Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Monthly Update - March & April 2022

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – March / April 2022 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· Gave clothing to man student on 3-6-22

· Went together with church to help pay rent for a man and wife on 3-6

· One of our men helped move the Shiloh Center on 3-21

· We were able to purchase a bike for Tony on 4-10-22 – see pic


· Gave gas card to couple living in their truck on 5-3

· We distributed a few bags of food to needy people during the last two months

· We helped a lady get her car fixed (after having it in multiple shops) on 5-5-22

II. Jail update

· Took man to court in Cass Justice Center from Warsaw MO and back home on 3-15 for public defender’s office.

· We’ve written to several letters to inmates over the last 2 months, and several have written back!

· I’m working with the public defender’s office right now to pick up a man from the airport next week; local judges are making people appear in court post Covid, so we’re trying to assist.

III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 3-18 & 4-29

· We had a group of 5 people that helped out at the food pantry in Harrisonville on 3-18

· Multiple people within our group helped with HBF’s workday on 4-16, from cooking breakfast to mowing the lawn to cleaning carpet, to sawing down trees, to installing mulch in flower beds, to weed eating, to clearing brush, to patching concrete, to general cleaning – see pics!


· Several of our students and leaders are involved in discipleship:

o Discipleship 1: Lynzee C. & Diane T., Chuck H. & Dave B., Sarah L. & Pam J., Matt & Marcy L. & The Bonnesens, Ed M. & Chris C., Sarah W. & Linda J., Kelly T. is working with two ladies in a group setting, Krystal W. and Krista G.!

o Discipleship 2: Dale N., Caleb L. are in Jason M.’s class

o HBI graduation: HBF will have 5 men graduate from our Bible Institute on June 12th, one of them is our son and another is one of our Life Issues leaders, Chris Coen. We’re very proud of all these men and their families for sacrificing countless hours over the last 4 years to make it to this point!

IV. Recovery

· We had two salvations in our group within the last two months, Dominick and Zoey, PTL!

· Our Life Issues leadership had a meeting on 3-12, see attached pic


· We added a new Covenant Eyes (CE is anti-pornography software) user on 3-30, to someone who is seeking purity with their online activity / screen time.

· One of our students (Heather H.) graduated from our program (TJH) on 4-29, and we currently have 4 students actively working through our program / pathway to recovery and another thinking about it!

· We rolled out our milestone tags on 4-29, we will revisit it and distribute them at the end of each month to folks with new achievements / milestones

V. Events

· Lily’s House sponsored their first ever 5K run / walk fundraiser on 4-2 and Life Issues had a table / booth at their event – see attached pic


· Five of us went to Butler MO on 4-18 and heard the testimony of a representative of Prison Fellowship!

· Pat Lee gave a great IGO update on 4-5 at our church’s Vision Conference, see attached pic.


· I was ordained as an Assistant Pastor at HBF on 4-6 and got to preach on the final night of our church’s Vision Conference, see attached pic.


VI. People

· We had a Baby Shower for Tom and Niesha on 3-18 & will have another for Sarah W. on 5-13, see attached pic.


· Dustin T. got baptized and placed membership at HBF on 4-17 – see attached pic

· Chuck H. participated in the special Olympics in April, he received 1 silver and 2 bronze medals - pic


· Heather just completed her Pay-It-Forward project, she had a baby drive that raised 2404 diapers and 1500 wipes – see attached pic.


· I used to attend church with a man about 20 years ago and recently he and his family have been visiting our recovery group, here is his testimony from the past 15 years. 

"God never meant for us to be alone. It is good to have friends, family and helpers in our faith journey.

o Gen. 2:18 says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” So God made Eve!

o Ecc. 4:10 says, “but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”.

· Between 2001 and 2007 my wife and I experienced some things in our lives that brought shame, guilt, confusion and anger into our hearts. We had struggles with our kids and struggles as a young couple trying to figure out life, parenting and marriage. We were in our late 20’s/early 30’s. In 2007 I couldn’t bear it any more so left church in anger after a Sunday morning sermon. I never really returned until the fall of 2021.

· During the next 14 years we sporadically attended some church services but no commitment. For me, I was ashamed of my struggles so avoided past relationships. I was angry at others so just avoided people. Certainly, a root of bitterness took hold in my heart. I did not stop believing in God. I did not stop believing in the Bible. I did not stop believing in the Church. I was just angry, confused, ashamed and hurt which led to 14 years of walking in a barren desert bearing the burdens of life without help. Without Christ centered friendships. Without much prayer. Without much hope, joy or things to look forward to.

· When we started having troubles with a couple of our younger kids the burden was too great. We already went through this with our oldest and now problems with our younger teens. What I know now is that God was taking us through a trial too great for one man to bear by himself (or couple). I had no answers and little strength as an older father to power through it. My hand was forced and thankfully my wife and I agreed to attend church around Thanksgiving time in 2021. The sermon, the singing, the encouragement, the smiles and the Word from God filled my heart with manna I had been avoiding for 14 years.

· An old friend at this church gave me a hug and it brought me to tears. I don’t normally show emotions but the warmth and love was too great for me to handle. Since then, we have brought God back into our marriage and personal lives. We attend a small group and Life Issues that help us bear the burdens of life, foster Christ centered friendships and hope for a better tomorrow. We pray more together and attend church more regular. Still learning. Still have struggles. But God is bigger than me and planting seeds for a better tomorrow brings more peace and joy in the midst of life’s struggles.

· Thankful for my past and future Christian friendships, stories and fellowship. Thankful for opportunities to serve and kindle that fire again. Eric M."

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2022, for without him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things! Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…

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