Friday, March 10, 2023

Monthly Update - January & February 2023

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – January / February 2023 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months (new format):

I. Benevolence

· Took a box of food to a mother and her son on 1-9-23.
· Joined with HBF to pay rent for lady and her son on 2-26-23.
· Gave a former student 2 night's emergency motel on 2-27 & 2-28
· We restocked our Morsel’s For Many food pantry in late February (thanks Theresa and Pam)!

II. Jail update

· Our church was contacted by a former student (Ted) who’s now in prison again, but he has finally given his life wholly to the Lord. We sent Ted lesson #1 of discipleship and he’s already sent it back to us along with his testimony, please pray for this young man.
· We also started sending discipleship lessons to another man in prison, who got one of our Bibles while he was incarcerated in Saint Joseph MO, so we’re excited that he’s walking with the Lord and desiring the word of God too!
· We gave a box of Bibles to CCJ on 2-5, and we gave some of our tracts and another box of Bibles to the Butler jail group on 2-10, His truth is marching on!

III. Church

· Our recovery group cleaned the church on 1-6 & again on 2-17, see attached pic of Tracy helping!


· I wrote a reference letter for one of our lady students for her court case on 2-6-23, she is doing great! Her and her husband and son have been attending our church faithfully, this is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous in our eyes – Psalm 118:23
· Several of our students and leaders are involved in discipleship:

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material – Krystal W. is with Kelly T.; Chuck H. with Dave B., Ed M. with Chris C., Brian R. with Pat L., Kalee R with Linda J.; Sarah J. with Pam J.
o D2: Suzanne R. and Pam A. are in D2 and are about a third of the way through this 9-month class!
o HBI: One of our lady leaders, Pam J., taking all 4 classes, so pray for her to press towards the mark.
o TJH (The Journey Home): We had a new lady (Kayla C.) start TJH with Pam J. in December! Dominick and I have also started meeting again and we’re on lesson #5 (halfway thru)!

IV. Recovery

· We gave a Wounded Spirits book (PTSD) to a man the week of 1-9, this is someone that one of our leaders in trying to minister to.

· We gave a lady a ride to our recovery meeting on 1-6-23, and she made a profession in our pickup when we took her home after the meeting, halleluiah!

· Ed gave a good testimony on 1-27, and Amy gave a good one on 2-24 – see pic.


· We gave a stack of trifolds to Compass Health on 2-12, so that they can refer people our way.
· We just placed an order for 5000 gospel tracts on 2-20-23, so we’ll be excited to get them soon.
· Rebecca Wilber just completed the Drug Court program in Jackson County – pic of certificate attached.


V. Events

· Nine (9) of our Life Issues ladies went to HBF’s Ladies Retreat on 1-21, and we helped pay for some of their registration fees, so that everyone who wanted to go could, PTL!
· LIM turned 12 years old on February 4th (we had our first meeting on 2-4-2011)!
· We took a group of 9 folks to Kansas City’s Winter Jam on 3-3, it was quite a show, see attached pic.

VI. People

· Pat Lee worked as a counsellor last Summer at the Faith and Family Day at the “K” (Royals Stadium) and led a man to Christ named M. Well, it just so happened that M came to Life Issues with a group from “Reach KC” on 12-30! We’re thrilled to see him plugged in and serving the Lord, see attached pic.

· Heather Haddad passed her online Certified Peer Specialist exam on 1-18-23 – see attached pics.

· Debbie Corum's post: Say What? A Hired Servant? ( Debbie is Bill’s wife, and both of these folks are prolific speakers and friends of our ministry (Bill will be at Life Issues on July 28th, 2023), and we are trying to enlarge Debbie’s reader base, so feel free to pull up her blog and subscribe to it!

· Below is Kayla’s testimony, she is such an encouragement to us and a trophy of God’s grace…

"My name is Kayla C. and I’d like to share my testimony on how I have a relationship with the Lord, and I’ve been born again. When I was growing up my family did not go to church nor read the Bible. I knew of God but had no relationship or knowledge of his word. When I was little, I attended church with my Aunt Vicki and I remember we would sing all the time (worship), she loved Jesus so much and let everyone know it. My early teens I went to youth group events with my good friend Kellie, but I still was not a believer at the time.

My brother and I spent a lot of time at our Grammy and grandma’s we basically grew up at their houses, they too did not go to church. I had a traumatic moment in my life when I was 5 years old, I was at Grammys staying the night and I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up in the middle of the night and the TV was on, it was porn. I had no idea what it was doing nor what it meant. I have never talked about this until now and I recently told my mother, she had no idea. As I got older, I always thought I needed a lover to make me happy, so I looked for love in all the wrong places since I was 16 years till about 27 years old. I had multiple partners and dated liars, cheaters and they never loved me for me. I started smoking pot and cigarette’s when I was 16 and after I graduated high school all I did was party and work. My early 20’s turned into drinking heavily and experiencing with other drugs. My last relationship before I met my husband was when my addiction’s started becoming an addiction. I abused pain pills and drank all the time and tried Meth for the first time. Thankfully I realized that wasn’t for me and I liked my sleep. At this point in my life, I rejected God and was told all Christians are hypocrites and you got to see it to believe it. That was my mindset, and I was completely lost!

January 2017, I met my husband, good ole country boy and I fell in love instantly. I knew in my heart I was going to marry him someday. He told me he is a Christian and honestly it didn’t bother me. I truly believe God sent Justin to me for a reason and that reason is because he has saved my life. We had a break in the beginning of our relationship, and it was extremely hard for me. I thought no one could love me and I was worthless. I drank heavily one night and sat on my bed with a gun in my hand and I even pointed it at my head. I looked over to my dog Ava and I realized she needs me. Justin came over and took away the gun and I stormed out the door to go for a walk. Justin followed me, as we were walking at that moment something inside of me was telling me I need to find God and know him. I told Justin I wanted a relationship with the Lord, and he held my hands to pray, and I repeated after him saying I accept Jesus Christ as my savior.

We started to attend church and Justin bought me a bible, I read some scripture, but I didn’t quite understand it all. I got baptized in 2017 and at the time it felt amazing! As time passes, we ended up not going to church that much and I can honestly say that I did not go all in with my faith. I knew in my heart that God loves me, but I was still lost, and the enemy kept taking control in every area of my life.

Justin and I were drinking more and more but pretty much having a good time together. It started to get worse for me after we got married in 2020. I was drinking every day and even sneaking it around so I could drink earlier in the day. We found out I was pregnant in January of 2021 and Zander was born August 23rd, 2021. I had some trauma from his birth and ended up having an emergency C-section. That was hard on me, and I was miserable. Zander was born healthy and the most perfect baby boy.

By November I started to have some deep depression and I started to drink again. Months and months go by I was drinking almost every single day. I was drinking and driving with my son, multiple blackouts, quit my job, hated my husband. Drinking consumed me 24/7 and that was all I thought about. By summer 2022 I was creating chaos for my family because of my drinking. Justin and my family didn’t know what to do. Justin asked me one night that it’s going to be Zander or alcohol and I told him I chose death.

I went to cottonwood springs and detoxed for 7 days and went to the Aviary recovery center for 21 days. I tried to reconnect with the Lord and read my Bible every day. At the time I knew God forgave me, but I did not confess my sins. I was sober for about 4 months, and I completely threw out all the tools I learned and started to drink again. I relapsed because I had to make the decision to put down my dog Ava. It was very hard for me because we went through a lot together. She was the best dog I’ve ever had!

I thought to myself I can have one drink I’ll be fine, that’s not the case for an alcoholic. I went on major binges and would leave and not tell anyone where I was or what I was doing. On November 29th, 2022 was when I hit my rock bottom. I was black out drunk, driving with Zander from Belton and somehow ended up at the Chinese restaurant in Butler. I remember cop lights everywhere and Zander sitting in the back seat bawling his eyes out. I got arrested and luckily didn’t have to stay in jail overnight. Child services were called, and I ended up having restrictions with me not being alone with Zander.

 I broke trust with everyone and hurt everyone. I knew I needed help, and I wanted my family to be together. A Child services lady told me about Life issues, and I thought I’d check it out. I absolutely loved it and felt like I was at home. That night I cried out to God to help me, I surrendered and confessed all my sins. I’ve been praying every single day since then and I feel it in my heart that I truly believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The only way for me to recover is through God’s word. I feel like a different person now and at peace, knowing I have eternal life with God and my family keeps me going everyday now.

I signed up for Life Issues’ program (The Journey Home) soon after attending meetings, and they assigned Pam J. to me, she is such a wonderful sponsor and we’re most of the way finished with it already. Going to Life issues, CCR and seeing my therapist every week is what will keep me accountable and a reminder that God does love me no matter what. He loves you too! I truly believe God placed Pam and my therapist in my life for a reason because they are amazing and Godly women. Justin and I attend Heartland Baptist fellowship and we feel like we are at home, I feel so blessed to know we have found our church home and all the love and kindness everyone gives. I hope someday I can give that back to someone who needs it as much as I did."

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2023, 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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