Monday, November 9, 2020

Monthly Update - October 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – October 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

  • I got to lead a homeless couple to Christ on 10-7 who had contacted our church, it was a divine appointment and I rejoice for the privilege of communicating life into the lives of people looking for hope!
  • Sarah W. completed TJH on 10-8 with her sponsor, Linda J

  • We gave a box of food to a young homeless man in early October and we recently restocked our pantry!
  • Rich H. passed his written drivers test on 10-9 and his driving test on 10-16, so he’s a legal driver and his car is legal and insured; we’re very proud of him.  Here's Rich pictured with his car


  • Kevin F is housing a fellow struggler and giving him some work, i.e. a hand up; what a blessing to see!
  • We finished sending out Thank You cards on 10-13-20 (about 70 of them) and all of the donations from the Recovery Walk have come in, so our annual fundraiser is officially completed, thanks again to everyone!
  • Brian’s P (or lord Brian the magnificent as he refers to himself) keeps serving the Lord in the A/V booth as well as anything else we ask him to do. I’ve asked Brian to help us sanitize / disinfect touched surfaces after meetings, and he does. I’ve asked him to own the sound booth for meetings, and he does. I’ve asked Brian to lead small groups, and he does. I’ve asked Brian to help clean the church, and he does. Brian and his wife, Angie P, are both in D2 class and helping me to shepherd others, and we really appreciate him!
  • I went to court with a lady on 10-21, and with much prayer, the judge dismissed the case!
  • We had a great Harvest Party on 10-24 in spite of the cold weather, and many of our Life Issues folks assisted in this community outreach; we had over 20 families come out and enjoy this wholesome event with many free goodies for the kids and great door prizes (Here are some pics)





















  • We helped house a homeless lady for a couple of nights and then helped her get into Healing House on 10-28, where she is now living and involved in their recovery program, this was a God thing because Healing House turns away nearly 450 people per week, but they had an opening for our lady and Pat L and Ed M took her there and got to led her to Christ before dropping her off, PTL!!!
  • On 10-30, my discipler Mark L shared his testimony with us, it was a special night for all, especially me (pictured below)
                                               


  • We helped a different lady get her car fixed on 11-3, it was a very minor repair but one that could have been much worse; I’m so thankful that our group raised funds to help people who are trying to do right!
I want to share a tragic story of a young man named R.J., who is a great nephew of one of our church members, Bobi B, and a supporter of our ministry. 
R.J. was killed on 10-24, he is a young man that I had prayed for a few times (not as earnestly as Bobi makes it sound), but here is Bobi’s words to me: 
"Steve, again I want to thank you for praying for RJ for EIGHT years - even though you had not met him. He was involved with a program at Heart of Life called “Marked Men For Christ”. He was clean for over 6 months but got involved with someone who pulled him into wrong choices again. I wish those men would have stayed closer to him. But he was saved and that is what’s important. I give that credit mostly to your prayers - God calling him as well of course, but you prayed diligently for him. Thank you and God bless you for that. "




I’m concluding this month’s update with one of the biggest success stories that I’ve been a part of, namely Ashley Sehorn! We helped bring Ashley to meetings around 5-7 years ago, but she wasn’t ready to break the cycle yet. Then about 2 years ago, she wrote to us from jail and we helped connect her to Lily’s House, and the rest is history, here is an interview that Lily’s House did with her recently:

This week we are spotlighting Ashley Sehorn, a wonderful lady who we have all come to love. Her life is an awesome example of God doing great works to help her break free from addiction and reconcile relationships with her family.
Number of children and their ages? I have two children, a 1-year old boy and 12 your old daughter.

  • What circumstances led you to seek help at Lily’s House?
I was pregnant, I had a drug addiction, I was in an abusive relationship, I hadn’t seen my daughter in 5 years.
  • How has Lily’s House helped you redirect your life? 
Structure, showing me love, understanding me, giving me guidance and a safe place to live. 
  • How has Lily’s House helped you to be a better mom? 
Groups, transportation, parenting, gave me the foundation to start a good life for my children and myself, they helped me get that second chance with my daughter. I learned to love myself here. 

  • Can you give us a specific example of a time when the staff or volunteers at Lily’s House made a difference in your recovery? 
Kelly was always here for me no matter what she kept pushing me to do better and to not lose hope. She gave me peace when I was letting fear get the best of me. She was there when my son was born and when I was reunited with my daughter again.

  • What are you doing now? 
I work full-time between being the live-in-staff for the Lily’s House and also running the Lily Pad. It has been a huge blessing because I grow stronger each day in my recovery by helping other woman! I am right where I am supposed to be and it’s an awesome way for me to give back to the lily house! I am the best mother I can be for both my children.



Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Monthly Update - September 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – September 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

  • THANK YOU for helping to make our 8th Annual Recovery Walk a huge success again this year! Our team of volunteers and students were able to collect a little over $15,000 this year (our most ever) and we had about 40 walkers and about 40 volunteers, and several more guests! We had a great post-walk program again this year too, with 2 great testimonies from our students and a great solo to end the evening. God gave us a great year in-spite of the COVID 19 virus, from great weather to great sponsors, we are truly blessed. We have listed all our sponsors at: http://www.lifeissuesonline.org/p/supporters.html, as a way to honor those businesses who donate to our cause. We couldn’t do what we do without you giving through us, so thanks again for believing in us and for “Making a Difference” in the lives of the addicted.
  • Here’s a link to this year’s Recovery Walk video: https://youtu.be/khI6WP4z2-A
  • I wrote to 2 people in prison last month and am excited to know that God’s working there too!
  • Although our jail ministry is on hold due to COVID, Jim S. has been writing to one man for months and believes that he has given his heart to the Lord, so we rejoice with the angels in heaven – Luke 15:10.
  • Pat interviewed Kevin during our month-end testimony (see pic), and they were able to lead a man to Christ at the conclusion! They also teamed up to witness to a friend of Kevin’s daughter and she also made a profession of faith, hallelujah!
  • I also got to lead a couple of folks through God’s plan of salvation this month and one young lady accepted Christ into her heart with me on the phone (9-15) and is already starting discipleship, PTL!
  • We currently have 4 folks involved in our D1 ministry (one-on-one discipleship), and 8 folks in our D2 ministry (9-month classroom discipleship), and 8 folks in our recovery program (The Journey Home – TJH).
  • Pat wrote this about our current status (which I thought was insightful): We are very excited to see the people we have had this year, stick to the journey process! We seem to be experiencing good success working together all in one accord on Friday night and out of the Journey ABF (Sunday morning). This has really strengthened our people’s transition into the Christian life and the body of Christ. God is truly doing some amazing things among us and before our eyes… in these perilous times!
  • Jim S has been working with a Hispanic couple’s son for a few months to help him get his green card, sometimes this process takes years, but after filing everything early in September it was approved the week of 9-14 (miraculous). We are excited about this victory and for all involved and look forward to welcoming this young man as a US citizen in God’s timing.
  • Several of our folks helped with HBF’s Bible Conference this year (9-20 thru 9-23)
  • Our group cleaned the church on 10-2 and I wasn’t even there to help / supervise (😊), I’m so thankful for group’s zeal to give back!
  • Sara B. passed her Peer Support Specialist test on 9-17 and serves the Lord at Lily’s House by leading recovery groups (Sara is also a Life Issues Alumni)
Recently Sara was spotlighted and interviewed by Lily’s House: 
  • In what capacity are you involved with Lily’s House and for how long have you been involved
I have been leading Recovery Groups for the Lily’s House since March 2020
  • What great things have you seen accomplished at Lily’s House since you’ve been involved?
I have seen families reunited and women overcome addiction.
  • How has serving at Lily’s House changed your life?
I have realized that I have been putting my passion of helping women step out of and end the cycle of addiction in their families on the side lines for too long.
  • Can you give a specific example of a time when you saw something amazing happen in the life of one of our moms?
When they have overcome their past and then have a drive to give back to women in the same position, they were in.
  • What would you like people to know about Lily’s House that they might not already know?
There is a community ready to rally around the broken and hurting, all you need to do is make the first step and reach out. When people are given the opportunity of long-term treatment with support and stability, they are more likely to succeed and break the chains of addiction!


Lastly, I (Steve talking now) wanted to share that I had rotator cuff surgery on 9-29 and I’m thankful for all the support and well wishes I’ve received! My wife has been a real trooper to get up in the nighttime and help me throughout the day with my medicine and equipment, etc.

God is teaching me about recovery through my own recovery and path back to being made whole. My body had some damaged members (4 torn tendons) due to an injury at work / event, and it took great physician to perform an operation to re-connect those damaged members to my body.
Although I can’t remember the name of those damaged members, they have affected everything that I’m able to do / not do.

As I thought about how these small and seemingly insignificant members affect my whole body, it occurred to me how some of the least known and seemingly insignificant members of our church body affect the whole body of Christ, and how vital they are to what gets done.
This type of knowledge and understanding propels me forward and motivates me reach more addicts with Christ-centered recovery. I wonder what Christ would have HBF to do for him that we’re unable to do because we haven’t been able to bring damaged members to The Great Physician for healing yet.

I’m sure that the body of Christ at HBF isn’t whole in many areas that have us handicapped and unable to function as he desires. Perhaps you’re reading this and are like one of the tendons that my doctor had to use an anchor to help restore my body with, but with you he’s the anchor and the physician!

Let me know if I can help restore you to Christ’s body at HBF or another local body; now that I’m on the mend I want to help others experience healing too!



Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Monthly Update : August 2020

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – August 2020 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· We just donated another box of Bibles to the inmates at the Cass County Jail on 9-4, but because of Covid we can’t minister in there right now (it’s been nearly a year). So, before I give my update, I also wanted to share this data from Bill Corum, regarding prisons in the USA: As of September 1, 2020, there have been at least 115,106 inmates test positive for coronavirus. Also there has been at least 973 deaths among inmates. There have been at least 25,267 positive cases among prison staff, and at least 74 deaths from coronavirus. I do not believe we will get back inside the walls this year. If you would like to help the incarcerated receive good books and literature, please go to Bill Corum’s website and donate to them: https://www.prisonpowerministries.org/

· Angie and I celebrated 38 years of marriage on 8-14, and we’re still madly in love! Linda and Kinley celebrated 46 years of marriage in August, and they’re still in love too!

· HBF held its annual men’s retreat on 8-14 & 8-15, and 3 of us attended the Saturday conference, it was great!

· Zach is almost finished with his pay-it-forward project for the Drug Court; he made a raised flower bed / garden and donated it to our church!

· Zach and Connie both finished HBF’s D1 course (1 on 1 Bible lessons) in August.

· Brian has helped in the sound booth for a few of months now and is taking ownership of it by learning all aspects of it, which really assists with ministering to our group!

· Brian and a group of our students and leaders (8 folks) just started HBF’s D2 class, which is a 9-10-month Bible course, so we have a great crop of folks who have kicked the habit and are involved in serving the Lord.

· Another D2 student is Angie, she was 2 years clean on 8-21, we’re so proud of her!

· Kevin bought a house and closed on it on 8-25 and was granted that his 13-year-old daughter to stay with him for the school year!

· Rich and Cole finished installing plywood in HBF’s armory on 8-29, and Rich just bought a car and is in the process of getting it legal and his license reinstated, etc. These are huge steps for this man, and we couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s so thankful too, here are some of his words to us: 

"…I want to thank you and Mrs. Angie, HBF, Life Issues for believing in me and having faith in me that I would do it GOD'S way to find a new way of LIFE cause I was getting nowhere my way and probably wouldn't have ever gotten anywhere. So, it's all of you and my loved ones that I am still alive. So, my most respect and love go to all of you!! You are my walking Angels!!! …Love ya all with all my HEART!!! Dang it my brother this text got my eyes full of tears. But tears of joy. "

· We’re really proud of our leaders too, here’s an interview that Lily’s House did with Kelly Tally recently:

· We are proud to start introducing our amazing staff, board members, volunteers, and women that are involved in Lily’s House! Up first is Kelly Talley, an amazing staff member who has done so much for the ladies and families at Lily’s House.

· In what capacity are you involved with Lily’s House and for how long have you been involved? 

"I have volunteered and been on staff at Lily’s House from the beginning. I help drive the Lily House Moms and their kids where they need to go church, Life Issues Recovery Ministry, I work alongside them at the Lily Pad Thrift Store, Dr. appointments, groceries, daycare, court dates, etc. We spend time in Bible study together. I help support them in their day to day activities at the shelter as they learn to live a life in recovery and support them through the process of reunification with their children. "

· What great things have you seen accomplished at Lily’s House since you’ve been involved?

"I have watched the Moms learn to trust us. That moment when they realize that we care and that they are safe is a beautiful thing to witness. Our relationship with the ladies allows us to introduce them to God and the freedom they can have in Christ. "

· How has serving at Lily’s House changed your life?

"I like to say that working at Lily’s House has given me a front row seat to see the power of God at work. God has given me great compassion to help women walk in truth and peace. I get to be a part of a group of women that give our best efforts to lift each other up, cheer each other on, and support each other. "

· Can you give a specific example of a time when you saw something amazing happen in the life of one of our moms?

"I had the privilege of taking Ashley (now our 1st graduate) to the hospital to deliver her baby and I was present when she reunited with her daughter, Haylie, after 5 years of being apart. What a privilege it has been! Ashley is making a difference on staff at Lily’s House now and has become a dear friend. "

· Lastly, on behalf of our Life Issues group, I want to sincerely thank all of you for helping make this year's Recovery Walk a huge success! Many of you volunteered in one or more ways, many of you gave financially to us, many of you prayed for us, but God gave the increase! We had great weather and a great turn out of people, and we raised a little over $14,500 this year (the most ever) which exceeded our goal of $12,000, PTL!

· The post Recovery Walk was great, and Sarah and Kevin gave great testimonies, and Ed finished the night by singing “Victory in Jesus”, it was amazing!

· Much more could be said, please see our Life Issues Facebook page for some pics; we should have a video by this time next month, so that you can see more of what went on at the event.

Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…