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.