29 September 2012

Walking and a talkin

We had a walk-a-thon this past weekend and let me tell you it was a hit. The weather alone blew previous years out of the water and walkers rained in on us. Why? In past years it either blew heavy winds or rained hard on our event day. So it was a blessing to have perfect weather. The past 3 years i have walked the mile talking with people the whole way. This year I was tasked with taking people on tours. Understand this, I like giving tours. There is so much going on at the mission, and so many programs to talk about, that my tours are an hour and a half of laughs, ahaa moments and smiles. The down side is that I was required to trim it back. I had to pack all that great info and talking into a half hour. WHAT?! "Ok, I can do this!" 
 
I was able to trim and cut, and cram info in while walking and cut my tours down to an appropriate length (30 min exactly? Probably not, but SHHH don't tell Candace). It went well. I had some awesome groups very excited to learn about the mission and what we do. At the end of the event, I was pounding some amazing Chicken Tortilla soup from Dave and Busters, when someone asked if i would do the last tour. "Oh yeah, end of the day, no time constraints (to a point)!" I was able to take these 4 ladies on a tour of the mission and really lay it on thick. They were pumped. So much so, I thought they might be pulling my chain a bit. But they were excited because they learned enough to be able to refer people that use their ministry. They were asking about the TOC and how people can get connected there. They asked for specifics on how to get people started on getting into the PSH. It was a great refreshing time spent with some other Kingdom workers. 
 
Sometimes we might get this island mentality about the ministries we have or work with. But I have to keep in mind we are the Body of Christ, not an island of hope. We can tap and refer, and use other ministries just as they do ours. It is a great blessing to know poverty and homelessness is not laid at my feet. It is not laid at the feet of Open Door Mission. It is a challenge inherent in the Body of Christ. With how many people there are in the Body of Christ, man we can do this. We can answer the call our God put on our lives, and jump right in to help. We could sure use you here at Open Door Mission. Hope to see you soon! Would love to walk and talk with ya!
 
Taylor Clinch

28 September 2012

Crosswinds Apartments Responds to the Need

Crosswinds Apartments saw the need and responded by sponsoring a Toilet Paper drive for Open Door Mission. The residents donated over 40 pounds of toilet paper. Open Door Mission appreciates the response and generosity of the Crosswinds residents. The best thing was that Scottie said they would love to do some more drives for Open Door Mission. I am thinking that Project Santa or Christmas Bells would be a good one for them.

27 September 2012

DO YOU HAVE YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN?

Life is full of many great activities and opportunities that come our way. If you are like me, those activities very quickly fill your calendars. As our calendars fill up it seems like we are always in the “hurry scurry” mode trying to get everything on our calendar, and to do list, accomplished. I wonder how many of us, during these “hurry scurry” moments keep our eyes wide open to others around us who may be hurting, or need a helping a hand.

Recently I was driving down a very busy street here in Omaha on a Saturday morning, trying to get through the traffic and get to my next destination point. As I was moving along something out of the ordinary caught my eye. I noticed an elderly gentleman walking down the sidewalk wearing hospital scrubs, a hospital wrist band, carrying a hospital laundry bag, and pushing a very nice wheelchair. Now for some reason this sent up a big “red flag” to me, but evidently not to anyone else driving their vehicles down this busy thoroughfare.

I had a decision to make. Was I going to just keep on driving like everyone else, or was I going to delay my plans a few minutes in the chance that I might be able to help someone who may have not even known they needed to be helped. Fortunately, I made the decision to pull off the road and call 911, reporting what I saw. I decided to stay in eye sight of this elderly gentleman until the police officer could arrive and handle the situation. Once the officer arrived and had spoken with the gentleman I pulled next to the cruiser and asked if the man was okay. The officer told me the man had walked away from one of the nursing facilities in the area, and that they were going to take him back where he would be safe and secure.

My mind began to roam as I wondered how I would have felt if this had been my father, and no one on a busy street had cared enough to stop and investigate.

Recently, we heard the story on the news of the 67 year old man travelling by train who never showed up at his final destination. Upon investigating into this matter the police questioned others who had been on the same train. Witnesses reported that they had indeed seen the man on the train and that he had seemed confused and disoriented. The investigation ended with finding the man’s body somewhere on the ground between eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. How different this story could have ended had someone on the train stepped out of their comfort zone and tried to assist the disoriented man. A life would have been saved; a family would not be mourning the death of their loved one; fellow passengers would not be wondering what more they could have done to have changed the outcome.

Friends, as we move through our busy day to day lives, let’s strive to keep our eyes wide open to hurting people. Let’s look for opportunities to help a brother in need and extend our hands, even when it may not be convenient or might place us in an uncomfortable situation. Hurting people need a helping hand to come along side of them and protect them. When we have the ability to be those hands, let’s keep our eyes wide open until the task is completed.

Celeste

26 September 2012

Prayer Wall

1 Peter 5:7 “7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for YOU.“

You are so very special. Your gift of time, treasures and talents make it possible for us to care for the Heartland’s hungry and homeless 24/7/365. Thank you for being there for those that are hurting. Thank you for being there for us to help meet their needs.

Now did you know that we want to be there for YOU? Did you know that we have prayer warriors willing and able to lift YOU in prayer? We know that you are a real person with a real life and real needs of your own. Believe it or not, there isn’t much that separates you from me or the men, women and children we serve.

We have all been made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and we all encounter real-life circumstances that can wear us down. And we are all called “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). God’s Word says that “you have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). So ASK!

If God is laying something on your heart- a job, healing, a family need- please let us know. It is our desire to minister to YOU. Our staff would be happy to add you to our prayer list. Or feel free stop by one of our facilities and ask to be added to the Prayer Wall. We have one in every building! You can even fill out a prayer request form online on our website at www.opendoormission.org or call us anytime at 402-422-1111.

We serve an AWESOME God that cares for YOU! (1 Peter 5:7 ) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Victoria, Executive Assistant

25 September 2012

WorkNet Express


Isn’t it exciting to see someone’s eyes light up when they discover that their passion is an attainable goal? This is what happened to Ashely during my WorkNet Express class. It was the first night of class and I had only 1 student show up. I was trying my best to remain positive, but I had planned for 15 students so it felt like a let down. Instead of lecturing at the front of the classroom like I had planned, I pulled up a chair to her table and started the class. In that hour I learned that she not only had the passion to be a journalist, but that she was a very good writer. The poetry that she shared with me was engaging and intriguing. She had a special knack for putting her thoughts on paper. The more we spoke the more excited we became about her possible future as a writer. I am not sure if she would have spoken up about her passions to write had the class of 15 shown up. Praise the Lord for orchestrating the right people in the right place, or out of the right place, at the right time! It is truly rewarding to help people discover and move toward their dreams.
 
Noelle Pee

24 September 2012

Seeing God answering Prayers

Here at Open Door Mission we have the New Life Recovery Program.  This is designed specifically for men who have issues or addictions with Alcohol and/or Drugs. 
During the week the Program men have early morning devotions. Recently on a Friday morning one of the men suggested they pray for the Men's staff to be blessed and that the staff"s efforts with the other emergency men would be fruitful and well received. On the following Monday some of the Program men were very excited to share the results of their prayer request. When they asked certain staff members how their week-end went, they were told that if was one of the best and most productive one's they had in quite some time. The program men were very blessed to discover that God really is "no respecter of persons", and is interested in answering our requests in His time and in His way. The men were blessed to discover that they could be used by the Lord to share their love & concern with others in specific ways. We as a staff were pleased to see the men "grow" in faith and practical application of the truth, "love your neighbor as yourself."

20 September 2012

The Power of Education

“Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world.”
                                                                                      ― Nelson Mandela

As Learning Center Director at Lydia House, I constantly see people who feel as if nothing can change their world. The world has beaten them down and taught them lessons that cause them to feel as if they have no hope. My job in the Learning Center is to not only teach some basic skills but encourage our residents to have hope that things will get better. One of the joys of my day is to hear someone say that they succeeded at something, whether putting in a job application or studying for their GED. I encourage people to come tell me their frustrations so we can turn what is weighing them down into something that builds them up.

I cannot do this job alone and have been blessed with wonderful volunteers who help me and our residents immensely. I have tutors who come in and work with a few of our residents who are working on achieving their GEDs. Thanks to the tutors our residents are finding success and feeling more confident in their ability to attain their goals. The world is being changed one person at a time here at the Learning Center at Lydia House. IF you have a heart for Education and would like to have a volunteer oppourtunity please contact Open Door Mission's Volunteer Department at volunteer@opendoormission.org.

Colleen Freeman, M.A., PLMHP
Learning Center Director
Open Door Mission
Lydia House

19 September 2012

Success comes one day at a time!

Dan graduated from our New Life Recovery program and has been living in his own apartment since November 2011. It is amazing how God works in his life and how Dan is able to see God’s actions. This is new for him!

Dan lives in a small and as he calls it “unimpressive” basement apartment. He goes to AA meetings or Wednesday evening church. His schedule has him working on Sundays at the VA Hospital. Life is not easy. He has to take the bus or get a ride everywhere he goes because his license is revoked.

He is building friendships with people he met while here, at work, AA, and church. Life is still frustrating at times--even down right discouraging, but now Dan has God, friends, and a taste of success. He has accepted his past; deals with and mostly enjoys the now; and is looking forward to his future. He often tells me, “Success comes one day at a time, and I am good with that!” Praise God! eternal success in the Kingdom and at Open Door Mission.

18 September 2012

God's Grace

There are days, when my job is very difficult, but the opportunity to share in a life a person who is hopeless, the transforming power of God’s word and love so that man has a future and a hope makes it worth it all.

Recently, I received a phone call from a man, James. He spent several months in the program, but pride resulted in a fall. But thankfully the way God works in a person’s life, is by grace. And as we humble ourselves we begin to re-experience God’s grace. James asked for prayer to accept his role in HOW he responds to a serious crisis in his family’s life, rather than attempting to control WHAT is happening to his family. Pray for James, his wife and daughter, as they go through this crisis, and pray that James will humbly trust God goodness in the midst of the trial, and not demand his own will.

John Lindsey

14 September 2012

Saying Thank You to a Vet

The other day I had the opportunity to hear a man’s story. His name was Jack and in our conversation I found out that he was a vet. That is not entirely uncommon; many of the men that stay with us have put it all on the line for their country in the past. Jack told me about his mostly top secret experiences in the south pacific during the Vietnam War. His 6 years in the Navy were spent in the Seals, where he was a natural fit. He progressed through the ranks quickly and was very good at what he did.

He recounted the homecoming he received. It causes me great distress to hear how poorly our veterans were treated. I am grateful that he has found a place at the Open Door Mission where he is appreciated and respected. I find myself going out of my way to thank a vet and listen to their story. I am blessed every time to find men of character and a willingness to serve. More than 30% of the men at Open Door Mission are vets. Jack was recently honored as a vet in a ceremony by Woodmen of the World Alpha Lodge on the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the world trade center September 11, 2001. Woodmen of the World Alpha Lodge, donated a total of 4 flag pole sets to be placed around the Open Door Mission campus.

I encourage you to thank a vet today.

Jason Green
Director of Development, Open Door Mission

13 September 2012

VOLUNTEERS, What would we do without them?

What do you think of when you hear the name Timberlake Outreach Center? Many will say prevention, helping to keep the near homeless and people living in extreme crisis in their home. And that is very true, but we couldn’t do it with out the help of our volunteers who come to the Timberlake Outreach Center on a daily basis to help us prepare for the hundreds of shoppers who come through our doors for help.

There is always area’s to clean, clothes to hang, books to put on the shelves, houseware and kitchen items to put on the shelves, and furniture to move. Replenishing our stock and keeping our place clean is a big job and we couldn’t do it without the help from people like you who volunteer. Whether you choose to volunteer by your self, with a friend, in a small group or large group for our big project we want you to know how much we appreciate your help. So we thank you for volunteering and partnering with us in helping prevent homelessness.

If you have been thinking about volunteering PLEASE go to our web page and click on Volunteer at the top of the page and then scroll down to Sign up Now and fill out the short form.

May God bless you for partnering with us to better serve the homeless and near homeless at the Open Door Mission.

Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins, Director of Timberlake Outreach Center

12 September 2012

Helping Hand

Imagine yourself on a long hike with all your necessities in your back pack. At first you can handle it but as the trail seems to be unending to your destination your back-pack seems to be getting heavier & heavier and you are walking hunched back because your load feels so heavy! Then imagine that a friend comes by and walks along side you and just lifts the bottom of your bag. He doesn't take the bag from you, he's just lifting it to assist you. Suddenly your load seems a little lighter and you're walking upright again. That extra lift was all you needed to get you to your destination site! I heard that on the radio a few days ago and it made me instantly think of our wonderful donors and one of the many services that we provide through our Timberlake Outreach Center (TOC)!

We serve over 5000 families through the TOC by supplementing their income with pantries, furniture, shoes, clothing, & housewares! All for free so they can use their remaining money to pay utilities, rent, gas, etc... Sometimes, we just need that helping hand with the heavy load on our backs to carry us through.  And our donors, through their gift in kind & food donations are partnering with us to empower families to remain in their own homes though the services we provide at TOC! Reminder that we have Stuff A Truck event the first Saturday of every month at Dingman's Collision Center on 144th & Industrial Road.  We are collecting your gently used clothes, furniture & housewares! See you at the next one, and Thank You for making a difference in the Heartland! 

11 September 2012

Books Make a Difference in a Child’s Life

Inspired by the Lion’s Club International the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau made a wonderful donation to the children of Lydia House. Led by Nicole; Lindsey, Cathy and Vanessa, collected new books for the children at to have for their own and the Lydia House children’s library. Reading is so important to encourage children to look beyond their circumstances and to a future. A book given to a homeless child encourages creative thinking, provides special parent/child time, increases their reading levels and leads to improved school grades. At Open Door Mission and Lydia House books are a gift we love to give to children and their families. We appreciate the generosity of these ladies and the Omaha Convention and Visitor Bureau in investing in the children and giving them Hope. They have helped open a child’s world and given them possibilities of greatness. Thank you for the donation of books-they will make a difference.

07 September 2012

Complete (formerly Complete Music) Lets the Toilet Paper Roll!

Complete (formerly Complete Music) is doing more than spinning songs and making videos, they are giving back to the community too. In August they decided to do a drive for an item that doesn’t get a lot of “face time” but is vital to Open Door Mission and the people we serve. What is so important…Toilet Paper…we just can’t get enough of the stuff-because when you serve 450 a night that’s a lot of rolls we go through.

Thank you to Complete for making the “good times roll” in the metro area and for providing over 75 pounds of full toilet paper rolls. Complete Cares, their community service unit, has gotten off to a great start and Open Door Mission is looking forward to partnering with them for some more drives…by the way did I mention we need new toys for Christmas?!