Category Archives: discipleship

New Chapter, New Life Rhythms

Ministry Update – June/July 2018

Dear friends: As many of you know from our recent letters announcing our big transition in ministry, we have had alot of changes in our lives lately! We both were working with Cru and have transitioned to a new mission called Global Service Associates. We are Bringing hope and healing through Christ to Men and their families to find FREEDOM from addiction and to THRIVE in LIFE. Specifically, Ellen is continuing as part-time Affiliate Staff with Cru and she is coaching Cru missionaries as they bring the Gospel to the nations. She is coaching others outside of Cru as well. I (John) am leading support groups for men struggling with compulsive porn use and other addictions. I am also coaching support group leaders and connecting men to groups where they can begin to find healing with other men. Below is feedback from just a few of the men in a recent support group I led through “The Conquer Series” DVDs regarding their experience:

“Through this group I have learned to be more open, honest, and vulnerable first with the Lord and then with my brothers in the group.” – Joe

“Through this group I have learned that the issues I have go well beyond pornography. I have learned that I don’t trust God with my whole heart and I try to find peace and comfort in several different things other than God…” – PJ

“This program is real and there is nothing like it. The last 8-10 weeks have been very challenging for me but one thing is certain. I see the light of Christ shining upon everyone including me…Past behaviors are gradually falling apart in my life as long as I don’t pick them back up….What is so beautiful is seeing my family begin to love me for all the pain I inflicted in their lives due to this porn addiction. – Ed

John at Pure Desire Ministry Training

“It’s so different to really just listen and be with people.”

Ellen with a few of the missionaries she has been coaching at Cru

Discipleship is a noun that can be defined as “a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher.”
We really do desire to see others not only see and meet with Jesus as a result of our intersections; but really that they would BE Jesus to others too!

What you may not know is that Ellen is in a process to become certified (by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)) as a Life Coach. Part of that means she needs class hours, 100 coaching hours, and 3 months of a mentor coaching her! Well she’s been working on those. At least half of those hours of coaching thus far have been leaders! Just yesterday.. a woman Ellen is coaching named Anita commented

“I didn’t realize how often I was asking leading questions and directing the conversations with people, guiding them where I thought they should go. It’s so different to really just listen and be with people. The conversation really moves into a different place and it’s a beautiful thing!”

She went on to say this was a direct result of her being coached by me over the last 5 months and it was awesome to hear! This leader is loving on people the way Jesus modeled: Asking questions that get at the heart and allowing people to just be where they are.. and yet spurring them on to not stay put! After coaching a few leaders for a few months, we are seeing the discipleship happening and we are hopeful and encouraged that you will hear many more stories of others modeling this “coach approach” of valuing others and listening more deeply. (just like Jesus did!) We are privileged to walk alongside others and point people to Jesus!

As an update.. Ellen has completed over half of the hours needed for certification and completed all classroom hours! In the midst of sick kids and broken kid bones this feels like a miracle!
Thank you for your prayers and support so we can help bring hope and healing through the gospel to families struggling with addiction and help them thrive in all of life in Christ!


A 90 second video about our new mission JohnAndEllenFleming.com/newmission

Family Picture Update

We celebrated Easter together in Orlando with our annual egg hunt outreach at Cru and other shots
Lots of outdoor Fun
John’s birthday in April
Maddie Mae moved up from Daisy Scouts to join Brownie Scouts!
Evie starred in a school production
At the beach with sand on faces
Noah got a new light-up toothbrush!
All ready to swim
Daddy daughters date at Krispy Kreme
Ellen and John took a 24 hour retreat to the beach without kids to do planning and visioning for the future
All dressed up Attending a NY friend’s wedding in ORLANDO!
Ellen taught Noah to swim independently (with back floatie!)
Evie learned to ride a bike without training wheels!
we celebrated Noah’s 2nd bday in NY
Celebrating John on Father’s Day in NY
Bike ride

For a downloadable pdf version of this newsletter, click the image below:

In his Grace forever,

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Our Biggest Exciting Ministry Update Ever! (Part 2)

Can you believe Valentine’s Day was only one month ago?  Many of us celebrated with our loved ones and spouses. It is a significant day for many.

Yet the grim reality in America is that 59%1 of married church- attending men romanced their wife on Valentine’s Day, and then continued to view and struggle with pornography.  What’s worse is that recent research2 shows divorce rates double when people begin watching porn. Valentine’s day romancing is nice, but not enough when it comes to defending a marriage from a powerful hidden sexual struggle.

As we mentioned in our last post a few days ago, we are pursuing a new direction in ministry.  We feel called to provide hope, healing, and a place of recovery for men who struggle with the compulsive use of pornography and addiction, and help them, their spouses, and families to thrive wherever the Lord has destined them to have the greatest impact on the world for Christ.  

In a future post we will include a letter of recommendation from Rich Lotterhos, the General Manager of Global Service Associates (GSA). We hope it will encourage you and give you more insight into the purpose and mission of GSA.

We invite you to partner with us prayerfully and financially as we move into this next chapter of life and ministry to bring a deep-heart discipleship process to many men and their families, whether they know Jesus personally or not… be they churched, “unchurched”, or “de-churched.”  There are many ways you can join with us financially. You can give a tax-deductible gift in the following ways:

  1. Mailing checks made out to “Global Service Associates” with our names in the memo to:
    P.O. Box 20425, Boulder, CO 80308
  2. Give online at http://johnandellenfleming.com/give which redirects to our mission’s website. Or just click the Give button below.
  3. Please Pray for us and those we minister to, and let us know you are praying, if you have a chance. 🙂

If you received a link to this post via an email from us, we plan to contact you soon to answer any questions you have and see if you would partner with us financially in this new exciting chapter.  

Looking forward to seeing the fruit of our partnership in Eternity, 

 

 

1Barna Group, (2016). The Porn Phenomenon
2David Shultz, 2016. Divorce Rates Double When People Start Watching Porn, Retrieved from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/divorce-rates-double-when-people-start-watching-porn

Our Biggest Exciting Ministry Update Ever! (Part 1)

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Dear Partners in the Gospel,

     You have been with us through seasons of fruitfulness and great impact, as well as seasons of hardship and difficulty. We are convinced that if not for the amazing grace and faithfulness our God shown to us through you, we would have dropped the baton and stopped running the race many times. We are very thankful to God for you and your partnership with us in the gospel!

    We have an exciting new direction in ministry to announce! We will be following up this post with another one soon sharing more about our new mission and how you can partner with us.

This past fall, the Lord made it clear through many people, mentors, prayer, and circumstances that we are to pursue a new direction in ministry. We have been called to provide hope, healing, and a place of recovery for men who struggle with the compulsive use of pornography and addiction, and help them, their spouses, and families to thrive wherever the Lord has destined them to have the greatest impact on the world for Christ.  

John has resigned from Cru and has joined a new mission called Global Service Associates (GSA).

John will be leading and launching support groups composed of small groups of men through local churches and missions agencies in Orlando, across America, and online. Long term, Ellen will be working with John in the same ministry, also as a member of GSA. She will be a Life Coach.  For men who have received much healing through the recovery process, she will help them find their destiny in Christ for the next chapter in their lives.  For spouses and family members, she will help them adjust to the new “normal” in their lives.

We invite you to partner with us as we move into this next chapter of life and ministry to bring a deep-heart discipleship process to many men and their families, whether saved or unsaved, churched, unchurched, or “de-churched.”  

We are called to do this until everyone has an opportunity to have spiritual and emotional healing in their deepest parts, and then thrive as they move forward.

Here are more details:

Several months ago, as I (John) was sharing with a friend about how much God has done in my life to bring healing in recent years, he suggested maybe I should consider narrowing our ministry focus to this same area.  This went straight to my heart and I knew it was God speaking through him. You see, I’ve been in a men’s support group for various addictive struggles for over 3 years, and God has used this small group of men to heal my heart in so many ways–both emotionally and spiritually. The process as been developed by a ministry called Pure Desire, and the leaders of Pure Desire have been helping men get healing for approximately 25 years. I am still a work in progress but God has used this process to heal me greatly.

As the fog of addiction has begun to clear, I have begun to ask questions like “now that I have all this freedom, what’s next, Lord?”, “who have I really been underneath this addiction?”, and “what is my design in Christ for this chapter in my life?” Ellen has been coaching me through some of these questions, along with others. She has developed a passion to come alongside someone who is stuck in her life or someone dreaming about their future asking questions like these. After talking with and praying with many people both inside and outside of Cru, We have felt this calling clearly to serve in this way together, as we always have in ministry. Ellen, as a life coach, will be working toward a license through Professional Christian Coaching Institute (PCCI) while she works part time at Cru headquarters. She will step along side John in helping men to get freedom from sex/porn/work addiction to help them thrive in discovering their design in Christ. This is a process of deep, heart discipleship that we believe all humanity should have a chance to experience in Christ. We will be reaching into other cultural and ethnic contexts besides our own to launch ministries.  Orlando is a very diverse city and provides many opportunities for this!

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After we discovered there aren’t currently full time opportunities within Cru to serve in this capacity , we found Global Service Associates (GSA), a non-profit christian mission whose express mission is to empower ministers of the Gospel to live out our God-given apostolic calling and to help fulfill the Great Commission in our specific area of focus.  We applied, interviewed, and were accepted by this religious order in December.

Until the end of the year, Ellen will primarily serve Cru staff women who are in transition when she is working part time at Cru headquarters, simultaneously fulfilling her certification requirements. Although Ellen will still have our support account with Cru, she won’t receive any benefits while part time with Cru. We will receive our primary funding through our ministry partners who will give to GSA, similarly to how we have done with Cru for years.

We praise God for your continued partnership with us in the Gospel and ask you to join with us in this next chapter of our journey through prayer and financial support.  We’ll share more details soon about Global Service Associates in our next post.  Until then please pray for us.  All the changes coming are nothing small for us, but not too big for God to handle.  

Again, thanks for your friendship and we look forward to connecting with you soon!

Partners in His Harvest, 

You have been a part of Holy Matrimony in the lives of Two of our Cru Ladies and their new Husbands this past Summer!

20150615_154928Have you ever just stopped in a moment of time and looked around soaking it in? Well it’s not something I (Ellen) usually do. I’m usually moving on to the next thing just like the next person. Well this summer was filled with “busy”. Travels to Colorado, New York, Florida… long drives!  I’ve been thinking a lot about Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (New Living Translation)

Yet I’ve sensed some pretty deep moments this summer. Have you ever attended two weddings where your heart was just exploding with Joy?! A deep sense of God-sized joy? The verse above has come to light in a new way for me this summer and I hope you can sense and feel your part in this as well! Two students that I met in Albany, NY on two different journeys. We don’t often get to see a good chunk of someone’s story but somehow seeing someone accept Christ, walk through hardship/growth and see how the Lord has provided, blessed, and change a legacy is exciting and a gift! Just as I’ve felt and witnessed a deep sense of joy in watching two former students (women after God’s own heart) join in matrimony withour girl was in her first wedding as flower girl!like minded godly Men my heart was so FULL of JOY!

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Our girl got to walk in her first wedding as flower girl

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Our girl kissing the bride!

In moments like this I’m reminded on how living life in community and investing your life in the life of others is worth it! You have been a part of this journey with us through your sacrificial prayers and financial support; you have been part of these families establishing in the hope and love of Christ. While I don’t think I can truly fathom all the Lord has done and will do in these new families, I do know that without your investment in the kingdom we wouldn’t be able to truly celebrate the goodness of God here on earth; the goodness that causes all of us to yearn more deeply for eternity!!! Weddings are just a taste and picture of the joy we will have in eternity!        

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Ellen with Rebecca in her wedding last summer

Sent!

This summer we saw the Lord send 138 youth students to the world on a spring or summer mission with Cru!

  • 11 different teams went to 9 countries
  • They had the opportunity to share the Gospel with 9275 people in groups or personal conversations.
  • The Lord used these students and those conversations, and 2188 international students who indicated that they want to have a personal relationship with the Jesus!

Please pray that these students would be built up in their faith, be discipled by the staff in their country, and become good soil that multiplies God’s kingdom.

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watch video promoting our ministry to anyone who would join us! JohnAndEllenFleming.com/promovideo

prayer requests summer 2015

In Awe of His Redeeming Love,

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the girls got face painted at a street fair at our conference

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We traveled often in the car this summer, all over the country. thank you for praying and giving so we could serve others and get equipped ourselves!

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our preschooler on her first day

                                                                

“​Obviously God sent you to come and talk to me yesterday. It was exactly what I needed… to get back on track.​”

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Some of our students in the movement in Fishers, Indiana at a St. Patrick’s Day Outreach

… were the words of Josh* via text in Fishers, Indiana.  Here’s the rest of the story:

“A few weeks ago our student leaders gathered together for our leader’s weekly meeting, but we did not tell them what they were in for until that day. We shared our hearts in wanting to reach their whole campus, and about the joy of sharing Christ. After praying, the students were sent out in groups of two to share the gospel and have spiritual conversations with people, specifically high school students in nearby restaurants and stores. After they left, I began to close down our meeting room and then took off in my car to locate a group so I could watch and coach them. As I was driving, it dawned on me, “Why am I not doing this for myself?!” I quickly prayed and felt God leading me to McDonalds. I walked in and immediately saw two high school guys. They didn’t look like a typical students I’d have an easy time connecting with, so I walked in and got in line to get a drink to buy some time and pray…So I prayed, “Lord, give me an open door into this conversation.” I got my drink and went over and sat at the table facing them. I pretended to be on my phone so I could continue to pray for God to open a door in this conversation.

Then after about a minute, one of the guys asked the other, “Are you going to the hockey game tonight?” Hockey in Indiana! … I laughed in my head and knew that was an in from God. I jumped into their conversation and asked them if they played hockey and they both said they played for Hamilton Southeastern. Not only did God give me an open door with a conversation about hockey, but he gave me two guys that play hockey at our school. We talked for a bit about hockey and their lives, then transitioned into their spiritual beliefs. Unfortunately, we ran out of time because I had to get back for our debrief meeting with the leaders. I got their numbers and asked if they’d want to meet again, and they both said yes. When I got back with our leaders, it was so cool to hear what God did in each group, using their boldness and faith in Him to lead their conversations…..“The next day, Saturday, I got a text from one of the hockey boys named Josh. He told me how excited he was to meet and talk more. He said, “Obviously God sent you to come and talk to me yesterday. It was exactly what I needed because I’ve been starting to fall off lately, and I needed this to get back on track.”

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more students having fun at the St. Patty’s day outreach

We met a few days later and went through the gospel. Now Josh and I are meeting every week to go through follow-up. What an incredible God we have, that in our weaknesses, He uses us to do a good work in others. It was very clear that God is pursuing Josh, and it’s a blessing to be a part of it. How amazing life can be when we stop, listen to His call, and take leaps of faith to follow Him. I can’t help but see and feel the need to pray for these students who get the Word in them. So quickly it can be stolen away, fizzle out, or be sidestepped by a busy schedule. Please join me in prayer for Josh and all the other students we’ve been meeting with, that God does a great work in their hearts. Pray that God reveals His glory and draws students to Him with an unquenchable fire. This generation is constantly under attack and has an incredible need for Jesus.”  – Mark, one of our Cru Staff in Indiana.

Ellen and I are grateful that, together with you, we can resource staff like Mark to reach and grow students like Josh to change his world for Jesus!

Amazed by His Pursuing Love,

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Note: if you’d like to download a printer-friendly version of this update, you can download it as a pdf file by clicking the thumbnail below.

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our family at Easter

 

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We ran a 5k with Cru’s team

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