Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Monthly Update - July & August 2022

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

I. Benevolence

· Took food to hungry couple on 8-14

· Gave bus ticket to blind man trying to get to Nebraska on 7-26, he was lost in the city and a former student found him and helped direct him to safety and to us.

· Bought a walker for a handicapped man on 8-26

· We teamed up with HBF to help a single mom get her car licensed on 8-29

· Life Issues helped a homeless family get some gas recently and while my wife talked to the oldest child, I got to lead the father to Christ, right beside the gas pump on 8-30!

II. Jail update

· We’ve written to several letters to inmates over the last 2 months, and several have written back! The man I’m writing to has completed 4 out of 7 discipleship lessons and thanked me for supporting him!

· We’re starting up our outreach at the Cass County Juvenile Detention Center again soon, it has been shut down for a couple of years now. This ministry will be called “Young Arrows” based on Psalm 119:9 and Psalm 127:4, and are working on the details now, pray for this endeavor to be fruitful please!

· When someone is sentenced to a term in the Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC), their first stop will be at the Western Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph MO. This facility is also known as WRDCC. The person may be there for several months while they await their final camp assignment.

· Life Issues often receives requests for bibles from inmates at WRDCC. For many inmates, this is the first time they have been in the prison system, and they are seeking comfort from God's word.

· Life Issues desperately wants to help these folks, but for security reasons, the1 MODOC does not allow Life Issues (or anyone else) to send bibles directly into a MODOC prison. Bibles must be sent to inmates via an approved vendor such as Amazon. Life Issues has often sent bibles to incarcerated folks via Amazon. Unfortunately, this can be expensive, and it is hard to meet the demand. Furthermore, we would rather send the inmates an HBF produced "Prisoner of Hope" bible, but that has not been an option ... until today!

· Recently, Jim Stovall made contact with the Chaplain at WRDCC. Jim asked the Chaplain if there was a way Life Issues could get HBF "Prisoner of Hope" bibles to inmates at WRDCC who requested them. The Chaplain is familiar with Gene Purtle's ministry (The Keys are at The Cross) and has heard great things about HBF. The Chaplain agreed to distribute the HBF Prisoner of Hope bibles for Life Issues at the WRDCC. Praise the Lord!

· Last month Jim sent the Chaplain a case of HBF "Prisoner of Hope" bibles. The WRDCC Chaplain will keep them in his office. When a WRDCC inmate requests a bible, Jim will ask the Chaplain to distribute the HBF bible to the inmate. We have already distributed one HBF bible to an inmate seeking comfort in God's word. Hallelujah! God has truly opened a closed door.

III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 7-22 & again on 9-2

· We had a group of 4 people that helped out at the food pantry in Harrisonville on 8-26 – see pic

· Life Issues distributes over 100 Bibles per year and we’re almost out of them at this time, so we’ve asked our church’s Word First – Bible Publishing Ministry to make 300 Bibles for us!

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

o D1: A couple of folks have dropped out of D1 during this time period☹. However, these folks continue, Krystal W. & Krista G. with Kelly T.; Chuck H. with Dave B., Ed M. with Chris C., Brian R. with Pat L., Sarah W. with Linda J.

o D2: We graduated 2 folks from D2 this summer and now Suzanne R. and Pam A. have started!

o HBI: We graduated 5 men in June (1 from Life Issues leadership), we now have one of our lady leaders, Pam J., taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark.

IV. Recovery

· Rebecca W. gained custody of her son, on 7-13, she will graduate from the Jackson County Drug Court in Mar. 2023. Concerning drugs, she told me “Doing good, no turning back ever again”, PTL!

· A former student reached out to us to receive help for his alcoholic son recently, and on 7-20, Pat got to lead Keith L. to Christ and helped him connect to a sober living facility in his area, PTL!

· We get calls from the Public Defenders Office from time to time, to help transport people to and from court dates, who don’t have a ride for various reasons. We worked with 2-3 folks during the last two months and on 8-2 Pat L. got to lead Justin to Christ after his court date, very exciting!

· Krystal W. graduated from LH on 7-27, we’re very happy of her, she’s gainfully employed and now living on her own – see pic

· Zach M. graduated from DC on 8-5, we’re so proud of this accomplishment and 2 years of hard work, he is also a hard worker and has kept a job for several years and also has a good living structure!

· We only have 2 men going through The Journey Home (TJH) right now, one of them is trying to also quit smoking cigarettes, so please pray for him / them to be successful.

V. Events

· Theresa G. and I were at the Farmer’s Market on the Harrisonville square on 8-20 – see pic

· Our 10th annual Recovery Walk was held on September 2nd, this is our annual fundraiser.

o This year we had almost 50 walkers and we also had 30 volunteers or so and several others join us for our post walk program, attached are a few pics.

o This year we raised $15,733 to help the addicted in our area, halleluiah!!!

o The last several years we have started a Memory Wall to post pictures of folks who have been a part of our ministry in some way but have died (for various reasons). This year we added 5 new pictures of people whose lives were cut short, very sobering – see pic

o I want to sincerely thank ever person who contributed to this event, from the bottom of my heart; thanks for sharing my burden and for “Making A Difference”!

VI. People

· I wrote a reference letter for Pam J. to help her obtain a substitute teaching job at Harrisonville on 7-25

· I gave my testimony on 7-29, it’s still humbling to give but good for me and hopefully others.

· One of our former students OD’d on 8-16 and was in an induced coma for a couple of days, but they have made a full recovery and now live in our area again, so we hope to minister to them again soon.

· Ed's story... I have been blessed to know the life issues group for three years now. They have been there for me through both highs and lows. The thing I like most about this group is they made me feel like family almost right away.

· I have traveled a lot and have found few places like our Life Issues. I wish we could replicate it across the country. It is much needed. So many across the country are left to suffer.

· I come back each week because the message is always good, and the testimony nights always grip my heart. The small group helps me to keep myself accountable and end each week on a good note. When I have to miss a week, my spirit feels the loss.

· 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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