25 September 2018

Guest to Donor

     I just got off the phone with a new monthly donor.  As I was learning about him, I found out he is originally from Togo, Africa. When he moved to Omaha back in 2010, he used to come to the Timberlake Outreach Center to get help with food and clothing.  He was also blessed by Open Door Mission's annual Drive through Christmas (a program that provides Christmas presents for children in the community).

     He was very excited to thank Open Door Mission and what the employees did for him when he first moved to the United States. His family is now in a good spot financially and to show his appreciation, he is now a monthly donor!  

     We are blessed to have a wonderful staff at Open Door Mission. They are a lighthouse to those ships that need a safe harbor from the waves of life and where they can get repaired, physically, emotionally and spiritually!







Joshua Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator
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24 September 2018

Manna Food Pantry Volunteers

     Thank you to the Divine Shepherd team. They never complain about the task and there has been many over the years. Today, they got their hands dirty organizing and cleaning canned goods to feed the hungry! 







Candace Gregory 
President/CEO
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21 September 2018

Rebuilding Lives

Health, home, purpose and community: these are four major dimensions that support a person in recovery! Key components in purpose is community service and job training. Students were busy this morning sorting donations, stocking shelves and taking pride in their work. Thank you!







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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20 September 2018

Medical Supplies

     Thank you to the Visiting Nurses Association Nikole Roach for delivering medisets to Open Door Mission. VNA’s shelter nurses are the first line of healthcare in Omaha Metro area homeless shelters, ensuring vulnerable individuals and families have access to healthcare and community resources that support their journeys toward stability and self-sufficiency.







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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18 September 2018

A New Bike

     Prayer is a powerful thing. My friend Marianne was going through a rough patch last year. I was praying for her, but felt she needed more prayers. I asked her if I could share her prayer needs with my students in the Parenting class I teach. The ladies are great prayer warriors; they readily embraced Marianne’s need for prayers. 
     After a few weeks, Marianne shared with the class how important their prayers had been in changing lives. Flash forward to the present, Marianne is moving to Alabama and found herself needing to leave her brand new bike here in Omaha. She decided to donate it to a deserving lady at the Lydia House that was in the New Life Recovery Program, was taking/had taken my Parenting class and had shown positive change in her life. Annilee was chosen by Lydia House staff to receive the bike. Marianne is blessed by prayers, Annilee is blessed with a new bike. I love the way God works!







Maggie Cope
Gift In Kind Coordinator

13 September 2018

Did You Know?

We recently had a speaker come to Open Door Mission and present on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The following are notes from the presentation: 

- PTSD traces its identification to the Civil war? They referred to it as the Soldier's heart.

- In the 1980 researches noticed similarities in symptoms between combat veterans and domestic violence victims

- 8% of US adults suffer from PTSD

- More women than men are affected

- 65% of male rape victims suffer from PTSD
- 46% of female rape victims suffer from PTSD

- Amygdala (part of your brain) that warns us if there is danger is remains too active. It doesn't assess safety very well--just danger.

Unconscious mind
Doesn't deal that well with time, so, if you were hit by a yellow Volkswagen beetle at 10th & Howard - years later you may not like yellow, Volkswagen beetles and prefer not to go to the Old Market. 

Part of the challenge of dealing with PTSD is that items are stored in the unconscious mind (almost time independent) and dealt with the Amygdala which focus on danger. Getting control of these thoughts and reactions requires going from the unconscious to the conscious and getting control of the Amygdala.







Steve Frazee 
Senior Program Director
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07 September 2018

Lunch is Served

     The evening before, we were slow cooking pork shoulders for pulled pork the next day for lunch. But, when I came into work this morning, the pork was not cooked enough to pull apart!
     With only 45 minutes until lunch, I was worried that I didn't have anything prepared for our guests to eat! At that moment, I had no volunteers and no back-up plan. 
     I started to panic. Fear washed over me that there would be nothing to eat. And then, I heard a calming "ding" from the back dock's doorbell. I open the door to find a generous donor with 125 pounds of hot dogs and about 1/4 even had hot dog buns! 
     I was incredibly thankful. But once again began panicking that I would have to get all of the meat panned up, cooked, and ready to serve all by myself. That's when the kitchen's other doorbell rang. When I opened the door, three smiling volunteers asked me if I needed any help today. I looked up to the sky, laughing, "Thank you God for helping me today. I love it when you do this." I was instantly calm and lunch ended up being a success. 
     I am so thankful to have a Father that cares even about the little details. All glory to HIM! 







Gary Hughes 
Community Kitchen Chef
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06 September 2018

Mobile Diabetes Clinic

     Last Wednesday, we had the Methodist Nursing Students bring over the Mobile Diabetic Clinic. What a blessing to so many as they got checked for blood pressures, blood sugars, height, weight, body mass index. And at the end they received a warm oil foot soak and foot message! We have some very happy feet on campus! Thank You Methodist Nursing Students for honoring our guests with such respect and love!








Kate Fischer, LIMHP
Health & Healing Center Director
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05 September 2018

God Rebuilds Lives

     Today, a guest named Rich gave his testimony at our monthly Friends of the Mission luncheon. He was severely abused as a child and was introduced to drugs and alcohol at age 11. For more than 23 years, he abused drugs and alcohol. He torched relationships with his family, his extended family, and some friends along the way. His wife and children left him. He was homeless for years. He said that he hated God for allowing him to have such a messed up childhood, and blamed all of his problems on that.

     It wasn't until he was exhausted from living a life of drugs and homelessness that he was ready to hear God calling him. He fell to his knees and prayed that God take the desire for drugs away from him. Through a series of people, "coincidences", and events - he finally believed that God wanted to heal him and restore him. It wasn't until he almost drowned, that he encountered Gods power, and knew it was real. When he was finally ashore, the only possession left was his bible, which came floating up to him opened to Psalm 32 which says "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered". 

     Rich has been in our Rebuilding Lives program for nearly 3 months now. He is sober and is growing in his relationship with God. He said the desire for his old life is totally gone.  Now Rich sees that God really loves us right where we are. It's not until we come to the end of ourselves sometimes that we can hear him calling to us. Please continue to pray for Rich, and for all of the men and women here who are bravely trying to walk away from the bondage of addiction and walk into the light of Hope. 







Meredith Seaman
Heartland Circle Coordinator
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04 September 2018

Lydia House Success Story

     I love when my team texts me their happy, happy, happy pictures of SUCCESS! 
     This is my friend Cheyenne. She once was experiencing homelessness and lived at the Lydia House. She has since obtained employment, saved her money and now has her own apartment!






Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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31 August 2018

God's BIG Miracles

     Sarah came in to the Timberlake Outreach Center (TOC) today with a bright smile and joy in her heart. She gave us a beautiful testimony of how God has been working through her life since last month when she was here. At that time, she was worried because the doctors had found something in her son's (Jobe)  brain and he needed surgery. I said to her, there is nothing impossible for God. Let's pray and believe HE can heal your son. So we prayed for healing and for the Holy Spirit to give her peace to wait for the next appointment. 
     
     Sarah came to visit us last week here at the TOC and says when they went to Jobe's next appointment, they found nothing in her son's brain. PRAISE THE LORD, Jobe is healed!

     But wait, that's not all. Now she is so encouraged, she said she's been praying for others and sharing the Gospel. She gives the glory to God for everything. She said that she now believes and wants to be a vessel for God since that day when she felt the power of the Holy Spirit working in her. She stopped smoking and her husband is also now a believer. Receive this testimony as a reminder that we serve a Powerful God and no matter our daily personal problems, His Holy Spirit lives in us to be vessels of his greatness. 

     In the name above all names in JESUS THE GREAT  I AM. 







Evelyn Valdez
Bilingual Intake Worker

29 August 2018

Today We Can Choose

Happy Wednesday to all! Today, we have the power to make days better or worse for others. I choose to attempt to make lives better, everyday! It is a choice!







Candace Gregory
President/CEO

28 August 2018

Mangia Italiana Pizza

     Last week at dinnertime, Tony and his crew from Mangia Italiana donated 70 large pizzas for us to serve to our guests, and they were delicious! What a great treat, thank you!!







Amy Harvey
Community Relations Director
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27 August 2018

Promotions


Last week, Open Door Mission held promotions for the students in the New Life Recovery Program! Congratulations to the men and women who phased up to the next stage of the program. God is doing a great work in you! 

















Lauren Catlett
Communications Specialist
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24 August 2018

God Sees You

     One of my roles at Open Door Mission is to communicate with many of our AMAZING monthly donors.  

     A few days ago, I was calling a couple that the Mission had not heard from in a while and thought that to be strange because they are very consistent givers.

     The wife answers the phone and when I introduce myself she says, "Oh, I know I need to get our information updated.  I can't do that without talking to my husband. I'm on my way to see him in the hospital now."

     Concerned, I ask why he is in the hospital. She informs me he is currently waiting on a heart transplant.

     At that moment, my focus shifted from asking if they want to continue supporting us, to asking how we can support them through prayer.  I said, "I work with over 100 Christians that LOVE to pray for people!" - Which is true.  We see God answer prayer every day at Open Door Mission.

     The tone of her voice held so much sorrow. She accepted prayers from all of my coworkers and we prayed over the phone together; first for her husband, second, for the rest of her family.

     God is always looking at His children who are in pain. He longs to direct us toward their path in order to tangibly share His love with them. We need only stay alert for these divine opportunities! 

     This is not to brag about me, but I am bragging about how amazing our God is!

     He sees us.  He loves us.  He longs to use us to love others!

     The Mission would appreciate all of your prayers for this family during this time. 


     "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 







Josh Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator
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23 August 2018

A Letter of Gratitude

     In May, my three siblings and I were able to meet you and take a tour of Lydia House and the Open Door Mission. I would be amiss if I didn't mention how overwhelming it was to walk through the building while listening to your description of the services you offer. I specifically remember walking in to the storage room you have for diapers and other baby items. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the sight of such abundant supplies that are provided for women and their children. 

     You see, our mother way physically and emotionally abused for years. It was in 1964 she made the difficult decision to leave the marriage and raise us six kids on her own. She had nothing. No wonderfully supplied social services, no income, but she had the Lord. If she had been able to walk into a room like you have, filled high to the ceiling with vital supplies for a family, she would have cried with gratitude just like I did when I walked in to view your facilities. I hope, somehow, you can understand the stress that you relieve from every woman who walks into Lydia House. 

     I am especially thankful to see that you not only rely on the Lord to carry out the Mission of Lydia House, but you also lift up His name and guide women toward a relationship with "the One' who provides all of our needs. What you do is priceless and life changing. 

     With that said, we want to honor you with a check toward the Lydia House for $1,000 as a memorial to our mother. Although the years were long and the road very rough, she always held on to hope, It is that same hope in the Lord that I pray you are able to instill in the hearts of every life you touch. 







Louise
Open Door Mission Estate Donor
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22 August 2018

Two Years

     Report from the front lines from Open Door Mission's Rebuilding Lives Center Director, Taylor! This man gets his 2 year chip today! Please take a second and congratulate him. He hasn't had this much time clean since he was 15. Praise God for his transformation of hearts!







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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21 August 2018

Lydia House Birthday Party!

     
Last week, we had an amazing birthday party at the Lydia House celebrating guests with August birthdays! THANK YOU to the Jones family, The Birthday Party Project and Oriental Trading Company for bringing JOY to everyone tonight!! #TBPPOMAHA















Amy Harvey
Community Relations Director
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20 August 2018

Baptism

     Rejoice with us! Open Door Mission employee Angela, a Discipleship Counselor was able to take part in a baptism at Calvary Christian of one our ladies at Lydia House.







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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16 August 2018

Prayers for a Man on the Edge

     We have a guest who paroled out of prison a few months prior, with no intention of winding up at Open Door Mission. He initially stayed at a halfway house and started working. However, within a few weeks, he relapsed on his old drug of choice,    K-2. His parole officer relocated him here at the Mission and he joined the New Life Recovery Program (NLRP). Initially, he was upset he was not allowed to have full-time employment while in the program and tried to get out. Though, several weeks have passed by and he has settled in a bit. 

     In the midst of our conversations, this man had some unsettling questions about himself and God that he has had his whole life. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? The Lord opened the door wide for me to share with him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we talked and read the scriptures, I could see the wheels turning inside his head as he asked questions and pondered these truths. He is on the edge, not yet ready to make that commitment. I told him that he is on dangerous ground for two reasons. First, we are not promised tomorrow. Second, if you make that step of faith in Jesus, then you can never be the same man again. God will change you from the inside out, so you must be ready to give him everything. 

     As it turns out, this man has eight months of parole left until he is completely free. The NLRP also happens to be an eight month program. Coincidence? No such thing. God brought him to this program for a reason. HE is in control and desires for this man to come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  Please pray that this man will come to know Jesus and be changed forever. 







Jacob Carr
Recovery Case Manager
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15 August 2018

Community Picnic & Back To School

      Open Door Mission's Community Picnic provided free dental, vision, (BoysTown) hearing, (Dr. Andy Sommer) chiropractor, school physicals, sports physicals, and children's books for all kids staying at the Mission and kids in the community. This totaled 80 children receiving physicals and are now ready for school!

     Thanks to the volunteers who made our annual Back to School Physical Day such a success! 







Kate Fischer
Health and Healing Center Director
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14 August 2018

Working At Open Door Mission

     Over the past few days, I have been developing a a cold. One morning, I came in with my glasses on (I usually wear contacts) accompanied with a stuffy nose. Instantly, students in the New Life Recovery Program and co-workers ask me what's wrong. After informing them that I'm getting a cold, I mention to my co-worker, Gary, that what I really want is some soup from this specific restaurant in Council Bluffs. The spice in the soup really opens up the airways. Gary, being the kind person he is, makes me soup from scratch and tailored to my tastes (I can't stand the smell of chicken broth). 
     That's the kind of people here at Open Door Mission. The kind that will go out their way to love you well just because they can. 







Molly Cox
Volunteer Coordinator
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13 August 2018

Foot and Ankle Doctors

     The first Tuesday of every month, the doctors and nurses from Foot and Ankle Center of Nebraska visit our clinic and work on the feet of the men, women and children that live with us at Open Door Mission. 

     What a Blessing they are! Have you heard of Happy Feet? That’s us here at the Mission because of Dr. Robert Greenhagen, Dr. Patrick Nelson, Dr. Nicholas Olari, Dr. Jordan Sikes, Dr John Lazoritz, Dr. James Whelan and all of their wonderful nurses guided by Dawn!








Kate Fischer
Health and Healing Center Director
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10 August 2018

Answering God's Phone Call

     It has been my privilege to answer the phones at Open Door Mission's Administration reception desk these past 3 weeks. Answering phones requires knowing a little about a lot. It also means you will wear a variety of “hats”. Most importantly? You are the introduction for someone to Open Door Mission. This carries a lot of responsibility. 
     You are not just “answering” the phone; you may be a lifeline for a desperate young mother. You are the person that can instill the glimmer of hope to a lost and lonely veteran. You are a prayer warrior for a parent at their wit’s end, seeking help for a child involved in drugs. You are encouraging a prisoner looking for a place to stay clean and develop tools to make a new life.
     Answering the phone is a way to share the Savior’s love with others. Your tone of voice sets the stage. No matter the situation, God is in control. Hearing the hurt and pain in someone’s voice, that is the time you offer to pray for/with them. (No one has ever said no to me when I have asked to pray with them.) Prayer is calming and shares God’s love.
     Sometimes it is hard to share God’s love when the caller is angry, hurt, or frustrated and all they can do is take it out on you. A gentle, soft voice can diffuse anger, but you must be clear that you may not be able to solve their situation.
     You aren’t just answering phones; you are touching someone’s life for Jesus. You are a comforter, sounding board, or the information center. Take joy in all the jobs God gives you.







Maggie Cope
Gift In Kind Coordinator
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09 August 2018

Produce for the Kitchen

Summer is here and the vegetables are plenty in Open Door Mission's gardens. These vegetables will find their way to the community kitchen to feed the hungry and homeless! Today we picked 13 zucchini, 11 peppers, 8 tomatoes, and 28 cucumbers. 







Garry Struebing
Gardener

08 August 2018

The Old Has Passed

The audience of well-meaning volunteers and donors were speechless. 

As Rich, a student in the New Life Recovery Program, shared his story; everyone's eyes were glued to him. Most of us were looking through tears that were welling up as we listened.

Rich grew up with only a step-dad that was physically, mentally and emotionally abusive.  

At age 11 he had his first taste of drugs and alcohol that were readily available in his home.  He liked the way it numbed him from the abuse and very quickly became addicted.

By age 15, he tried going to rehab, attempted suicide to escape the abuse and had his knee shattered which led to 9 surgeries over the next decade.  

Rich said that his drugs and alcohol only intensified as he grew older.  He wanted to end his life.

He blew up his step-dad's prized classic car in an attempt to either go to jail or have his step-dad get so mad that he would kill him; anything he could do to finally escape the pain of life. 

Over the next decade, he had two kids with a woman that also had a drug problem. Rich continued to spiral downward. 

Rich desired for change, but everywhere and everyone he turned to led him into more issues with drugs.

After escaping someone unloading a gun while chasing him through the night he said: "It felt like a magnet" as he walked into a church and a traveling pastor showed him more kindness and love than he had ever known before.

A while later, he was attending a Christian conference and almost drowned in a lake from his boat capsizing.  He realized he could not swim any further and knew that he was going down for the last time - he felt a hand (that felt like fire) reach down and grab his chest and lift him out of the water until someone was able to reach him from the shore.

Rich said that he knows he has been created for something greater because he is loved by the Father!  

Rich is learning how to live a lifestyle of freedom from addiction and growing in his understanding of what it means to live a Christ-centered life at Open Door Mission.







Josh Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator
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