29 April 2016

Families Reunited Through God's Love

     Recently this was shared on our Facebook wall, and I’d like to share it with you too:

My sister is a recent graduate of your WorkNet program. Before she came to Open Door Mission, I had been counseled to write her off as dead.  After learning what drug addiction does in most cases, I thought that was going to be the advice I must follow.  I figured my sister was gone, that the drugs had become who she was, and that wasn't anyone I knew or, frankly, anyone I wanted to know or to expose my kids to.
So, from a distance, I did the only thing I knew to do--I prayed!  I prayed for her life, soul, and safety. God answered my prayers through the staff at your organization!  You put your faith in my sister, teaching her how to put faith in Jesus, and eventually in herself!  Thank you for not only saving my sister's life, but for saving her Soul
She has given her life to our Lord and after being able to spend five days with her during her graduation week I can say, it is a blessing to have my sister back! It had been six long years since I had last seen her, and with tears in my eyes, I can honestly say that you are the best thing that could have ever happened to her!   There could never be enough money in the world to compensate you for what you do in so many peoples’ lives each day!  Thank you for doing the Lord’s work.  God Bless each and every one of you!

     This supportive sister actually sat in on our WorkNet class the day before our last graduation, and I was able to see the joy and relief in her eyes as she talked about her sister and how far she had come.  It is a blessing to be able to witness families being reunited through recovery and God's love!  I felt honored to share that moment, share some laughs, and see the Lord's work being done!

Gerry Ford
WorkNet Director

28 April 2016

A Personal Interview With Candace Gregory

     Recently, our own Candace Gregory was mentioned on an Open Door Mission volunteer’s blog!  Read the inside information Beaufield Berry-Fisher got from Candace:

     For over 60 years the Open Door Mission has been committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.  They serve over 2,000 hot, nutritious meals every day. EVERY.  DAY.  Many of the people’s lives they change are veterans of the U.S. armed forces and survivors of abusive households.  The average age for a homeless child in America?  9 years old.
     I was invited to a Brunch and Learn at Open Door Mission a few weeks ago and came out with a very different perspective than I had going in.  Candace Gregory, the Mission President/CEO and fearless leader had ignited me.  She had absolutely broken my heart, filled it again and then set it on fire.  In a good way.  Hearing the FACTS about the nations homeless population and seeing her pure dedication and passion in doing the best work she can in OUR city-was tremendous.
     I looked over at my Mom and said, “I want THAT.”  Meaning, that illuminated drive and purpose she was sharing with all of us.  It was so palpable, I haven’t shaken it off.  I’ve absorbed part of her mission and have been working to spend some of my time and energy to do work for Open Door Mission and Lydia House as well (the Lydia House is the side of Open Door Mission that cares for women and children).  There are VERY many ways to donate and serve Open Door Mission, who takes no federal funding and operates from private donations.
     So it’s my pleasure to include Candace Gregory as my Woman Crush on this Wednesday.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?  My kids…..bahahaha….I actually do not require that much sleep so I am usually up and going at the crack of dawn.
What is your motto/mantra?  It is what it is….
Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life when it comes to what you do?  Next to Jesus, my parents have been the biggest influence on me and my life. Their faith, work ethic, and integrity.
What are your personal core values?  Faith, Trustworthy, Work Ethic, and Joy.
Why do you do what you do?  It’s my calling to serve others and I want to be obedient to God.
3 Things you can’t live without.  Dark Almond Chocolate milk, my kindle, and lobster.
What do you want people to know about your job?  It’s rewarding to see lives changed every day and to see God at work in people’s lives, but it’s overwhelming and discouraging at times, the amount of need that is going unmet.
 Who is your rock?  Next to God, my husband, Steve.
Working at a Non-Profit in Omaha is:  Awesome.
What is the biggest unfairness in your world?  Social Injustice
What is the biggest joy?  Several joys come to mind – Graduation day and hearing the inspirational stories of life change, volunteers that are faithful and serving, and the ocean.
Something you think but never say.  Seriously, are you out of your ever loving mind….
Quote that just “gets you.”  “If you cannot feed everyone, then feed one.”  --Mother Theresa
What is your theme song?  Overcomer by Mandisa
How can people be involved in your organization and why is it so important?  Open Door Mission could not do what they do without volunteers.  We love volunteers.  You are never too young or too old to make a difference.  Time changes lives.

To see the original blog post, please click here.

Beaufield Berry-Fisher
Open Door Mission Volunteer

27 April 2016

All Hard Work Brings a Profit

     Last week I met with one of the renters in the Permanent Supportive Housing building.  She has been looking for a job for quite some time, applying over and over.  She was telling me about her frustrations, but showing me that she is still continuing to apply.
     One application asked for three professional references, and she had troubles coming up with three.  We were brainstorming of solutions, but she felt discouraged.  I suggested that she go to her apartment, take a break, and come back to it later.  I encouraged her to not ruminate on it, but that maybe she would think of something later on. 
     She came back about 15 minutes later with the joy of the Lord in her eyes.  “I have to tell you what just happened,” she said.  “I was upstairs praying, saying, ‘Lord please help me know what to do.’  Then a few minutes later I got a call from Wal-Mart, a job I interviewed for last week, and they offered me the job!”  She was humbly praising the Lord!
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.  --Proverbs 14:23
     This job did not drop out of the sky for her, she applied for many positions, and has made a profit through all her hard work.  Praise God who loves to bless His children!  This is just one of many stories that happen at Open Door Mission on a daily basis.  What an encouragement it is to work here to know that God is here, alive and working every day in our community! 

Trudy Woodward
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

26 April 2016

KFC is Making a Difference!

     Korah, Teresa, and the entire team at KBP's Maple Street KFC Restaurant in Omaha are making a difference in the local community.  The team has raised over $1,200 in 8 days for Open Door Mission, a Gospel Rescue Mission dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. 
     Each day, Open Door Mission's campus offers 816 safe, shelter beds to homeless men, women and children and serves over 2,000 hot, nutritious meals.
     Thank you, Team Omaha, for pitching in to help a wonderful charity!
     Click here to learn how to join in KFC's fundraising through the month of April!



KBP Foods
Open Door Mission Partner

25 April 2016

Shout Out From the Learning Center

     A huge shout-out to Open Door Mission’s IT man Travis for all his work in updating the Learning Center computers!  These computers are used by the Mission’s guests to work on resumes, search for jobs, finish their GEDs, complete homework for one of our life-changing programs, and so much more.
     These men and women are so grateful!  Thanks so much, Travis!  What a blessing it is to work on a team that truly is the Body of Christ.  We each have a role, and we work best together!

Anna Razamozova
Learning Center Director

22 April 2016

Chosen

     I was encouraged by this sermon, “Chosen” by Louie Giglio, and wanted to share some of it with you.
"Some may ask, ‘If God knows everything why should I preach the gospel or go to Nepal...God’s got it.  He's in charge.  The reason is God gave us this place in the world to be an extension of God’s heart of grace and mercy to the whole world.  For we are Gods workmanship--Ephesians 2:10. God invited us to be in the story for this opportunity.  For we are created for good works so we could walk in them.
God created us in the story and gave us this amazing opportunity.  We lift up Jesus and live lives of purpose.  We walk in validation but don't wait for the moment to give us validation!"
     I pray that we may walk FULLY in our calling to the Lord Jesus Christ.  God invited us in.  He didn't say, “Well, I guess you are here…”  Instead, He said, “I have called you to be an extension of my heart to show grace and mercy to the whole world!”
     We lift up Jesus in everything we do and we walk in the validation we already have: that we have been Chosen by God to do good works.  We don't wait for someone to say it, or a moment to prove it, as God has already given that to us.  We can walk in victory of who and Whose we are!
     I am thankful to work for a place where we put ministry first in all we do, and where I work alongside such Godly people who love Jesus!  May we continue to walk boldly and share the Gospel with others who don't know Jesus.  May we lift up Jesus in word, action, and everything we do.  May we walk in the calling the Lord has given us!  That is my prayer for us today and every day! 

Trudy Woodward
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

21 April 2016

I'm So Thankful!

     I want to take this opportunity to express how grateful I am to work in Open Door Mission’s Lydia House!
     While working at the Lydia House, I’ve grown immensely.  I know that God isn’t just here with the guests and those in the program, but He’s also here with the staff and volunteers.  I've seen guests grow, change, and develop into a better people, but never did I imagine when I first came on staff that God would work through me in the same way.
     The Lord has helped me grow and develop so much because of each and every person I have interacted with.  Thanks to all of you!  I never guessed I'd be so blessed upon being here, and I truly know that God works in us, through us, and through the guests for us every single day we are here.
     Daily, each person at the Lydia House impacts me in ways you may never know.  I just want to fully express my appreciation for each and every one of you for the ways you've touched my heart and my life.  I cherish each day at Open Door Mission. 
     Each staff member at the Mission is incredibly important. They come into work every day not looking for a thank you, but to do God's work and to help those in need. I am so grateful for all the things you do, those I have met and those I have not. I have seen the impact of what each of you are doing on a daily basis in each guest here.
     Please join me in continuing to pray for each staff member, the Mission as a whole, and all the programs here. 

Tyler Johnson
Family Support Worker

20 April 2016

Discovering God's Purpose

     "I did not know what a luxury it was to have a good job, until I lost mine."
     Roxie’s story is one about America’s struggling economy.  It’s one of a hardworking single mother.  But Roxie’s story is also one of hope.
     For 16 years, Roxie held an office job in California that paid the bills, provided insurance, and had flexible hours for her to take care of her family.  Then one day, the company downsized their staff, cutting Roxie’s position.
    Having some money for emergencies, Roxie was able to provide for her family for a while; submitting as many applications as she could.  Although she picked up jobs here and there, a year and a half produced no full time jobs.
     Eventually the savings and the 401k ran out, and Roxie and her family were evicted from their apartment.  So the family of four moved into a friend’s house.  “This home was nice at first, but eventually became less welcoming,” said Roxie.
     One day, the host family told Roxie that she had to move her family out.  
     Roxie decided to sell everything and move out to Omaha, NE, closer to family for support and new opportunities.
     After landing in Omaha, the family took a taxi directly to the Lydia House.  During this short ride Roxie prayed, “It’s all on You, God.”  She knew that her Lord would provide for and protect them.
     The doors of the Lydia House were so welcoming.  God opened up the exact number of sleeping mats on the floor in the Overflow Section that Roxie and her family needed.
     “The staff said, ‘Sit here, relax.  You’re safe.’”
     Today, Roxie and her family have their own family unit at the Lydia House, and things are looking brighter than ever.  Roxie graduated from the career assessment and development program, known as WorkNet, at the Lydia House.  She now has a full time job and so does her oldest daughter.
     God has been Roxie’s rock through this whole process.  He has always been there.  She is thankful that He always kept their family together and that they never spent a night on the streets.
     Her relationships with other families in the Lydia House truly have changed her as well.  “We’re all human, we’re all on the same level…I’ve learned that women going through recovery are strong and compassionate.  They get that strength from each other and from the Lord…Here is a safe place for them.”
     Click here for more stories of HOPE.

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator