling out control at Mach speeds. Progressing forward I had now become a flunkie, junkie, and bottom of the bottle metaphorically and literally (drunkard)(Addict). Now, I've sped up and I'm living a criminal lifestyle including couch to couch and house to house. This of course led me to which the behavior includes, and I too was no different, Incarceration. The unfurnished cold 4 walled box in which I knew most. Not only my prison I lived in my head and homes but a jail cell.

· God was not a thought since the special moment I kneeled with my grandmother I stated previously. Many years had passed and now I sit with a Class B felony above my head inside of jail. 3 days I had sat in complete solitary. The same place I heard of individuals picking up that Bible. Okay I had said to myself. Well you ain't got anything in here and you've been denied everything since your arrival. I bet they'll give ya one of those. I extended my arm and pushed on the silver button and out of a box comes the deputies voice and I in return send off my request for a Bible. I have to say, this is the only thing that moved quickly cause in about 2 min I had a paperback KJV heartland Baptist fellowship Bible. Couple pages in I found what my grandmother had done with me. A way in which to have salvation. The greatest decision I've made in 26 years of life. May of 2015 engulfed in darkness, violence, shackled in addiction, sin none the least, and oh so broken. I buckled to my knees weeping and confessing. Truly wanting and needing. Ultimately giving the Lord in a soppy mushy handful of tattered pieces which you couldn't recognize as a heart.... What I took from everything I read for my short stint from my cell was Jeremiah 1:5 and 1:19. I really was loved. Someone who didn't want to hurt me and who I thought was so heavy handed was everything but that. He set me apart and isolated me until I made the right choice. He handpicked me from even the womb. Wanted me so bad as too watching me kill myself in order to obtain me. (Imagine having to watch your child do this to themselves and patiently watch and wait until they listen in order to deliver them from deep anguish). Just the beginning to what is to come but that is my testimony… One simple prayer, one broken soul, and a heart. 3 simple ingredients. The only things i possessed. So, on two knees with a face wet I confessed the sinner I was and asked the Lord into my heart and to change and guide my ways. Through the very bible in which I see by my knees every Sunday @ HBF ..."

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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Monthly Update - January 2020

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

· Three LIM folks went to Iola KS on 1-4 to assist in construction on a church building for a sister church!

· We provided a couple of men with steel toed work boots for their jobs in early January! One of them couldn’t start his job on 1-11 without them, so this was a very tangible blessing!

· We sent our recovery program workbook to a female inmate on 1-11, and later in the month we got a request from one of her fellow residents, also asking for our material!

· My wife coordinated meals for one of our lady leaders for a couple of weeks while she was under doctors’ orders to stay off her feet, it thrills me to see folks caring for others in this way, PTL!

· On 1-16, one of our leaders talked a co-worker out of committing suicide; this man eventually handed the box knife to our man instead of cutting his wrist. This person went to Pathways for further treatment, but I rejoice that God had our leader there at such a time as this!

· Later in January, a different one of our leaders convinced a different man not to commit suicide, over the phone. This situation is ongoing and needs our prayers, but they remind me that we’re in the trenches dealing with life and death matters, both physically and spiritually.

· We worked with HBF to help a homeless couple with a week’s stay in a motel, until his job started, and he got paid 1-21

· I helped lead a 10-week PTSD class that finished on 1-22, attached you will see a picture of one of the graduates that we’re proud of!

· Pat Lee and I took a man to court on 1-28, it was good to get to know him and spend time with Pat.

· One of our men and his wife finally got to see their estranged son on 1-30, after being apart for 6 months (DFS matter)!

· We had 26 people at our Super Bowl party

· Several of our ladies went to HBF’s retreat on 2-1

· Our leader, Pat Lee helped Lily’s House write a grant last year, and they were awarded it in January!

· One of our men, James, borrowed our recovery DVD’s and shared them with a friend who struggles with alcohol, I’m so proud of him for wanting to help others. The following testimony is James’ story of helping another person in his life… 

"I am so happy to be a part of Life Issues – Addiction Recovery Program. Yes, I’m a recovering addict and alcoholic, and if it wasn’t for Jesus and Heartland Baptist Fellowship (HBF) and Life Issues and my boss; I would not of had the courage to witness to my mother-in-law.

I started by giving her an HBF Bible and I wrote inside of it “A Gift from God, to Mama”. She said, “a gift from God?” and I said yes, one of many that he gives to his children. Then I asked her if something were to happen to you today, do you know where you would go, and she said, “no I don’t”. Then I asked her if she would like to know, and she said, “YES”!

I told her about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, and led her in a prayer and when we were done, she had given her life to Jesus. I was smiling when we finished praying and she asked why I was smiling, and I said, now I know when I die that I will see you in heaven! This was on 9-29-19, and on 10-3-19 Mama when home to be with the Lord!

It was only with the power of Jesus, that I was able to have the courage to witness to Mama. I am an over-the-road truck driver and I go to meetings when I am in town; I’m glad I was in town before Mama passed! The Bible tells us in Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” In John 14:6, the Bible says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” - James

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

Monday, January 6, 2020

Monthly Update - December 2019

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – December 2019 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· Life Issues was able to give out over 25 boxes of food in 2019, to the hungry in our community, via our Morsels for Many food pantry!

· Jim has been writing to multiple incarcerated men in December, which has been a blessing.

· Kevin Frost became a peer specialist thru Missouri Credentialing Board on 12-9!

· Life Issues helped one of our men with a car part and repair bill on 12-10, to enable him to get to work and church, PTL!

· HBF helped one of our folks with their electric bill on 12-12!

· One of our ladies got full custody of her son in court on 12-19!

· HBF assembled several Christmas boxes of food, which benefited several of our Life Issues folks, so it was a blessing to see folks giving and receiving with thankfulness!

· We worked with a local business to give two faithful students $290 for Christmas, to help with their bills! This married couple let me know that they have their bills paid up for the first time in a few years; I’m so thankful for this businesses’ desire to help the less fortunate in our community!

· I celebrated 34 years at my job on 12-23, and started number 35!

· We gave away a box of Bibles in 12-29, along with some John and Romans, to a women’s shelter for distribution!

· On 12-20 we celebrated Christmas by having one of the ladies from Lily’s House give her testimony, it was amazing and an 18 minute video of it can be found on our website; It was a big night for us; one of our men played Santa Claus and we gave out gifts, took pictures, and enjoyed pizza together after the testimony! There were over 70 adults and 15 children at this event, and a couple of people professed Christ, it was an amazing night, thanks to all who helped!

· One of the men that we’ve worked with and written to while incarcerated, has been released for about a month now, and was accepted into Joshua House on 12-30, here is his testimony… 

“I used to ask the man in the mirror to change his ways. Those unknown ways that continued to tilt my behavior had me condemned, and lost, without hope, on my way to hell, and I was in Adam. Not only was I in a physical prison, but I was in the devil's prison, controlled and in bondage by my sinful nature (Eph. 2:12; 4:18, 19; Romans 5:12; Galatians 5:19-21).

· I thank God that I found the gospel; as I continued to make bad choices, and hit my rock bottom, and look for help. I found Life Issues and a church (Heartland Baptist Fellowship), a group of men and women who will look in the mirror with me and help me address my sin and behaviors with a spiritual stand point. With my new brothers and sisters in Christ cramming the gospel down my throat, and encouraging me to read my Bible, I decided to real all of the New Testament, it changed my life. It was a point in my life where I was still fighting a war within myself, still holding onto some sin, in a mental prison, that’s the condition God found me in!!

· The New Testament had me realize that I no longer had to fight this war myself, that I couldn’t win the war by myself, that I couldn’t win the war by myself anyways. That’s when I gave it all to God, every single little thing I asked God to release me from the bondage of sin that controlled my life. I asked God to come into my life and I repented sincerely for all my sins.

· A new freedom came over me, I could feel the Holy Spirit, and even though I was in a physical prison it doesn’t really matter anymore, because I was free on the inside!!! And I was not alone anymore, God took me out of Adam and placed me in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11)! I thanked God that he sent his son to die for my sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

· As I kept reading my Bible, I prayed and thanked God for his grace and for helping me to be the new man that I am still working on today (Ephesians 4:20). I cannot self-correct problems before they even happen. The Holy Spirit speaks to me and tells me not to do certain things. It’s a process and because of my new gratitude and love for the Lord, I’m more obedient, my language is cleaned up too. I’m not sinless, but I do sin less. I have new hangouts, I go to cleaner places, and talk to Godly people. My relationships are built around Christ, his word and the church. There’s great fellowship and supernatural love for my brothers in Christ, and for the brothers that mentored me, or had my back when I was at the lowest point in my life. As the new creature, I stopped running my own life and let God, the Holy Spirit direct me (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Romans 8:14).

· I surrender everything to him, and the new man and new Journey and adventure begins to happen. This is the new life and journey I am working on still today. I have only got started - Jason

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