May we all take on this resolution and see where God takes us this year!
It’s the New Year, and He is making all things new. This year we see God in the big picture and in details. This year we may love better and bigger. This year may we be transformed by the power of God. A transformation from our strength to His, from broken to beautiful, from a transformation that starts in the heart, then seeps outward into the world….a world He loves very much and a transformation that He desire for us. This year may we be wide open to the transforming hand of the Father. It won’t be quick, it won’t be easy, but there is a really good chance you are becoming something extraordinarily….Beautiful.
-Tiffany Maher—daughter of Amy Chapman
30 March 2011
28 March 2011
25 March 2011
I’m happy to say it’s not one that has faded over time either. In fact, even now as local business owners my family is giving back. Visit Liberty Tax Service at Westwood Plaza near 120 and W. Center Rd. to see for yourself. For every tax return they prepare, they will personally donate a complete meal to Open Door Mission to help serve the hungry and homeless of the Heartland. You can also stop by their office to drop off your Hope Tote Items as you embark on Spring Cleaning this season.
You see, you can never underestimate your ability to make a difference. My parents aren’t jack-of-all-trades but they are making a difference in a way they know how. So I ask how can you make a difference in the life of another? Can you spare $1.92 to serve a hot, nutritious meal…or spend 2 hours a month volunteering on our campus? The possibilities are endless- whether you read to a child, sort clothing at the Timberlake Outreach Center, prepare sack lunches – I can go on and on.
God’s Word says, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45. I know you have it in you. It is a philosophy engrained in us all by our Heavenly Father.
Looking forward to seeing you make a difference,
Victoria Gaskin, Executive Assistant
23 March 2011
I was attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska and my wife was working outside of our home so I was the at home parent. When we first moved back to the area we met a family in our church that had a couple of boys our youngest son’s age and I was invited to a play group. I was the only dad and a number of years older than most of the ladies present. They accepted me and what appears to be a life long friendship between Peter, Ben, and Jeff was started.
Before the boys were in school I took them many places. I did this to help out the moms as well as helping myself by giving my son, Peter, playmates other than me. The kids loved the adventures and fun I created for them. The boys are in school and now I am working here at Open Door Mission. One may think that the relationship would have waned and in some way it has—but in others it is stronger than ever.
After church one Sunday to my surprise some other kids that I know showed up after they attended their church. I told them that I saw Jeff down the hall. A couple of moments later they all return and Jeff calls out “Mr. Frazee” and then with great enthusiasm and volume tells me the story of how he and Clara heard an episode of Adventures in Odyssey where the kids collected money for a worthy cause and they wanted to do the same so they too organized a rock-a-thon to raise money for Open Door Mission.
Jeff, a sixth grader, thought of the Open Door Mission because he knew I worked here, he volunteers here, and most importantly has a generous and loving heart that his parents are working hard to cultivate with their lives as examples, Bible teaching, and providing opportunities to extend compassion and empathy. Jeff and Clara organized; recruited Ben, Isaac, Michaela, Jon, and Kyle; got all the parents on board; asked Calvary Christian Church and Wellspring Lutheran Church’s Sunday school classes for support; and Jeff got Dominos in Bellevue to supply pizza for the event.
They sat and rocked for twelve hours-pretty amazing (especially for the exuberant Jeff) and knitted hats, mittens, and a scarf. They made thank you posters for all the classes that donated and one fore me. They raised $1071! All of these families are focused on the little things of life. These kids are incorporating compassion and empathy into their being so they do not have to think about being that way—they simply are. They all already are accomplishing big things. Imagine the big things God will work threw you as you are focused on the little.
Senior Development Officer
Open Door Mission
22 March 2011
Open Door Mission would be unable to provide services to over 500 men, women and children each day without the help of caring individuals in the Heartland. "You would not believe that amount of work that is accomplished from the assistance of volunteers. When those we serve see other people from the community at Open Door Mission they know someone cares." says Candace Gregory, President/CEO.
Please check back tomorrow and read why some of the students wanted to come volunteer at Open Door Mission.
17 March 2011
First: The large majority of my chosen audience was guys who have momentary given up life’s struggle. Men whom for various reasons have decided to fight no longer, succumbing to the seductive lure of drugs, alcohol and guilt. Guys who have been deceived by the Enemy into believing there is no hope.
Second: I also at one time was a client in the same homeless shelter. I knew these men personally, sharing food, crimes and drugs. I too at one time was deceived by the Enemy into believing the lie of hopelessness.
I stood before the men and boldly declared the salvation of the Gospel and it’s saving grace. Before them I boldly preached of how I am compelled to share with the world how Yahweh has had compassion on me and how he has broken the death grip of Satan. And even more important, they too through faith and belief in our LORD and SAVIOR can become heirs to the kingdom. I shared of GOD’S great mercy and how he is pleading with every sinner to come to him and be forgiven. I read from Isaiah 1.18 where the LORD extends this invitation to the sinner:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:This is the day of the LORD and salvation is here: WHOMEVER SHALT CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.(Romans 10.13).
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
Snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool
I was well received by my peers and I felt like a servant of GOD preaching salvation to the poor and downtrodden. Many came to me after chapel and expressed how happy they were for me. I prayed with them that they might understand that this grace is not just for me but that it is free to all believers willing to confess in the LORD CHRIST.
Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the LORD hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Jesse A. Powell Jr.
Garland Thompson Men's Center
15 March 2011
Human Resources Director
Open Door Mission
12 March 2011
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Open Door Mission by bring cans of food. Each day Open Door Mission is serving more than 1,700 hot nutritious meals to many hungry and homeless men, women, and children and you made a difference right here, right now in your community.
10 March 2011
Job 11 (New International Version)
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him (God) and stretch out your hands to him (God), 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”
Jesus is the only hope for your life and mine.
08 March 2011
Karen Applegate, Open Door Mission's Director of Development served the hungry and homeless for more than 23 years. Many of you have been praying for Karen over the last few years as she battled cancer. At 3:30 a.m. on Saturday March 5, 2011, Karen went home to be with Jesus. She got to hear those covetted words... well done good and faithful servant. Please be in prayer for Karen's family.
Please join us...
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
6 p.m. to 8 p.m
Cutler O'Neill Funeral Home
545 Willow Ave in Council Bluffs, IA
Celebration of Life Service...
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
First Christian Church
20794 Highway 92 in Council Bluffs, IA
07 March 2011
My name is Vickie and I have a Son named Charlie who is eight years old. About three years ago, I came to the Timberlake Outreach Center because I needed assistance with food and clothing. I was working full time evenings, every weekend and holiday just to make ends meet. I didn’t have any goals. I was in survival mode.
After going to Timberlake a couple of times and attending their worship service, I met with a staff member who talked to me about Christ and prayed for me. Soon after that, I was invited into the 2911 Program.
I began a one on one ministry with Judy Collins, who taught me about the love Christ has for me and that God does have a plan for me. I recently read the survey I completed when joining the 2911 Program and did not recognize that person. At that time, I was very unhappy with almost everything in my life and didn’t have a lot of hope that things would change for me. I felt lost and confused spiritually.
Since then I have come full circle. I am more peaceful and have no doubts that God will sustain me. I’ve learned to set goals and attended classes on nutrition and budgeting. I am now debt free, work one daytime job, which allows me to be with my son and am starting my second year in college and plan on becoming a paralegal and donating some of my time to help people like myself who need help filing forms and navigating the legal system.
I joined Flatland Church, which I absolutely love, and like volunteering to help with our neighborhood ministry programs, attend Bible study classes and coordinate transportation for our congregation. I believe God’s plan for me three years ago was to find the 2911 Program. I am truly grateful for that and look forward to what else He has in store for me.
At the present time we have over one hundred families on our 29/11 Program and through God’s love, His life changing power, your support through gifts and donations we are able to help families like Vicki’s to have a better life and hope for the future.
Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins, Timberlake Outreach Center / 2911 Success Net Director
03 March 2011
After dropping donations off over the years they learned more about Open Door Mission and decided to start donating money. He said, “We see it as an investment in changing lives.”
But the biggest smile on his face came when he said, “Now I have time to volunteer! I have always wanted to volunteer but my business and family life schedule have been too hectic. Now I am retired and I plan on coming down at least once a week to help out.” He said this with the enthusiasm of a school child anticipating recess.
He is certainly a JOYFUL GIVER! What a joy to be in his presence. When I left, after the luncheon, he was with other volunteers making sandwiches for the men and women that come to Open Door Mission with hunger.
Each partner of Open Door Mission is such a blessing! Please visit our web-site to find out how you can be a blessing as well.
Scott P. Shreve
Senior Development Officer
01 March 2011
On Saturday Feb 19th we had a women’s retreat here at the Lydia House for all of our Life Changing Program Members. Set Me Free Ministries filled the day with a powerful Christ filled message, music, and a catered lunch. Many of our women spent the day in tears and self reflection over the message that this group brought to the ladies. Our women were not only touched by the quality of what was being offered but by the individual testimonies of Set Me Free Ministries members that it has made a lasting impact on their future.
We also had the opportunity to have an artist from St. Louis named Bert Vander Mark who has a ministry called Visual Parables come to the mission for a 2 day very special art experience for all of our Lydia House Residents. Bert presented the gospel and other spiritual messages before the clients were ask to set what they heard or what the spirit was leading them to express through art by paining, coloring or drawing. Tara Rye partnered with the Open Door Mission & Visual Parables to help provide volunteers to assist our guests with their art work and provide uplifting music while we were painting. We made a huge fun mess and found that most of our children were expressing themselves by actually wearing their art!
We also had the opportunity to go the Circus on Friday! Can you believe that most of our guest here at the mission have never been to the circus. Everyone who went had nothing but wonderful memories and great stories to tell about their first experience under the big top.