12 December 2014

Who Knew Santa Could Fly?

December at the Open Door Mission is my favorite month.  Some of my coworkers laugh at me when I say this because December at the Mission is known to be insanely busy and can sometimes begin to feel stressful.  But I love it!  Every year we take children and families all over the Metro to ice skate, meet Santa, look at the Christmas lights, Shop with a Cop, and much much more.  

My favorite memory this year has already been picked.  While at Shop with a Cop this year, an event where children are paired with a police officer and go Christmas shopping at Walmart, Santa arrived in an unusual fashion.  Santa showed up in a helicopter.  Imagine 50 windblown children so overcome that it looked like their heads might actually explode with excitement.  I laughed so hard I almost choked on my breath mint.

This moment, and many others like it, would not be possible without the continued support of the Omaha Metro Community.  To you I say thank you.  May God bless you this Christmas season.

Rachel F.
Children and Youth Director

10 December 2014

Hum Along

Hum Along
We are almost ready for Christmas.  The campus looks very festive and staff, volunteers, and guests are so excited about the events and special plans that will take place over the next few weeks. Yesterday, as I walked through the Lydia House, I heard some of the kiddos talking about Christmas and singing Christmas songs and carols. There’s nothing better than that!

As I listened to them sing the chorus of Oh, Come All Ye Faithful, individual stories and circumstances of guests that are staying with us, flashed thru my mind.

O come, let us adore Him
            Lost jobs…lost homes…            Separated from loved ones…
            Devastating health issues…mental illness…
O come, let us adore Him
            Thankful for shelter and food…new friends…second chances…
New faith…hopeful about the future…
O come, let us adore Him.  
Being a part of the work at Open Door Mission is truly rewarding and life-changing.  It’s not too late to join in the Christmas activities- sign up today!  And no matter your circumstances, hum along..........

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.


               
                 

             

09 December 2014

This isn't just ANY job..

I work at Open Door Mission because I get to spend my days surrounded by those who love Christ.  I get to work with people who allow Christ to shine through them.  Being in an environment that is Christ first, has given me such a peace of mind in and out of work, and it has strengthened my own walk with God.  I don’t know of any other “employer” that allows us to speak of God so freely, to openly pray for ourselves, and for others.  That actually puts God before anything else.  It makes me smile when I hear someone say “We’ll pray about this, and wait on God.”  It is not always an easy task, to be patient, but every blessing the Mission as has received is because we waited on God.   I cannot imagine any place better to work, any place better to hear other’s testimonies.  I truly am blessed by Open Door Mission and by every single person that works here.


-Angela

 Development Associate 

08 December 2014

Season of Gratefulness

It was the middle of the week. I just decided to take a second job for the holiday season. I was exhausted from the hours, beginning to feel sorry for myself. That day, I was having a conversation with one of our guests who is having difficulty finding a job. This guest had recently accepted Christ and turned his life around a lot, but his previous felony stamped on his record made it difficult for him to find a job.
Later that day I was talking to another guest. He also is struggling to find employment because he is still in the process of gaining his citizenship. That is when God convicted me. All day I had been feeling sorry for myself when there are people around me who would love to have opportunities like mine. Not only has God blessed me with this great job at Open Door Mission, where I get to serve others, but also a seasonal job. Those jobs allow me to pay rent and meet almost any other need I may have. I am so blessed

As we take time this thanksgiving to remember what we are thankful for, what are some blessings that we might overlook? I am thankful for all the volunteers, donors, guests, and staff because together we see God change lives at Open Door Mission!
Lindsay W.
Volunteer Coordinator

28 November 2014

Working at Open Door Mission is...

I work at the Open Door Mission because I am a Christian and the Lord is King here. I enjoy the interaction with the staff and the interaction with the men who are allowing God to change their lives. I have my office in the Permanent Supportive Housing building which allows me to interact with the guests and their kids. Every morning the kids come into my office for a piece of candy and they all give me a big hug and tell me to have a Blessed Day. I am a witness with the success stories through the men that worked for me over the summer months especially those who worked in the garden and those who did the lawn care. I enjoyed working with one individual especially and his name is Gary. Gary and I have become friends and we talked daily. I have come to know Gary and his family and I respect him very much. Gary has turned his life completely around with the help of the mission. Gary tells me daily how lucky he is to have come as far as he has and he owes it all to God because without God he would not be here. 


Dennis
Property Manager

26 November 2014

What's On Your Table?

Chef Brian's Cook Book

Turkey- Have your turkey thawed a couple days before you plan to cook.  Make a Brine.  1 gallon water, 8 oz. of brown sugar, 8 oz. kosher salt,  2 oz. pepper,  8 oz of fresh garlic rough chopped, 10 bay leaves, 4 oz. of fennel seeds.  Mix well add turkey and let it soak for at least 24-36 hours.  Then bake @ 300 degrees ( until internal temp of 165).  A lower temp will take longer for turkey to cook but it will be that much more juicer.  

Turkey- Again have turkey thawed. Make a wet rub.  1# butter (unsweetened) softened. 4 oz. parsley 4 oz. sage. 4 oz. rosemary ( all fresh herbs works best).  4 oz. garlic ( puree garlic) 2 oz. salt  1 oz. pepper.  a couple pinches of crushed red pepper. 8 oz. oil.   clean and chop the herbs.  Mix all ingredients and rub all the ingredients inside and out of turkey.  Try to get mixture underneath the skin if possible. Cook at 325 degrees until internal temp of 165 degrees.

Mashed potatoes- This is one of those items you can be as daring as you want!  You can add some blue cheese and bacon right at the end, roast garlic off in oven with oil covering garlic completely until garlic is a brown color puree and then add to potatoes with milk/cream, salt/pepper, unsalted butter.

Stuffing- saute up some onion celery garlic and add some turkey (small pieces).  Add that to your stuffing!  Most turkeys come with the gizzards and heart and all that yummy package! cut those up into small small pieces and add that to the onion celery garlic instead of using turkey.  

Veggies- Get fresh veggies and julienne them all up toss with garlic, oil, salt/pepper and bake in the oven on 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until they are cooked to your liking.  I prefer a little crunch in my veggies.  Peppers, onion, fresh green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms.  Try different veggies! Asparagus ?!

Cauliflower mashed potatoes.  Cut up a couple heads of cauliflower and cook in 1 gallon of water with 1 cup vinegar. Cook until soft then heat up some cream/milk and puree cauliflower with milk/cream and salt/pepper.  This is a great option for a low cal option.



Enjoy your meal!
God bless and Happy Thanksgiving
Brian 

24 November 2014

Glory to God

Open Door Mission Friends!

It was a joy for our Gallup Team to make 1000 sack lunches for the homeless and poor being served at Open Door Mission.  :o)

All of the food and supplies were donated from Rotella, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Bag & Save, Sysco, McDonalds, Target, Hy-Vee and $100 donation from my church (East Side Christian Church).

I am praying that many people were blessed.

My husband and I have been serving the Open Door Mission through music – worship music during dinner and chapel service twice a month, and it was a JOY to be a part of helping make food for the homeless to help meet their physical needs, with my friends at Gallup.

Glory to God!
With joy,
Faithful Open Door Mission Volunteer

21 November 2014

Join Us, Won't You?

It goes without saying that as the holiday season arrives, we are continually reminded of our many blessings.  Whether it be a dinner catching up with friends, or running around town checking names off our holiday gift list, we are constantly reminded of the good fortune in our lives.

Unfortunately, this time of year is particularly difficult for the homeless. This is our busiest time of year at the Open Door Mission, as we provide refuge for men, women, and children who are hungry for help and hope. It is particularly heartbreaking to witness this urgent need in a time that for so many brings abundance and joy.

This is why I am excited to tell you about TAGG (Together A Greater Good), a local company who launched a smartphone app that lets us help the homeless any time – even in the middle of our holiday hustle and bustle! TAGG has partnered with over 75 local charitably-minded business who have agreed to donate 5% of your purchase to the Open Door Mission when you use the app there. This means you can support the Open Door Mission as a part of your everyday activities – with no additional cost to you.

How it works: 
1)   Download the free mobile app (Search for Together A Greater Good on the Google Play or Apple Store)
2)   Visit participating businesses (listed on the app).  Tap the TAGG My Purchase button on the app and enter the amount.  Tell the server/cashier, pay as ususal, and they will provide a card to scan to complete the TAGG.
3)   Choose the Open Door Mission.  The business will then donate 5% back to us!

As an extra bonus, Husker Siding, Windows & Roofing has offered to match all donations made through TAGGED purchases between now and the end of the year, only for the Open Door Mission! 

I can’t think of a better way to give thanks for my holiday blessings than to share them real-time with those less fortunate. Please join me in making TAGG an everyday part of your routine, this holiday season and beyond.



Candace

CEO and President of Open Door Mission

20 November 2014

How Many Lives Can YOU Change in 25 Minutes?

These wonderful volunteers peeled 80 lbs of potatoes in 25 minutes. Who ever said peeling potatoes is no fun? They haven't come to Open Door Mission and we enjoyed the company of these great people!!! Many hands make the work load light!
”My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

Laura

Hospitality Director

24 October 2014

Guided By God

As I was preparing to graduate with my Bachelor's Degree this past spring, I came across a job opening for a case manager at the Lydia House.  I felt truly guided to apply, and have felt at home and at peace since I began at the Open Door Mission in April.  It is an honor to work for an organization that I have admired for so many years, and it is a privilege to help families overcome obstacles, and rediscover their faith and hope.  I know God has a plan for all of us, and I know his plan for me was to place me at the Open Door Mission, where I could make a difference in the lives of others.  I am truly blessed and appreciative of the opportunities given to me daily to witness the miracles possible through Christ.  

Vickie
Case Manager

17 October 2014

Salvation!


 We need to be sensitive and not just in a hurry to get our work done. The greatest work we can do is be available to pray with one of our guests to receive Jesus as their Savior and obtain assurance  of their salvation. There is joy in the camp tonight. Let us continue to pray for one another that we may take those open doors to share our faith with our guests that we are entrusted to serve at the Open Door Mission.

Greg
Case Manager

13 October 2014

Food For Thought

The following is out of my devotional book I was reading the other morning and I just wanted to share it with all of you!!!


"You must come to the place where "doing good" means more to you than "looking good."

Greatness doesn't lie in what you own or what you earn; it lies in what you give your life to
 
accomplish. Instead of merely focusing on making a living, ask God to help you make a difference!"


Blessings everyone!
Lisa
Overnight Support Worker

01 October 2014

Serving Those Living On The Streets

We came across a young man from Somali who was 30 years old and a Muslim.  He was quite a preacher.  He said Muslim believers are just like us always helping people.  He told us he has been spared from death 4 times, in his 30 years,  having been addicted to cocaine.  I believe this young man has a special gift of preaching and maybe one day could be preaching the gospel.  He is someone who has been on my mind and in my heart all week.  Please pray for him to know the one true God!!!

There was kids running about yelling "open door mission" and offering to help us deliver lunches to the low income families in need.  It's wonderful to be so popular among the children!!  One young boy was looking for Bethany, Beatrice, and Erica (a few of the volunteer coordinators at Open Door Mission).  His name was Sa la la.  These young ladies made such an impact on these refugees and they are missed in this community.  I promised him I would let the ladies know how much they are missed.
Please pray for us as we go out today that God would use us to love on His precious children!!

The sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  He weakens me morning by morning, weakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah 50:4

Faithful Open Door Mission Volunteer
Lisa 

29 September 2014

Coordinating Care at Open Door Mission


Hi, my name is John and I provide mental health and recovery services at Open Door Mission. These services are mainly therapy and recovery classes with men and women in our life changing programs – the practical outworking of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my fifteenth year.
Helping people take action for their lives can be frustrating, though when they do it is so fulfilling.  Recently a man (whom I will call Brad) experienced a stressor, and handled it in a different way than he would normally do.  I teach the concept of “recognizing the sequence of events that leads away from stable recovery.”  Brad was able to be aware of his situation, and was able to think through the event without reacting, but by taking things step by step.  The excitement in his voice as he shared his victory was such a blessing.    

It reminds me of James 1:2-4, where the author reminds us that we can “Consider it joy as we are going through a trial,” for whenever we remember to practice patience, God will turn that trial into a faith experience, resulting in our maturity!  Having a plan is essential as we walk by faith.  
God ‘s grace doesn’t work in a vacuum. He allows trials so that when we are open to His grace, it will empower our thinking, feeling, behaviors, and relating skills to respond rightly, as we surrender to Christ’s presence, purposes & promises! Growth is not automatic; it takes persistence. Please pray for the men and women in our programs that they will apply the truths and skills presented in our classes each day.

John
Care Coordinator 

26 September 2014

The Three P's

God has laid it out to me lately. He has laid out His desire for my character to be more conformed to Him specifically on 3 different fronts. I need to be more Patient, consider HIS Perspective, and Pick people up (well it would be Encourage, but it didn’t start with a “p”). It is easy to forget each of these key areas, not only here at Open Door Mission, but in our daily lives.

Patience - We demand progress and change to happen on our time table and in our design. We don’t wait on God and follow His path; we smash our hands down and stomp our feet and scream, “We want it now and our way!” God is the BEST at timing (I can’t wait to hear more of His jokes) and just plain perfect at His planning. Whether it is pushing people forward in their lives, finding “the one,” or getting that perfect job, His timing is best.  We need to wait on it, not nag for it to be ours.

Perspective - I need to consider the perspective of others. Not only people I am working with, but God’s. People look at things differently and come from different pasts. The more that I remember that, the better I can minister to people’s needs in a way that they will see Christ.

Picking people up - Picking people up is our job as Christians. Satan tears them down, God will convict people, and we are sent to pick them up and turn them to Him once again. It is easy to be critical and talk about what needs to be improved. We can zoom in on the progress needed and let the progress made be blurred. God has reminded me to celebrate victories with people as often as possible. Dance in the light, because the light itself is what conquers the darkness, not our fight.

So be you working at Open Door Mission, or doing ministry at your job… remember the 3 p’s (or the 2 p’s and an e)

Taylor
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

24 September 2014

God Knows All

A determined women walked to our Timberlake Outreach Center today for her Lydia House application appointment. She walked all the way from Chubs which is a few blocks away in the rain and she is 8 months pregnant! I was just telling her that I would figure out a way to get her back home when Phil walked into my office. Phillip,Open Door Mission's shuttle driver.This was a tangible way to demonstrate that God knows her needs before she even asked.  

Ronda
Admissions Director

23 September 2014

The Misconception of Homelessness

Every day is a new day at Open Door Mission. I never tire of visiting with our supporters, telling the Open Door Mission story or seeing God work right before me.....I just have to share about this visiting group.

Wow, the PEO ladies group from Treynor, IA. was amazed from start to finish as they arrived on the Open Door Mission Campus at 6 p.m., this evening.

They could not believe how clean the facilities were or how friendly the homeless were to them...blown away by the homeless holding doors open for them, saying, "welcome."

Many of them were in tears about their inaccurate perception of the homeless and shared with the group how much they had learned from our time together. 2 of the ladies shared they would be making substantial year end gifts to Open Door Mission and challenged the others to make HOLIDAY season gifts. I was humbled to see God work in these ladies lives right before my eyes, softening their hearts.

Candace
President/CEO

18 September 2014

Our Community Garden at Open Door Mission

Our garden season is slowly winding down, unfortunately. One of the big joys of my job is watching something grow from a seed. Squash, lettuce, watermelon, radishes, and so many more...they all start from something no bigger than a mustard seed. Then, bam! You have a beautiful green plant with some gorgeous flowers on it producing fruit! You know God is in the mix; only He could create something like this! 

There is still a lot to harvest -- squash, watermelon, and we're gonna try for one more round of radishes! And of course, what would a garden be without weeds? I thought they were gonna get the best of me, but was blessed with a group of volunteers that pitched in and helped pick every last one of them! Praises!!! Here is to good gardening!  

Blessings,  

Gary Strubing

17 September 2014

Cherished Teddies

Several years ago I attended a church that took part in an annual district women’s retreat. Any church in the district that had participants at the retreat were asked to put together a themed basket. There were a multitude of themes filling the baskets with books, chocolate, gardening supplies, teddy bears and almost anything else that could be created. These baskets were used as centerpieces on the tables and then randomly raffled off during the retreat.
Each participant’s name was placed in a bowl for the raffle. At different breaks throughout the retreat a retreat organizer would walk up to a table that had a basket, draw a name and the basket would be theirs.
I like teddy bears, chocolate and roses. At one retreat the organizer approached a chocolate and teddy bear themed basket. She chose my name from the bowl, remember…randomly. I was very excited. I love winning things.
In investigating the contents of the basket I found a small ceramic teddy bear wearing a hat decorated with roses. This is a “Cherished Teddies” brand in which they are each named at the time they are made. Turning my bear over I saw that her name is Janet.
Random? God is interested in even the smallest details of our lives.


Janet Henderson