21 December 2010

God's Scarf by Open Door Mission's Volunteer Tara Rye

God’s Scarf

As Shelly and I went to try on our costumes as bell ringers for pageant, I noticed how classy she looked in her all black with a red scarf displaying a bling emblazoned cross. “Shelly, this would be a great costume for us as bell ringers. Where did you get that scarf?” She said, “My daughter gave it to me for Christmas last year. She bought it at a kiosk at the mall. I am going shopping today, I will see if I can find them.” In anticipation, I waited for Shelly’s text to say she found the scarves, but she never sent it. I text her late on Saturday night, “Did you find it?” My heart heard disappointment in her text, “No, but I have one more place I can check on Monday. I went everywhere, but no one carries them.” Both of us resolved that it would not be. It never occurred to me to ask God to join us in this endeavor—a scarf did not register on the spiritual radar in my mind.

On Monday morning, I went to teach my last lesson for the year at the Open Door Mission. My two prayer partners, Kim, Beth and I went out to the cars after to exchange our Christmas presents. Beth gave to every person at the mission an ornament that she personally handcrafted. “I made Christmas ornaments for ya’ll, too.” As she handed me a second gift she continued, “As I walked out the door this morning to come, I heard God say in my heart, ‘Go get the scarves!’ I told Him, ‘But, I will be late.’ I heard clearly, ‘Go get the scarves! So, I went back in and pulled these out of the closet for you.” I was clueless at this point, but when I opened my present, I started to scream and cry. Shelly wore the exact scarf on Saturday. It was a perfect match! As I told Beth and Kim the story, we all jumped up and down in the parking lot delighting in how God takes care of little details. Kim said, “God did this so you would know that His ways are not our ways. He wanted you to know how much He loves you.” I stood overwhelmed by the amazing power of God and at the faithfulness of Beth to listen and obey Him. I said, “We need a total of four! Do you by chance have two more?” Beth nodded her head, “Yes, I do! I have two more in the closet at home! That kiosk was ours. We didn’t open it this year.”

Beloved, do you ever wonder if God sees your needs? He cares deeply about the details of our lives… even the desire for a red scarf with a bling emblazoned cross! My beloved Kim reminded Beth and I that the reason she loves serving in prayer ministry births out of these moments. She waits with expectation to see how God will move and every week the three of us see His hand move in our behalf or in the life of another at the mission. The LORD surprised me this time. I have asked Him to shock and amaze me in my day, but I never knew it could be in this way. I watch with great expectation daily, but this one totally took me by surprise because it was an insignificant detail. In the scheme of spiritual matters, it really did not matter. If you see me walking around at Christmas, take time to notice my God scarf! It will forever more symbolize to me the value of listening to God and obeying His voice in order to join Him in His ways!

Merry Christmas!

Tara Rye
President/Founder
Cultivating Hearts
P.O. 541124
Omaha, NE 68154
http://www.tararye.com/

20 December 2010

Making A Difference.


Making A Difference: Larry Ainsworth
By: Kristy Brannen
Seventy-year-old Larry Ainsworth considers
himself abundantly blessed. As an expression of
his gratitude he spends a lot of time serving the
community.
A path built on faith
Upon retiring from the telecommunications
industry in 2004, Ainsworth said he spent several
months praying to God about what his next step
should be in life. “I prayed asking God what He
desired from me in the coming years,” he said. “It
was my desire to serve as a volunteer wherever
it pleased Him.” He said he was hopeful that God
would not direct him to serve in prison ministry or
mission work. However, Ainsworth said, ultimately
that was God’s plan because he spent the next
seven years in prison ministry.
“It proved to be a most rewarding time spiritually,”
he said. “Times I will not forget.” Toward the end
of that period, Ainsworth said he began praying
again for direction and he received it through
an advertisement in his church’s bulletin. It was
an advertisement seeking someone to help
with paper work at the Open Door Mission’s
administrative office. With his management
background, he knew he could help and applied
for the position.
His first project was to make his way through a
rather large backlog of paperwork. A few months
into this project, he was approached by one of
the chaplains at the mission to see if he had any
interest in helping with the chapel services at the
Outreach Center. “I was very much interested in
the opportunity to share the good news about
Jesus Christ,” he said.
As if those two responsibilities weren’t
enough, Ainsworth was recently
offered what he considers another
opportunity to serve the Lord. He was
asked to teach a class for those in the
programs at ODM. “I truly believe that
I receive the greater blessing from the
interaction with all those in the class,”
he said.
The definition of dedicated
Ainsworth said he admires the
dedication that seems to encompass
ODM. “One great blessing of
volunteering at ODM is working with
a very dedicated group of people,”
he said. “They are not dedicated just to the
organization, but more importantly to Jesus Christ
and what He can do in the lives of people whose
hope for the future may be very small. No matter
what their job may be, they know their work is
bringing glory to God not man.”
He said that in a time when the world seems
especially complicated and more focused on
serving man, witnessing this type of dedication
gives him great comfort and hope. He also credits
this part of his work for deepening his faith by
challenging him to think about who he serves and
why. “I would trust that those with whom I work
with would say that Larry is a committed worker
first to Jesus Christ and then the organization and
its goals,” he said.
Just like those he admires, Ainsworth is the
epitome of dedication. He understands the bigger
picture. By handling some administration work in
the in the office, he recognizes that he is freeing
up staff members to handle mission-driven work.
As far as his work at the Outreach Center’s chapel,
he said it provides not only joy, but an opportunity
to share and learn from others. “The results of my
efforts in the chapel services will never be realized
until I reach Heaven,” he said.
Educating beyond the classroom
The opportunity to step into the role of teacher
has been one that Ainsworth is honored to take.
He explained that his class is a diverse group of
men and women at various stages of life who are
struggling with eternal matters or who are simply
looking to learn more about spiritual growth.
“What a challenge God has presented to me,” he
said. “I love this tremendous opportunity to be
involved in a small yet meaningful way.”
Ainsworth’s teaching goes beyond the classroom
at ODM. For more than 30 years, he served his
church in ministry and leadership roles. “The Lord
has led me through a variety of services in the
local church, counseling, preaching, visitation,
and teaching,” he said. “Preparation time is often
greater than the presentation.” He explained that
he is slowly cutting back on some of these roles,
allowing the younger generation to take on some
of the responsibilities.
Shaping and strengthening
Often time volunteers discover that their work
does more than impact the people in need or
the organization’s mission. It changes them as an
individual. Ainsworth is no exception. His work
has greatly impacted him. “It is very encouraging
for me to witness the inner workings at ODM,” he
said.
He would like to see more people become involved
in the effort to help the homeless, the abused, the
under-educated, the addicted, and the financially
impoverished. ODM can always use volunteers
and donations, he said. Without the people and
the funds new programs and new buildings are
on hold.
Ainsworth has lived in Omaha 65 of his 70 years.
He graduated from Benson High School in 1958
and began working at Western Electric, where
he stayed for 45 years. Eight of those years were
spent in an hourly position while the remaining
37 were in management roles.
He and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 51
years and have seven children, nine grandchildren
and two great-grandchildren. While working and
raising his family, Ainsworth pursued a bachelor’s
degree in business administration. He believes
his faith has enabled him and his family to work
through the tough times and enjoy the good
ones. “The Lord has blessed us and let us always
be a blessing to each other,” he said.
For more information on ODM or to get involved,
visit www.opendoormission.org

18 December 2010

Open Door Mission's Project Santa's Drive Thru Christmas

Today, with the help of over 400 awesome volunteers Open Door Mission had the oppourtunity to give out Christmas gifts to parents of more than 4,200 poor and needy children in the Heartland. It was amazing to see the joy on the parents faces as they drove through the line and received books, the Bible, diapers for the younger children, a food box that included a Ham, and a bag of toys to be able to take home, wrap and put under the Christmas tree for thier Children. Below are some photos from todays event.








For more photos please check out the Open Door Mission's facebook page and become a fan today. at http://www.facebook.com/#!/OpenDoorMission

22 November 2010

Efficiency vs. Faithfulness

It’s easy to get burned out, which is why it’s important to intentionally remember the bigger picture of what I am doing and the larger vision of why I am doing it. Everyday there is an opportunity to choose efficiency or to choose faithfulness. I have always tended to be an efficient person, multi-tasking five things at once while writing lists and lists and lists of things to remember. So when I came to the Lydia House I fell back on the trusty old notepad and contemplated ways to streamline my efficiency.

One night with only an hour left on my shift and three things remaining on my to-do list, a resident came to the front desk to talk to me. “Rachel, I know the kitchen locks at 10pm but I’ve had a rough night and I’m really hungry. Can you please let me in to get a box of crackers?” Frustrated at the interruption, I began to deny the request when a small voice whispered in my ear, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” I stopped mid-sentence and stared into the young woman’s eyes. She was a human being made in the image of God, not a task to be accomplished or a chore to be checked off. After letting her into the kitchen and walking her to her room, I cried in the hallway and prayed: “Dear God, may I never sacrifice faithfulness for efficiency. May I never forget that the person is more important than the task.”

I still keep to-do lists and find little ways to improve my efficiency but I am much more willing to throw the plan out the window when the need arises. Why? Because God does not require efficiency from us, he requires faithfulness.

Rachel Fisher
Lydia House Evening House Supervisor

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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13 November 2010

Unexpected Visit

Saturday, October 30, 2010, I was driving down the street looking for a place to get my car washed and vacuumed. I saw two men holding “Hand Car Wash” signs and decided it looked very convenient so I pulled my car into the business. The owner walked in to greet me. We talked I told him I currently worked at Open Door Mission and we discussed the possibility of him hiring men from the Mission to work at his car wash. He asked me if I ever went in to the jails. I said I did. He then wrote down the name of a woman and asked me if I would go see her. It was his sister. He said, “She probably won’t want to talk with you but go see her anyway. She has been in prison 6 times and has never wanted to give up the drugs.” He painted a very bleak picture. I told him I would go.

I went to Douglas County Corrections on Tuesday, November 2nd to meet with this woman. I had no idea what the reception would be and almost expected it to be a very brief encounter with possibly a follow up later. I met her in mod 12 and we sat down to talk. I had prayed and walked in with no agenda but to love this woman. Sitting before me was not the person I had anticipated but a woman very ready for a life change. Her heart was like well toiled soil. (Her mother and brother had prayed for her for years.)

We talked about her court date, about a recovery program and then I talked to her about her relationship with Christ. Her mother and brother were both believers and she could talk the talk but did not understand putting her trust in Jesus Christ and the work that He did on the cross by shedding His blood for her sins. I presented the gospel to her and she indicated that she had placed her faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. I was going to pray with her but she burst in to a prayer of repentance and faith. She has applied for our New Life Recovery Program and is going in for treatment for the first time. Praise to the Lord God Almighty!

Joy Stevens
WorkNet Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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12 November 2010

Gifts from God

A couple weeks ago I was at an Open Door Mission luncheon and had the opportunity to speak with one of our board members. He asked me what I do at Open Door Mission and I explained that I am the Learning Center Director and help our residents work on their academic skills. He thanked me for my work and exclaimed that all of us have such challenging jobs working with the homeless and near homeless. I told him that I enjoy what I do and that I am truly blessed to work some amazing people – the residents.

Yes, some of the people who come through our doors are a little (sometimes a lot) rough around the edges. But I have also found that all of them are good people, full of potential. They just took a few wrong turns and lost their way. But God has brought them here to Open Door Mission. Along with showing them God’s love, I have the pleasure of helping them realize that they are capable and can be successful. Yes, I help them improve their reading skills and learn their basic math facts; more importantly I help them realize that they matter as a person and God loves them no matter what they have done in their past.

The board member I was speaking with was amazed by my open heart and my ability to see the potential in all who walk through our doors. He said that this was a gift from God, since this is not a worldly viewpoint. I had never considered my openness and acceptance of all people to be from God. It got me thinking – maybe this is one more way and reason God was preparing me to come to Open Door Mission. I can be His shepherd for His people – no matter how far they have strayed from the path.

Luke 15:2-7 (NIV)

But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable:
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.


Micole Harms
Learning Center Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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11 November 2010

Veterans

According to the VA’s most recent count there were over 150,000 veterans in Nebraska.

I want to start by saying Thank You for the sacrifices’ you and your family made in service to our country.

I myself spent 13 years in the Colorado Army National Guard, the last two activated and stationed at Ft Carson in Colorado Springs. I have been blessed to be part of Open Door Mission for more than five years as the IT Manager. Veterans represent approximately 23% of the nation’s homeless population and 33% of the men that are homeless. Many are plugged into the VA’s Homeless services, but many more fall through the cracks. Open Door Mission recognizes that as much as 1/3 of our men’s population are veterans, and has established a vets program to provide beds, case management, and brotherhood to those that participate. Last night we honored our homeless veterans with a special chapel service to say Thank You, and to recognize the service that was given for all the freedoms we enjoy.

Please join me in praying for our troops.

Lord, father, God, Thank you for this day that we get to honor and remember those who served our country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, Have mercy on all our veterans and bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in. Thank You Lord, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Thank You,
Jason Green
Open Door Mission IT manager


Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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10 November 2010

Turkey & Fixin's

The Timberlake Outreach Center is always a busy place with lots of activities. But last week was exceptionally busy because people in extreme crisis or nearly homeless have been coming into register to receive a turkey dinner to cook for themselves and their family for Thanksgiving Day.

In the past, generous donors like you have provided the finances or turkey dinners to enable Open Door Mission to provide a turkey dinner for these families. This year is no exception, we need your help in providing a financial gift or actually purchasing a turkey or fixin’s box. Doing this will enable us to once again provide a dinner for these families.

Just think on Thanksgiving Day as you sit down to have dinner with your family you could have the joy of knowing that because of your gift another family is also enjoying a Thanksgiving Dinner on you.

Your opportunity to give to this ministry will be Friday, November 12th. Representatives from Open Door Mission will be at all the HyVee Stores throughout the metro area. We will be collecting for our Turkey & Fixen's Drive. So please mark that date on your calendar and come on down to your neighborhood HyVee store to purchase a turkey dinner for a hurting family in our community.

Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins
Timberlake Outreach Center Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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09 November 2010

Reflections on Lessons Learned

The past few weeks I have had the privilege of speaking to students in middle and high schools. As a former teacher I especially enjoy being in the classroom. But there has been a consistent thing that has come to haunt me, maybe because I too had the same mindset. It seems no matter how young or old you are we have preconceived ideas and prejudices toward those “not like us”, especially the homeless. I feel blessed I can share about Open Door Mission and the homeless and near homeless in the Heartland; and hopefully change preconceptions for better understanding. The students are often surprised to hear that there several causes of homelessness and lots of factors can determine the reasons for homelessness. They learned in many cases the homeless don’t victimize but are the victims of others cruelty.

The past eight years I have worked with Open Door Mission God has opened my eyes and heart. I truly love the clients we serve because instead of seeing them with my “cloudy eyes” I see them as God sees them with an agape love. No one decides to be homeless-various reasons and circumstances lead to a life of poverty and sometimes homelessness. Many of the people I have met through the years have become good friends and in many cases like family. The homeless and near homeless may have more in common with you than you think. By taking time to hear their stories, share their pains and hurts, laugh and cry with them you will discover a blessing.

I would like to encourage you to put aside preconceived notions and ideas about the homeless; and come down to Open Door Mission to see how God is working and how you can make a difference in the lives of others. Come be a friend to those who are seeking hope and a better life. Maya Angelou said it like this: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Please come volunteer at Open Door Mission and help someone feel the warmth of friendship and God’s agape love that only you can give. I know that like me, you will find untold blessings.

If you would like to help make the holidays brighter for those at Open Door Mission please consider collecting new toys for children birth through 12th grade by doing a Project Santa drive, providing gifts for the single men and women staying during the holidays through Christmas Bells or collecting food to help Open Door Mission serve over 1,700 meals a day. I hope to see you at Open Door Mission soon.

Maggie Cope
Community Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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05 November 2010

Life Verse

We recently had a few Lydia House staff move on to serve the Lord in other areas, so to fill in the gap I was assigned to lead Wednesday morning devotion class. I had not led a devotion class in years and to be honest was a little nervous about doing this one. I could not think of any topic to do and Wednesday was approaching fast. Then one day while doing my rounds I saw my life verse printed on the walls “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13. This verse has comforted me through many hard times and has helped me stay focused on Jesus.

This is when the idea to share my testimony and share with the class some of the events that has made Phil 4:13 my life verse:
  • While on the program here at the Lydia House, I was healing from past pains that the church has caused me, I was reminded (through Phil. 4:13) not to look to man for strength, but to Jesus. He is the only One that will be there at all times for me.
  • When my husband was not following the rules at the Lydia House and it looked like he was going to leave and not come back. I started quoting this verse in my head and within ten minutes he became compliant with the decision of the director and agreed to go to a sister program in another city. How this verse gave me strength during our four month separation while we healed spiritually and then being reunited so we could graduate the New Life Recovery Program together as a family.
  • To let me know that Jesus will give me the strength to live and take care of my children and myself while struggling through the grief of my husband going home to be with Jesus.

After sharing this I asked the class if the Lord has showed them a verse they can start using as a life verse and seven of the people in the class quoted their verse without looking in the Bible. I thought this was an awesome experience.

Angela Casper
Lydia House Overnight Family Support Worker

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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01 November 2010

Psalm 113

I am blessed to work at the Garland Thompson Men’s Center. Every day I witness the supernatural hand of God restoring and transforming lives, though some times, afflictions appear to prevail. I have seen God’s grace overflow, filling our hearts with joy and peace.

I love working where God meets men in distress. My eyes have witnessed what Psalm 113 says:
He raises the poor from the dirt,
and lifts up the needy from the garbage pile,
that he might seat him with princes,
with the princes of his people.

Every day I thank God for rescuing me out of my garbage pile.

Blessings,
Jonathan Lopez
Hispanic / Latino Emergency Services Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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29 October 2010

Serving the Multitudes

Jesus fed the 5000 by using a little boy’s lunch. Last week at the Timberlake Outreach Center, Jesus clothed over 6000 by using the gently used donations of our caring friends. I continue to be amazed by the number of people right here in Omaha, who are truly in need. I commented to my husband after a very long day on Saturday, that so many seem tired or weary from the daily struggle.

We all have our needs I suppose, but it warmed my heart, when late on the last day of this big giveaway week, just moments before we closed up, a woman came into the Timberlake Outreach Center and shared that all she really needed was a warm comforter for her bed. By this time after having served so many, our staff and volunteers were tired, and the place was pretty picked over, but Taylor went quickly and cheerfully to the back room, dug through a tall box of recently donated items, and plucked out a large, thick, warm comforter. Would anyone be surprised to hear that it was even the perfect color for her!? It seemed like a perfect way to end the Super Duper giveaway week.

Winter is coming, and we are gearing up to serve more people than ever before. We sure need your donations of food and warm winter clothes, but please also consider coming down and being a part of the blessing for those whose needs are so great. It continues to be my honor and pleasure to serve next to our caring staff and devoted volunteers!

Blessings,
Cris Morris
Volunteer Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here
Sign up to Volunteer
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23 October 2010

A Great Place to Work

It has been another busy week here at Open Door Mission. This week our Timberlake Outreach Center is having its year end Super Duper Give Away WEEK! Three times this week we have invited those living in poverty to come and shop for clothing, furniture, bedding, electronics and house wares. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to assist a family in receiving a couch that had a hideaway bed in it so that their son can have a bed to sleep on in their small apartment. What a blessing to be able to make a difference one time for this family. Thursday, I got to share in our Celebrate Education event with Lydia House’s staff and children, in partnership with the Southwest Kiwanis. We were able to honor all of our children in their academic pursuits and congratulate them on a great quarter. Of course we are also had fun with a magician followed by an ice cream social!

I also wanted to encourage everyone to check out our website or career link for Open Door Mission’s job postings. The Lydia House and Garland Thompson Men’s Center are looking for dedicated individuals who want to serve those who are hungry and homeless. We have day, evening and overnight positions available for House Supervisors, Family Support Workers and Case Managers in both facilities. This is your opportunity to work hand in hand with guests of Open Door Mission. We are looking for those who have hearts to serve and want to be in fulltime ministry.


Blessings,
Charity Watts
Program Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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21 October 2010

Open Door Mission’s Permanent Supportive Housing

I was walking to the Administration building and glanced over at the new Permanent Supportive Housing construction site and I had to stop and just look at how far this project has developed. WOW, God is so awesome! He has allowed the weather to be fair enough to continue with construction. As I looked at the window panes now in place I was more excited than I can really explain. I know there is such a great need for Permanent Supportive Housing in our community and now as the dream is being realized I feel so honored just to be part of God’s plan. For we will be able to be “a shelter, and a strong tower from the enemy” for many more souls. I am even more excited to see the changes God will work in the lives of those that will dwell in His shelter.


Jeannette Blackstone
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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19 October 2010

Gratitude

Today is Kings Kloset at Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center and that means many low income families in our community come to shop. One such person was Shirley, I hadn’t seen her shopping here for a while so it was nice to visit with her and catch up on what was new in her life at this time.

Shirley brought her beautiful little three year old granddaughter with her today and as we talked I discovered that she is now raising her and one of the major reasons she came in to shop was clothes for her granddaughter and herself today. This little girl was as happy as a lark because Grandma had taken her to our toy area and she had picked out a stuffed bunny which she held in one arm and a baby doll in the other. It was such a joy to watch this little girl mother her new found friends. In the process of visiting with Shirley I asked her if she would share how the Timberlake Outreach Center has helped her in the past. This is what she shared:
“I have been coming to the Timberlake Outreach Center off and on for about the last three years and shopping here has helped me stretch my income and receive things I would not otherwise be able to get like: One time I needed a queen size mattress and I didn’t have the money to get one. I was so blessed to get one in such good condition. Along with that I was able to get some sheets and blankets that day. I have received food pantries here along with, at times, getting bread, cereal and milk on the Kings Kloset floor. To some this might seem like a little thing but, to someone who has nothing it is such a blessing.”

Shirley said she also “loves to come to hear the chapel message because the focus is always on Christ and it gives her hope for not only her present situation but also her future. All in all it is a real blessing to be able to come to the Timberlake Outreach Center.”

Many like Shirley are grateful for people like you who give to Open Door Mission so we in turn might give it out to families who are in extreme crisis or nearly homeless. I to am grateful and just wanted you to know your gifts and donations are not only appreciated but are making a difference in preventing homelessness and helping families in extreme crisis.

Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins
Director of Timberlake Outreach Center

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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18 October 2010

Around Every Corner

“There is an opportunity around every corner” is an expression of abundance. Ironically, the fact that there is opportunity around every corner can make it difficult to see opportunities that are right before us. I have lived in Omaha on and off for forty years. For most of those forty years I have known about Open Door Mission.

Before I started working at Open Door Mission I would have summarized their ministry as working with the homeless and those in need. I knew they took donations of food, clothing, household goods, and appliances; served an incredible number of meals; provided a safe place for people to sleep; and had a tremendous number of volunteers and donors who make the ministry possible. It is so much more!

Throughout the years I have donated some cash, lots of used clothes, some frozen turkeys, and connected a few people who needed help. I did not get more involved for one reason or another—partially because I knew there would be plenty of opportunities to do so in the future. The future finally started for me this September when I accepted a position at Open Door Mission. My understanding of our ministry is growing rapidly from the foundation I mentioned earlier. I marvel at the work God is accomplishing here.

God’s ministry here is not only to those who are homeless or in poverty, but also to those who volunteer, work, and/or donate. God is wonderfully present. There is much healing and joy here. Paul, 2 Cor. 9:12, described the giving of the Corinthian Christians for the sake of their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem as “expressions of thanks to God.” Just in the short time I have been here—I know there is much thankfulness in Omaha. This truth brings me joy and I am inviting you to personally experience it for yourself. God always has room for those who walk around the corner into his presence and Open Door Mission always has room for you.

You can be part of the mighty work of God, right here in Omaha. You can be a part of the abundant presence of God that changes lives. Please give me a call 829-1534 or email me here and allow me to include you in this blessing.

God bless and take care,
Steve Frazee
Senior Development Officer

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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16 October 2010

The Best Fishing Trip of the Summer

I would be putting it mildly if I said I was an avid fisherman. My love of fishing enables me to fish at least once a week and many weeks even more. Truth be told, sometimes I enjoy fishing more than people (smile). Some may think this strange and perhaps so, but Jesus himself seemed to have had a preference to fisherman. Let’s face it, what could possibly be better than the challenge of man against fish? I find great joy being alone in nature, just me and my fishing pole against those super intelligent fish. It is obvious that GOD wanted me to fish even more this summer because he gave me this incredible October weather.

Monday I decided to follow the LORD’S wishes and fish some more. As I eagerly gathered my fishing gear the usual happened. The PHONE rang. It was my son Joshua. My spider senses should have gone off immediately when he said he was just calling to see “what’s up”. After what seemed a year of small talk I finally confessed I was going fishing. Of course Joshua wanted to come. Joshua likes to talk and any good fisherman knows that fishing and talking do not go together. Reluctantly I agreed to pick him up. While in route to Joshua’s house the phone rang again and again it was Joshua. “Hey dad”, the voice said through the cell phone, “the kids would like to come also”. With tears in my eyes and a raspy voice I said sure.

Joshua has two adorable children, a four year old son, Joshua Jr., and a two year old daughter, Zion. When I arrived at their house the kids were standing in the front yard holding sack lunches and their eyes sparkled with anticipation. My son Joshua was suspiciously missing. I opened the front door and found him standing in the middle of the floor bent over and holding his back. “Dad, I hurt my back dressing the kids and I don’t think I can fish, but the kids are very excited about going.” Hoodwinked is what the elders call it. I know when I’ve been had. I made a mental note to kill him later.

Mahoney State Park is my favorite place to fish so that’s where I decided to take the kids. I’d never noticed before but some idiot placed the playground before you get to the fishing lake. “Pa Pa can we go to the playground, please, please. Can we go, please?” Four hours later I was still chasing Joshua Jr. and still pushing Zion in the swings. We played on every attraction and shoveled tons of sand into bright colored plastic buckets. The kids played with other children and everyone laughed and laughed.

As the sun set we sat on the park bench and admired the awesomeness of Autumn. They shared their sack lunches with Pa Pa and we sat in admiration of the beautiful colors far off in the distance. Mahoney Park is gorgeous this time of year and everyone should treat themselves to its wonders, but not alone. We had the most unbelievable day and I would not trade it for the world. As the kids slept all the way home I was glad I talked my son into letting me take the grandchildren fishing. I gave myself credit, not a bad idea.

True, Jesus was partial to fishermen but not to catch fish. (Matthew 4:18) “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jessie Powell
Garland Thompson Men’s Center
Emergency Services Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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14 October 2010

My Time At Open Door Mission

I've recently begun a new chapter in my life, but it seems that now is the time to tell everyone about some of the things that have been going on in my life the past couple of months. The past eight weeks have definitely been a whirlwind, but I've now had some time to reflect on the tremendous impact that my previous job has had on my life.

Most of you know that I started working at the Men's Shelter at Open Door Mission in August. I accepted a position there without really knowing what I was getting myself into. I remember my first day was a shock. I went into work expecting to be working with the stereotypical homeless man. I left finding myself being ministered to by the very men that I was supposed to be helping.

My new job was one that definitely stretched me out of my comfort zone and for that I thank God. I love working with youth, but now I can see why God would allow me to minister to a different group of people. The past four years of youth ministry had become so easy and safe, especially because I knew I was good at it. It is funny how God will take you from a ministry where you are perfectly comfortable and use you in a situation that stretches you.

Perhaps the greatest transformation that came as a result of my time at Open Door Mission occurred in my own heart. As the days went by, I noticed how God opened my heart up to loving those men that I served. Instead of viewing the homeless as drunks and addicts, I started to see them as God sees them - His children. I remember reflecting several times how so many people are only one missed paycheck away from being in the same situation. I remember thinking that if I had not been blessed with an amazing family, I could very well have been one of the people living at Open Door Mission.

Towards the end of my time, I really began to understand what the verse meant that says: "Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world" (James 1:27). My whole life has been focused on learning more about my faith and trying to apply it to my ministry with youth. While this was surely a good cause, I oftentimes overlooked the needs that faced the weakest in our community. Sometimes I intentionally turned my back on those who were desperate for the basic necessities of life, instead focusing on "bigger" issues inside my church.

The men at Open Door Mission showed me that true faith is identified only by what we do when we are faced with those who need us most. It is not enough to sit through a sermon every Sunday, read our Bible occasionally, and even tithe regularly. God called us to be His hands and His light in the most hopeless of circumstances. Growing up in a West Omaha church, I never had the opportunity to really understand what this meant. It was always an adventure to go and volunteer at a food pantry or work with inner-city kids, but I always knew that I had a safe home to return to. I always viewed the time that I gave to these causes as beneficial to those organizations, but did not understand that I was not the only answer to their prayers.

By working at the homeless shelter for a couple months, I've come to realize that there are so many men living there who have a true and obvious desire to serve God, no matter what their circumstances are. The community feeling among those men is so apparent and real that it felt like they were my family. They embraced me and loved on me, just like I did for them. As I opened myself up to them, they reciprocated and told me their stories. For that I will always be appreciative and those men will always have a place in my heart and prayers.

The biggest thing that I learned from my time is that we can all do so much more if we allow ourselves to be stretched. The Bible shows us countless examples of everyday, common people who did tremendous work for God's kingdom. The disciples were not content with just giving Jesus some money for His ministry. Instead, they gave their lives to follow Him. After his conversion, Paul did not just join a church and sing in the choir. Instead, he started churches and gave his life to make sure others knew about Jesus. I cannot even begin to fathom what Omaha would look like if our churches decided to do more than just pray for those who are homeless and loveless. Only when we allow God to take us from our comfort zones, will we be able to truly see the amazing things that He has planned for our lives.

For this reason, find the time to stop by Open Door Mission. By giving some of your time, I guarantee your life will be changed forever. I know mine has.

Andrew Neal
Garland Thompson Men’s Center House Supervisor

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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13 October 2010

Graduation Update

Saturday, Oct 9th was a spectacular day of celebration here at Open Door Mission! Open Door Mission staff, board members, volunteers and donors rejoiced in the Lord as we celebrated the accomplishments of 17 men and women who graduated our Long-term Life Changing programs.

Those gathered praised God as the graduates gave testimonies of the life change they have experienced since coming to Open Door Mission. Hopeless, addicted and eternally lost were the conditions many of these incredible men and women shared before joining New Life or Journey to Work programs. Joyful in the Lord and hopeful for the future are the common traits they are now able to share as a result of the Life Change God has done in their time here.

If you missed this graduation, stay connected with Open Door Mission through the newsletters and website so you can be sure to save the date for our next ceremony coming in early 2011!

Please pray for our graduates as they take the next steps by faith into their destinies.

Blessings to you,
Laurie Armes
Lydia House Recovery Services Coordinator



Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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11 October 2010

Holiday Opportunities

Toys, presents wrapped and tied with bows, twinkling lights, Christmas trees and wreaths, gifts for adults, turkeys and hams, all the holiday side dishes-oh yes I love the holidays. Unfortunately for many the holidays are not a “good time”, it is just a reinforcement of lost hope and feelings of despair. At Open Door Mission the staff work tirelessly to make sure that there is hope and joy for those we serve during the holidays.

The staff at Open Door Mission can’t do it all without your help-we need you to help make the holidays a time of hope. We need help providing over 5,000 Thanksgiving turkeys and food boxes, over 6,000 children with Christmas gifts and over 300 single men and women with a gift on Christmas morning. How can I help you may ask, here’s how: do a turkey and/or food drive to collect food for the Turkey'n'Fixin's boxes and the thousands of meals Open Door Mission will serve Thanksgiving and Christmas day; organize a Project Santa drive to collect new unwrapped toys for children (ages birth to 12th grade); call to receive Christmas Bells (a set of 12 suggested gift items for adults) or sign up to volunteer to deliver Turkey'n'Fixin's boxes through Drumsticks on Wheels or help bag toys for the Christmas drive through. A few hours of your time or the purchase of some extra gifts and food can make a difference for those that are homeless or near homeless by providing Hope for the Holidays.

Please contact me so I can help you be blessed this Thanksgiving and Christmas season as you bless others. Sign up on line at www.opendoormission.org or call me at 829-1554 or email me here. I am looking forward to hearing from you, because with your help this can be the best holiday ever for those looking for Hope.

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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08 October 2010

Mock Interviews

I’m Joy Stevens, WorkNet Director, showing a picture of a volunteer who donates his time in more than one area. This is Dallas Meador who is retired, and loves spending time at Open Door Mission. I first met him and his wife at the Friends of the Friendless monthly meeting. It was suggested that, because of his business background, he might be useful in WorkNet doing mock interviews with our job seekers.

Sure enough, Dallas was more than willing to help out. He showed up 15 minutes early on the interview day, dressed in a suit and tie and thoroughly interviewed and critiqued 6 of our WorkNet clients. He added an air of professionalism and seriousness to the process. Our clients are now very well prepared for the real interview with prospective employers.

In fact, out of the six, four have since been on multiple interviews and are waiting for the “you’re hired!” phone call. These monthly interviews are so valuable in preparing our job seekers for the real deal. If you have any business background and would like to volunteer in this area, please contact me.

Joy Stevens
WorkNet Director
402-829-1509

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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06 October 2010

Who is Jesus?

I heard two men, on TV, talking about who they believe Jesus is. One man said He was a great prophet and religious leader; both made a point, however, of saying Jesus is not the Son of God.

The New Testament Book of John also answers the question of who Jesus is. The conclusion of eyewitnesses was that He is the Son of God, clothed in flesh, his Father's greatest gift of love and the Savior of the world. Jesus' own testimony is that, because of God's great love for the world, He sent His one and only Son, so we could have life everlasting.

When people come to Open Door Mission, they learn that this Jesus has power to help them find healing from the hurts of their past and hope for their future; an eternal future.

On the first Tuesday of each month, those who come to the "Friends of the Friendless" luncheon, have the opportunity to hear the stories of these transformed lives straight from the people who have lived them.

This month, we heard of numerous ways we can love and serve these people and give them Hope for the Holidays. How wonderful to partner with Jesus, the Son of God, in showing His love to the world.

God Bless You,
Judy Ward
Advancement Specialist

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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05 October 2010

A Life Changed

The other night, I listened briefly to Bill Maher, as he was being interviewed on TV. What caught my attention was Mr. Maher was talking about God. Bill said, “No intelligent, logical person in their right mind could believe in a God that you can’t see or talk to!” And I thought, “Yeah, right. You don’t know Linda’s (real name not used) story! Her story not only doesn’t even sound logical – it doesn’t sound possible! Who else BUT God could have done this?”

12 years ago, Linda’s use of crack cocaine depleted her monthly check in a couple of days. Every month! Linda made her mother payee so her bills could get paid and she and her children wouldn’t become homeless. Linda never quit using crack cocaine, and always came up with enough to get high on. But, this was never the life God intended for Linda

This past April, Linda was praying before, during and after she used. She felt ashamed and wanted a different future for herself. She decided to leave everything behind and seek help. Linda and her children have resided at Open Door Mission’s Lydia House since May, 2010. This is her first treatment after being addicted for over 15 years of her life. She is graduating October 9, 2010! God has completely filled Linda everywhere crack once did! Now Linda is living the life God intended for her! She is not shy about telling everyone what Jesus has done for her and we feel so blessed to be witness to her transformation!

Open Door Mission’s Graduation program for participants of our New Life Recovery and Journey to Work programs is October 9, 2010. Every graduate’s story is unique and amazing. If you come, you are guaranteed to not leave dry eyed. Linda is just one shining example of God’s love and His blessings found at Lydia House and other Open Door Mission programs. Thank you for your continued support and prayers for the work of His chosen ones!

Sincerely,
Kelli Young
Lydia House Case Manager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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04 October 2010

Praises from the Kitchen

First of all I would like to give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to work for such a wonderful organization.

I just got back from South Dakota where I attended a meeting with other missions. I was surprised at how many caring people are still around and willing to help the less fortunate. I never thought I would be part of this great group of people. But I believe it was God that sent me here to do His work, He’s calling me to minister His word and be a shepherd to His flock, my greatest joy is when the people say “thank you for a wonderful dinner” that means more to me than anything else. On Sunday, I had a wonderful group volunteering…they were just awesome they came in and got right to work, and they didn’t mind doing anything I asked them to do. I would like to say thank you for all your hard work, and God bless you and keep you close to His heart.

Ramon Bermudez
Production Chef

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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02 October 2010

Transformation

About a year ago a sweet young family moved into the Lydia House. They were Hispanic and only the dad spoke English.

That was the beginning of this family's transformation. Since then the mother has received education in Domestic Violence, taken ESL classes and almost finished all of her GED testing. She plans to attend college and become the woman God made her to be, not the ignorant girl that she was told she was. She is growing stronger in her faith and teaching her children how to walk in the Lord and believe Him when He says He has hope and a future for them.

This week she receives her first Social Security card/number. She has already obtained a work visa and will get a Nebraska drivers license soon. A year ago she knew this would never be possible. This year she knows anything is possible if you trust in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Continue to pray for the changed lives that are living at the Lydia House.

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13


Kate Fischer LIMHP
Lydia House Emergency Services Case Manager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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01 October 2010

Do Not Grow Weary

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season
we shall reap if we do not lose heart." - Galatians 6:9
When I mediate on this verse, I think of Open Door Mission and how we make a difference in people’s lives. On Thursday, September 23rd I had the privilege to lead chapel at the Garland Thompson Men’s Center on keyboard along with my son David on the drums and my friend Albert on bass guitar. I saw the chapel and dining room completely full of souls thirsty and hungry for God’s presence. I got do see firsthand the mighty hand of God at work through out the entire chapel time. Some men were standing lifting their hands, some were sitting, some were praying and some were singing. But every one was praising the Lord.

There is a man called (Menelik Pal) who comes in drunk every single day and usually gets people worked up. He just happened to be present during the entire chapel time that day. Menelik Pal approached me after the service and said “I was blessed by the Word tonight”. About an hour later I saw Menelik, as he washed his shoes, his face looked different. It was then, I knew he had an encounter with Christ that night.

Again let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Elmer Hernandez
Garland Thompson Men’s Center Night Supervisor

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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29 September 2010

9 Years Old and Surprising

I met Alexis and her mother early Sunday afternoon during our Walk-a-thon. They were volunteers. Mother and daughter were preparing the tables for all the walkers when they arrived to enjoy soup and bread before a tour of the campus. I asked her mother how they decided to volunteer at Open Door Mission. Her mother said Alexis, 9, wanted to volunteer and help people. The mother checked places where they might volunteer and Open Door Mission was the only organization she could find that would accept a volunteer who is only in 4th grade. Alexis has a special heart, wanting to help others, and Open Door Mission knows folks of every age can make a difference.

Later, that same afternoon, I gave tours of Open Door Mission’s campus to many of the walkers. One group included a 9 year old boy. At the end of the tour his mother said her son wanted to give something. I was intrigued as he approached me. He said he wanted to contribute all the money he had in his pocket to help the people living at Open Door Mission. He emptied his pocket of 14 quarters and 3 pennies. He is a young boy with a special heart, wanting to help others.

As I recall those children I remember the Bible verse from Matthew 18:2: Jesus called a little child to come to him. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children.” Yes, like those 9 year old children, each with a special heart, wanting to help others.

Scott Shreve
Senior Development Officer

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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28 September 2010

S.O.S. Teams

Open Door Mission continues to be blessed by the efforts of so many wonderful volunteers. I know I have said it a thousand times, but we really could not do it without you! Even as we celebrate our abundance of blessings in the volunteer department, our need for help continues to grow. Our greatest area of need right now is for help in our Timberlake Outreach Center. We call them SOS (Sort, Organize, and Shelf) teams. Our SOS teams may not be doing the most glamorous work, but their efforts are felt and appreciated by the thousands of struggling families who depend on this facility to help them from having too much month at the end of their money.

Shoppers at the Timberlake Outreach Center supplement their income by shopping at no charge for clothing, house wares, books, toys, and even furniture and appliances that have been generously donated. We are thrilled to report that those donations continue to come in, and while we work every day to get those items on the shelves, we have an increasing challenge to keep up. SOS teams come to our rescue by digging into those donations, sorting them, and getting them on the floor. We have a number of church and community groups as well, as families and groups of neighbors, who come in for a couple hours each month to help in the Timberlake Outreach Center, and they have a lot of fun.

So as I say Thank You to all those are helping already, I also say Help! Please consider a gift of your time and talents helping us stock and organize the Timberlake Outreach Center. We really do need you!

It continues to be my honor and great pleasure to work with our caring volunteers.

Blessings,
Cris Morris
Volunteer & Partner Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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24 September 2010

Unexpected

This last June, I began my journey as Director of Lydia House at Open Door Mission. I came with expectations and preconceived ideas as to what I would experience in my day to day role. I was aware that Lydia House was a shelter for women and families; that sleeping accommodations were provided and hot meals were served three times a day. I knew I would minister to many people and would oversee the day-to-day operations. Yet, I did not expect to have so many of our clients touch my heart so deeply.

Over the past four months, those seeking a safe place to live have become part of my extended family. I found myself caring deeply for their well-being-- spiritually, physically and emotionally. I look forward to the greetings I receive whenever I enter the door. I am blessed with one-on-one conversations, where I get better acquainted with the individual stories. I then gain a better understanding of what brought them to Lydia House in the first place. Yet, the greatest blessing of all, is seeing how real life-change is taking place in so many of our women and families. People who came without hope, now look to a future with promise. People bound by deep chemical addictions are being set free. People spiritually lost, have found Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal Savior. Those growing in their relationships with Him every day, now realize He is where their hope really comes from.

As you can see, Lydia House is a very special place. I would love to have you come and experience it first-hand. There are many volunteer needs (everywhere on Open Door Mission's Campus) I know many of you could help meet. We can use additional support with clerical, janitorial, phone support, childcare, youth mentoring, librarian, event van drivers, life-skill coaches, activity hosts, and much more. I invite you to come….and be blessed.

Celeste Norman
Lydia House Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

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23 September 2010

Hunger Remains

Hi everyone. I am Chef Claude and honored to be the Hospitality Director at Open Door Mission. I am entrusted, along with my staff, to put to good use all the food items, so generously provided by our donors, in order to feed those of His children in need. My testimony is that I get to see, each and every day, the blessings of God through all of you who help us in providing three hot, nutritious meals that we are grateful to serve.

The Hospitality Department at Open Door Mission thanks you for your donations and generosity, because we are about to embark on the busiest time of the year, and we need your continued support.

Thank You,
Claudzell Meeks
Hospitality Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

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21 September 2010

Greater things have yet to come…

Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city. Every time I hear Chris Tomlin sing this song, it reminds me of Open Door Mission. I have worked here for seven months and have seen first hand how volunteers, donors, and employees work every day to bring hope to the hopeless and peace to the restless.

Open Door Mission serves 3 meals a day and provides shelter every day of the year for men, women, and children. At the Timberlake Outreach Center the community can shop for diapers, clothes and household items at no cost to them and receive a food pantry, too.

Volunteers make and deliver sack lunches to the community. Water patrols go out on 100+ degree days and search for people who need a cool drink and words of encouragement. Employees come on Sunday mornings to take clients to church and bible studies. Faithful donors contribute monetarily all year so all of these things are possible.

The holiday season is fast approaching and cold weather will soon be here. Please come and be a part of something bigger Become the light in the darkness for someone who needs comfort.

Sue King
Development Specialist

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

17 September 2010

Do Not Become Weary

Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we
shall reap, if we faint not."

I let my dog out the other night, and she ran straight for three opossums that had made their way into our back yard! As I stood there (in fear for her) I saw the first possum just fall over, as if dead, and the other two freeze in their tracks! My dog smelled the one that played dead - - and then responded to my frantic calls to get out of harms way!

That got me thinking how life is often like that; when faced with trials or challenges, some fall over as if dead, some freeze in their tracks and some run right up to their problem, deal with it, and keep moving on!

In Galatians, Paul wrote of the freedom we’d attain if we persevered in the Christian life. I'm blessed to be a Lydia House team member who gets to see our women, children and men meet their challenges head-on and push onward! Many are readying themselves for their Graduation at Open Door Mission, scheduled for October 9, 2010!

I’ve also been witness to the generosity of donors like Michael, Jenny and Jillian from Beauty First, and Kim and Sarita from D’vas Beauty Salon. They have provided haircuts and styles for graduates. There is also Melissa, a private photographer, and her team of assistants who took their official graduation photos. These folks helped this class enjoy a weekend where they felt very special, and provided them with a lasting memory of Paul’s wisdom to persevere.

With much thanks,
Kelli Young
Lydia House Case Manager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

15 September 2010

God is always working!

My phone rang fairly early one day recently, and when I answered, the caller told me her name saying, “Do you remember me?” I said, "Yes. How could I forget you?" It was a graduate of our New Life Program, from a few years ago. I was excited because she remembered that there would always be someone at Open Door Mission she could call. She was looking for housing options, and it had been recommended to her by another Mission staff member to call me.

Wow! God is always working! Here was another soul striving to maintain and look for ‘shelter and a strong tower from the enemy.’ The Lord is a bringer of provision---He always provides what we're in need of and He is always working things out for our good. I’m looking forward to her joining our Permanent Supportive Housing family, and seeing the other blessings God has in store for her through the ministry of Open Door Mission.

Jeannette Blackstone
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

11 September 2010

It Is Not Our Job

LORD thank you for not holding us responsible for making the flowers grow. Of course, ours is the task of tilling the soil and planting the seeds. We must even do the watering and weed pulling, but GOD the ultimate responsibility and the timing of the flowers growing is yours.

I live in North Omaha and my route of travel often takes me off the beaten path. Several days ago while traversing one such route; I passed a local drinking hole. I call it this because the site is a huge tree and beneath it there are makeshift tables with milk crates and buckets for chairs. Many of the locals visit the site early and stay long into the evening--drinking and gambling.

As I passed, my attention was drawn to a familiar figure holding a beer. I recognized a recent graduate of the New Life Recovery program. I stopped and I tried to identify my feelings--hurt and sorrow. I remembered the joy and celebration of Open Door Mission’s graduation. The client shaking hands and smiling and his family hugging and laughing. They were bursting with pride and joy, full of hope and wishing for brighter days. As I stood there contemplating, our eyes met and I could see his hurt and his heart melt. He lowered his head, turned and walked away.

I could not stop thinking about the encounter and eventually, I had to address it. I prayed and asked God for direction and insight. I found that I was guilty of holding myself responsible for making the flowers grow. I was also blind to the fact that the seed is planted and GOD is in control. I had looked upon the former client’s condition as a completed work and the conclusion of his story.

LORD thank you for the experience and the opening of my eyes.

Jessie Powell
Men’s Emergency Services Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

10 September 2010

Extra Long Weekend

Today is an extra day off for me. I took it to stretch the Labor Day Holiday into 4 days of rest with my family. I have just returned from a run to the grocery store with my 3-year old son, Micah, after seeing my older children off on the school bus.

The weather is a very cool 57 degrees and the sun is shining beautifully. Fall is almost upon us. Talk of high school, college and pro football seems to be everywhere, and I’m already starting to see Halloween merchandise on store shelves.

As I sit and enjoy this day, I know all too well that many people in the Heartland are not so excited about the prospect of colder weather approaching. Many single mothers are wondering how they are going to find extra money to provide coats, hats and scarves for their growing children. Many families are on the street or bouncing from one relative to the next due to a myriad of causes and circumstances.

My plea is simple. As you enjoy this wonderful season of the year, please help Open Door Mission provide Hope for the Hungry.

Darren Timberlake
Distribution Driver

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

09 September 2010

Generations

From gliders to super-sonic jets, bi-planes to bombers---we saw them all at the Offutt Air Force Base Air Show. I took a group of our men to see an impressive display of our nation's air power that has been used throughout these last generations. We watched in amazement, witnessing the advancement in technology, used to protect America's freedom.

I reflected on the opportunity God has given me to be Case Manager for the Veterans and Dignitaries (men over 55 years of age). I work with some of the same men who fought and sacrificed so much to defend our freedom. I love to hear their experiences and glean wisdom from them. I praise God that I am able to learn from the 'greatest' generation and pass it on to the 'next' generation.

Trevor Bittner
Veterans / Dignitary Case Manager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

08 September 2010

Blessings Keep Growing

Last October, I told you about an amazing young man from Cuba who came to America with his mother, in search of a better life. Since then, Joel has graduated high school. He was also chosen to receive the Paul Jepsen Foundation UNO scholarship. Praise God! He exclaimed, “I can go to college now, Ms. Kate!”

About a month ago, he knocked on my door and said, “Ms. Kate, I have something to show you!” He then pulled out his newly obtained NE drivers license and a smile covered his face. He took me outside to show me the car he had gotten. Joel told me, “Ms. Kate, I got an IT job that I can work part-time while attending UNO! God does have a plan for my life!”

The following week I talked to him and his mother about starting college. I asked if he had everything he needed and he said he did. He would be purchasing his books soon and had a library card so he could use their computers to do homework. At that moment, I pulled a generously-donated laptop out from under my desk and handed it to him. I told him, “Joel, you might need this to type all of your papers. Will this help?” He and his mother quietly broke into tears. He was so blessed by the donation, he was speechless. His mother just kept saying, "thank you, thank you", as she patted my hand.

August 23rd, Joel stepped foot onto the UNO campus for his first college course. He has a full schedule this year but is eager to get started. Please pray for him as he takes this next step into the new adventure God has planned for him.

Kate Fischer
Emergency Services Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

07 September 2010

The Joy of Helping...

Every Monday, we have Senior Day at the Timberlake Outreach Center. Folks 55 and older can come shop once a month, with a different group coming each week. One lady recently told me she takes care of 4 grandchildren and was looking for some clothes to have when they come for a visit. I asked what sizes they wear and began helping her find clothing items that would fit. We located several things that would help her out. She was very happy, thanked me, and left with a big smile on her face. That made me happy to be able to help someone like that. Another lady came by the jewelry table looking for something new as her granddaughter loves to go through her jewelry, looking for something to wear. For me, taking the time to search the shopping area for items others need, is what brings true joy. If you have any jewelry in good condition, but you just don't wear anymore, please consider donating it to the Mission. We will put it out for our seniors and it will surely brighten the day for them.

Mary Ambrose
Development Associate

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now

06 September 2010

They Need Us...We Need You

As I walk through the Timberlake Outreach Center, I can’t help but notice how our donors are really blessing us with their gently used clothing. It’s awesome seeing all these items ready to be hung up and put out in the Kings Kloset shopping area.

I am a little sad, though, to say that I think I saw some of the same piles there yesterday! We need more volunteers…a LOT more!

As the weather turns cooler (soon!), more folks will be coming in to shop for warm clothing and coats for their families and we need MORE volunteers to come and help us Sort, Organize and Shelve donations.

It breaks my heart to see a single mother looking for warm clothes and coats for her children and not finding anything. However, we have boxes of clothing in the back that have not been sorted and put out yet because we don’t have enough help to get it done.

Would you consider volunteering some of your valuable time (alone or with a group) Sorting, Organizing and Shelving donations? To volunteer, go to http://www.opendoormission.org/ and click on Volunteer to get started!

Hoping to see you soon,
Amy Harvey
Timberlake Outreach Center Assistant Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here

Sign up to Volunteer

Donate Now