29 June 2006
27 June 2006
23 June 2006
It seems like when it is this close to our nation's Independence Day, my mind always turns to those who have made our freedoms possible - our nation's military veterans. I guess that's because I am a Vietnam Veteran myself. I salute those dedicated men and women - the best our nation has, who are now serving in our military, and those who have served before them.
I especially remember however, the faces of those homeless Vets that I see here at Open Door Mission everyday. We serve a great number of our nation's veterans from many wars - but mostly from the Vietnam War. For a number of reasons, they just have never been able to completely come home . You can see it in their faces - their eyes that cannot come into contact with yours, the distant look that betrays a broken spirit.
I am so thankful that I work with a dedicated group of people who are living out a life of compassion for these and other individuals who find themselves tied up in life's circumstances. At one time these invisible vets had the best their country could offer. They had the best military hardware, the best training, and the best resources that the world's greatest democracy could give them. Things are indeed different for many now.
Aren't you glad that God remembers and keeps the books! Every Veteran's Day, at Open Door Mission we have a special Veterans Chapel service. ODM staff members, who are veterans themselves, invite homeless vets to come up on stage and introduce themselves and tell others the branch of service they were in and when. Then we pin a small American Flag on the chest or each vet. I wish you could see the sparkle in their eyes! Wow - after many long and sometimes lonely years, someone just says thanks for what you did for your country .
Last year we had 83 vets on stage. This year in many ways, I would like to see 500! But a bigger part of me would like to see none. You see, I remember that these brothers and sisters in arms are not just vets, they are also homeless.
22 June 2006
21 June 2006
Believe it or not, the Open Door Mission is preparing for the Holidays. We are clearing out the warehouse to make room for Turkey and Fixin boxes and Operation Santa assembly lines. Immediately, following Back to School Bash, we will start preparations for the Holidays. It takes approximately 3 to 4 months of preparation. Who would have thunk. Now you know.
20 June 2006
This past weekend, we had a group from the First Church of the Nazarene in Co. Bluffs volunteer on Saturday morning. They did a great job, I might be partial since it is my home church. Some helped prepare and serve lunch, some played with the children and some sorted clothes and put our household goods in the Outreach Center. It was awesome to see adults and children working along side each other.
Thank you to Tom at NPDodge:) Tom donated College World Series tickets so that the men in the recovery program could attend a game, this week. This is an awesome highlight for the men.
12 June 2006
Excitingly, we are preparing for Guys Night In to celebrate Father's Day. Each man, at the Open Door Mission is someone's son or a father. Many can be unloveable and untouchable at times. But all have the opportunity to have HOPE, in Christ.
Believe it or not. Is Open Door Mission preparing for the Holidays? More to come tomorrow.
09 June 2006
A highlight for the week was the delivery of the Open Door Mission Panhandler Cards to the downtown business district. We are encouraging the community to not give out money or food to panhandlers. In return, we have great business cards that promote free food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc.. at the Open Door Mission which includes a map. If you would like some for yourself please email . She would be happy to get some to you.
If you are a volunteer bare with us as we restructure our volunteer department. Yet, keep in mind your time is valuable to the Open Door Mission and together Lives are Changed. The volunteer department would love your calls at 402-1111 ext 1202.
Have a fabulous weekend.
03 June 2006
I was able to take a quick tour around the main building on Friday night. Many of you prayed for staff member Jim Briggs. Jim was in a car accident and broke his neck. Jim has returned to work in the food service department. Amazingly, through God's grace he is healing.
Tomorrow morning, I will be at First Church of the Nazarene, in Co. Bluffs, and Prairie Lane VBS, in the evening. Each day, hundreds of pounds of laundry is washed, dryed, and folded at the Open Door Mission. As I am logging off to go do laundry, I am blessed to only have two loads to do....