Thursday, May 25, 2017

Monthly Update - April 2017

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – April 2017 edition…

Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:
· We updated our website in early April with some poems, check it out at www.lifeissuesonline.org
· One of our students celebrated 1 year clean, and another 2 years sober in April
· We got a student some gas on 4-7
· We gave out 3 boxes of food on 4-7 – The church body at HBF have really come through in a big way to restock our Morsels for Many food pantry, so that we can distribute to those in need!
· We bought a prescription for a student in need on 4-8
· Our student, Kevin, got baptized on 4-9, and became an HBF member on 4-16
· One of our married couples celebrated their 25 year anniversary in April
· One of our leaders, Jim Worthington, is going through Calvary Bible College’s Biblical counselling course, and has started teaching a weekly Bible based class at a men’s transitional house for his internship criteria? We are excited about this opportunity, and hope it will be an ongoing opportunity for him to minister to the men there.
· We had 9 folks attend a two-day Recovery Seminar in Jefferson City on 4-28 & 4-29, and they brought back a good report of their learnings from other faith-based recovery groups!
· We also have 9 folks going through our eight-week Project Strength nutrition class that started on 4-23. We are collaborating with Harvesters on this project, where our leader, Laura, got trained.
· Our garage sale, which was held on 5-5 & 5-6, We appreciate all that was given to us, and we were able to donate what we didn’t sell (a whole 6’ X 16’ trailer full of items), to a ministry friend in Clinton!
· Amber C. gave a powerful testimony on 4-25, and Hollie B. gave a great testimony on 4-28! A man from Butler MO prayed to accept Christ during prayer time on 4-28, hallelujah!
· Life Issues will having a ministry-wide meeting on 6-3 @ 9am @ HBF, for anyone and everyone interested in our ministry. We will be rolling out plans for this year’s Recovery Walk (9-1), as well as receiving training from Pat Lee, on how to best use our early recovery program, The Journey Home, curriculum!
Here’s a testimony from one of our ladies, that I think you will enjoy: 

My name is Amber and I am a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with addiction. I walked through 15 years of varying stages of addiction to methamphetamines, lost as to why I couldn’t overcome this lifestyle. I was everything from a desperate junkie to a fairly successful drug dealer and was ultimately sent to Federal Prison for drug trafficking. At different times throughout my addiction I would try to get clean and sober but was always left feeling lost. It was like part of me was missing and the part that was left I just didn’t want. I didn’t know who I was or who I was supposed to be without drugs. I couldn’t figure out how to create some sort of person or life from what was left. In April of 2013 I was indicted by the Federal Government. I was suddenly faced with a very real, very serious wake up call. My daughter was 4 months old and I was being charged with distribution of methamphetamines. Talk about a wake-up call. I cried out to God. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own; I had tried and failed so many times. I spent nearly a year on pretrial wondering how long I would be sent away for. How I was finally sober and happy. How unfair it seemed that I could finally be getting my life together and becoming a good mother and it was all going to be taken away from me. Like, really God, this is what you saved me for? I was sentenced to 84 months in Federal Prison. I was devastated. I clung even harder to my faith though. God put amazing people in my path that held me up and encouraged me when I would begin to lose faith. He has given me a family that stood by me through the all the chaos and stress caused by the destruction Satan brought to me through methamphetamines. By God’s amazing grace my sentence was reduced to time served in December 2016. I am now home with my daughter and family where I belong. I’ve been clean now for 4 years and life has never been better. I’ve been blessed with fulltime employment and am in the process of enrolling in school for a biblical counseling degree at Calvary University. My hope is that through my experience I can be an asset to other people struggling through the darkness of addiction. Through Life Issues here at home and Celebrate Recovery during my prison sentence I have experienced true freedom and forgiveness from my savior Jesus Christ. I believe that God is still working on me, molding me into the person He created me to be. I don’t believe that He is even close to finished with me yet.


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


Monday, April 10, 2017

Monthly Update - March 2017

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – March 2017 edition…

Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· Matt and Kayla's twins (Kadynce Amelia Grace and Malakai Wyatt) arrived on 3/10/2017; momma and babies are home now, and I got to visit and hold them!

· Our Life Issues group cleaned the church on 3-17; it is neat to see everyone pitch in!

· We bought a student some gas to get to work on 3-24.

· Two of our leaders painted HBF's sanctuary recently (they finished on 3-25), they did a great job, and it really looks good!

· A man that we have been writing to got out of jail on 3-27 and we were able to get him a bag of clothes and a box of food.

· We had a guest speaker -  David Coffelt on 3-31

· We helped get one of our woman students and her two children to a homeless shelter on 4-4!

· We have had multiple visitors every week at meetings, and several have visited HBF too!

· We have been collaborating a little with a new ministry called PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved ones). One of our leaders meets with our student, while their parents meet with a counselor.

· We helped house a student for three weeks in a home & one week in a motel in March.

· We had four people make professions of faith in March!

· One of our former leaders, Lauren Stovall, will be going back to India on May 16th for 3 months; we are all so proud of her and look forward to hearing good things about her journeys to the uttermost. Lauren got to present God’s mission and calling on her life @ HBF’s Vision Conference, it was powerful!

· Jim S. and I also gave messages at HBF’s Vision Conference; there were well under a million people present to hear us, but all in attendance could see God’s good hand upon us!

· We will be sending a 9-member delegation to Jefferson City on 4-28 & 4-29, to a Recovery Conference for training; please pray for our team as they learn how Christian beliefs intersect with recovery!

· Our 8-week nutrition class called “Project Strength” starts 4-23, immediately after HBF’s 2nd service. Please call David Sperber (816-401-6968) to sign up or if you have questions.

· Also, if you have any garages sale items that you could donate, we will be collecting and storing items all the way up until our garage sale on May 5th & 6th, please contact Jim W. @ 816-258-3792.

· I recently wrote an overview of our Life Issues program, please click here to read it and be familiar with: http://www.lifeissuesonline.org/p/program-overview.html

· One of our leader’s amazing story: http://www.hbfcass.org/pages/litle-spreads-word-of-god-through-facebook

I think that Life is happening at warp-speed these days (for everyone), so I appreciate you taking the time to read these updates and for your interest in our ministry. One day recently, a man at my job casually mentioned, “Harrisonville is getting pretty bad”, in the context of schools, crime, drug use, and society in general. At first, I was somewhat offended to hear those words, after all, look at all the good that God is doing through Life Issues and other good works in our community. However, after thinking about it, I realized he is right (at least partially); although many people come our way, many more need to; and we are only truly helping a fraction of those that do come our way.

Basically, we’re only scratching the surface / touching the tip of the iceberg, and the task seems daunting, especially when those you’re trying to help, often lie and use us. So what’s the answer to all these and many other issues that face society? Well, we can either condemn the darkness or step into the light, and I choose to step into the light! I was once called a “do-gooder” in a derogatory way, but I now consider that a compliment; after all, why not do good (… to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17b)?! We know that we are in the last days and that we will soon be called to “come up hither” (Rev. 4:1); but until then, let’s keep our hand to the plow and till up the soil of men’s hearts, plant the good seed of the gospel, water that seed, and pray that the Lord of the harvest will give the increase (Mt. 9:37, 38; 1 Cor. 3:5-8).

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



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monthly Update - February 2017

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – February 2017 edition…

Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

- I forgot to mention it last month, but when I was in India in January, I received a text from a friend of our ministry, Bill Corum, who said that after 22 years and 5 governors, Missouri’s out-going Governor Nixon signed his pardon. Bill was elated and “in shock and awe of God’s mercy”!

- One of our leader’s children accepted Christ while in Jail in February, and is starting through our program!

- A friend of one of our student’s came to church right out of jail / prison and accepted Christ on 2-5!

- Yet another man, who came to one of our meetings thru a divine set of circumstances, accepted Christ as his Saviour on 2-10, hallelujah!

- One of our students, Sara T, got baptized on 2-12 and became a member of HBF !

- One of our leaders, Wendy N, completed HBF’s How To Disciple class in February!

- One of our students, Christina O. was awarded the “Employee of the Month” at her job in February!

- HBF’s Invest Bible study sent childcare workers to help us on 2-14 & 2-21, and will be sending another delegation on 3-10 to minister to Life Issues children!

- The Tuesday night edition of Life Issues just celebrated its 2-year anniversary on 3-3, with Pat Lee at the helm!

- Darin W. gave a great testimony on 2-28; God is really using this man in our ministry, for His glory!

- We cancelled our Life Issues meeting on the final Friday of February (2-24), and sent a group of 16 to Butler MO, to watch the Rocked World drama production, called “Bad Brad”. It was a great program and many tears were shed, as their message of child abuse, which led to substance abuse, resonated with many in attendance!

- Below is one of our students, Chris Coen’s (whom we’re very proud of) written testimony:

I did not grow up going to church, but I was saved at the age of 11, at a nearby church where we lived in Kansas City. When I was 13, we moved from Kansas City to Garden City, MO, and I started smoking weed and drinking beer. At 15, I started drinking heavy liquor, and at 16, I took my first prescription pills. By 18, I had tried various other drugs like shrooms, acid, cocaine, and meth. I ended up being addicted to prescription pills, mainly opiates.

Even during all these times of drugs and partying, I still did well in school, and when I was 15 or 16, I began committing petty crimes. In the beginning of 2009, I got a DWI, but I did not tell anyone; I tried to take care of it on my own, without my family’s help, but the legal troubles started piling up!

When my addiction was at its worst, I committed a 1st degree robbery in Harrisonville. With that crime and all my others, I just could not keep looking over my shoulder anymore, so I turned myself in. I sat in Cass County Jail (CCJ) for over 13 months. I ended up getting a 13-year sentence, but CCJ was where I started walking with the Lord. Between my grandma writing to me, and a guy in there asking me if I needed a Bible, and reading Psalm 119, I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ.

Being in prison was tough, but God continued to bless me throughout the entire time. He brought me out of my addiction, He gave me a family that supported me, but one of the biggest blessings that he gave me, was that I got released almost 3 years early! I was supposed to be in prison until 2019, but I got out in September 2016; that is something that only God can do!

While I was in prison, I got into contact with Steve Fleshman and completed the TATs program via correspondence with him. I home-planned out of prison into the Joshua House, which was a true blessing to live while re-entering society. Once I was able, Life Issues was the first place that I went, and Heartland Baptist Fellowship (HBF) quickly became my church home. I am currently going through HBF’s discipleship program with Pat Lee, and God has blessed me with many new & good friends, and I’m trying to reach some old friends for Jesus!


God has truly blessed me and it just goes to show, that if we walk with Him, He will bless us! The verse that my grandma wrote to me, when I was in CCJ was Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If we are able to do that, then God can bring us out of anything!


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