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…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Monthly Update - June 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – June 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the

highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

 We share the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) every meeting and give people a chance to respond, and this month a couple of people did respond, so we rejoice with the angels for them (Luke 15:7, 10).

 We’re blessed to be a blessing, and this month we gave out 2 X $50 gas cards to help people get to work.

 One of our students graduated from Moral Recognition Therapy on 6-16.

 We bought food for our pantry on 6-26 and gave a student a box of food that very night!

 Pat completed re-writing his workbook (The Journey Home - TJH) on 6-17, and is in talks with the publisher for editing, copyright, publishing, etc.

 Theresa completed TJH on 6-30 with her sponsor, Angie, and is planning on taking HBF’s D2 course this fall!

 Kevin and Ray (and 4 others) graduated from HBF’s D2 course on 6-24; we’re so proud of these guys!

 We finished our 9-week overview of TJH on 7-2, this was beneficial for our whole group!

 Lauren graduated from HBI (HBF’s 4-year Bible Institute) on 6-28, her and her husband, Chris are both going to work with Life Issues again as much as they can, hooah!

 Several of our folks assisted HBF’s “Spark in the Park” outreach at Harrisonville’s Fourth of July event. We distributed water, American flags, John and Romans, tracts, and witnessed to our community!

 We gave a homeless lady 2 night’s stay in motel on 6-27 & 28

 I took a pickup load of clothing, shoes, and furniture to Lily House’s thrift store (Lily Pad) on 7-6, that a couple of generous people donated.

 HBF has a team that works at Harrisonville’s Ministerial Alliance food pantry (The Shepherd’s Staff) four times a year

 Zach has kind of been our superstar this month, he came thru and donated several hours to our church, cleaning out flower beds in the heat of the day! Zach also phased up to level #2 (out of 4) in the Drug Court program, so he’s on a good path of recovery and we’re very proud of him.

 A couple of months ago, Ed was referred to us and he seemed to be like-minded from the first day. Last night (7-10) he shared his testimony, one of the best I’ve ever heard; please look up our video at and check it out

 I got to see Ashley’s free car (donated to her) Ashley is going to graduate from the Lily House this Week (7-15), so I’ll have pics of that next month; she’s really an example of what God can do in a life submitted to him, and plans to give her testimony at our RW on 9-4.

 Speaking of our 8 th Annual Recovery Walk (RW) that’s being held on 9-4, a lot is going on!

 We received our permit in early June, and secured bus transportation for walkers to start line.

 One of our men is producing this year’s promo video and should be done this week.

 Judge Rumley (Drug Court) has agreed to speak to the group at the conclusion of the event.

 We’ve selected our t-shirts and caps (Army green) and are getting a quote.

 We’ve given out over 25 pledge forms to people helping us get donations.

 We’ve solicited a dozen businesses online and are starting to put out posters.

 We’ve received over $3500 thus far, on our way to $12000 goal! Most of these are return sponsors, but one first time sponsor gave us $1000, hallelujah!

 July 31 st will be our Homecoming event, and we’ve got a great speaker lined up. This night is designed to mark the anchor leg of our fundraising race, so please invite folks to come

 So, it’s crunch time for our 8th Annual Life Issues - Recovery Walk Fundraiser; please consider how you might help us this year, either as a volunteer (we need about 40), solicit pledges, give donations, walk, or do all of the above!

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Monthly Update - May 2020

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

· There’s a saying within Christian recovery circles, that says “new levels brings new devils”, which basically means that as you stop substance abuse, there are new issues to deal with, I remember specifically counselling with a man on the phone on 5-12, and praying with him about his boss and coworkers. I know Pat has had several opportunities to work with folks with relationship issues last month too.

· God used a couple in our church to point one of their neighbors our way last month who has some “life issues”, and on 5-12 we were able to connect this young lady with one of our lady leaders, and she has been coming faithfully ever since!

· One thing that is beneficial to folks in recovery (and for all of us), is to help others, and in mid-May, one of our young men helped take a disabled church members dog to the vet for them, and then spent a couple of days helping them around their home with odd jobs that they weren’t able to do themselves!

· One of the girls @ Lily House, Ashley, was given a nice used car around the middle of May; and she responded as if she had won the lottery! Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, I haven’t been able to see it yet, but we couldn’t be happier for this young lady and for all that God is doing in her life!

· One of our lady leaders, Kelly, was able to take some food and basic hygiene products to a former student of ours that’s fallen on hard times again, who had called me on 5-20 and asked for a toothbrush and other necessities.

· Our meetings have been running 25-30 people again, now that our church and state are re-opening, and we’ve gotten several visitors lately too, approximately 8 new folks within the last month.

· Brian Parrott is starting to train in the sound booth, so it’s exiting to see him grow and give back. Brian told me that there’s about 5 folks in our ministry that he’s encouraging to take HBF’s Discipleship 2 course this fall, so that’s exciting to hear too!

· We also have about 7 people going through The Journey Home (TJH) at this time, so there’s a good crop of people in recovery that are using Life Issues as their program, and we’re blessed to be used in this way.

· HBF’s church in the park was on 6-7, and it was profitable and well attended !

· I met a new man @ church in the park that’s interested in Life Issues, and he came to church with us on 6-14 too, his name is David.

· We gave away a 3-4 of boxes of food within the last month and will need to restock it again soon.

· A young lady named Cassie has been coming to Life Issues with her grandmother; not because of an addiction, but because of her desire to minister to others. Cassie recently graduated from college, and it was there that she gave her life to Christ, and on 6-14 she got baptized at our church, with her whole family in attendance! This young lady is a real shot in the arm to Life Issues and HBF, and we look forward to seeing how God will use her in the lives of others, see attached picture.

· Instead of doing a testimony at the end of May, I interviewed Pat Lee and people really seemed to enjoy that format, so we plan to do it again soon.

· We held our annual Recovery Walk (RW) meeting on 6-6 and had over half of our leaders there, to start our fundraising season. This will be our 8th annual RW fundraiser and we’re hoping to raise $12,000 this year to support the needs of this essential ministry for the coming year. We’ve applied for a permit with the city and we’ve gotten most of our literature printed, so we’re preparing now to solicit our community for support. Please look at the attached literature and consider how you might help us this year, either as a volunteer (we need about 40), someone to solicit pledges, someone to give, someone to walk, or someone to do all of the above!

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