Friday, January 7, 2022

Monthly Update - November & December 2021

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – November / December 2021 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· Gave box of food to lady on 11-4, and we ended up giving 21 bags / boxes for the year 2021.

· HBF and Life Issues helped Rebecca W. with rent, she’s now 1 year clean – see pic of her and son.

· HBF and Life Issues also helped a lady with her water bill and rent in mid-December.

· We gave a couple of gas cards to students in December.

· Helped a homeless man with 2 nights emergency lodging on 12-30 & 12-31

· I often only report about people we’re able to help, but I receive at least 1 call per week asking for assistance with something, and around Christmas I received extra petitions, and I wanted to report that I had to turn 3 individuals down recently, those are hard conversations so please pray for me.

II. Jail update

· Went to court for a couple of inmates on 11-15, we’re currently writing to over 10 inmates.

· I just got a letter showing that one of the inmates completed a School for Evangelism and Discipleship course, signed by the Chaplin.

· One of our former leaders that moved away, Jim W. is now serving with Bates County jail ministry!

· Transported inmate from jail to residence until getting into treatment facility on 11-23

· Gave guy a ride to court and home for the Public Defender’s Office on 12-14

· Here’s an update on the Jail ministry started at one of our Sister churches in Monmouth Illinois: 

"During spring of 2021 the Lord opened a huge door, allowing us to begin ministering to our local county jail. Having originally been given 45 minutes, once a week, we’re now allowed to spend over 2 hours a week ministering to the inmates. We have seen a handful of salvations. In fact, there hasn’t been one Monday where we left the jail questioning if we’re being wise stewards of our time. The inmates are slurping up the word…and it’s been refreshing. Not only is the Lord allowing us to minister to the inmates, but to the staff as well. What a privilege!

We’re very thankful for the custom jail Bibles that HBF shipped to us. Not only has the AV translation been helping the inmates be unified when reading and studying, but the discipleship lessons at the beginning have also served as valuable resources. We’ll often spend the first 30 minutes of our time discussing particular points of the discipleship lessons. These lessons also serve as great resources for the new believers we get to lead to Christ.

Recently, we saw the Lord working intensely in the heart of one of the inmates (I’m talking about the kind with tattoos all over his face that most religious people like to avoid). This man knew he was a sinner who needed a Saviour, but we didn’t want to force or manipulate him into salvation. You see, the seed (God’s word) had been planted within him a few weeks prior. A baby was beginning to develop within the womb; but we could tell that it wasn’t ready to be born yet. Our prayer was that throughout the week, ONE OF THE OTHER INMATES would be able to lead him to Christ (rather than us). The Lord answered that prayer!!! By the time we came back, this man had already professed Christ as his Saviour. He even wrote out what he prayed – probably one of the most beautiful “sinner’s prayer” we’ve ever heard. The best part about what we’re doing is that God isn’t just using us to make disciples in jail, He’s using inmates!"

III. Church

· Our church sent a group of 5 people on a mission trip to southern Mexico to help a missionary in early December and 2 of those folks were leaders in our Life Issues group, PTL (see pic of Mickie speaking at a recent meeting)!

· Lynzee was baptized 11-14, and Jesse got baptized on 12-12-21 – see pics below

· Lynzee and three other folks placed membership @ HBF over the last two months – see pic below

IV. Recovery

· Joe graduated from Hope City on 12-17 and will be coming down to share testimony on 2-25.

· Life Issues made a financial donation to The Lighthouse Ministry in Clinton Missouri in early November, for their assistance in helping us get over 10 individuals into treatment / rehab in 2021.

· We currently have about 8 folks involved in HBF’s discipleship course and 5 going through our “The Journey Home” program, here’s a brief testimony from Heather H., 

“Linda has been helping me work through a lot of my addictions, depressions, and TJH book... it's given me peace in my heart this year... I don't know where I would be without Life Issues and your church's love and support.    Heather H."

V. Events

· Troy L. helped with HBF’s 3-day concrete project (11-5, 6, & 8) and used it as his Pay-It-Forward project for Drug Court. Several other Life Issues folks assisted with this project too, see attached pics.


· Christmas 2021 

o Ordered and handed out Life Issues refrigerator magnets, we have more if you want one?!

o Two benevolent church members donated $800 to Life Issues that I was able to distribute to 4 different individuals in need ($200 each), this was a blessing for all involved (one lady wept)!

o We had about 50 in attendance and Santa gave gifts to 7 children

o HBF gave out 23 boxes of food for Christmas meals, over half were to Life Issues folks

· Life Issues held a New Year’s Eve event from 8pm-midnight on 12-31 and watched a Christian movie and 3 people shared their testimony. It was a blessed event and one man really thanked us for helping him to bring in the new year sober – see group pic.


VI. People

· Brian and Kalee got married on 11-29, Tom and Niesha got married on 12-6, we’re very happy for these couples!

· I’ll leave you with a couple of verses that are fitting for the new year, 
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18, 19

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2022, for without him we can do nothing, sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…

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