Friday, March 15, 2024

Monthly Update - January & February 2024

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – January / February 2024 edition. Below are the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last couple of months:

I. Benevolence

· Gave emergency night's stay to a man on 1-4-24.

· Purchased a phone card for a man on 1-15.

· We purchased supplies the last couple of months, for renovating a house that 3 of our men will be living in.

· We paid a lady's electric bill on 2-5.

· Gave box of food to lady on 2-16

· Helped homeless man with shelter on 2-17 & 2-18.

· Helped a couple with their electric bill on 2-27-24.

· We worked with HBF to help a man pay for his assessment and SATOP classes, so that he can get his license back, in late February.

· We worked with HBF to help pay a lady’s rent in early March.

II. Jail update

· I’m still discipling with an inmate @ Boonville (Ted), he just finished this course with me! His new release date will be sometime in mid-May, so we’ll look forward to seeing him and working with him on the outside in a couple of months! Ted and I talk almost every week and he’s very encouraging and looks forward to meeting our group and ministering to others.

· Jim S. took a Jim took a box of Bibles to CCJ on 2-5-24. Jim is also still in contact with Terry, who will be released in November of this year.

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 – Tracy W. is starting discipleship with Pam J. (lesson #1), Matt L. is with Steve F. (lesson #6), Larry O. is with Brady B. (lesson #6), Alana M. is with Betty A. (lesson #8), and Conner F. is with Rich Huber @ Harvest Baptist (lesson #11).

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.

o Brian R. is taking a 10-week class called “How To Disciple”, that began on 1-21.

· We have a steady flow of students and former students who attend church (God’s support group) with us (many at different churches too), but recently I texted with a former student who’s been visiting HBF. She communicated with me that after a few years of withholding forgiveness from someone, that she has “fully forgiven” this person and now has peace in her heart. She went on to thank me for the time I spent teaching her and others and wanted me to know that she listened and is obeying the word of God that was invested in her, hallelujah!

· Attached are pics of Kathy M. and Tracy W. with their new Bibles!

IV. Recovery

· Matt A. completed Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) on Friday December 8th with Pat L, but we just gave him his certificate of completion on 2-2 – See pic.

· Matt L. completed his probation on 2-22.

· I helped Marissa L. get to a detox and treatment facility on 3-12-24, please pray for her to break her addiction to Fentanyl.

· Chris Coen is leading our meeting every other week and is taking us through the 12 steps of recovery from the Life Recovery Bible. This is a very insightful study and we will be looking at step #4 on March 22nd, if you want to join us?!

· As I told you a couple of months ago, Life Issues reached a milestone that I’m excited about, which is a church in Sullivan MO that has started 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! Pastor Josh has a leadership core of about 5 people who he plans to hand over the ministry to in a few weeks, PTL!

V. Events

· Joe and Heidi Custin with a mental health organization called NAMI of Greater KC (Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness) gave their testimony on 1-26 – see pic. This was an amazing night for us as we heard their testimony of drug addiction with their son and his mental illness, that eventually took his life. Their perspective was very insightful; feel free to pull up our you tube channel and listen / watch it, “Life Issues Ministry 1/26/24 (”.

· Life Issues held our annual leadership on 2-10 this year and we had about 14 or 15 present. It was good to reflect on what God has done and is doing, and to look forward to what God is going to do with our group! The meeting ended with Chris and Lauren letting us know that after 2 years of trying to get pregnant, they are pregnant, PTL!

· We had a bonfire on 3-1 on our church property, for our Life Issues meeting. It was fun and well attended. Sonic provided hot dogs and buns, and we had marshmallows and Hershey’s bars for smores, attached is a picture of Angie and I (it was a serious fire).

· We will be taking our annual group picture on 3-22 and preparing literature for our annual fundraiser (Homecoming), which will be held on 8-30 this year.

VI. People

· Several from our group have been taking Jimmie and Rosie food as she undergoes chemo for cancer. Rosie’s numbers are looking good and she feels good for the most part, now she will undergo radiation and surgery in a few weeks, prayers for her please.

· Each year I hand-pick someone from our leadership group to receive our “Volunteer of the Year” award, and this year it went to Linda Jones – pic. Linda has been a key part of this ministry from the first day until now and is always selflessly giving of herself for others, whether it’s discipling, counseling, giving rides, watching kids, taking food to those in need, or whatever is asked of her, and she does it day after day and year after year, thanks for giving to the Lord Linda, I am so glad you gave!

· I thought I would share a brief testimony this month since I was saved 32 years ago on 3-13. I have been saved / born again about half of my life now and it’s good to reflect on where I was and where God has brought me, and the work he has me involved in. After my salvation and discipleship, I was a deacon for 12 years and I’ve been a pastor for about that many and was ordained in 2021 (I think). In addition to the Life Issues ministry that I pastor, I’m HBF’s facility pastor and the ABF (Sunday School) pastor for The Foundation Class. I’m also in my 39th year at my job with Catalent Pharma Solutions, where I hope to retire in a couple of years. It’s a full life, but I have a faithful wife of 42 years, and I couldn’t do any of the things I do without her, and I wouldn’t be who I am without her and my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Angie and I have 2 children, 2 in laws, and 4 grandchildren, and we love them all dearly!

· I rejoice with the wife of my youth and am glad to report that she got to lead a lady to Christ last month and I got to lead a man to Christ this month! This week while helping the lady hooked on fentanyl get to a detox facility, I had a God moment after this lady told me “I owe you my life”. It’s hard to process that statement for me and I don’t take any credit, the glory is all the Lord’s! However, as I step back and look at my life and the grace I was given at salvation, when someone saved my life and soul, it makes me want to invest my life in a ministry effort to save and rescue others from death, via the gospel of Jesus Christ.

· As you read this snapshot of my story and hear of how God is using me and Life Issues, please consider your own story and consider if you have a time and place in which you were saved / born again? If so, are you involved in ministry on some level, do you faithfully attend a local church and are you contributing to a Bible believing, soul winning cause with your time, talent, and treasure? I have a goal to finish well and a desire to hear “well done” at the end of my time here, and I would have no greater joy than to help maximize the time you have left too…

· Please pray for God to use us mightily in 2024, 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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