23 December 2014

HOPE begins with a meal.

I enjoy working in the kitchen at the Open Door Mission! I am always amazed by the generosity of our community. The outstanding volunteer support and the yummy food donations are only the beginning! We watch first hand as God transforms the lives of those who seek a renewed HOPE and change. It's an honor to feed the multitudes but the great joy is knowing their souls are being fed and hearts are given new life.
So thankful to be part of the serving heart of the Open Door Mission!

Laura K.
Hospitality Director

22 December 2014

Because of YOU

There’s joy all over the place here at the Open Door Mission. Christmas is right around the corner, and we're celebrating the birth of our savior just like the angels did, with great joy.Don't get me wrong. There’s plenty of pain, too. Many of our guests come from broken homes and traumatic backgrounds. Many have endured unimaginable circumstances. Many have struggled with addictions, abuse and injustice.

But that’s where friends like you come in with your compassion and generosity, with your donations, volunteering and prayers. You are the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing joy into the lives of our guests and into the lives of the staff.Many of the clients we serve have great Christmas memories from childhood, but in more recent years they haven’t had much reason to celebrate. Being in a homeless shelter at Christmas can be painful. On the other hand, many of our guests had difficult childhoods with no happy Christmas memories and being in our shelter might be the happiest Christmas they have ever had. We’re here to bring them all joy.


But none of this joy would be possible without you and your generous support. Thank you so much for being a source of joy at Christmas. Thanks for helping to provide hope for the New Year ahead. We are blessed to be able to be here with these people, but none of it would be possible without you. May God Bless each and every one of you who make this possible.

Russell J.
Case Manager at Garland Thompson Men's Center

19 December 2014

JOY in the Shadow of the Cross

 This is the season we celebrate the birth of a sweet little boy baby…Jesus. The birth of a new baby always brings joy to the parents and family. We as a Christian family rejoice at the birth of Jesus too. I have been thinking about His mother Mary, a teenage girl suddenly a mother to the Messiah, not a “normal” little baby. I have often wondered what Mary was “pondering” in her heart those many years ago. She knew what the prophets had foretold…her child would die a brutal death. She would love Him and watch Him grow to manhood, yet He would still chose the path His Father God had for Him.
Then there is Joseph, being a father is hard, even without the burden of knowing you are raising God’s son. God chose Joseph to be the “father figure” and the “role model” of a Godly man in the formative years of Jesus’ life. Being the parents to God’s son was an awesome gift, but knowing He would die on the cross must have been heartbreaking.

So this Christmas celebrate with JOY the birth of the baby Jesus….but don’t forget that He became the “perfect lamb”, battered, beaten, ridiculed, and hung on a cross for our sins-because Christ chose to bring us the JOY of eternal life. JOY to the world, the Savior has come…to love and forgive-keep the Christmas JOY in your heart and life all the time…and share with those who need the JOY most of all.

Maggie C.
Communications Coordinator 

12 December 2014

Who Knew Santa Could Fly?

December at the Open Door Mission is my favorite month.  Some of my coworkers laugh at me when I say this because December at the Mission is known to be insanely busy and can sometimes begin to feel stressful.  But I love it!  Every year we take children and families all over the Metro to ice skate, meet Santa, look at the Christmas lights, Shop with a Cop, and much much more.  

My favorite memory this year has already been picked.  While at Shop with a Cop this year, an event where children are paired with a police officer and go Christmas shopping at Walmart, Santa arrived in an unusual fashion.  Santa showed up in a helicopter.  Imagine 50 windblown children so overcome that it looked like their heads might actually explode with excitement.  I laughed so hard I almost choked on my breath mint.

This moment, and many others like it, would not be possible without the continued support of the Omaha Metro Community.  To you I say thank you.  May God bless you this Christmas season.

Rachel F.
Children and Youth Director

10 December 2014

Hum Along

Hum Along
We are almost ready for Christmas.  The campus looks very festive and staff, volunteers, and guests are so excited about the events and special plans that will take place over the next few weeks. Yesterday, as I walked through the Lydia House, I heard some of the kiddos talking about Christmas and singing Christmas songs and carols. There’s nothing better than that!

As I listened to them sing the chorus of Oh, Come All Ye Faithful, individual stories and circumstances of guests that are staying with us, flashed thru my mind.

O come, let us adore Him
            Lost jobs…lost homes…            Separated from loved ones…
            Devastating health issues…mental illness…
O come, let us adore Him
            Thankful for shelter and food…new friends…second chances…
New faith…hopeful about the future…
O come, let us adore Him.  
Being a part of the work at Open Door Mission is truly rewarding and life-changing.  It’s not too late to join in the Christmas activities- sign up today!  And no matter your circumstances, hum along..........

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.


               
                 

             

09 December 2014

This isn't just ANY job..

I work at Open Door Mission because I get to spend my days surrounded by those who love Christ.  I get to work with people who allow Christ to shine through them.  Being in an environment that is Christ first, has given me such a peace of mind in and out of work, and it has strengthened my own walk with God.  I don’t know of any other “employer” that allows us to speak of God so freely, to openly pray for ourselves, and for others.  That actually puts God before anything else.  It makes me smile when I hear someone say “We’ll pray about this, and wait on God.”  It is not always an easy task, to be patient, but every blessing the Mission as has received is because we waited on God.   I cannot imagine any place better to work, any place better to hear other’s testimonies.  I truly am blessed by Open Door Mission and by every single person that works here.


-Angela

 Development Associate 

08 December 2014

Season of Gratefulness

It was the middle of the week. I just decided to take a second job for the holiday season. I was exhausted from the hours, beginning to feel sorry for myself. That day, I was having a conversation with one of our guests who is having difficulty finding a job. This guest had recently accepted Christ and turned his life around a lot, but his previous felony stamped on his record made it difficult for him to find a job.
Later that day I was talking to another guest. He also is struggling to find employment because he is still in the process of gaining his citizenship. That is when God convicted me. All day I had been feeling sorry for myself when there are people around me who would love to have opportunities like mine. Not only has God blessed me with this great job at Open Door Mission, where I get to serve others, but also a seasonal job. Those jobs allow me to pay rent and meet almost any other need I may have. I am so blessed

As we take time this thanksgiving to remember what we are thankful for, what are some blessings that we might overlook? I am thankful for all the volunteers, donors, guests, and staff because together we see God change lives at Open Door Mission!
Lindsay W.
Volunteer Coordinator