Thursday, January 11, 2024

Monthly Update - November & December 2023

Angie and I want to wish a Happy New year to each of you, I'm attaching a recent picture of us.  
We really covet and appreciate your prayers !

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – November / December 2023 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months:

I. Benevolence

· We distributed a Thanksgiving meal that was donated for a family on 11-16.

· We put gas in a man’s tank on 11-26, so that he could get to work.

· We distributed 3-4 boxes of food to families in need, in the month of December, and 21 or 22 for the year (from food that we purchased or food that was donated by HBF members).

· This year, I got to play Santa Claus with other people’s money; 2 separate families gave me $400 each to distribute anonymously for them, below is how I spent the $800:

o $150 went to O’Riley Automotive to pay for parts for a man’s car.

o $100 went to buy a bicycle for a man with no transportation – see pic

o $300 went to help a single lady pay her rent.

o $100 went to a man to help him pay his rent.

o $125 went to help a couple pay for their electric bill.

o $100 went to a single mom to help with Christmas.

o $75 went to buy a giant print KJV Bible for a lady who only had a Morman Bible.

· As you can see, I spent $950 (Life Issues pitched in a little too)!

II. Jail update

· I’m still discipling with an inmate @ Boonville (Ted), he’s on lesson #6 of 7 in our correspondence. We’re also putting money on his books so that he can make phone calls, we talk almost every Sunday evening. Ted is getting released in March, and we were able to help him with his home plan, so we will see him soon.

· I’ve personally written to 3-4 inmates in the last couple of months and I know Jim Stovall has too. Please read this excerpt from one of the men that Jim is writing to:

TM's testimony… "I read my Bible completely through 9 times in 2023 - praise the Lord Jesus Christ for his mercy and grace! The washing of water by the word sure beats all the TV and media most everyone else consumed in 2023... Well, I'm in Mark now on reading my Bible through (10th time this year) so I hope to finish Revelation by the end of this month! Either way I praise my Savior for having read his book that many times this year! The fastest I've ever read my Bible was 17 days! I read it thru twice in 40 days last year this time! I love the genealogies now whereas prior to 2023 I dreaded reading all the names! Now they are some of my favorite parts of scripture! It’s amazing that what I once dreaded reading in scripture I now love and what I once loved reading are no longer the most exciting parts of scripture to me! Amazing! TM"

· We ran an attendance report for a man on 12-12, so that he could submit it to help with a legal issue in KS.

· Jim S. took a box of Bibles to Cass County Jail in early December, and I mailed a box of Bibles to the prison in St. Joseph MO, to their Chaplin for distribution – see pic

III. Church

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

o D1: These folks are in our one-on-one continue discipleship material –Brian R. just finished with Pat L., Matt L. is with Steve F. (lesson #4), Alana M. is with Betty A. and are on lesson #8. Conner F. is with Rich @ Harvest Baptist (lesson #10).

o D2: Belinda F. is going through D2!

o HBI: Pam J., and Mary W. are both taking a full load of classes in HBI.

o TJH (The Journey Home): No one is currently going through TJH.

  • Sarah led Raquel to Christ on 10-11-23 – see pic. 

  • Jeff A. cried out for salvation over the phone with me on 12-6-23 – see pic.; Jeff’s getting baptized soon. 

  • Becky W. received Christ by faith at our meeting on 12-8-23 – see pic; she’s getting baptized on January 14th. 

  • Anthony B. received Christ by faith at our meeting on 12-22-23, he’s getting baptized in Feb.

· I counted 11 people who have made professions of faith in 2023 (that I know of), who are connected with our ministry, “This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” Ps. 118:23

IV. Recovery

· Matt A. completed Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) on Friday December 8th with Pat L.

· Jenny G. now has two years off meth and a year off alcohol and a year off marijuana and in February she will have two years off cigarettes!

· We ran an attendance report for a man on 12-12, so that he could submit it to help with a legal issue in KS.

· Life Issues provided 7 hours of community service for Tracy W. to keep her out of suspension.

· We updated our LIM website with addiction poem on 11-20, and a new link on 1-2-24, feel free to check it out at

· Life Issues reached a milestone that I’m excited about, which is a church in Sullivan MO is starting a recovery group in their church, and the pastor is patterning their group from what we’re doing, and they’re calling it Life Issues and using some of our material, here is a message from their pastor – Steve… Thanks so much for sending me everything. I really appreciate it! Our first meeting is Thursday night, January 11th. I am doing a preview of the program tonight (1-4) for our church family and some community leaders so they can come and see what the program is all about. I appreciate your prayers my friend. Thank you!

V. Events

· One of the events that I was a part of this year was helping to distribute “Christmas Boxes” of food to less fortunate families, in need of a boost with buying a big meal for their family. HBF collected food items for the boxes, and a handful of us delivered them to the homes of the families. This year we distributed 13 full boxes (family of 4 or more) and 11 partial boxes (less than 4 people in home). Anyway, usually about half of the folks, or more, are connected to our ministry, so it was a blessing to help distribute the food and visit with folks in their home, PTL!

· I know that several other Christmas gestures were done by our group, here’s a couple of them. One lady went in with other neighbors to pay for a family’s rent in December. Also, one person from our group saw a need that another lady had, and collected a big box of kitchen items and we gave them to that person anonymously.

· As you probably know, Life Issues has an end of the month testimony, and we had Jaylon Taylor come up from Mount Vernon MO to share, and this was a special night. Jaylon is a 22-year-old young man who was hooked on Heroin but is now a born-again believer who is a dynamic preacher – see pic of him and I from 12-29.

VI. People

· The story below is about a family in our church who requested that I give them the names of some families that I think could use some gifts for their children for Christmas, who may not be able to afford much. I gave them the names of 2 families in need that I knew of and 2 other families that could probably also use some help. As it turns out, they decided to give gifts to all 4 families (13 children). There were 4 big piles of presents for these 4 families and even gifts for the parents, it was amazing for me to help distribute some of the gifts (one lady shed tears of joy). It was not only a blessing for the folks who received the gifts, but also for the family who donated them, as you will read:

Isn't it wonderful that our life is hid in God? That Christ loves through us? Every day I remind myself that I am a piece of empty conduit that the Lord flows through. And how I desire to remain empty so I in my flesh don't plug up that flow to others!

The biggest miracle I think that happened for providing for the families was a random neighbor I barely know asked if I might need bags of clothing that they needed to be rid of!

This family had real small babies, so I did not expect any clothing to match the families in need.

When I saw the sizes, I consulted those bags of clothing in my garage and wouldn't you know it, their little girl wore sizes up and they matched the needs!

Another family pitched in also with things last minute as God had also moved in their hearts to give away every year and happened to that very week go through their items to give away with like sizes. And was making a drop off to donate that coming week!

Another blessing was a small business endeavor that never went anywhere containing over one hundred fifty-dollar tree items they allowed us to take back and swap for toys for the children!

I know you asked for a paragraph or so, but it was overwhelming what God did to provide the gifts to give. When he lays a desire on one's heart, he never leaves us alone to fulfill it. He walks with us each step of the way to show us that we are never alone in anything that he asks of us to do. That's just our God! 

Thank you for allowing us to give and serve and love on these families this year! It truly was an honor to let Jesus' love this Christmas be poured out on someone other than ourselves!  "

· 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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