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…

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Monthly Update - November 2019

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

• I officiated Kim Riggs’ Funeral on 11-7, and gave a heart felt message and shared the gospel and invited folks to receive Christ; more than one person raised their hand to be saved!!!

• One of our ladies celebrated 1 year clean in early November and one of our men celebrated 1 year clean on 11-30!

• I got to baptize one of our guys, and a couple of other folks at HBF on 11-10, see attached pic!

• We sent a letter & some literature to CCJ inmate on 11-15.

• We helped give furniture to Joshua House on 11-14, for their second sober living home. We rejoice that they now have capacity to help up to 10 men with transitional living, PTL!

• Life Issues partnered with HBF to help a couple with their house payment on 11-18.

• We sent a small delegation to John Manning’s Christ Centered Recovery Group in Butler MO on 11-18 to enjoy their musical presentation and support their recovery group.

• An inmate that we’ve been writing to for a couple of years, got released from prison on 11-21, so we’re excited for his reentry into society, and we’ll be here to help him be successful.

• Mailed TJH to inmate in Florida in mid-November - I got word in late November that he’s reading it!

• Pat Lee gave his testimony on 11-29, right after Thanksgiving, and one lady gave her life to Christ!

• My son, Luke, and I went to Israel on 11-23 and returned on 12-3, I’m attaching a couple of pictures that are special to me, one is with Luke and I and the actual Menorah that the Jews plan to use in the third temple. The other picture is of me on the temple mount with the Eastern Gate behind me, which is bricked up now, but prophesied that Jesus will return through there when he comes back!

• Thanksgiving has come and gone, and our focus turns to Christmas. Life Issues will be having Santa come to our meeting on 12-20, for pictures and to give out gift bags to boys and girls.

• HBF will be giving Christmas boxes of food to needy families in our community and are collecting food items until 12-18; please call our office (816-380-3033) if you would like to contribute.

• We ordered and received Life Recovery Bibles, to give as award for those who complete our program.

• Jim Stovall is finalizing a snack schedule for the first 6 months of 2020, please let him know if would like to assist in this effort and aren’t currently on the list.

• We rejoice to be working with Lily’s House, here is a brief testimony of one of the ladies living there (S.):
I came to the Lily’s House on August 19th, 2019 and I showed up with a little over 6 months sobriety under my belt, yet I was still really lacking something. I know without a doubt that it was God leading me here. He knew exactly the right people to place in my life and the perfect environment to foster the growth he was about to have me go through, for me to draw close to him. Although I was saved, I personally needed to pray the prayer of salvation again to ask for forgiveness for the last few years. Steve helped me with that on one of our Friday night meetings. I finally let go of the same things I had been carrying around for quite a long time. From then on, with the help from the Vick’s and a whole team of people, the Lord has blessed me with, His peace began to fill my head, my heart, and my life like I’ve never experienced. I wake up each day with a joy that’s unstoppable now, and I can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for Him delivering me from darkness.

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