Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Monthly Update - December 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – December 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:
  • Molessa A. completed The Journey Home on 12-6 and we honored her on 12-18, she gave a great testimony of God’s goodness to our largest group ever (65 adults)!

  • On 12-14, Life Issues helped a lady fix her car, it was a minor repair but a major blessing to her!
  • We sent Christmas cards to 7 inmates on 12-15, and one of the inmates is part of a Bible study group that designed a card for us in return, that everyone signed (see attached pic of the elaborate card)!

  • Chuck and I worked at Harrisonville’s Shepherd’s Staff food pantry on 12-11, it was a blessing to bless others!
  • Our own food pantry (Morsels For Many) got utilized a lot in 2020, we distributed 34 boxes of food to the needy (compared to 25 the previous year).
  • HBF gathered supplies for an additional 25 Christmas boxes of food, each containing items to feed a family of 6-8 a Christmas meal. My Sunday School class (The Foundation ABF) was in charge of distributing them this year. This was an effort to give food to people in our church who might not have been able to have a nice Christmas dinner on their own; attached are pictures of the wrapped boxes empty and another with them full, and the people who helped assemble and distribute them.

  • I got to baptize Alicia H. on 12-13 (see attached picture), so her and Connie M. and Ed. M. joined HBF on 12-20 and they were welcomed by the whole church body (see attached pics), we’re thrilled to have them!

  • We took a box of Bibles (24 Bibles) to the jail on 12-27, for the deputies to distribute upon request from inmates.
  • Life Issues had its Christmas party on 12-18 this year and Linda J. read the Christmas story to the kids and adults in attendance (see attached picture). Santa visited that night too and got many photo ops with our kiddos and gave out gifts to them with the help of some elves!

  • Pat L. helped get a young man into detox on 12-22 & got him into a rehab facility on 12-31; this was a monumental effort since it’s hard to get into anywhere with Covid. Anyway, please pray that this man’s life will be changed in the recovery process!!!
  • I went and picked up one of our students from the Greyhound bus station after Christmas on 12-27 and took him home after being out of town over the holidays, and didn’t have a ride.
  • We also helped homeless couple with a box of food and 1 night of emergency housing on 12-29. We gave another box of food and gas card to a different couple that same day.
  • Zach M. phased up (level 3 of 4) in the Drug Court program in early January, so he’s over halfway through this course. We’re so proud of him and now he can work full time and afford his own place and get more grafted into society and a “normal” life.
  • Our Life Issues group cleaned church on 1-3 (mainly Jimmie and Rosie); it’s a blessing to me to see our folks give back! Life issues is a blessing to me in many ways, but one of the ways that I see, is when folks willingly give back. Some give back in part because they need community service but often, they just feel like volunteering; I had 2 men tell me last night to let them know if we need help with anything!
  • Life Issues will be having a Super Bowl party on 2-7 in the south trailer, this will also be our 10-year anniversary of Life Issues, hallelujah!

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

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Monthly Update - November 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – November 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:
  • Becca D accepted Christ on 11-1 after church, and she also quit smoking too! Becca is becoming a virtuous young woman and mother, and we’re so thankful that God led her our way!
  • Sara B completed her peer specialist training and was awarded her certificate on 11-5, by the Missouri Credentialing Board; we’re very proud of her, see attached picture of certificate.

  • Ed M completed our recovery program, The Journey Home (TJH) on 11-6 with sponsor Chris C, and he became a member of HBF on 11-22; Ed is a blessing to all and we’re very proud of him!
  • Our church has a Next Steps class every 2 months for people considering becoming members of our church, and we have 2-3 people attending it tomorrow! We believe that the church is God’s support group, so it is encouraging to see our folks becoming a part of His church at HBF!
  • Charles B’s God’s hand up - winter coat drive was a huge success. Charles had 105 coats donated to the needy through his efforts, but he only got 103 of them distributed because I gave two away within our group before he picked them up on 11-13😊. See Charles’ promo picture attached.

  • Even though Angie and I were absent, the Life Issues group cleaned the church on 11-13!
  • Molessa A was one year sober on 11-17, Brian P was two years clean on 11-30, and Alicia H was 200 days clean on 12-4; these are milestones and trophies of God’s goodness and grace!
  • Life Issues bought medicine for a student 11-22-20; he needed the meds but couldn’t afford them, so we rejoice that we were able to step in and bless him in this way and that the meds are helping.
  • Even though our Prisoners Of Hope (POH) jail ministry is on hold due to the COVID 19 virus, we’ve been writing to about 6-7 incarcerated folks and seeing lives changed from afar, with cell walls!
  • Tim M came over from Clinton MO to share his stirring testimony on 11-27, and four people made professions of faith in Christ, may they now walk in him as they have received him – Colossians 2:6.
  • We had a family picture taken on 11-28 (see attached photo of us), and a few days after (12-1) our grandson Lincoln accepted Christ (he’s the 7-year old on the left) with his father, what a blessing!

  • TJH Program update: we’ve had 2 people complete TJH recently and we have 2 people actively engaged in it, and we have 2 new folks starting it (Misti D and John K)!
  • Christmas 2020…
  • HBF will be putting together approximately 30 boxes of food for singles or families that could use a little Christmas cheer this year (on 12-20).
  • Molessa A will be sharing her testimony on 12-18 and after the meeting, Santa Claus will be visiting Life Issues. He will be in the lobby where the Stovall’s will be taking pictures of children with him, and one of his elf’s will be distributing toys for the children
  • We will have Mazzio’s pizza delivered that night, so we hope all can make it out.
  • We won’t be having a recovery meeting on Christmas day…
  • We’re in the process of making a year-end video with a compilation of folks from this year’s ministry, so I’ll send that out next month.
Employment anniversary – On 12-23 I will have been working at my company for 35 years! It seems like only a short time ago that I left the farm and headed to KC with Angie and our one-year-old, Luke, who will turn 36 in a week. It was on the job that I met a man who led me to Christ in 1992, I am forever grateful for that life changing event. My company paid for most of my college, which made me eligible for promotion into the maintenance department, which has provided for my family and helped support our ministry for years. I have met many good friends there and even Mr. Ewing Marion Kauffman (twice) before he died. It has been a good run and I have a few more years to go, but it’s a good time to pause and reflect and be thankful.

In addition to all the good things I try to report, I wanted to let you know that we lost a former student, Kristi T., on 11-24. Although Kristi was a sweet lady and a born-again Christian, she couldn’t break the cycle of addiction and the consequences of it led to her death. These things weigh heavy on me and our group, but we thank Karen E for never giving up on her and we pray for her husband. May God embolden us to not give up on the addicted and always be ready to assist the struggling,

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

Monday, November 9, 2020

Monthly Update - October 2020

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

  • I got to lead a homeless couple to Christ on 10-7 who had contacted our church, it was a divine appointment and I rejoice for the privilege of communicating life into the lives of people looking for hope!
  • Sarah W. completed TJH on 10-8 with her sponsor, Linda J

  • We gave a box of food to a young homeless man in early October and we recently restocked our pantry!
  • Rich H. passed his written drivers test on 10-9 and his driving test on 10-16, so he’s a legal driver and his car is legal and insured; we’re very proud of him.  Here's Rich pictured with his car

  • Kevin F is housing a fellow struggler and giving him some work, i.e. a hand up; what a blessing to see!
  • We finished sending out Thank You cards on 10-13-20 (about 70 of them) and all of the donations from the Recovery Walk have come in, so our annual fundraiser is officially completed, thanks again to everyone!
  • Brian’s P (or lord Brian the magnificent as he refers to himself) keeps serving the Lord in the A/V booth as well as anything else we ask him to do. I’ve asked Brian to help us sanitize / disinfect touched surfaces after meetings, and he does. I’ve asked him to own the sound booth for meetings, and he does. I’ve asked Brian to lead small groups, and he does. I’ve asked Brian to help clean the church, and he does. Brian and his wife, Angie P, are both in D2 class and helping me to shepherd others, and we really appreciate him!
  • I went to court with a lady on 10-21, and with much prayer, the judge dismissed the case!
  • We had a great Harvest Party on 10-24 in spite of the cold weather, and many of our Life Issues folks assisted in this community outreach; we had over 20 families come out and enjoy this wholesome event with many free goodies for the kids and great door prizes (Here are some pics)

  • We helped house a homeless lady for a couple of nights and then helped her get into Healing House on 10-28, where she is now living and involved in their recovery program, this was a God thing because Healing House turns away nearly 450 people per week, but they had an opening for our lady and Pat L and Ed M took her there and got to led her to Christ before dropping her off, PTL!!!
  • On 10-30, my discipler Mark L shared his testimony with us, it was a special night for all, especially me (pictured below)

  • We helped a different lady get her car fixed on 11-3, it was a very minor repair but one that could have been much worse; I’m so thankful that our group raised funds to help people who are trying to do right!
I want to share a tragic story of a young man named R.J., who is a great nephew of one of our church members, Bobi B, and a supporter of our ministry. 
R.J. was killed on 10-24, he is a young man that I had prayed for a few times (not as earnestly as Bobi makes it sound), but here is Bobi’s words to me: 
"Steve, again I want to thank you for praying for RJ for EIGHT years - even though you had not met him. He was involved with a program at Heart of Life called “Marked Men For Christ”. He was clean for over 6 months but got involved with someone who pulled him into wrong choices again. I wish those men would have stayed closer to him. But he was saved and that is what’s important. I give that credit mostly to your prayers - God calling him as well of course, but you prayed diligently for him. Thank you and God bless you for that. "

I’m concluding this month’s update with one of the biggest success stories that I’ve been a part of, namely Ashley Sehorn! We helped bring Ashley to meetings around 5-7 years ago, but she wasn’t ready to break the cycle yet. Then about 2 years ago, she wrote to us from jail and we helped connect her to Lily’s House, and the rest is history, here is an interview that Lily’s House did with her recently:

This week we are spotlighting Ashley Sehorn, a wonderful lady who we have all come to love. Her life is an awesome example of God doing great works to help her break free from addiction and reconcile relationships with her family.
Number of children and their ages? I have two children, a 1-year old boy and 12 your old daughter.

  • What circumstances led you to seek help at Lily’s House?
I was pregnant, I had a drug addiction, I was in an abusive relationship, I hadn’t seen my daughter in 5 years.
  • How has Lily’s House helped you redirect your life? 
Structure, showing me love, understanding me, giving me guidance and a safe place to live. 
  • How has Lily’s House helped you to be a better mom? 
Groups, transportation, parenting, gave me the foundation to start a good life for my children and myself, they helped me get that second chance with my daughter. I learned to love myself here. 

  • Can you give us a specific example of a time when the staff or volunteers at Lily’s House made a difference in your recovery? 
Kelly was always here for me no matter what she kept pushing me to do better and to not lose hope. She gave me peace when I was letting fear get the best of me. She was there when my son was born and when I was reunited with my daughter again.

  • What are you doing now? 
I work full-time between being the live-in-staff for the Lily’s House and also running the Lily Pad. It has been a huge blessing because I grow stronger each day in my recovery by helping other woman! I am right where I am supposed to be and it’s an awesome way for me to give back to the lily house! I am the best mother I can be for both my children.

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