31 December 2009
I remember thinking in January of 2009 it could be a very difficult year. Our economy was hurting, many businesses were closing, the unemployment rate was climbing and our cliental was rapidly increasing. People from all over Omaha, the surrounding Metro community and small towns were coming to the Open Door Mission Timberlake Outreach Center to receive resource case management, food, diapers, clothing, furniture and appliances etc. I wondered if we would be able to continue to meet our clients growing needs?
Well, I am happy to say we did it! You did it! GOD did it!!! And we made it through another year. Through God's love and life changing power, your donations, and volunteer time, we were able to provide our clients with help for their present situations and hope for their future.
Thank you for partnering with us to help change lives for eternity; we couldn't do it without you.
Joyfully serving Jesus,
Timberlake Outreach Center Director
30 December 2009
Friends of the Friendless was first organized as the Ladies Auxiliary in 1956. Its purpose was to pray for the new work that was being done among the homeless in Omaha. The women involved also offered their services to help financially and practically.
Times have changed and the work of Open Door Mission has expanded in many ways. The Ladies Auxiliary changed its name to Friends of the Friendless in 2007 – we’re not just for ladies anymore!
Our purpose has not changed though. We spend the first hour of our meeting eating lunch and listening to testimonies from graduates of the New Life Recovery program. That is the most exciting part for me. It is awesome to hear how God has used Open Door Mission to bring people from a life of despair to one of hope and joy. We also hear from a current program member and learn what circumstances God used in their life to bring them to this place of refuge and healing.
We spend some time hearing about the needs of the mission and praying that God will supply for all of our needs. After a short business meeting, we spend a couple of hours (or whatever time each of us has available) on service projects: sorting clothes, making sandwiches, bagging laundry soap, or working together to make fleece blankets. Projects vary according to the need; but there’s always a variety.
A Mission with a big vision needs the support and prayers of many volunteers – we are so thankful for our Friends of the Friendless. We are always looking for more friends. If you’re interested in checking us out, our next meeting is scheduled for January 5, 2010 at 11:30. Call Cris at 422-1111 ext 1504 if you’d like to join us or need more information.
Friends of the Friendless Prayer Chairman
28 December 2009
Men’s Emergency Services
Day House Supervisor
23 December 2009
I have been helping with our Adopt-A-Family program. I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that adopted a family or single woman here at Lydia House. You have truly made this Christmas brighter for them.
21 December 2009
I’m involved in the Project Santa program and last Friday we were hoping to finish stuffing the 4,500 toy bags Open Door Mission is giving out on Tuesday, December 22. We only had 25 more bags to stuff for the newborn to 12 month boys. We put blankets in all the bags, however, we only had enough blankets for 14 bags. We began discussing what we were going to do, as we really needed to complete this age group. We forgot for a moment, that God was in control. A few minutes into our dilemma a donation was dropped off - someone had brought in 12 crocheted blankets. This was one more than we needed to finish the 25 bags.
A great example of how God always knows what we need and when we need it!
18 December 2009
The Heartland’s generosity is overwhelming—462 individuals were sponsored during this all day event. You are providing hope and encouragement for the men, women and families with children who are struggling during this Christmas season.
Thanks again and praises to our Lord and Savior for helping Open Door Mission serve the community. Without you, we couldn’t provide Hope for the Hungry Hope for the Holidays.
16 December 2009
Ted started the Journey to Work Program ten months ago. After completing the required course work and the WorkNet Program with intensive case management, he was ready to do his independent job search and get back to work. Praise the Lord!
Ted is now employed and is praising the Lord that he was given a second chance and that Open Door Mission was able to assist him when he needed help the most. Ted is now saving money so that he can move into his own apartment after the New Year.
2911 SuccessNet Case Manager
15 December 2009
However, we still need more toys to provide presents for over 4,500 children that would not otherwise get Christmas presents. It has been hard on everyone economically this past year, but there are still those that can and choose to give in order to make a difference in the lives of others. We need people with generous and compassionate hearts to bring new toys to Open Door Mission. Your gifts will bless many children and their families by giving them hope.
We still need new unwrapped toys - primarily the following items:
- Teen Board Games
- Puzzles – all ages
- Baby dolls
- Play sets – children 1-2
12 December 2009
This week, ConAgra came to Open Door Mission to “Shine the light on Hunger”. In just a 3 hour period, we served over 2,000 meals. We left the Timberlake Outreach Center open that evening, so the community could utilize their trip to east Omaha. Open Door Mission, with the help of Payless Shoe Source, was able to provide 200 children with new shoes. Many of the men, women, and children were also able to receive a new winter coat.
I normally work during the day and usually only go to the main mission building to give a tour or for a special event. The dinner was held on Thursday—one day after the storm. During my visit, one of the employees from Men’s Emergency Service told me that we slept about 300 men in emergency services on Wednesday night. I have been keeping stats a long time at the mission and I believe this is one of the largest crowds we have had. We were glad to provide even the smallest space on the floor for these men.
With the number of men, women, and children we are serving, Open Door Mission is in desperate need of blankets, linens, and pillows. Many of the men that night did not have anything thing to sleep on except for a coat, or the clothes they had with them. If you have any of these gently used or new items, please consider donating them to Open Door Mission.
We continue to be very grateful for the generosity of those in the Heartland. We could not serve those in need without your assistance.
26 November 2009
Speaking of Jesus, celebrating his birth is just around the corner. After Turkey Day, many of us will head to the malls to get those gifts for family and friends, as we recall the gifts the Magi shared with the Christ child. At Open Door Mission Christmas gifts - especially toys for boys & girls - are all around. It almost looks like Santa’s workshop as preparations for Project Santa are in full gear. This year over 6,000 toys will be given out by Open Door Mission to children in need. Thanks for your donations of toys, volunteering to prepare their distribution, and your prayers for those who receive them.
But first things first - time to join in prayer with family before we fill up the plates with our Thanksgiving feast. Enjoy!
Senior Development Director
25 November 2009
I am blessed to be working with a truly amazing organization - Open Door Mission. It is not just a place to work, but a family - a family of believers that are here to support, uplift and pray for me. The simple comfort that the Lord covers me with is shown daily, through my co-laborers. Their warmth is sustaining me. I love each and every one of them! Phil. 1:3
I am blessed with assurance that my son is with our Lord, Jesus Christ. My son was a simple young man with a simple faith. This was exactly what God has asked of us - to come to him with the faith of a child - never was it more apparent to me how urgent it is that we share the word of God to the world. “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God sent his son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” I am thankful that I live in a nation where I can worship the Lord, Jesus Christ. I am blessed that I work with a family that shares the love of Christ, and thankful for the Lord himself. He came to save us all, not just a few or some, but ALL OF US! We need only believe in Him! John 3:16-17.
I am overcome with an awesome peace that can only come from my Lord.
I pray that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, in the knowledge that Jesus is Lord of your life.
Emergency Services Case Manager
24 November 2009
A mother riding on a city bus
Kids are yelling kicking up a fuss
Everybody's staring not knowing what she's going through
Somebody said don't you even care?
Do you let 'em do that everywhere?
She slowly turned around, looked up and stared
She said Please forgive them
But they've been up all night
Their father struggled but he finally lost his fight
He went to heaven
In the middle of the night
So please forgive my children
(They don't understand)
Everybody's busy with their own situation
Everybody's lost in their own little world
Bottled up, hurry it up trying to make a dream come true
(They don't understand)
Everybody's living like there ain't no tomorrow
Maybe we should stop and take a little time
Cause you never really know what your neighbor's going through
Many people come through Open Door Mission’s doors because of losing a job, a loved one, fire destroyed their house, suffering domestic abuse and so many other reasons. We might not ever know why they are here, but we, as staff, are blessed to be able offer a warm meal and a place that is safe for them to lay their head. In 1 John 3:17-18 it says "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." We don’t know what the people we serve are going through, but we can show them the love of Jesus and to me, that is the best gift of all.
Perhaps you feel a tug to get involved at Open Door Mission. Visit our volunteer page today and learn about volunteer opportunities. I look forward to seeing you around here soon!
Human Resources Director
23 November 2009
Saturday was a fabulous day! Open Door Mission was blessed with over 800 volunteers that helped deliver Turkey ‘n Fixin’ boxes to those in need throughout the Omaha & Council Bluffs communities. These volunteers braved the cold, foggy morning and did it with smiles on their faces!
We also had wonderful volunteers help sort through our Christmas gifts that will be given out through our Project Santa program in December. This is always a fantastic time of year remembering how thankful we at Open Door Mission are for each of you. As we look forward to what this season holds, would you join us? We are thankful for your prayers, gently used household donations, volunteer hours, and monetary gifts. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces at Open Door Mission as we partner together!Patti Cummings
18 November 2009
16 November 2009
Mission Bean Coffee can be purchased at
Open Door Mission’s Administration Building or
the following Hy-Vee stores:
10808 Fort St - Omaha, NE
3405 Oak View Dr - Omaha, NE
3410 N. 156th St - Omaha, NE
Public Relations Coordinator
14 November 2009
13 November 2009
12 November 2009
11 November 2009
Last Saturday, numerous volunteers and staff worked hard to prepare our building for this transition. Monday, we officially opened the new receiving area for business. This significant change will greatly enhance the receiving and distribution of your donations into the hands of our clients in a more efficient and timely matter.
Your generous donations of furniture, clothing, appliances, household items, etc. permit us to help our clients receive needed items they can not afford to purchase. Thank you for partnering with Open Door Mission to help fight the battle of homelessness; in doing so, you are giving to families less fortunate and helping them have a better life.
So, the next time you bring your Gift-in-Kind donations to Open Door Mission remember to bring them to the Timberlake Outreach Center receiving area. You can’t miss it--just follow the signs. And while you’re here, please stop for a visit. I would love to give you a tour of our Timberlake Outreach Center and tell you about the various programs and ministries Open Door Mission offers to help prevent homelessness. May God bless you, as you generously bless others.
Joyfully Serving Jesus,
Director of the Timberlake Outreach Center
07 November 2009
As I heard the graduates tell where they have been (unemployed, incarcerated, suffering an addiction, and/or victims of domestic abuse) and where they are now (sober, disciples of Christ, employed and filled with hope) I viewed their months in their Open Door Mission program as a marathon for each of them.
I am a marathon runner and I know that in the midst of the run there are points of joy as one passes mile markers and hears the crowds cheering you on. In addition, there are many instances of pain, suffering, and wondering if you can finish. Our graduates have passed through many joyful thresholds of accomplishment in their programs and they have been cheered on by staff, fellow students, and family members. Yet, each graduate has also experienced much pain and suffering along the way as they have withdrawn from addictions and changed thought patterns and actions that have been destructive in the past. They have crossed the finish line because in Christ all things are possible and they are now ready for a new life that breaks the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
Praise God that each graduate is now ready to run the race ahead of them in life and become a blessing to others as they draw on blessings from God each day!
Senior Development Director
06 November 2009
- Set up your Hope for the Hungry food drive.
- Schedule your Project Santa drive.
- Request your set of Christmas Bells to provide gifts for hurting adults.
- Sign up to Adopt-A-Family.
- Deliver TURKEY 'N' FIXIN'S boxes.
- Sort and bag new, unwrapped toys.
04 November 2009
As I write this, I must admit that I am so proud of our men. Lately, they have been put through a barrage of changes and have chosen to focus on them in a positive life-changing way. The Word of God teaches us that we are all made in His image and therefore people carry so much more potential than we realize. It is definitely a privilege to see our men prove that daily.
That’s why our Lord died on a cross 2,000 years ago, isn’t it? This certainly was a horrendously evil event, definitely an incredible loss. Yet, God brought out of that very act the most blessed event in mankind’s history - He redeemed us and made us righteous. The most evil act was made the most righteous act; the biggest loss in history was made into the greatest gain of all time. I can’t think of a more important message for our men to understand.
It was my privilege just 2 days ago to be setting with one of our men explaining this to him when he told me that he was already saved but needed to act upon it and start building his life on this foundation. So he decided to rededicate his life to Christ on the spot. I don’t have to tell you what an honor that was for me. Further, that is something we get to experience all the time here. Our men have the same potential that we do, just different experiences. When those experiences lead to life-altering beliefs, the only cure is Biblical beliefs. Recovery is essentially replacing faulty belief systems (in several areas) with appropriate belief systems. Isn’t it great to have that from an objective source? Thank God for his revealed Word or all I would be able to offer is my own faulty beliefs. Beliefs have tremendous transforming power. No wonder the Word of God has so much to say about belief from cover to cover.
The weather is changing, the economy is changing, and the world is changing around us, but I just praise Him for the anchor He has provided and hope to teach others to do so too.
Men’s Recovery Services Director
02 November 2009
31 October 2009
30 October 2009
The New Life Recovery Program and Journey to Work Program are measured in months, not millions of years, but each day, week, and month in a program provides a new layer of life skills, educational ability, and spiritual development for each individual enrolled. The solid foundation upon which all layers form is faith in Jesus Christ, our solid rock. Then layers of emotional coping skills, Biblical knowledge, maintenance of sobriety, educational and computer skills, job readiness insights equip each graduate for new life!
The Grand Canyon is a wonder of the world and each graduate from an Open Door Mission program is a grand wonder as well. If you would like to explore a Planned Gift to support the work of Open Door Mission please contact me.
Senior Development Director
(402) 422-1111, ext. 1538
29 October 2009
Last month, Charity asked if I would fill in for our Overnight Supervisor during her surgery and recovery. I had never worked the midnight to 8 a.m. shift before and wondered how the change would affect me physically. The Lord has blessed me to be able to handle the change of sleeping during the day.
As Overnight Supervisor, I do periodic room checks throughout the Emergency A & B wings, file, sort mail, clean, assist in handing out medications and much more. During this time, I am reminded of Psalm 63:6, “When I remember you on my bed; I meditate on you in the night watches.” and Psalm 119:148, “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I might meditate on Your Word.” (KJV)
Ladies will come to me and ask me to pray with them, or talk, because they couldn’t sleep. Moms will even bring their sick children to my office for medication and to keep them from disturbing other family members. I love being able to minister to families and ladies in this way and thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve during the ‘Night Watch’ at Open Door Mission.
Janice M. Loud
Lydia House Children & Youth Department
Night Watch – House Supervisor
28 October 2009
Today some homeless men from Open Door Mission the joined Candace Gregory, Open Door Mission's President/CEO, Richard DenHerder, Open Door Mission's Director of Finance, Jack Phillips Local Arborist and Mike King, Open Door Mission's Garland Thompson Men's Center Case Manager in planting 19 trees and shrubs around the New Lydia House that is set to open in January 2010
27 October 2009
22 October 2009
Pastor Jim, from Southwest Church of Christ, and his friend Dave stopped by Open Door Mission this week to bring a “small” gift to help out during the holidays. It was no “small” gift--it was over 1,000 pounds of donations ranging from canned goods to clothing. His congregation out of compassion for others, chose to make a difference by donating to the homeless and near homeless in the Heartland.
The holidays are fast approaching and for many in our area it will not be a joyous time of celebration--they are hungry, hurting and in many cases feeling hopeless. Would you please help Open Door Mission reach out with hope and help for those seeking just the basic necessities of life?
- Open Door Mission and Lydia House will provide more than 91,000 hot, nutritious meals this holiday season to the hungry and homeless in the Heartland. Set up your Hope for the Hungry food drive.
- Reach out to more than 6,000 boys and girls and bring the joy of Christmas to their hurting hearts with your donation of new toys to Open Door Mission. Schedule your Project Santa toy drive.
- Provide gifts for hurting adults who are lonely and need to know someone cares. Request your set of Christmas Bells.
- Please, volunteer today, to give your time to make ‘Drumsticks on Wheels’ and ‘Project Santa (A Drive-Thru Christmas)’ the best events ever.
21 October 2009
It is very rewarding to help individuals learn new skills or improve their knowledge in the Learning Center. Due to alcohol and drug abuse, what was once learned seems to be gone for the individual. That’s where Learning Skill Improvement helps to regain lost memory. Improved memory brings self-confidence.
However, many men don’t see the purpose of learning how to type or how to use a computer. I think of the man where construction has been his trade. His fingers are large and don’t seem to work on the keys, but in time he has stretched his fingers to type.
It is all about helping people reach goals they didn’t know they needed. It is surrounding them with words of congratulations, you did it and you can do it. The Learning Center provides a launching pad for the future.
II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Learning Center Director
20 October 2009
What a busy week it has been at Open Door Mission! As you probably know, busy means blessing here at Open Door Mission, and the blessings certainly poured into the Volunteer Department this week. We had some amazing guys stop by from a group called “Heart Hats”. These men are tradesmen from all over the country, working in the Omaha area. In their spare time, they share their talents and skills with nonprofit organizations. These new friends built a storage unit in our kitchen, replaced a wall in the dining room, and built some terrific new storage bins in the Timberlake Outreach Center.
The busyness (blessings) continued into the weekend. We had several groups of young people dig in and put together some new clothes racks in the TOC so we can get more of your gently used clothing donations hung up and available for our clients. That cleared the way for bringing in more of those donations, which they did, smiling the whole time.In the afternoon the warehouse was blitzed (sorry I couldn’t resist) by some members of the Millard West football team who joined another kind of team in reorganizing our warehouse pantry in preparation for putting together thousands of Turkey ‘N’ Fixin’s boxes next month.
I would love to tell you that it was an extraordinary week, but I think all of our volunteers are extraordinary. It continues to be my honor and pleasure to serve Open Door Mission. On behalf of the Volunteer Department I want to say thank you, and bless you!
Volunteer & Partner Director
19 October 2009
Recently, God showed me that our efforts have a long term effect on people. I was encouraged by two of our alumni. One has started their own ministry, putting God’s Word in everyone’s hand by using recycled prescription bottles. The other has shared the amazing faith they developed since their graduation from the program.
Our goal at Lydia House is to change lives, one at a time, and I have had the privilege to see the signs of this happening in at least two lives. This gives me the encouragement to keep going that my small efforts do help to change lives.
17 October 2009
A man (I will call Frank), whom I have worked with for three months, recently got a job. Frank’s journey was not unique. He has no family he is close to and has been on his own all his adult life. His parents divorced when he was a child and his mother died when he was eighteen. Frank has a distant relationship with his father, and no siblings. In his adult life, he has worked a series of jobs, but has also had many “lay-overs” at shelters throughout the Midwest.
Frank is a loner, does not drink or use drugs. Most of his jobs have been dead-ends. Spiritually, he knew God was out there, but never considered any personal relationship with Him. While most of my interactions with Frank have been spur-of-the-moment, because he was anxious or worried, I listened, offered reassurance, and offered advice on what he could do.
His first month at the Mission, Frank arranged his evening so that he did not attend chapel. As he described it later, it was not that he had anything against hearing about God, it was just that God never seemed to have any direct relevance in his life. So Frank was content to let God go His way, and Frank would go his.
What is so wonderful at Open Door Mission, is that we have volunteers that take time out of their busy schedules and provide help—in the kitchen, at the Timberlake Outreach Center, chapels, and other areas. We have a man who comes almost every week and leads a small group in Bible study or shows a video, which provides a more personal setting where men can hear God’s word and interact with it.
Frank was encouraged by his case manager, Mike, to take advantage of the services offered at the Mission. One evening, Frank attended the Bible Study. He said later that he didn’t know quite what to think about it. The man leading it was nice; however, Frank had never thought much about God. But Frank continued to attend. One week, the leader shared the plan of salvation, and Frank began to consider God in a new way.
Later Frank shared with me that he has benefited from his time at Open Door Mission. He found a job, is saving money, and has hope. He knows that God loves him personally and whatever the future holds—God will be there for him.
It is such a blessing working at Open Door Mission. Even though we see the shadier side of life, and come face to face with hopelessness, I don’t become overwhelmed by the neediness and chaos that comes through our doors. Experiences with people like Frank, remind me of Open Door Mission’s purpose and its provision of hope and new life in Christ. Taking the time to treat a fellow human being with simple things like food, clothing and shelter, in the name of Jesus, can make all the difference in the world.
Thank you for praying, giving and serving at Open Door Mission.
16 October 2009
15 October 2009
14 October 2009
Our volunteers are ever-faithful. Despite the snow, we had amazing volunteers who were willing to do the job. I was at the Timberlake Outreach Center and had the opportunity to work alongside volunteers as we sorted through clothing, household and kitchen items that have been donated. We had quite a lot of baby and children’s clothing that were donated and we were able to fill up the racks for the babies and kids in our community!
Thank you to our volunteers for their hard work! Thank you to our donors who make this job possible! We couldn’t serve those in need without you!
09 October 2009
08 October 2009
07 October 2009
06 October 2009
Now, my fault is that I tend to get focused and just pour into the lives right around me. However, I hear that unity is not only going on where I work but all through the Mission. As we continue to grow our goal should be to continue to really pour into other staff members lives. I think unity is where true strength comes from and requires vulnerability and trust with one another. That unity will keep the devil from coming in and destroying the amazing things that God desperately wants to do in each of our clients lives and don’t forget…in OUR lives.
I’ll share one of the many stories I have experienced over the last few months. I was working a Saturday morning which tends to be pretty laid back because the clients have no classes. I walked to the emergency wing and there was a lady who had just come to Open Door Mission the night before. This lady was standing in the hallway tearing up and seemed very guarded therefore didn’t want to talk. I debated what to do as I was walking towards the office. Finally I turned to her and said, “Is there anything I can do?” She said, “no” as she started to cry again. I wasn’t going to leave her alone so I waited a minute with her. I asked her again, “Is there anything I can do?” She didn’t say anything as she started crying a little harder. I sat down on the bench in front of the office and so did she.
I was so excited because I knew she was starting to open up because she sat down next to me. I waited a minute as she was crying and finally asked, “What are you dealing with?” Finally she opened up and told me how she couldn’t find a job even though she had a master’s degree. Her son was in the military and normally calls every day but hadn’t called in two weeks. The last time she had talked with him his tank was destroyed while he was in it and they were afraid of more retaliation from the enemy.
I have a brother who was a Calvary scout for 4 years and know how hard it is to have family at war so I tried to encourage her. I asked her if she believed in God and had faith that He would protect her and take all her cares. She said she used to believe but because of everything that had been going on she was finding it hard to have faith in God at all. I told her how He can take all that pain and fear of the unknown from us if we trust him. I asked if we could pray. She agreed and I asked God to give her a peace and if her son was still alive that he would contact her.
I gave her some tissues and we both went on our way. I went to the recovery side of the Mission and came back fifteen minutes later. The Lady came to me with this glow and said, “I have to tell you something! I don’t know how this happened but I just want you to know that my son called me five minutes after we prayed and he is ok.” I rejoiced with her and thanked God for letting her experience His faithfulness!
Recovery Services Case Manager
03 October 2009
Yesterday was such a day. One of our clients received a refrigerator and the family was overjoyed. This family of six had been living without a refrigerator for the past three weeks. A single mom with six children received a washer & dryer. Her washer broke a month ago and she had been washing her family’s clothes in the bath tub. Needless to say we made her day. Then, a client from the past walked into my office. Yvette is a part of our 29/11 Program and she had been sent over to receive a food pantry and some other items by her case worker, Jeanette Blackstone.
When she walked in my office she said, “I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I want to thank you for praying with me and telling me about the 29/11 Program. That day was a turning point for me and the 29/11 Program is really helping me.” I was happy to see her and hear how things were better since she joined the program. I asked her if she would share some of her story with you and here’s what she wrote:
“I walked in only for a food pantry, but was blessed to find out about the 29/11 Program. I would like to first start off by thanking God for putting caring people in my life. The 29/11 Program is truly a blessing. I am a single mother of three beautiful children whom I love dearly. In the past year and a half I have been struggling to take care of my children due to overwhelming expenses, such as moving, rental increase, car repairs, buying food and high utilities bills. But in the midst of all that stress God has never failed me. I learned about the 29/11 Program and I decided to join and since then our family is doing better and I am thankful to Open Door Mission and the 29/11 Program.”
Because of your various donations, families are able to improve their quality of life and lives are being changed one person at a time. Thank you for partnering with us to help prevent homelessness and meet the needs of our working poor. May God bless you for your kindness and generous spirit.
Joyfully serving Jesus,
Director of the Timberlake Outreach Center
02 October 2009
I couldn’t help but think of our busy lives and how we don’t take time to pray and thank God for our many blessings. We need to remind ourselves we can pray for others even while sitting at a stop light, or when we see someone in need of prayer instead of sitting in judgment of them.
Prayer for today: Lord of creation, help us to pause daily and be refreshed by the blessings of today and ready to pray for people around us.
01 October 2009
30 September 2009
The purpose of my blog is to say thank you to volunteers like Earl who drives over three hours from his home to lead chapel services for our men. There are others like Lucille, Lewis and others who make our work at the mission enjoyable and efficient.
Thanks to all who volunteer and God bless!
Volunteer and Partner Assistant
29 September 2009
22 September 2009
The next few weeks will offer a glimpse into the marvelous artistic skills of our Wonderful Creator, but the season doesn’t wait around very long. If you don’t get out there and pay attention, you will miss it altogether and have to wait an entire year for another opportunity.
The English word, “opportunity” has a very interesting origin. The word comes from the Latin, “opportuna”, which was used to describe specific water levels and tides when it was best for a ship to leave port and head out to open water. For the ship captains, there was a brief “window of opportunity” for which they had to be prepared or else wait until the next day.
The wise sailor did not wait to prepare until “opportuna” arrived. He knew that he had to be ready to go before the moment of departure, or miss it altogether.
I find that I sometimes resist change because, for whatever reason, I was not prepared. I have a hard time viewing unanticipated change as an unexpected opportunity. I only embrace change when I have a say in it and am convinced that it is for the better. Like everyone I know, I like being in control even if the sense of control is not based in reality.
The truth, of course, is that only God is ultimately in control, and He doesn’t find it necessary to confer with me before He implements it. Could it be that He already knows what needs to change even without my input or well-reasoned recommendations?
My wall hanging asks, “Why fear it or fight it when you can simply embrace it?” The oft-recited Serenity prayer is both wise and eloquent: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” While I might resist change, I also detest the boredom that comes from the same old thing over and over.
My mother always told me that, of her four kids, I was her ‘difficult child’. Some things never change…. If you stop by my office at Open Door Mission, I will be happy to show you my fall pictures. Better yet, I urge you to take advantage of the wonderful fall scenery that is about to unfold around us!
Program Case Manager
18 September 2009
17 September 2009
12 September 2009
We in the Volunteer Department connect "Blessings from Above" with all of you! The many volunteers and donors that connect with us on a daily basis are Open Door Mission’s "Blessings from Above"!
Today, we were blessed with a group of 10 adults joining us through Urban Plunge. These wonderful volunteers made up over 200 toiletry kits that will be distributed on Fridays during our Streets of Omaha Project. These kits include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, body lotion and a Gospel tract. God is good!
We also had a group of 60 8th graders, along with their leaders, volunteering through their confirmation class at St. John Vianney Church. These kids were a big help serving in the kitchen, organizing our warehouse and helping accomplish many projects that were on our "honey-do" list at the Timberlake Outreach Center…4 hours times 60+ people = priceless!
Thank you for being Open Door Mission’s "Blessings from Above"!!! I look forward to seeing you all in the near future!
10 September 2009
Every man, woman, and child can become a part of the story at the Open Door Mission.
How? Keep the staff and those they serve in your prayers.
How? Come on down and volunteer your time and talent in our life changing activities.
How? Make a regular financial donation to support the many programs that change the story line of those we serve.
How? Tell the story of the Open Door Mission to someone who has not heard it and invite them to join in.
Jesus, our Lord, Savior, and great story teller, blesses the Open Door Mission every day and that is why we have a great story to tell, it is the story of Good News!
Senior Development Director
09 September 2009
08 September 2009
03 September 2009
01 September 2009
Today I want to share my favorite bible verse.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
This is one of my favorite verses for a couple of reasons; my grandparents wrote this verse in a bible they gave me and second, because it tells us of the love God has for us and that he sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. It gives me great joy that I can cling to this verse and know that I will have eternal life in heaven through the love of God and death of Jesus Christ.
30 August 2009
Even though the women were happy with the gifts and massages, it was unanimous that they received more than that: they were able to converse and hear testimonies about women that have been through abuse, hurts, and addictions and yet God has set them free. Those testimonies came from ladies that have graduated our New Life Program some years back. The Open Door Mission does change lives and it is awesome to see it first hand.
As I was listening to the testimonies, I came to realize that if we are not careful we’ll let our work here at the Open Door Mission become a routine. However, we need to remind ourselves that we are on a mission to change and transform lives for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; no matter how mundane our jobs are, no matter how hard it is. Who would have thought that a manicure could change someone’s life? It can! At the end of the evening a beautiful thing happened: one of the ladies gave her life to the Lord! One could just feel the love in the room! Glory be to God for sending us volunteers that want to make a difference in other people’s lives!
29 August 2009
“Hello, my family volunteered at (Open Door) Mission on Friday July 31 and had such a memorable experience. We are grateful and amazed at all you do for the Omaha community---all with the grace, respect and love that each person deserves.”
Thank you, Nina and family, and also each of Open Door Mission’s volunteers who happen to be reading this blog! We would love to hear from you about your experiences too. Just write us a quick message by clicking here, you never know, we may feature your experience on this blog, or on our Facebook or Twitter page.
Would you like to volunteer at Open Door Mission, helping to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty? Email or call Cris Morris (402) 422-1111 ext 1504, to set up a tour!
25 August 2009
If you like coffee and want to help Open Door Mission please go to your local HyVee store in the Omaha metro area and buy a bag of Mission Bean. It is great cup of coffee to get you going in the morning and you will feel great all day long knowing you are helping the hungry, homeless, near homeless and hurting in the Omaha metro area. So make the coffee you drink something special-make it Mission Bean-a coffee that can help others in so many ways.
24 August 2009