31 August 2006
29 August 2006
We had some great volunteers through Step Out. Many individuals and families gave of their time to make a difference in the lives of many. There was painting, sorting of clothes, food pantries made, meals prepared and served, school supplies, and much more. There were actually more than 1,277 manpower hours donated through this event which is about 10 months worth of work for a full time staff.
18 August 2006
I am thankful that the Lord has me working in a place that follows Him. Not only am I praying for these praises and prayers above, I am praying for you! Our faithful donors, volunteers and fellow staff members. You are all an integral part of the work the Lord is doing here at Open Door Mission.
Please, if you have a specific prayer request that I might be able to pray about for you, give me a call at 402-829-1505. Or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be my pleasure and privilege to lift you up today!
Blessings upon Blessings!
16 August 2006
What a busy day, I just got back from a week's vacation with my parents, my family, and my two sisters and their families. and I am trying to get back into life at Lydia House.
Spending so much time with my family always highlights for me what a blessing my family has been in my life. Though I made my mistakes along the way, the foundation that my family gave me helped pave the way for me to be in ministry today.
Over the past 13 years I have had the privilege of working at Lydia House. My heart is heavy each day as I see children and adults coming to stay that are hurting in so many ways. Not everyone has grown up knowing Jesus Christ as their personal savior, not everyone has received unconditional love as a child, not everyone has been taught or seen the life-skills needed to lead an independent life, not everyone has had food to eat each day, not everyone has been able to attend school, and not everyone has been able to DREAM. But, my heart is uplifted when I get to work alongside my co-workers and friends of Open Door Mission and Lydia House as we team together to offer services for families to fill these voids in their lives. As you browse our web site - you can learn all about these services.
I am the director of Lydia House Recovery Services. Currently we are serving 11 families with their 15 children and 6 single women in a long - term recovery program. I manage the daily structure and lead the Recovery Services staff. Today my day started at 7:00 a.m. As I entered the mission I was greeted with a hearty good morning and had the door opened for me from one of the men living in the Men's Emergency Shelter volunteering in the kitchen. I get to see first - hand how kind and gentle these 'men of the streets' are when given an opportunity to serve. Before even entering my office I needed to help a young mom with cleaning up her baby that had gotten sick. After monitoring the medication time I completed room and chore checks.
This morning the room and chore checks took extra long as I got to visit with the families that I had not seen for a week. A lot can happen in a week: four women and one husband advanced to their next level in the recovery program, sadly one woman had relapsed and left the program (I pray that she will return). Bible Day Camp ended (the kids are home this week - our new Children and Youth Coordinator is keeping them busy). A single mom started to receive weekend visits with her young son and another mom now has her daughter living with her full time. A sprained ankle and a broken washing machine and vacuum. Two husbands found full - time employment. One mom started a hospital day program to better address her mental health needs. An expecting mom's due date was put - up a week (baby should be here next week!). One single woman started our new Journey to Work Program. All kids were enrolled in school - starts next Wednesday!. And best of all - two woman accepted Jesus into their lives. These are the reasons that I love working at Lydia House! I am inspired at the hard work people are putting into their lives and seeing results and starting to DREAM for the future.
The rest of the day seems like a blur. Catching up on voicemail, mail, and e - mail, checking in with staff, a lunch meeting with the Open Door Mission Alumni officers, and a case manager's meeting. And the best part is the end of the day when I walk though the dinning room and see all the kids eating and laughing with their parents and often a child runs over to hug me good - bye. How blessed I am to be able to serve at Lydia House.
Director of Lydia House, Recovery Services
15 August 2006
I would really appreciate you replying back with a personal testimonial about your ministry experience here at Open Door Mission. Why do I ask you to do that? Because people expect me to talk about how God uses people to be a blessing to many here at Open Door Mission, but your personal stories will carry far more weight than my words.
Please respond back, and thank you so much for caring for those who are the least and the last.
14 August 2006
Misty A. Gasa
11 August 2006
Although Open Door Mission has always had the components of Public Relations, the department is relatively new. And so is most of the team. Let me introduce them to you: left to right in the photo: Natalie, Volunteer Assistant; Patty, Seasonal Director; Connie, Volunteer and Partner Director; and Iris, PR Associate. (I'm the one behind the camera.)
As a team, we're here to plug volunteers into the many outlets of ODM programs and services. And it takes hundreds of volunteers to help meet everyone's needs.
At our team meeting this week, we talked about "Smiles," an essay by Filomena Borsellino. As a sociology student, Borsellino was given the assignment to smile at three people and then document their reactions. Shortly after assigned the project, Borsellino, her husband and son went out to McDonalds for breakfast. While standing in line, everyone around them began to back away - everyone but Borsellino. As she turned around, there were two poor homeless men standing beside her, one shorter with sky blue eyes. Dirty and cold, the men had only enough change to buy one cup of coffee, but that price would also afford them a chance to warm up. As she looked at the shorter man, he was "smiling." Borsellino ordered two extra breakfast meals and delivered them to the table where the men were resting. "Thank you," the blue eyed man said with tears in his eyes.
"I did not do this for you," she replied. "God is here working through me to give you hope."
When she returned to her family, her husband said, "That is why God gave you to me - to give me hope."
Passion like this - to be a light of hope from God - is the reason Open Door Mission staff show up for ministry every day - Monday through Friday, and even Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
By the way, two members of our Public Relations team are graduates of ODM's New Life Recovery Program, but I'm not telling who. You'll need to come for a tour of the Mission to find out. Call us - 422-1111, ext. 1202 to schedule a convenient time.
Oh, and when you have nothing else to give... give a smile!
10 August 2006
Working out in the community with some of the food drives and the Hurricane Katrina Relief has added to my understanding of the dimension to which the Mission goes to serve people, not only in our community, but other places as well. In these past months, the Lord has blessed me with a number of new relationships here at the Mission. I am encouraged by these men and women and their dedication in serving their Lord and our community. I likewise am seeking to be an encouragement to them in their various areas of service.
About a year ago, the Lord opened a door for me to help in another area of the Mission, in addition to my regular work. Pastor Tom Meradith asked if I would be interested in helping out by leading the chapel serve at the Outreach Center on Tuesday mornings. Of course I said "Yes!" What a wonderful opportunity to share the Word of God with those using the center; to make known that our God desires to change lives now and to give peace and hope for eternity through His Son, Jesus Christ.
I count it a real joy to be just a very small part of this great work here in our community.
Serving our Savior,
08 August 2006
I returned to the Outreach Center to meet with furniture and food pantry clients. My day is never dull because we have people from all walks of life coming through our doors. Each person or family has a unique story, but there is one thing they all seem to have in common. They have experienced a recent crisis in their family and they have come to the Open Door Mission for help. Our work at the Community Services Outreach Center is PREVENTION that is helping the near homeless from becoming homeless.
As we assist in meeting families present needs, we are able to share God's love and give them hope for their future.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our donors who have given to our mission: clothes, household items, toys, furniture, and appliances. Due to your generous gifts we were able to provide beds and dressers for several families today. Also, household items to another family who needed pots and pans, dishes, and a kitchen table and chairs for the family to have dinner together tonight. I wish I could say every need was met that came through our doors today but, the need is great and our inventory is low. So, please tell your friends and neighbors to give us a call if they have extra furniture or appliances they no longer need.
Please call Dan Applegate, Open Door Mission Director of Community Service at 829-1517 if you have any good used furniture or appliances you wish to donate. Your gift(s) will meet a real need for one or more families in our community. And May God bless you for your kindness!
Joyfully serving Jesus,
Open Door Mission Assistant Director of Community Services
07 August 2006
Eighteen years ago, the people we served were middle-aged to older men. We had a space for a few single women. Housing a child was either not needed or not spoken of because no one had adequate space or a facility to provide for families. Lydia House opened in 1990 for single women and single parent families, since then we have been able to redecorate and make room for two parent families.
As I have gotten more "mature", the faces I see each day have become younger. That has been difficult for me. I remember the first time I really noticed a child in the cafeteria, it broke my heart. One day I was talking with a gentleman that had been at the mission for a couple of weeks. He told me that that day was his 20th birthday. This young man was younger than both of my children!
The needs and the Mission are different today, but one thing that has not changed through the years is God's presence. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What a privilege it has been for me to serve God. It is awesome to see changed lives, not only from the people staying at ODM but the volunteers and donors.
Thank you for your continued prayers and sacrificial giving of time, talent, and treasure. If you have not been to the Mission lately, I would love to give you a tour and show what God does daily at Open Door Mission.
Director of Development
We also provide catering for special events like, Back-to-School-Bash, Bible Day Camp, The Great Thanksgiving Banquet, and other community events, to name a few. In The Culinary Zone, we have seven positions to fill. These positions are filled by volunteers who stay here at Open Door Mission, as well as volunteers who generously give of their time from the community. Here at Open Door Mission we say, "Hope Begins with a Meal". I am truly amazed to watch God provide for each meal here at Open Door Mission.
Brian McIntyre Food Service Director
The staff is much larger (there were 5 of us "back then"). The number of clients we serve daily has tripled. The face of homelessness has gotten much, much younger. But the needs, the problems, the crisis - and the caring - are much the same.
I count it such a blessing to work among men and women who don't consider this a "job", but God's calling. They give sacrificially of their time and talents to serve the hungry and homeless men, women and children we see daily. In 100+ degree heat many of them have been out on the streets handing out water and encouragement, a pat on the shoulder, an offer of shelter.
When I think of my co-workers, Revelation 2:19 comes to mind. "I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first." May Open Door Mission continue to grow in love, faith and acts of service. And 12+ years from now, let it be said that we spent our days wisely and faithfully. God is at work through Open Door Mission!
02 August 2006
Business owners are well aware of how fast uncontrollable circumstances can change the coarse they are on. With this understanding, they are thrilled to partner with us to be a support system for the people we serve. We certainly could not do this work without the help of local businesses and individuals that care enough to give their time, talents, energy and finances. Everyday, we are mindful that TEAM means Together Everyone Accomplishes More. Together, we provide the support that our clients need to get through life's disappointments and become all that they were created for.
My role at the mission is to help businesses partner with us in the work of changing lives. It is my privilege to help engage these businesses because together we truly can make a difference in the lives of many people. Feel free to call me any time to talk about how we can TEAM up to make a difference.
01 August 2006
We are also in the middle of a call campaign so you may be hearing from us soon. We would love to know how to pray for each one of you so please contact us anytime. We have made many improvements to the Lydia House and I would love to give you a tour to see all of the updated changes.
We recently began a new program called Journey to Work. This is for single women and families. They will be learning new life and job skills while on the program for 9 months. The program is designed for those not coming to us with Drug or Alcohol issues but those in need of life and employment skills.
Hope to see you in the future for a tour. God Bless!