27 October 2006

Easter Concert

Last night, was awesome. Chef McIntyre and his crew along with the Men's Recovery Services team did a fabulous job. The food was delicious and the service was with a smile. A very special thank you to Brookside Church for allowing Open Door Mission to use their facilities and to Pastor John and Peg. The Open Door Mission is planning to make this an annual event. I thought you would enjoy hearing firsthand from one of the attendee's. Jackie sent this email this morning:

The Easter concert was phenomenal!!! What a crowd!! Are you blest? Hope So, I certainly was!!! Met a Pastor from Nigeria and heard his great story as well! The food was EXCELLENT!!!!! What a wonderful evening! Blessings. JACKIE

Have a great weekend:)

24 October 2006

Homeless Children Guest Blogger

The last few weeks have been very exciting here at the Open Door Mission with the kids and our activities. Let me tell you a little bit about what is going on.

We went to the Rose Theatre and the children watched the stage performance of Ol' Yeller. We have been to the Children's museum - and we even went on a hike with some volunteers!
We are going skating this week at Hope Skate, and a couple of weeks ago when school was out, we all went to the movies.

It is so thrilling to see the look of joy on the face of a homeless child as they participate in activities that most of us take for granted. We give glory to God for His provision for our needs, and we thank Him for our blessings!

Misty A. Gasa, Children/Youth Director, Open Door Mission

20 October 2006

Initiative 421

Yesterday Open Door Mission hosted an informative luncheon on behalf of Gambling With The Good Life concerning Initiative 421 . About sixty-five clergy and non-profit representatives were present.

Each night at Open Door Mission, we sleep more than 300 men, women and children. We serve over 700 meals per day. Unfortunately, Open Door Mission turns away more than 140 families and 90 single women each month. We serve hundreds in our outreach preventive programs to the nearly homeless.

The Open Door Mission has witnessed first hand the effects of gambling on men and women and their children. The passing of more keno availability will only lead to the continued decay of the nucleus family.

21% of the homeless population that Open Door Mission serves willingly admit that they have a chronic to severe gambling addiction that has led to the inability to earn a liveable wage.

A most recent study by Dr. Robert Goodman of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst says that 86% of all compulsive gamblers become involved in crimes such as embezzlement and forgery to support their habit. The State of Nebraska and the City of Omaha cannnot afford an increase in crime or homelessness. The development of downtown Omaha will have far more problems than panhandling and garbage on the streets if Initiative 421 allowing video keno is passed.

The Open Door Mission has many victims that are an example of all forms of gambling. Video Keno slot machines will just be another negative vice-grip on the family.

Vote NO on Initiative 421.

19 October 2006

Joyfully Serving Jesus

I love my job and thank the Lord most days for the opportunity to serve Him through the Community Services Outreach Center at the Open Door Mission. My day usually begins with co-workers and myself meeting together to pass on important information and to pray. I then return phone calls, meet with food pantry clients and other case management clients. I also try to catch up on paper work and ministry projects we have coming up. I know this sounds pretty quiet and routine, but life at the Outreach Center is not normally quiet or routine. To me, at times it seems more like a Three-Ring Circus! Our days are exciting and extremely busy and we have to stay alert and focused or we might miss what God is doing in our lives and the lives of our clients. Yesterday for instance, two of our clients recommitted their lives to Christ. They came in discouraged and depressed and left encouraged with a new hope for their future.
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, and yet, there is one thing they all seem to have in common. They have experienced a recent crisis in their life or family and have come to Open Door Mission for help. We have the privilege of praying with them, sharing God's love and helping to meet those needs through the various gifts and donations many of you have given to our Mission.
Last month we gave out 127 food pantries and over 2000 people from our community came to our Outreach Center for food, clothing, furniture and appliances. You are our partners in Christ. For without you we would not have been able to serve these people. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and spread the word to family and friends that your gifts are not only helping to meet needs for people in our community, they are also helping to change their lives. By the way, did you know that all of your donations are given back to people in need for FREE?
So please give us a call if you would like to donate any household items, furniture, or appliances in good condition.
Please call Dan Applegate, Open Door Mission Director of Community Services at 829-1517 for any donation pickups.

Joyfully serving Jesus
Judy Collins, Open Door Mission Assistant Director of Community Services

18 October 2006

Thank God for laughter

I thought I would share my Tuesday with you. Actually it began Monday evening. I had been out of town since Friday. I was in Kansas City spending time with my daughter, Emilee. What a privilege it was to hear her sing in church on Sunday and then at the Wyndotte County Christian Women's luncheon on Monday. There is no greater joy in the world than hearing your child serve the Lord in that manner. Especially when neither her father nor I can sing a note. I arrived home tired from the 3 hour drive and threw my husbandss keys on the dining room table. Dan is out of town this week, which is a rare occasion, so I am on my own.

Tuesday morning I got up late and in my haste grabbed a set of keys off of my table, shoved them in my pocket, locked the front door, and walked outside. It was garbage day so I needed to get that to the curb (this is normally Dan's task). I then reached in my pocket and discovered the keys that I grabbed were my work keys. But that wasn't so bad, I fumbled through my purse in the rain and found my set of keys for the car. I then remembered that my front door was locked and I was hopping that the lock I used was the one that I had the key for. I knew that the lower front door key was on Dan's set sitting on the table. I decided that I would worry about that later. I was running late and needed to get to the office.

My day consisted of representing Open Door Mission at a Combined Federal Campaign meeting. I always enjoy the opportunity of talking about the Mission. But when I got back to the Mission, I locked my keys in the car. This is only the second time that has ever happened to me. Remember Dan is out of town and his set of keys are on my dining room table in my locked house. Thank God for AAA.

After work I went to a hair appointment that lasted about an hour longer then usual. When I was leaving the appointment at 7:45 p.m. I decided to drive through Taco Bell and pick up a salad and tacos for my two dogs. (They love it when I bring them a treat.) Dan keeps a plastic cup filled with change in the car and I needed a penny for my purchase. I picked up the cup and you guessed it, change flew all over the car. For a moment I felt a bit overwhelmed, but...

As I sat at the drive up window, I looked back on my day and remembered how it began. I was running late, but I did take time to do my daily devotion. I have been reading from the Jabez story. It reminds me to dedicate everyday to the Lord and to ask for those "divine appointments" only given by God. I was so glad that I had taken the time to dedicate this day to God.

I ended the day laughing about so many things going wrong with Dan out of town and needing to take care of myself. I thank God everyday for Dan and my family but they were not with me on this day. I realized I was not on my own, God had spent the day with me. I am so grateful for a loving God that laughs with us when we do stupid things.

Karen Applegate
Director of Development

17 October 2006

Greetings

Greetings everyone from the Lydia House Department. We are having a very busy October. All rooms are completely full and we're turning away record numbers in our emergency area. Our New Life Recovery Program is completely full and we have over 25 disciples on the program at this time. More and more of our clients are attending outside meetings at their churches and for 12-step. This is to help enable our clients to be self sufficient and independent in our community. We are seeing many positive results from this experience. One of our Disciples is sharing her testimony at Good News Jail and Prison Ministry Banquet in Council Bluffs this month, this is her first time sharing and she is very excited. We just had one of our graduates who was living in transitional housing move on to her own home this week. We are very excited that she could transition so easily from supportive housing to independent housing. I would invite you to come for a tour anytime to hear more about what we are doing her at the Lydia House. Hope to see you soon.
Charity Watts
Lydia House Director
Open Door Mission

God is good!

Good Afternoon,
My name is James Cummings and I am the Director of Men's Emergency Services. There is never a dull moment in my department. We are doing some exciting things with our emergency men. We have started doing strength-based case management with all of our emergency men. Today I had a man come in my office to meet with me for his case management session. He had a great big smile on his face. With the help from my staff and me he finally has been able to find an apartment of his own and is able to move in the first of the month. I also has another man that I have been able to share God's love with and this man rededicated his life to Christ today. It is such a blessing to be able to work with these men and see the little steps they take to be on their own and be successful in the community.

James
Director of Men's Emergency Services
Open Door Mission

14 October 2006

SKIPPING FRIDAYS

I just have to tell you about my last two Fridays. Then you will know why I am skipping boycotting Fridays.. Last Friday, my family set out to accomplish the task of a family picture. This is no small feat with a family of 6. It started at 11:00 a.m. and I did not have a photo in my hot little hands until 3:30 p.m. One inexperienced photographer, one fussy 18 month old that had enough, and a frazzled mother. Well, this is the best we could do:)

Then this Friday, three of my four children have had for the last 24 hours flu like symptoms. Now, all you parents can relate this is not fun and by the end of the day, I had flu like symptoms.
So as you can see I am really passing on Fridays just jumping right into the weekends from now on.

Thank goodness it is Saturday. I am off to Kansas City to the City World Mission Association.

12 October 2006

Millard South High School

Millard SouthToday was a great day. I spent the entire day at Millard South High School. I had the opportunity to speak to students about homelessness and poverty. I am excited about many students expressing interest in volunteer opportunities. millard southThe students had gathered toys, clothing, food and household items for the Open Door Mission and Lydia House. My vehicle was jammed packed with side mirror view only. Enjoy the great photo's: Millard South

01 October 2006

CRASH... BANG ....BOOM...

Sometimes, things never go as you plan.

My daughter, had surgery, last week. She had her tonsils and anodes removed. This required a hospital stay at Children's Hospital. I have referred clients over the years to Children's and have always gotten good reports. People referring to the care as excellent. My family had a great experience under the circumstances. I can now say its not only a place that I refer people but a place I would take my own family.

For weeks, Pastor Tom and volunteers have been working on a float for the Open Door Mission to use in parades. Last week, due to miscommunication the ball did not get put on the van and thus the float did not float or move for that matter. Then yesterday an unfortunate event, the van that was scheduled to pull the float in the parade rear ended a staff members car. Again, the float did not float or move. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. All in all there must be a lesson in this for me. I just have not figured it out, yet. I will have to wait for God to reveal it to me. Ugh, patience...