Monday, July 2, 2018

Monthly Update - June 2018

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – June 2018 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· Life Issues suspended our childcare benefit on 6-1 due to lack of workers / availability, but will revisit and reconsider our options in early 2019☹.

· Life Issues helped a student purchase a part for their car on 6-1.

· An inmate graduated from our 6 lesson “Are You Sure? Be Sure!” program on 6-9 via correspondence.

· We had a leadership meeting on 6-9 and our Recover Walk kick-off meeting on 6-18, much was accomplished!

· Donnie got baptized on 6-10 and became an HBF member!

· One of our supporter’s husband got saved on 6-10, and one of our One of our student’s sister rededicated her life to Christ the last week of June, it’s great to be a part of a ministry where people are getting saved!

· Another one of our supporter’s wife got a job in mid-June, after being off work for several months, PTL!

· Another one of our supporters was asked for money from a long-time friend, and by faith he did it, and found out the next day that another friend from another state had some money that he was sending him for something he had forgotten about, which was more than he gave away!

· We were able to provide a couple of boxes of food for family involved in a car wreck on 6-17, our group also took food over to their house 3 different times as mom and dad recovered.

· A woman who watched this family’s children for the last few years, felt like the Lord was prompting her to give this couple an extra vehicle that she had, so by faith she obeyed and blessed this family with a nice car on 6-22!

· HBF’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) was the last week of June and one of our leaders was a teacher there! It was a very quality VBS and our whole church rallied around this effort, and many kids and adults were blessed!

· Life Issues ordered and received new trifolds this month, and we gave a student some community service time to fold them. Ironically, I received text on 6-29 from someone who works at the Cass County Psychological Center, and they are requesting trifolds to give to their clients!

· We’re working with the mother of an inmate, to help him find a rehab for him when he gets out in late July.

· One of our students informed me of his commitment to purity in his relationship with a girlfriend on 6-24, so I’m thrilled that the word of God is having an effect on people’s hearts in this way!

· There were two good testimonies given in June, Rosie and DeOnna ; it’s great to hear of how God is working in these two lady’s lives!

· Our Recovery Walk is blossoming into a beautiful event, and things are starting to come together, we’ve already received about $1000 in pledges and below are some of the new things at this year’s walk.

1. Memory wall – Brief bio placards of friends and family who’ve died due to drug related causes

2. Sobriety wall – We will have a place for people to post their days, weeks, years of sobriety.

3. Rhythm and Blues recording artist, Boy Big (AKA LeVar Fletcher) and his DJ will give a free 2-hour concert at the end of the walk.

4. There will be a 1-hour pre-concert show, with a guest group or two (TBA), and speakers.

5. There will be 7 different booths present, from various recovery related organizations.

As we put together the cover letter for this year’s walk, our administrative director reminded me that we have now had over 800 people attend Life Issues meeting/s. While I don’t know where most of them are at today, I can tell you that they each heard the gospel and each received a free Bible! That means that Life Issues has given away over 800 Bibles, to 800 souls, to read and find help in time of need. 

I corresponded with a judge this week about an individual, and I was thankful to read his kind remarks about Life Issues, “…I’m glad he is doing well and I hope he continues to be successful in his recovery. He couldn't have a better program than what you are providing him… Thank you for your work in the community to help people find recovery through the church. Your work is much needed and has value beyond description.” 

The word of God and the souls of men are the only two things that are eternal in this life, it’s thrilling to know that we are “Making a Difference” by investing in each of these two things!

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

Friday, June 8, 2018

Monthly Update - May 2018

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – May 2018 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· We supplied gas for a student on 5-6

· We also gave 2 boxes of food to a couple on 5-6

· We were introduced to Lily’s House (Adrian MO) and are optimistic about partnering with them to house mothers and kids soon, and have already referred a couple of people there!

· One of our leaders, Brenda W., graduated with a master’s degree in Master of Art in Organizational Development, in early May; we’re so proud of this school girl😊

· We gave one of our disabled leaders a treadmill in early May, via the garage sale, to help keep them as healthy as possible, without having to go outside to exercise, PTL!

· We gave a pair of sweat pants to a homeless vet on 5-11, to assist him with doing laundry.

· Our granddaughter, Ella gave her 6-year-old life to Christ on 5-13, hallelujah!

· Donnie got saved on 5-15, he’s getting baptized on 6-10!

· With the assistance of one of HBF’s deacons, several of us helped one of our students move to Clinton MO on 5-19, this was a huge undertaking; I really appreciate everyone that helped with this project!

· Our son, Luke, preached at HBF’s graduation service on 5-20, we are so proud of him and his wife, Brenda! They just went to help lead HBF’s youth camp for a week, with 20 other leaders and 30 students; I look forward to hearing a good report of what God did with them!

· We a student financially to get their car fixed on 5-21, so as to keep his job. This person has burnt all his bridges with family, they told him they didn’t care if he lost his job or went to jail, they wouldn’t help. I’m not saying this to boast, but rather to communicate the damage that substance abuse has caused. This same student confirmed his Salvation on 5-21, and has a good church close to his home that he’s started attending!

· We gave away another box of food on 5-22.

· We helped a young lady get into rehab on 5-24.

· Rhythm and Blues recording artist, Boy Big (AKA LeVar Fletcher) gave a stirring testimony on 5-25, and performed a couple of his songs off his CD. Boy Big really connected with several of our students, and we are planning on having him come back on 8-31 and give us a full concert at the end of our annual Recovery Walk!

· HBF’s Church in the Park was June 3rd, and over a dozen of our folks were on hand to hear the great praise music and great preaching by Bob Westin, missionary to Jamaica. The weather was perfect, the food was good, and we reunited with some old friends of the ministry, so I rejoice over this community connection event!
God taught me something simple, yet pretty profound about addiction out of the scriptures this week. Proverbs 1:17 says, “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” The word “any” stood out to me, as if to show that there isn’t any bird that would be so foolish as to be ensnared / taken captive / bound, if they saw the hunter setting the trap! Later in the week I listened to Proverbs 7:23 talk about the young man who yielded to temptation, and part of his consequences were, “Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.” In this verse, God compares yielding to temptation to being like a bird that hasteth / runs toward the snare, as if to willingly be trapped and have its life taken! As graphic as this sounds, it reminds me of addiction and the allure of sin, and how it takes the life of those who are trapped in the tempter’s net. Friend, there are snares all around us, and most of them we can easily see; some are for our feet (where we go), some for our hands (what we do), and all are for our minds (what we think). Some of these snares we can easily get out of, some are very costly (time, money, health, etc.), some are impossible to get out of, all of them cost us some of our “life”. I’ll close with the counsel of Ephesians 5:15, 16 to avoid such snares which says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Monthly Update - April 2018

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – April 2018 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· We made a church-wide announcement for the need of food for our Morsels for Many (food pantry) in April, and HBF responded in a big way, so we were able to restock the shelves and also give away 3 boxes of food in April, thanks church family!

· HBF had their Vision Conference from 4-8 thru 4-15 that a few of our folks attended, it was an amazing time that you could still listen to by going to 
· One of our men celebrated 3 years sober in April.

· Some of our leaders went together and bought a walker for a handicapped sponsor on 4-9.

· Three of our leaders went with a team of people to visit a Veteran’s home in Warrensburg MO on 4-14, with author, speaker, and retired Army Sergeant Major Doug Carrigan; they led one man to Christ there!

· There were also 3 salvations directly related to Life Issues in April, and a couple of other professions of faith that I know about through our leaders, so I’m rejoicing with the angels in heaven – Luke 15:10!

· One of our leaders helped one of our students to sell some things on eBay, to them make some money.

· I participated in a memorial service for one of our former supporter’s mother on 4-16, and he let me know that she had been sober for the last 5 years of her life, after having gotten saved via our church’s ministry!

· We helped a husband and wife obtain steel-toed work shoes on 4-18, so that they could work at WCA.

· We paid for one night’s stay at a motel for a homeless lady on 4-24.

· One of our students got his license a couple of months ago, but was able to get a clean title on his vehicle in April, then get it inspected & licensed on 4-30, so he’s now legal and on the road and very thankful!

· One of our students was accepted into a group home in Peculiar, and they moved in there on 4-30.

· We currently have 5 folks going through our program locally and a couple more that are incarcerated!

· We were able to provide community service to several people in April and at our garage sale!
· One of our leaders, Brenda W., received her Master of Art in Organizational Development degree on 5-5, we’re really proud of her and her accomplishments!

· AMC theaters gave us 12 movie tickets for our Recovery Walk last fall and they gave us 10 more recently, so we plan to take everyone (at least 22 people) who helped with the Garage Sale to a movie on 5-19!

An anonymous donor gave us $1000 in April, and we raised another $3800 (a record for us) at our Garage Sale on 5-4 & 5-5, so Life Issues is fully funded going into the summer. We still have to haul away all the things that didn’t sell, but I was amazed at all the things that were donated. I’m guessing that it would have taken 2 semi-trucks to hold all that was donated, and by God’s grace we sold most of it. We had an army of volunteers and I won’t try and name them except to say THANKS! This was a team effort that the Drug Court clients assisted our volunteers with, so we’re thankful for them partnering with us! I will mention that Jim W. was the leader of this effort; he spent the last 2+ months accumulating items at the facility that was loaned to us for free, and he and his wife, Brenda, did an amazing job of organizing and displaying items, as well as selling them!

The highlights of the Garage Sale for me, were seeing people get something/s that truly fit a need in their life; one lady spent over an hour going through piles of clothes and picking out things for her kids. We began to dialogue with her some and found out that she’s going through a divorce and was in dire need, so we decided to just give her all four boxes of items that she wanted. Another lady came to shop and realized that we were the recovery group that she had attended a couple of years ago, at the beginning of her recovery, so she spent the next 4 hours volunteering and helping us, and then her and her husband came to our meeting that night! Many good contacts were made, I personally witnessed to a half dozen folks and prayed with one man who’s struggling. Another couple that we met at the Garage Sale, are coming to a meeting tonight, so many secondary things took place in addition to raising funds!

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