21 November 2011

A letter from a Drumstick on Wheel Recipient

Dear Open Door Mission,

There aren't' enough word to express my gratitude for your help in making me and my 3 kids Thanksgiving happen. Without your generosity I don't know how I was gonna have anything for them to eat. Being a single mother, it is very difficult to buy my kids everything they need, as well as keep bills paid, and food in their stomachs. I am thankful for you guys, you have showed me that all people in the world aren't bad. And with that, when I get on my feet after I graduate collect, I will pay it forward. IYo uhave my word. God Bless you, and thank you. I feel very lucky and good. I haven't for a long time.

Signed,

A Drumstick on Wheels Recipient

24 October 2011

Graduation is upon us!

Open Door Mission gets to celebrate a very special day for us. Nine families and individuals that are graduating from Open Door Mission's New Life Recovery and Journey to Work Programs. For many it is the first time they have completed something in their lives.


Please join Open Door Mission on Saturday, October 29 at the Lydia House located at 2809 N 20th St E. The ceremony will begin at 10:30AM and you will be able to hear exciting testimonies of what God has done in the lives of these men, women, and children.

21 October 2011

Open Door Mission is preparing for Christmas!

I know it’s not even November – but like the Boy Scouts, our motto is “Be Prepared” and in order to be prepared we need your help.

Open Door Mission is preparing to provide gifts for more than 6,000 boys and girls this Christmas Season through Project Santa - A drive-thru Christmas. Parents of homeless and needy children will be coming to sign up to receive a bag of toys for their child so on Christmas Morning there will be something under the tree.

Here is how you can help make Christmas special for a little boy or girl. Would you consider having a toy drive at your place of work, school, or even Church. Open Door Mission will provide a collection box for you to place to be filled. All you have to do is click on "Schedule a Toy Drive" and we will get a box to you.

You can also help Open Door Mission sort and bag toys. As all these toys come in from area drive we need volunteers to help sort them and then get they ready to go into age and gender appropriate bags. Open Door Mission's warehouse looks like "Santa's little workshop" Just click on "Bag toys" and sign up to make a difference today.

There is only 66 days until Christmas!

18 October 2011

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

12 October 2011

Taking Nothing For Granted

I helped move in a wonderful young family to the LH yesterday. Mom, Dad and several children had been living in their van off and on for over a month. As I walked them into their new room two of the middle boys stopped, looked at each other, and ran for the couch. "We have a couch! We have a couch!" They said this several times, bouncing up and down as they sat on their new sofa.

A moment later they joined the others in the bedroom where all the older children were softly crying. I asked what was wrong and one of the precious girls looked at me through teary eyes and said "We all get a bed."

I almost hit the floor on my knees but I did tear up with them. It made me stop and think about all the things I take for granted. A couch to sit on whenever I want and a bed to sleep in every night. They were all so very thankful for what I had done for them but in reality it was I who had received the gifts. Thank you little ones for showing me again what we are all about here at the Lydia House.

--
Kate Fischer
Lydia House Director

11 October 2011

A Temporary Home


A young mom on her own
She needs a little help, got no where to go
She’s looking for a job, looking for a way out
‘Cause a half-way house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
“Someday we’ll find our place here in this world
This is our temporary home
It’s not where we belong
Windows and rooms that we’re passing through
This is just a stop on the way to where we’re going
I’m not afraid because I know
This is our temporary home”


This verse from the song Temporary Home could be about many of our guests here at the Lydia House. We have several single moms who have found themselves in a place where they need a little help. Some already have jobs and are saving up for a place of their own, others are still looking for work, and still others are confronting other issues in their lives. Thankfully, the Lydia House is here for every state.

Some guests may only need a couple of weeks; others may stay for several months, especially those in one of our Life Changing programs. Remembering that this is a temporary home is an important part of guests’ stay. It is both a motivator and encourager when times are hard and it seems like there is no end in sight.

These past two weeks have been especially encouraging; a single mom who has been at the Lydia House for over a year found safe housing for her and her 3 sons, a graduate of one of our programs was accepted at an apartment on the bus line to her school, and two other families were accepted into a Residential Readiness program.

But even as we praise God for His faithfulness in these individuals, we continue to pray for new families and single women who move in every day. Thank you for supporting the Lydia House and Open Door Mission as we continue to be a temporary home for so many in need.

Amanda Vanderpool
Lydia House

07 October 2011

Are You willing to Stop to help someone in need?

I recently flew to California to visit my family. All morning long I was rush, rush, rushing. It was a WorkNet graduation day so I was rushing to set up the classroom, rushing to finish the presentation, rushing to clean up the leftover mess, then rushing to get to the airport. I rushed to check my bags, rushed to rearrange the items in my bags so they met the weight restrictions.

I rushed to remove my necklace, earrings, bracelet, belt, shoes and work key card. Then I impatiently waited for the end of my pat down because in my rushing I had forgotten to remove my name badge. Finally I got to the gate; just as they were about to board. I found my place in line and waited, mentally rushing the 20 people in front of me. As I started down the terminal I was still rushing the lady in front of me with the two small children, hoping she would soon develop a sense of urgency. I wanted to yell, “COME ON PEOPLE!! Hurry up!” Then we were stopped. “Noelle, Noelle Pee please come see the gate attendant, please come see the gate attendant.”

I turned around, annoyed that I was being forced to stop my rushing. “Miss, this is the right terminal, but you are about to board the wrong plane. Yours doesn’t board for about two hours. Why don’t you sit down, relax, and have some lunch!” Well, it was a good thing that I had done my makeup that morning so when I walked back through the line of people I at least looked like a pretty idiot!

Needlessly rushing, how much did I miss as I was rushing through my day? Did I take time to comfort the woman who recently lost her husband? Did I see the child desperately longing for attention? How many people did I fail to see because what I thought I needed was more important to me that those that actually needed me?


Matthew 25:35 says “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
How I failed to be the blessing that I could have been, had I not been rushing through my day I could have taken the time to make a difference in someone’s life. Take time to notice what is going on around you. Be willing to stop to help someone in need. Don’t allow the opportunity to bless others pass you by.

Noelle Pee
WorkNet Director

06 October 2011

A DAY TWO MINISTRIES CAME TOGETHER

Jacobs House Romania and the Open Door Mission Omaha. Two different ministies, one common goal. To draw our brothers and sisters closer to Jesus Christ by serving them and filling very basic needs such as clothing. All year long Bob Wolkins fills 70 pound boxes with clothing destined for the people of Materat Romania, 360 boxes all together. He also repairs bicycles for the Romanian children, 140 bikes in all.

Mr. Wolkins pays for a seatainer every year to ship all this to Romania. They drop it at his home, and he has two hours to load it, before it starts costing more money. Last year a group of volunteers helped, and it took nearly four hours to load.

When asked, over 20 men that stay at the Open Door Mission came forward and volunteered. Their goal was to not exceed two hours- they were determined to hold those costs in line. They worked together like a team that had done this many times before. They each had their own job, yet looked out for the man next to him. They relieved those inside the seatainer regularly, as the temperature was much hotter than outside. When the last bicycle went on, the time was just shy of two hours. On top of that, due to a miscalculation of seatainer size, 60 boxes wouldn't fit. Jacobs House donated that 4200 pounds of clothing to the Open Door Mission.

As children, I'm quite sure these men didn't dream of being in a homeless shelter one day. But through their hardship, God delivered them to this high place. A place where others they will most likely never meet, have been touched by their kindness. In a very poor part of this world God delivered hope through these men.

--
Patrick J McKernan
Open Door Mission, Garland Thompson Mens Center Director

03 October 2011

Thank you for your support!

What a beautiful fall day we are having. The sun is shining and the temperature is just right! I am excited that my family is camping this weekend. It will be perfect to sit around the campfire catching up and telling tales. Whenever I have a fun family event planned and start to get excited about leaving work for the weekend, my heart usually has a twinge, for I know that for the homeless and near homeless that we serve their weekend may not be as peaceful.

Knowing there is such a great need, makes me all the more committed to the work of Open Door Mission. It has been amazing to see over the last sixteen years, that I have been with Open Door Mission, the growth of space and services and the improvements of our service delivery. If you have not visited the Open Door Mission in the last few years, it may be hard for you to recognize us. That is until you see or hear a staff member working with a resident and hear God’s word being shared to offer hope, encouragement, and guidance as it has been for the last fifty-seven years!

Working in the Housing First Department, I see applicants as they are completing their paper-work to move into Lydia House Shelter or our Permanente Supportive Apartments. I see them at the time that they are in most despair and it is an honor to assist them through the paper work, let them know of all of our services, listen to their story, and pray with them. During this first meeting, I see transformations begin. A mom’s shoulders release a bit of their stress – now no more wondering where her family will live. A women’s face softens and hints a smile when she knows she is now welcomed after being turned away from so many other places, fare too many times due to her mental or physical health needs. And a child laughs and smiles as they leave with a toy or much needed pair of shoes. For most applicants, this may be the last time I see them. The PSH and LH staff welcomes them and handles their move-in process.

But, then there is a graduation! And I get to see a completely transformed family or women as they stand tall and smile boldly as they accept their Work-Net or New Life Recovery program diploma. Often, I do not recognize them! But, then I hear them speak their testimonies and I hear them offering Gods’ word, ministering to their family, residents, and me and all who will hear, a message of hope and encouragement. Yes the need is great, but WOW God is greater!


Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:30 (NLT2007)

Thank you for the support that makes a way for transformations to happen! Come by and have a tour or volunteer – or maybe I will see you at our next graduation!

God Bless,
Ronda Nelson
Housing First Director

30 September 2011

Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat Food Drive

Open Door Mission will provide more than 100,000 hot, nutritious meals this holiday season to the hungry and homeless in the heartland.

The following churches in the Heartland are partnering with Open Door Mission to do a Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat Food Drive.

Brookside Church
UnCommon Church
Glad Tidings Church
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Emmanuel Fellowship Church
Lifegate Church
All Nations Church

Would you like your Church to participate in Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat food drive anytime in the month of October please contact James Cummings at 402-829-1520

26 September 2011

Search for Significance

I have the honor and great pleasure of teaching a class called “Search for Significance” for our clients. It is a wonderful experience for me and I hope it is a blessing for them. I am constantly amazed by our conversations. Take this one over Matthew 16:24-25, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Many of the folks in class can quote Scripture incredibly well. They tend to do this to answer a question. They are quite adroit at it. One gentleman said that even when he high he could quote “the truth of God.” He understood that it was crack or Jesus. He took this passage very seriously. He is currently clean, but has bluntly told me that he is on the fence. He is still “thinking about it” because he knows what he is giving up and does not know if it is worth it.

I find this honesty refreshing. He takes Jesus at His word and understand exactly what He is saying, “It’s me or the thing you love.” Those of us who do not have the issues that so visibly reveal our allegiance could stand to learn from these folks for we may be able to fool ourselves, but never Jesus.

Another gentleman, who I have been mentoring for several years, points to this verse as part of his strength. “It gives me a reason to deny myself,” he has told me on more than one occasion. In his mind there has to be a reason, a really good one, not to be an active user. Jesus is that reason. He found that reason and is growing to be more like Jesus, because of people who he has met at and through the Open Door Mission.

We provide an opportunity for people to see Jesus through our actions and our words. Many folks, who call Open Door Mission home, have life experiences that both attract and repel them and they desperately are looking for something better. They are examining us from top to bottom. They are looking for hypocrisy or fakery. They want desperately to take the leap, but they are afraid to take something at face value.

Here is the incredible thing about our God. He uses us, as imperfect as we are, to be apart of a life changing event whether we realize it or not. My fence sitting friend has inspired others to really learn the Scripture that people in our New Life Recovery program as asked to memorize. The other gentleman has both been a blessing to his peers as well as me and other Christians who God has placed in his life. You too can be a blessing and be blessed by helping Mission residents embrace Christ. Please come be a blessing.

Steve Frazee

23 September 2011

Baby bird fell out of nest

One day as I was walking into the Men’s center I noticed a baby bird on the ground; 2men that witnessed the event stated, it fell out the nest and continued walking by it without any concern. This situation made me think that there are times in life when tribulations make us feel without hope, like a baby bird on the ground. It is only when we declare ourselves hopeless when the mercy of God deliver us from perishing in our affliction. After some minutes a staff member from the men’s center came to the rescue of the baby bird and placed it in his hands and with a lot of patience finally placed it back where it belonged. Every day I thank God for His mercy and for the blessing of working in a Rescue Mission.

“My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me”
Psalm 31:15

Jonathan Lopez
Chaplain

21 September 2011

Singing in the Rain

If you came to our Walk-A-Thon this past Sunday you'll know it was raining all morning, sometimes downpour!
I was one of the guide-walkers that day. Our assignment is to guide a group of walkers along the designated 1 mile path from Gallup to Open Door Mission's Lydia House where they will be greeted by Candace and eat endless bowls of delicious soup prepared by 13 local chefs/restaurants!

Since it was raining pretty badly, we offered our participants a ride to the Lydia House if they didn't want to walk in the rain. Amazingly enough, they all wanted to walk! They all said that was the purpose of our fundraising event, was to walk a mile in their shoes. And "in their shoes" they meant our clients we serve here, the homeless men and women that walk from further than Gallup to get to the mission for a hot nutritious meal and safe shelter.

Throughout the walk we talked and discussed homeless statistics and the shocking numbers. One of my walkers then began to sing Amazing Grace. She told me how only by the Grace of God alone is she still alive now and was once $40 away from being homeless her self!

The rain actually made a bigger impact on our supporters. As we got closer to the Lydia House, the entire group had a deeper appreciation and felt very blessed not having to do this walk daily for their meal.

Mimi Hannor
SDO-Heartland Circle
Open Door Mission

19 September 2011

Give Them The Clothes of Your Rack

Give Them the Clothes off Your Rack.

Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center is serving record high numbers of homeless, near-homeless and flood victims – a 37% increase in comparison to this time last year. You can help Open Door Mission by going through your closet at home and collecting any and all gently used clothes to aid the homeless and needy in our community. You can drop your donations off at the following anytime between now and September 30th.

Drop Off Locations

Journal Broadcasting
Located at: 5030 N 72nd Street, Omaha NE 68134

Nebraska Crossing Outlets & Specialty Shops
Located at: 14333 S. Hwy 31 - I-80, exit 432, Gretna, NE 68028
♦ G.H Bass & Company
♦ VanHeusen
♦ LayneBryant

West Roads Mall
Located at: 10000 California Street Omaha, NE 68114
♦ Dressbarn fdfa♦ BonWorth
♦ T-Shirts ffdda ♦ Lane Bryant
♦ VanHeusen ffa♦ Food Court Area









16 September 2011

Shining the Light of Jesus

As this is being posted, our three children are flying from Branson, MO to visit some popular theme parks located in central Florida. This has been a lifelong dream for them, and it is coming true thanks to the generosity of their “Nanna”. Due to work schedules and finances, my wife and I are not able to go. As we are excited for the adventure our kids are going on, we are also a little sad because we do not get to share several milestones, such as their first flight.


Reflecting on this, I can not help but think of our homeless and poverty stricken neighbors in the greater Omaha area. How many single parents are working 2-3 jobs to support their children, but are unable to spend adequate time with their kids as a result. How many children are forced to grow up too quickly and take on responsibilities that they are not ready for?


Fortunately, Open Door Mission is working to break this cycle of homelessness and poverty. Through the combined efforts of the Timberlake Outreach Center, Lydia House and Permanent Supportive Housing, Open Door Mission’s ministries are making an impact on our community. More importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being shared daily, and that light is the only light that can truly pierce the darkness.


Darren Timberlake
Garland Thompson Men's Center

15 September 2011

Mentoring Helps Kids Stay On Track

Studies show that children who have a mentor are less likely to skip school, use drugs, or drink alcohol. If a lack of education and substance abuse are directly related to poverty, having a mentor has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. For this reason, finding mentors for all Lydia House children is a top priority.

Over the last month, Open Door Mission has been blessed immeasurably by the Omaha Metro community. Through a partnership with Release Ministries we now have mentors for all of our teenagers. Support from volunteers, professionals, and Grace University has also brought mentors for many of our elementary aged children. We are so thankful to all those who have sacrificed time, money, and effort to this important ministry. Thank you!

If you have a heart for kids and want to make a difference right here in your community please visit www.opendoormission.org and click on the volunteer button and sign up to have your orientation and tour today.

Rachel Fisher
Children and Youth Director
Open Door Mission / Lydia House


13 September 2011

God is Changing Lives

We have a woman who has been here at the Lydia House several months and has struggled with her addiction the entire time. She’s been abusing drugs for many years and this is the longest she’s been sober. She isn’t ready to move on yet, but she’s making great progress. I got to witness how much she is growing a couple of weeks ago. She came to me at medication time and told me she was really struggling to stay sober. By this she meant she was struggling with taking only the zolpidem prescribed and not more. She said she knew how to sneak it out without staff knowing.

She asked me to help her by checking her every time she came for meds, to make sure she only took one. I praised her for being so honest. It’s amazing how much she trusts staff to tell them something like this and to ask for the help. She’s come a long way. To make things even better she attended chapel this week and rededicated her life to Christ in front of everyone! God is doing amazing things in this woman and I’m so humbled that I get to be a part of it!

God is changing Lives at the Open Door Mission and we could not do it without the support and generosity of the community. Thank you for being apart of all the exciting things God is doing.

Jessica Klinetobe
Family Support Worker
Open Door Mission / Lydia House

12 September 2011

Changing Seasons

As far back as I can remember the changing of the seasons have produced profound effects on me, and none more drastically than the Fall. My attitude changes and I drift into some kind of unexplainable dark depression. I literally sink into an “I don’t care manhole”. I am sure there is a proper term for people like me, people who are drastically affected by the natural rotation of the climates and I am sure that most of you know what that term is but, this is Fall and my attitude is changing for the worst so I don’t care to know what it is. I’m not going to Google it, I’m not going to look it up, I’m not even going to ask anyone. I don’t know what the term is and I don’t care. Now, back to the changing seasons.

Why must this beautiful weather have to change? My entire life I have abhorred the Fall. Why can’t I hibernate? Fall is terrible, announcing the arrival of Winter. Winter, with it’s freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and icy roads. I hate the slipping and sliding and falling down. That is probably the reason it is appropriately named Fall. It warns us what we will soon be doing, Falling. How can anyone think of such imposing horror and not be depressed? I become ill just thinking about it. Now Spring, that’s a different story. I have always adored the Spring and all of its many gifts, the budding of the trees and the awaking of the flowers, the laughter of the people and animals as they come out of hibernation, the warm sun and the promise of warmer days ahead. Wow, that’s living. The 77 degree days and the warm breezes add to the manic love affair I have with Spring.

Wait a minute, today is 77 degrees and there is a warm breeze. Today the sun is warm on my face, and as I sit here anticipating gloom and doom I hear people talking and laughing. Hey, this is Fall and this is a beautiful day. Why am I sitting here wasting it in fear of what is yet to come? Tomorrow is not promised but surely I have today. And what a lovely day. The LORD created the seasons to do exactly what they do, change. Who am I to abhor a day that the LORD has made. Thank you LORD for the revelation that the seasons are not the only thing you made that should change. Thank you LORD for allowing me to see that I too must change. As it is written “not my will but thy will be done”. I must renew my mind and get in harmony with what is your will. My life is not about me or what I want but rather about you and what you have ordained and how I present myself, not in conflict with but, promoting to prove your perfect will.
Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Jesse Powell

10 September 2011

Fall - The best time of the year

Early fall has always been my favorite season of the year, warm days and cool nights. But the older I get I realize early fall leads to late fall then into my least favorite season, winter.

But this is a hopeful time as well, especially at the Open Door Mission.

I work in the Development Department receiving the letters and donations that members of the community send us. I have the opportunity to read the notes from people that have sent in donations. "We're praying for you" and "thank you for all you are doing". Or the donation from a child that he or she received as a birthday gift.

And because our community is so supportive, I have a chance to meet so many volunteering families that come to serve Thanksgiving meal, help with Project Santa or spend Christmas Day with the homeless men, women and children.

Last year was my first winter at the Mission and I was moved and inspired that so many were willing to invest time, energy and love to help those that have so little. For me, last winter was a little warmer after seeing God's love at work because of the generosity of the people of our community.

In God's love,
Sue King

09 September 2011

Being a Blessing to others

My primary responsibility at Open Door Mission is to fill the Lydia House. This involves a great deal of paper work and an intense attention to detail. It is easy at times to get wrapped up in the paperwork and catching every little detail. Every once in a while, just when I need it, God sends someone to me to “wake” me up.

Recently I was going through the application process with a woman wanting to get into the Lydia house. She began to tell me about her situation and why she needed the Lydia house. She had faced abuse, devastating fire, and flood all within a very short time period. She had overcome what seemed like insurmountable odds to me. I commended her on her positive upbeat attitude in spite of the difficulties she had faced. Her response was that it was just not her time for blessings yet, “my time will come”. At that we both began to cry. Her statement of waiting for her blessings continues to encourage me months after hearing it.

I can easily see the blessings in my life but as I pray each morning for the people who sit across from me hoping to get into the Lydia house I sometimes question where their blessings are. The longer I work at Open Door Mission the more I realize how much the Lydia house is just the beginning of the blessings that will come for these people.

Vickie Gregorio
Housing First

06 September 2011

I Think I Can

"I think I Can" That was her motto after 4 months on the New Life Program. She started to believe in herself and trusting God. Doors were opening up for her.

Michelle graduated the program and set out on her own with a new job and a place to live. Today I saw Michelle at our Timberlake Outreach Center coming in for her 2911 case management appointment. She looked wonderful as she said my name and gave me a big hug. She has been promoted in her job and is being sought after by another company. She is attending a Bible believing church that is helping her grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus and it shows in her smile. She told me she is starting college classes next week and hopes to be a drug and alcohol counselor. “I think I can do it Ms Kate, I really do!” I know she can. She holds firm to Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Michelle, and all the other graduates, is the reason I do what I do, day in and day out. Watching lives change for the Glory of God and watching those lives move forward for the Kingdom. What a day it will be when we all see Jesus face to face.

Please join us for the next graduation ceremony on Saturday, October 29th at 10:30 am at the Lydia House. Please RSVP to Maggie Cope at 402-422-1111 ext 1554 or mcope@opendoormission.org

Kate Fischer, LIMHP
Director of Lydia House

05 September 2011

Story from the Permanent Supportive Housing

God has a way of reminding us of His goodness and His mercy and that He is a provider of our needs. One of those occasions happened as I was acquainting a family with their new apartment. You see they had been living in a hotel room for a while now.

The excitement on the faces of the children over being able to be in their own place, their own home was amazing. The son just sat on the floor listening to his mother and I as his sister talked about what room she wanted. I asked the mother if she needed anything and she said no; then she said you know the kids don’t have beds. Her son looked at me as if he was waiting for my reaction. I asked her son if he preferred a twin or a full size bed.

What he asked me showed how concerned he was and the responsibility he felt as part of this family. He asked “what is the price difference?" I said it will cost you nothing. He then lay back on the floor and took a deep breath; it sounded as if the heavy load he had been carrying had been lifted. I am so thankful that this family was lead to Open Door Mission’s Permanent Supportive Housing and was able to find the home they had been praying for and the things that it takes to create a home.

Jeannette Blackstone
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

03 September 2011

How Far Will You Go

Case management is a significant service we provide our men – it the Gospel in shoe leather. For one man, named Dennis, who has been at the Mission for over six years, aimless and mentally unable to take care of himself.

An opportunity to work with other Missions is few and far between. But several months ago we were able to send one of our men down to another Rescue Mission, and then a couple a of weeks later they requested if they could send one of their men to us.

In the journey of Recovery, there are times when a person needs to remove themselves from the familiar surrounding in their pursuit of sobriety. It is not that there are no temptations in a new city, but a geographical change can be that extra nudge for a person in maintaining their commitment to live for the Lord and to live soberly.

The question, “how far will you go to achieve your goals in life?” can be answered in part, I am willing to go to a different city.

John Lindsey
Coordinator for the New Life Recovery Program and Wellness Connection

02 September 2011

Jam Makes a Sweet Offering for Open Door Mission

If you think you can’t do anything or are too old to help Open Door Mission you need to meet Neva. Neva is a very sweet elderly lady that resides at Pacific Springs. She does what she does best (in my personal opinion)-she makes delicious jams. I have tasted her jams and they are very good. Neva then sells her jams to other residents and those that appreciate homemade jam in flavors you won’t find in a grocery store. She could use the money for herself but she donates the jam proceeds to Open Door Mission.

Neva can’t stand and sort clothes, she can’t lift heavy boxes, she doesn’t teach a class, but she fills a need by making jam. Neva also donates books and Bible learning materials for the children at Lydia House. So even if you think you are too old or can’t do anything you can. Neva proves that all the time by doing what she does best, caring for the homeless and near homeless. Check out our website to see how you can make a difference - www.opendoormission.org

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

01 September 2011

Ask and You Will Receive

Open Door Mission's Timberlake Outreach Center is like a thrift store except everything is free and people from the community may come shopping once every thirty days. Those who come to the Timberlake Outreach Center to shop are people who are in extreme crisis or nearly homeless.

Luke 11:9-10 says “Ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.”

This passage reminds me of a young single mom who recently came to shop at the Timberlake Outreach Center. She was a part of the morning crowd who were waiting for us to open. When I welcomed the group that morning and shared that we like to begin our day with prayer, I asked if anyone had any prayer request, she raised her hand and said I need a job. We prayed that the Lord would provide her with a job. Later when I had a chance to listen to her story I discovered other needs she had, such as paying her rent. She was behind on her rent one and a half months and her land lord had told her if she did not pay her rent this month he would serve her with an eviction notice I learned that she had lost her job because her company had down sized and her job was eliminated.

We talked our 29/11 Program which is taken from Jeremiah 29:11 Where God says to His people “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not disaster, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I invited her to join the 29/11 Program and gave her the application form to fill out. She brought it back the next day and Mandy Rios our 29/11 case worker started working with her. Mandy helped her revise her resume and this young woman started sending out job applications. In a short period of time she had a job and on top of that they offered her a higher wage than the job she lost. Because she now had a job and would be able to pay her rent next month Mandy was able to get her some financial assistance to help her get caught up on the back rent. God truly is our blessed provider.

So now I’m sure you can see why that verse reminds me of her. She asked for prayer and it took courage to do that publicly in a group of strangers. But her need was great and her faith strong. She sought help and knocked on doors and God opened the right one for her.

That’s why I love my job, it is such a joy seeing God work in people’s lives and seeing how situations that seem hopeless turn out for good.

Joyfully serving Jesus
Judy Collins
Timberlake Outreach Center /29/11 Director

31 August 2011

Crazy for Jesus

I had the privilege of meeting a really cool volunteer couple the other week as they came in to lead chapel. This guy plays his guitar (very well, I might add) at different shelters in the area and talks about Jesus between songs, and his wife provides gospel literature. I was so encouraged to meet a volunteer who wanted to share the gospel and was using his musical gifting because he’s as crazy about Jesus as we are!

One of the reasons I love working with volunteers is being able to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from all different places, doing different things, bringing glory to our King. I’m continually reminded of how diverse we are in the body of Christ. The Church is all of us (1 Corinthians 12:14-31), and the blood of Jesus Christ covers denominations, socio-economic status, culture, and even family blood lines.

It’s awesome!

Steven Lund
Volunteer Associate


30 August 2011

We are all equally loved by Christ

Having no children of my own, I had never been able to understand how my mom is able to love me and my three siblings equally. For years I was convinced that she loved my little brother more than she loved me, and my sisters are convinced that my mom loved me more than she loved them. My brother says that he knows he is the favorite! For years my mom would say that they she loved us all equally. I didn’t buy it! That is until recently.

I have just finished my second, month long, WorkNet class. My first class had 9 students, my second had 3. At the start of the second class I was convinced that there was no way that I would enjoy this new class nearly as much as my first. I had fewer students, and the class was 5 days shorter so I had to cram 20 days of work into 15 days, there would be no time for fun and games! How surprised I was!

While the class was smaller, they were very eager to learn. They asked great questions and we had good discussions. One student in particular, John, brought a vast amount of fun and energy to the class. He would often have us laughing until our sides hurt! Because this group was smaller we were able to move quickly through the material. I soon fell in love with this small group of students.

As the graduation ceremony concluded, I sat in the classroom reflecting on the similarities and differences between the two classes. Just like my brother, sisters and I are very different, so were these classes. Each class had its own personality and group dynamic; as well as its own struggles and challenges. But each class touched my heart and changed me in many ways. If you were to ask me which class I loved more, I would have to say that I loved them both equally. I finally get it. I understand what my mom meant when she said she loved us all the equally. I am excited to start my next class in a few days, to open my heart once again to another group of amazing people. I am looking forward to seeing them grow and develop skills that will help change their lives. And to see how in turn they will change my life.

Noelle Pee

29 August 2011

If You Give a Company a Truck to Stuff…

You just might be surprised at what they can do in one day! IKON has supported Open Door Mission for years. Their latest endeavor has been to sponsor Stuff-a-Truck at the workplace. They invite their employees and “neighbors” to stuff the truck with donations of all kinds. The IKON’s Stuff-a-Truck this time was amazing. They collected 450 pounds of clothing, 260 pounds of shoes, 500 pounds of housewares, 110 personal care items and a bicycle!

…and if you give King of Kings a truck to stuff they can fill it with 632 pounds of food, 1788 pounds of clothing and 161 pounds of personal care items.

As you can see it is a great opportunity for the employees or congregations to clean out gently used items they no longer need or have an easy drop off for new items they want to donate. The clients at Open Door Mission and Lydia House benefit and everyone is blessed.

Would you like to sponsor a Stuff-a-Truck at your workplace or church? We would love to provide this great opportunity for people to give and help those in need. Please call me if you would like to Stuff-A-Truck for Open Door Mission and Lydia House.

Maggie Cope
402-422-1111 ext 1554

26 August 2011

Happy Day, WorkNet Graduation Day

Today was Open Door Mission's WorkNew Graduation. 3 students graduated today from this great course. Here is a little more on what WorkNet is.

WorkNet Solutions is a job readiness class offered by the Open Door Mission’s Community Education Department. The class is available to the clients of the Open Door Mission and to community members. This is a 3-4 week course taking the learner through booklets that discover their work motivation and how to overcome the fear of the job search; they determine the learners values, skills, and fields of fascination; and where and how to job search. Upon completion of the class the learner will have the knowledge and ability to tackle the job search process, the interview process and be equipped to hold steady employment with the opportunity to reach their dream job within the next 3-5 years.

For more information, or to join the class, please contact

Noelle Pee at 402-829-1549 or npee@opendoormission.org

25 August 2011

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Open Door Mission is hosting its fourth Annual Walk-A-Thon! On Sunday, September 18th, between 11AM and 5 PM, please join us in a one-mile walk from downtown to Open Door Mission. This is the same path that so many homeless people choose when seeking help.

Thanks to the community and people just like you, resources are available to provide hot, nutritious meals, safe shelter and life changing programs. You can walk at your own pace with friends and family. And once you’ve arrived at the Mission, you’ll be served homemade soups and breads, made especially for this day by chefs from local restaurants.

You’ll have a tour of Open Door Mission, and see firsthand all the services provided through your generosity, and life changing volunteer opportunities are available. You will receive a free Open Door Mission tee-shirt and Water bottle.

Call Maggie today at 422-1111 or visit www.opendoormission.org to find out more information Join me as we “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” making a difference right here, right now.

24 August 2011

Being “Salt” & “Peppering” Open Door Mission with Donations

The Salt & Pepper Motorcycle Club does more than just ride; they give back to the community. The club brought in almost 100 pounds of personal care products for our clients of all ages. Their donations help us provide the basic needs to our clients and their families. We appreciate their support of Open Door Mission and look forward to them volunteering at the mission and doing even more drives. May they be blessed with safe rides as they have blessed Open Door Mission with their donations.

Would you like to give back to the community also? Please call me if you would like set up a drive to help those in need. Open Door Mission has a variety of ongoing needs and with your help we can meet them in order to serve our community.

Maggie Cope
Open Door Mission
Communications Coordinator
402-829-1554
mcope@opendoormission.org

19 August 2011

“Unmentionables “Deserve Honorable Mention

Soma Intimates at Village Point shopping center has done a wonderful job of meeting a need at Lydia House and Open Door Mission that most people don’t even think of or talk about-that is the need for women’s intimate apparel. Soma Intimates collected new and gently used bras from their staff and customers through the month of July for the women served through Open Door Mission and Lydia House. They collected over 230 bras during their campaign to help those in need. Thank you to Jackie and her staff at Soma Intimates for meeting a need that is often “unmentionable” but is needed.

Open Door Mission and Lydia House are always in need of underwear, especially new underwear and socks. Please call me to set up an “Undie Day” at your church, workplace or organization. You can make difference in someone’s life by a simple gift of a pair of socks or underwear. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Maggie Cope
Open Door Mission Communications Coordinator
402-829-1554
mcope@opendoormission.org

18 August 2011

Are you Hungry Today?

The best God can give to any person is a hunger for Himself. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves hungry for God. All salvation comes from God, but if we will give him the chance, He will instill a hunger within. If that hunger is fed, He will intensify it until it is a burning passion of our life.

If we are hungry, He will fill our need, and the greater our appetite for Him is, the more of Himself He will give to us. That hunger is a promise of His presence.

If He is near you, cry out to Him.
If you sense His presence, call out to Him.
If you feel Him close, reach out, because in that moment He is can be found, and you ought to lunge for Him.

He will not take all your troubles away, but He will protect you in the middle of trouble. When the storms come, He will be your hiding place, and He will endure them with you. The storm will rage around you, but you will be in the middle of Him, and His presence is safety. He will even enable you to sing in the midst of the storm. That hunger for Him becomes the greatest gift that anyone can be given.

“Hallelujah, I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has crave!
Jesus satisfies my longings;
Through His blood I now am saved.”

Blessing to you and hope you all have a very hungry day!!

Celeste Norman


16 August 2011

Walk A Mile in My Shoes


Hungry and homeless people in the Heartland don’t have the luxury of air conditioning or transportation. That’s why Open Door Mission is hosting its fourth Annual Walk-A-Thon! On Sunday, September 18th, between 11AM and 5 PM, please join us in a one-mile walk from downtown to Open Door Mission. This is the same path that so many homeless people choose when seeking help.

Thanks to the community and people just like you, resources are available to provide hot, nutritious meals, safe shelter and life changing programs. You can walk at your own pace with friends and family. And once you’ve arrived at the Mission, you’ll be served homemade soups and breads, made especially for this day by chefs from local restaurants.


You’ll have at our of Open Door Mission, and see firsthand all the services provided through your generosity, and life changing volunteer opportunities are available. You will receive a free Open Door Mission tee-shirt and Water bottle. Call Maggie today at 422-1111 or visit www.opendoormission.org to find out more information Join me as we “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” making a difference right here, right now.


11 August 2011

Beat The Heat



Open Door Mission is in need of bottled water and fans.

* Water for homeless men, women, and children to prevent dehydration
* Fans for people in the Heartland who do not have air-conditioning

Help the hot and thirsty this summer by partnering with Open Door Mission to provide bottles of water and fans. You can bring your donations to any...

BAG AND SAVE LOCATIONS

108th & Q
18th & Vinton
51st & Harrison
76th & Dodge
50th & Grover
156th & Q
114th & Dodge
156th & Blondo
144th & Center


CHARLIE GRAHAM AUTO BODY

4206 Leavenworth Street, Omaha


09 August 2011

Smiling to go back to School

Can you believe that summer is almost over and school is getting ready to go back in? The first day of school should be a happy time for boys and girls. You might even remember your school days and how it felt wearing a new school outfit on your first day of school.

For many homeless and needy children in the Heartland, the first day of school can be a real challenge; being homeless is hard enough on them - not having a new school outfit and shoes to wear to fit in with their pier can be embarrassing.

But thanks to the generosity of the community, over a hundred plus homeless and needy children are getting 2 new outfits, shoes, socks and underwear so there are ready to go back to school next week. Just look at the smile on this little boy, Omar as he shows of his sneakers and outfit with Candace, President/CEO of Open Door Mission.


Thank you to the community for making a difference right here, right now in the lives of homeless and needy children in the heartland.

08 August 2011

Walking in the Spirit

I grew up in the church and often heard the pastor preach that we as Christians must “walk in the Spirit.” But this summer I experienced what it means to walk in the Spirit in a whole new way. Over the past month I have had the privilege to lead Open Door Mission’s Bible Day Camp. This camp hosts activities in the morning and field trips in the afternoon while also providing three nutritious meals a day to Open Door Mission residents and community members. As you can imagine, this amazing program is a lot of work.

Through this experience I have learned to trust God in a deeper way by surrendering control to Him and depending on Him for the grace I need for each day. At the end of the day, we make our plans but the Lord directs our paths. And that, I have realized, is what it means to walk in the Spirit. Thanks to all those who have partnered with us this summer through prayer, volunteer hours, and donations!!! Your support has been a great blessing.


Rachel Fisher
Children and Youth Director




05 August 2011

Blessed by Volunteers & Donors

The past few days have been full of excitement right outside my office doors! That’s because this year, the Back to School Bash is held at the Admin Building and the conference room has been converted into a shopping center!

We’ve been blessed by many church groups, corporations, and individuals donating brand new clothes, shoes, jackets, backpacks and other back to school items for this event. As I walk through the hallway on our floor, I see dedicated volunteers hanging up clothes, sorting shoes, and organizing everything into neat piles based on gender and sizes. Their hard work is paid off when we hear the “oohs and ahhs” of the children when they first come inside to go “shopping”.

Each day a new group of children get to come over and go shopping and pick out new school clothes. Right outside my office, I overhear tiny little voices of enthusiasm chattering and giggling about the new pink dress they picked out or how cool his new Spiderman shirt is that matches his new Spiderman tennis shoes! Open Door Mission is very blessed to have such wonderful donors and volunteers partnering with us, and I thank God for them each day!

Frank A. Clark said “Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.” These children will never know who our donors or volunteers are, but we as staff certainly do and we definitely appreciate each and every one of you!

Mimi Hannor
Open Door Mission

04 August 2011

The Simple Joys…of Shopping

Sometimes you forget how wonderful and caring people can be. One of the joys of working at Open Door Mission is you get to see how God works in everyone’s life, from staff to clients to donors. Our Back to School Bash collects new clothes for homeless and near homeless children. I am privileged to head up that drive, encouraging others to give new clothes for children they may never meet. Every year I wonder will we have enough clothes and shoes, will people be able to help, and will the children appreciate the love sent their way through the clothes donations. Oh me of little faith.

This week and last the clothes came in by the carload! From the Elk Horn Lutheran Church in Iowa to UPS at the airport to Raytheon to King of Kings and a host of other individuals and organizations the clothes filled racks and tables and shoes are stacked. Everything was soon ready for shopping thanks to some great organizers and sorters. The Administration building second floor has become a children’s clothing shop where shoes and clothes are free to the children we serve.

Then the children came. It is such a blessing to see their happy faces and hear shouts of glee when they find that perfect pair of Iron Man shoes or a shirt to match a skirt. What joy to help each child feel special as they chose shoes, underwear, socks and at least one new outfit. We sometimes forget the simple joys denied so many, but this week at Open Door Mission we rejoice in generous donors and precious children that get the joyous experience of shopping for new clothes. Thank you everyone for blessing these children’s lives and mine too.


I love my job!


Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

03 August 2011

Also and Too

Have you ever wondered why, or even thought it to be unfair, to have so many problems in your life? I don’t know about you but I sure have. Just recently it seemed there were an unfair amount of challenges occurring in my life and as I prayed to God for answers and encouragement another stressor would appear. “What in the world am I going to do?” became a reoccurring theme in my thought process. “Why is all of this happening to me? What did I do or what is it that I am doing to deserve all of this? How can I make this work?” No answers, only dead-ends. I was overwhelmed.

Finally I reached my wits end and after arriving I wondered what took me so long to get there. It was not until I reached my wits end that I realized there is where I needed to be. The answers are not in me. I need help, not just praying and seeking God, of course, but also reaching out and sharing my burdens with my Kingdom family. I began to talk about it with my church and in addition, I opened up in an evangelical ministry course (TUMI) offered through Open Door Mission. In this course we as fellow classmates have become extremely close.

An amazing thing happened when I did this. I found that everyone seeking citizenship in God’s coming kingdom are also being tested. I discovered that they too are having financial problems, illnesses, and broken relationships. Many of us were also feeling overwhelmed. I felt relief as I identified God’s hand in all of it. We shared our challenges and we shared tears of joy with one another. Again I felt relief as I identified God’s hand in all of it. Sharing my trials with my family did not make them go away but, the clarity in recognizing that the precipice of the Lord is where he takes all of his chosen and then calls them back. I am blessed to be part of.

A psalm of Moses:
Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us,
and the years wherein we have seen evil. -Psalm 90:15

Jesse Powell
Men’s Emergency Services Coordinator

02 August 2011

Star Students

My favorite part of my job is taking my Star Students on outings. To recognize hard work and accomplishment, I have started nominating Star Students each week. These are the adult students who have been focused, made great progress, and have had a great attitude during the week. There is no set number nominated each week – everyone is eligible. The Star Students receive a certificate recognizing their work. Then they are entered in the “Grand Prize” drawing. At the end of the month I draw five winners. The winning Star Students then get to choose an activity as a group.

In May we went to the dollar theatre and saw The Adjustment Bureau – we got popcorn and pop. In June we went to the Rockbrook Concert Series and got treats and the gas station. Last week we went to the dollar theatre and saw Thor – again with popcorn.

For many people, these activities may seem like no big deal. But my students love these outings. It is their chance to get off campus and feel “normal”. It is also a chance for us to talk and get to know each other, and for me to connect with my students. I’m not sure who enjoys these activities more – me or them.

Micole Harms
Learning Center Director

30 July 2011

Everything I need to know I learned in the Learning Center

Most people would say that as the Learning Center Director I help our clients improve their academic skills. But I know they are learning so much more. I am teaching them skills that they can use in other aspects of their life.

  • When to ask for help: Sometimes the material is tough. Which is frustrating, since I am teaching skills we all were supposed to learn in elementary school. Asking for help requires humility and admitting that we cannot make it alone.
  • When to walk away: Sometimes, because the material is tough, my students get frustrated. It is at these times they need to take a break and try again later.
  • When to keep trying: Even when things get tough, even after taking a break, it is important to not give up. My students can accomplish whatever they set their mind to.
  • Attitude: “I think I can” leads to “I can” and “I did”. This is true for learning to multiply fractions and maintaining sobriety.
  • Patience: Sometimes the computers are slow or not working. Getting mad and throwing a fit won’t make them faster or fix them. Just wait it out.
  • Taking turns: I have 12 computers for 35 students, and 100 other residents. Sometimes you can’t spend as much time checking email, or you may have to wait a few minutes to get started.
  • Setting goals: Oftentimes, my students are overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be completed. I help them break their assignments into smaller bits and set goals of when they will accomplish them.
  • Time management: “I don’t have time to go to the Learning Center!” Yes, you do. If you have time to read your email, chat with your friends, take a walk, or take a nap, you have time to come to the Learning Center.
  • Priorities: Along with time management, my students must decide what is important. A smoke break could be better spent working in the Learning Center for 15 minutes.
  • Following through: Anyone can set a goal. It requires action to complete the goal.
  • Pride: My students are making great progress, and I praise them every chance I get. My students are changing from addicts to smart, capable Children of God. They are growing everyday, and this is something to be proud of.

Micole Harms
Learning Center Director

28 July 2011

Come for a tour of Open Door Mission

Over the last 6 years the IT infrastructure and the campus have grown by leaps and bounds. On the IT side, much innovation and financial stewardship has been realized through a long term relationship with an outside contractor named Aaron. His diligence and unique perspective allowed Open Door Mission to be progressive and good stewards of the resources we received. Thank You Aaron for all of your work behind the scenes.

On the campus side, if you have not been down for a tour in the last year, you need to come down to fully appreciate the rich blessings that have been poured over the mission. We have been given a grand opportunity to exercise our faith, with looming threats of flood and financial difficulties, but through it all, God continues to provide abundantly for our needs and protect us. I want to thank our faithful donors for their continued support of the mission as well as to ask all of followers to continue to keep the new men’s center in your prayers as there are many hurdles in the way of successful completion.

Thanks,

Jason Green

IT Manager, Open Door Mission

27 July 2011

Open Door Mission Provides Hope for the Hopeless

On my journey to the office I drive on a highway with flood waters on both sides. As I am passing those flood waters I just can’t help but wonder how this farm land and homes can ever be again.

Just as our people who come to the Open Door Mission with little hope God of love and power, hold us up when life hits us hard and give us courage to find a new life in the face of our loss. That is what the Open Door Mission does for the many people who walk through our doors.

Betz Woodhull

26 July 2011

That Spiritual Rock 1 Corinthians 10:4

I Corinthians 10:4 And they all drank the same supernaturally given drink. For they drank from a spiritual Rock which followed them – produced by the sole power of God Him-self without natural instrumentality – and the Rock was Christ. (Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:11)

That rock are you following today? Many people seem to be following so many different beliefs, but not ever finding any true peace in what they think will enlighten their lives. Which is truly sad because there is such a simple and rewarding way that is offer and it’s totally free? That is the Spiritual Rock one who will always be available to our every cried, and will only give us the True and living word that will give us strength when we are weak and down. A rock is something that is truly hard to damage, it is not easily broken, and Our Father is that rock so let’s not forget that he is our only hope and let’s spread the love too others about this Great and Awesome Rock.

Debra A. Scott

Lydia House

25 July 2011

There is Hope for the homeless

When singing along with the song “There is Hope for the Hopeless” ,performed by Sierra, my words frequently change to “There is hope for the homeless”. Here at Open Door Mission we place a huge emphasis on bringing hope to the hungry and homeless we serve each day. Our summer theme is entitled “Summer of Hope”; we frequently hear from our leadership that “hope” begins with a meal. So often society can look at a person and say “there is no hope”, but that is so not the case with our God! Since working here at Open Door Mission I have seen firsthand how hope can be restored in the lives of those we serve. Spiritual growth takes place, physical addictions are conquered, family relationships are restored, educational progress is achieved, employment is obtained, independent living is found! There IS hope for the homeless!!

A few days ago I had the wonderful opportunity of tagging along as staff showed three of our Lydia House ladies a 3-bedrom apartment they would be sharing at our new Permanent Supportive Housing facility. These three single ladies have been at the Lydia House for almost a year and all came to us feeling hopeless about their circumstances. On this day when they saw their brand new apartment they were overjoyed, and so was I! One kept mentioning how she loved the “new” smell of the building; another opened every closet and marveled at the storage space they would have. The two “younger” ladies decided they would give the master bedroom to the third roommate because she was the “oldest”. They chatted about how they would arrange their kitchen table and chairs, and just marveled at the size of their new kitchen. What a blessing it was to stand back and listen to their interactions, and be reminded once again that there IS hope for the homeless. When each of us do our part to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless, we see over and over again how God truly does make all things work together for good.

Celeste Norman

21 July 2011

Does it make you a king to have more and more?

15 “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. 16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 22 15-16

It is a normal behavior to look after our personal needs before the needs of others. That is why we spend years finding different ways to increase our wealth. Selfishness is part of the fallen nature within us that rejects God’s word and commands. It is only when God regenerates our hearts when we understand the depth of being compassionate for others.

At the Timberlake Outreach Center every day Volunteers and Staff defend the cause of the poor and needy. It is a joy to see the needy find relief as they receive food pantries, clothing, household items, furniture and appliances for their homes.

Every morning before I begin my day a simple prayer comes to my mind:

LORD help me to do what is right and just, help me have a heart of a servant.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Lopez

Chaplain

Timberlake Outreach Center

20 July 2011

Beat the Heat

This week the temperatures have been extreme. In fact for the last 5 days the Open Door Mission have been heading to the streets to do water patrol.

We take 8 to 10 cases of cold bottles of water and head out to places where the homeless and near homeless are so give them a little bit of relief, and now Open Door Mission NEEDS your HELP!


Open Door Mission is in need of bottles of water and sunscreen for the homeless and fans for the near homeless.

You can bring your donation directly to the Open Door Mission's receiving area located at the back of the Timberlake Outreach Center located at 2107 E Locust St. They are opened from 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday - Friday and from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Saturdays.

18 July 2011

Thank you Donors

I work behind the scenes in the Development Department at Open Door Mission. I hear stories of lives being changed which is a result of our donors’ faithful support.

I want to reinforce how important YOU are to Open Door Mission by helping provide nutritious meal, safe shelter and life-changing programs thorough your generosity. I, also, have the privilege of visiting with donors, like you, with concerns and/or their experiences while on campus. Thank you again and again.


Linda

15 July 2011

"I know the Plans I have for You"

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

At the Timberlake Outreach Center many come thru the doors with emergency situations and with your help, the love of Jesus is shown through providing basic physical needs.

I have had the honor of serving God’s people thru an awesome ministry called 29:11 SuccessNet. The main focus of this program is to help break the cycle of poverty with a simple message of hope thru Jesus Christ.

With your donations, we are given an opportunity to lead many to Christ; and many accept that God does have plans to prosper them! We get to see miracles everyday with many who made a choice to fight poverty. God gave them a gift of hope and courage to go back to school no matter what the circumstances.

Old mindsets are being renewed with the word of God and together we begin a new journey to success. Opportunities through life skill classes and case management will help individuals create a spending plan, reduce debt and save for the future. 2911 SuccessNet is a program designed to prevent homelessness before it happens breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.




Mandy Rios
29:11 Case Manager
Timberlake Outreach Center

13 July 2011

Out of the rubble…

This last weekend I was able to drive by the area where the Garland Thompson Men’s Center building was standing and now it is just a pile of rubble. This started me thinking back to when my life was in rubble. I was just three weeks out of surgery, my husband had just been sent to jail, and I was homeless with two children to care for. My children and I showed up at the men’s center, it was known then as the Open Door Mission, tired and broken. The wonderful staff nurtured and helped us rebuild our shattered lives. We became graduates of the New Life Program, found a place to live and I was even blessed with becoming an employee of the Open Door Mission.

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our donors, I have witnessed the Open Door Mission rebuild and grow so they can continue to help those with broken lives. They have the new Lydia House for ladies and families. The Permanent Supportive Housing is now open to help out with low income housing. This building opened up just in time for me and my family. Due to the rising rental prices my son and I were forced to move to a motel room I could see our lives were starting to crumble. I found out that I qualify to live in one of these low income apartments and we have moved in, I will now be able to start saving money so that I can continue to rebuild my life.

Maybe around the same time that I am planning on moving into a new home, the homeless and broken men that come to the Open Door Mission will have a new building to move into so they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Angela Casper
Development Associate/ Receptionist

12 July 2011

Making A Difference - Easy as ABC

Jack and Henry are young men with a heart for those in need. This July they invited guests to partake in some ice cream sundaes-the only requirement was they had to bring either new clothing for Back to School Bash or personal care products for Lydia House. They have a lot of friends that responded to the boys’ requests and brought in new clothes for the children for Back to School Bash and personal care products for others. Open Door Mission appreciates the compassion and efforts of these young men to make a difference in the lives of others.

Thank you for partnering with Open Door Mission to Change Lives.


Blessings,
Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

11 July 2011

Fill the Pantry

Did you know that worldwide 9 million people die because of malnutrition and hunger? Did you know that 5 million of them are children? Did you know that over 31 million American children qualify for free lunch and breakfast at school? While there are some free lunch programs during the summer months, over 17 million children will go hungry this summer. Some of those children are right here in the metro area. You can help Open Door Mission provide nutritious meals to make a difference in these children’s lives.

Through the Timberlake Outreach Center Open Door Mission provides sack lunches and pantries for families struggling to put food on the table. We need your help to provide nutritious meals and pantries for the homeless and near homeless, including the children. Please consider doing a “Fill the Pantry” food drive at your church, workplace or through an organization you belong to. We need “industrial “size cans and boxes, as well as regular size cans and boxes, of non-perishable food.

It is so easy to make a difference in someone’s life, a child’s life, by the simple decision to add an extra can or box of food to your grocery cart for Open Door Mission. Maybe you can even do a grocery bag of food or even a grocery cart. Remember one can or box of food from everyone can “Fill the Pantry”. Please help Open Door Mission “Fill the Pantry” so we can help “Fill the Pantry” for those in need. No child should go hungry.

Call me to set up a Fill the Pantry food drive.
Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator
402-829-1554
mcope@opendoormission.org