Making a difference update, from the recovery field – April 2016 edition…
Dottie gave her testimony on the final Friday of March (3-25); she did a good job communicating how Alcoholism has affected her life, even though she hasn’t been addicted herself. After Dottie’s testimony, we watched a video of Brian Welch’s testimony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs7i_ckEHVA&sns=em) who was living life in the fast lane, when he was with the heavy metal Rock-N-Roll group “Korn”, till he found Jesus and got victory over addiction!
Both testimonies’ resonated with our group, showing how Christ makes the captive free, and a lady visitor recommitted her life to Christ after the presentations! Also, after the testimonies we proceeded to take a group picture; several of our regular folks weren’t there (including my wife), but we had some guests present and there were 43 present for picture, I’ll attach the pic next month! One of our leader’s wrote an article for our church’s newsletter, you can read her testimony at this link: http://www.hbfcass.org/pages/life-issues-ministry-member-shares-testimony.
Several good things happened last month; one of our Alumni students donated a bicycle to another student who needed one for transportation. One of our leaders helped a young homeless lady, to find lodging at a local shelter. One of our men leaders, who’s also a minister in the jail, got to lead an inmate to Christ last month, and has visited him afterwards too, to befriend and guide him in his new life.
We have 8 people signed up to attend a Biblical counselling conference in Saint Louis on April 14th thru April 16th; it should be a good time for us to hone our counselling skills with Nouthetic (Biblical) counselling and teamwork skills!
Our Garage Sale is progressing nicely, and several people have already begun delivering items to Jim W for storage, until the weekend of the sale (May 6th & 7th). If you didn’t know it, we now have a storage unit available, so if you have items that you would like to donate, you can contact Jim and make arrangements to drop them off (816-258-3792). All proceeds go to Life Issues, and we will have some charitable receipts available, so consider what you might give; we could also use some additional help at the event, so let us know if you could volunteer too.
I got to meet a missionary named Bryan Calloway at HBF’s Leadership Summit on 3-19, who was previously addicted to meth and alcohol! Bryon and his family are preparing to go to Zambia Africa in September of this year, but he has agreed to attend our Life Issues meeting at the end of August (8-26), to share his testimony of deliverance before he goes! You can read more about Bryon on his blog: BryonCallaway.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/seeseekserve.
On the people front, we are seeing some progress and victory; there are 3 students and 1 sponsor going through our Journey Home program! We have a man and wife on the final lesson of HBF’s discipleship and another couple starting, and 2 or 3 others that are meeting regularly with a mentor that are being discipled. We also have 4 students going through our TATs program, 2 of which are in prison! I’m also pleased that there will be at least one of our students who will be obeying the Lord’s ordinance of baptism this Sunday (4-10), and I’ll be doing the baptisms!
March was a special month for me in another way; it was 24 years ago that I accepted Christ (3-14-92). I always do some reflection at this time of year, in addition to looking to the future to consider what God has on the horizon for me. The recovery ministry is kind of an unlikely fit for me, but I believe that it does use my gifts and abilities, stage of life, etc., and I love it. I’m continually amazed at how daunting the task is and how great the need for recovery is; we have one or more visitors almost every week, and it’s rare that I don’t get contacted through our church each week, with some type of need. As far as the horizon goes, I’m gearing up to lead a recovery mission trip to Orissa India the last week of this year and into 2017; there is good interest from some of our leaders as well as others in our church and ministry, so I’m excited to see how God brings all that together and uses it for his glory. I feel so inadequate to do anything that I’m involved with, and I feel so privileged to minister at such a great church with such great people, and to serve such a great God!
Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…