Making a difference update, from the recovery field – December 2015 edition…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (everywhere you go); I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family and I look forward to Christmas, and I hope you do too?! This will be a special Christmas for us, because our son-in-law just enlisted into “active duty” for the Army, so he and our daughter and two granddaughters will be moving to the Seattle Washington area in early January. I know that the holidays are difficult for many of our folks as they are reminded of failures and losses, so please pray an extra measure of God’s comfort and grace this year, for them to recover the years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25).
Speaking of Christmas, we have received 10 X $25 gift cards from Farmland Industries that we will be distributing to those in need. Heartland Baptist Fellowship (HBF) is also collecting food items and donating 30 food boxes to families in need this season, so I will be collaborating with HBF’s pastors, to see if some of these food boxes can be given to our folks who are lacking.
Since Christmas day is on a Friday this year, we will be cancelling our meeting that night; we will also be cancelling our Friday night meeting on New Year’s Day (1-1-16). We will, however, be hosting a New Year’s Eve bash on Thursday, 12-31, to bring in the New Year together! We will also still have our regular Tuesday meetings on 12-22 & 12-29; below is our tentative agenda for our New Year’s Eve party:
8-9pm pot luck dinner
9-9:10pm break time, take kids to childcare
9:10-9:30pm music by siblings Tony and Anna, and the New’s
9:30-10:30pm Video: Recovery without relapse
10:30-11:30pm Testimony: Jerry Dixon
11:30-Midnight Year-end thoughts / re-cap of year meeting
Midnight-12:30 clean up and depart
We have the church reserved that night and we will gather at 8pm to dine together; Life Issues will be providing the meat, but we’re asking for people to bring one side dish for every two guests. So, bring lots of guests and a few side dishes, and bring in the New Year with us! Childcare will only be available from 9-11:30 that evening, during the video and testimony, so plan accordingly.
We had 15 leaders at our annual meeting on 11-14, and it was a good time to talk about what God has done and is doing in our ministry. We’re trying to dedicate 2016 to our students and are cutting out some of our outreach efforts, We may do a garage sale fundraiser in early May, and we will continue our annual walk over Labor Day weekend, but we want to focus on making a difference in people’s lives, like we have in the life of the lady in the testimony below:
“I am forty four years old, and I’ve spent most of those years being angry at God for allowing bad things to happen to me; although I survived, I refused to forgive Him. I attended a friend’s funeral a few months ago at HBF. When it was over, Pastor Steve took a few minutes to talk to me, and invited me to attend Sunday services and Life Issues. I felt closer to God every time I attended; I learned more about Him and gained new understanding. During a phone conversation on 8-31, with Steve’s guidance, I accepted Jesus as my savior, and let Him into my heart; I finally forgave Him. Now I attend Sunday class and services, Wednesday Bible study, and Life Issues every week. I am reading the Bible for the first time in my life. I am also studying to get discipled, I recently got baptized. It feels good to belong to God, this church, and my new family!”
I rejoice over the changes that Christ has made and is making in this lady’s life; we also had one of our men and his teenage son visit HBF recently, and the young man responded to the invitation and gave his life to Christ. We also have a lady who has started coming to Life Issues that HBF ministered to while incarcerated at Cass County Jail; this lady has received confirmation of being able to use her housing voucher to rent her own home in Belton, instead of sleeping in the family room of a relative’s home. This was a miracle that the Lord orchestrated and she will move in on 12-9 and will have a memorable Christmas, all thanks be to Christ! We’ve gotten a couple of other folks back from incarceration this month, and we’ve helped a couple of others with benevolence; so these are a few of the ways that we’re making a difference for Christ in time and for eternity. On behalf of Life Issues, I want to thank you for your support and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…