19 November 2018

Timberlake Outreach Center

     Thank you to those staff members who have joined us in guest services this past week. So many have been blessed through you. Thank you!

     I just  want to share something that I overheard yesterday. George has checked in guests all day. At the end he Was thanking a volunteer for her help in the manna pantry and he asked her if she knew those that she helped? He continued by telling her “ you helped a woman with lung cancer, a family that just lost everything, a man who just took in two foster children, one that had wanted to just give up and many more! 

     Both the volunteer and I were touched and gently reminded that those that come through our doors have a life story with great need. What George gave  to those guests was a prayer of blessing and of hope and a moment of his time to listen and show compassion. Those prayers unlock the door of Heaven and let the Love of Jesus flow into lives of those we serve. 

     There are those all around us that need a prayer and someone who cares. Thank you all for making Jesus known in your place  at ODM and beyond. His love changes everything!! 

Blessings to you all. 

Laura Keen
Homeless Prevention Director

09 November 2018

From Dark to Light

     I came to the Open Door Mission February 14, 2018. That was the day I had
enough of what I now call, "the old me." I no longer recognized who I was anymore. I had transformed slowly into a person who was ashamed of the person I had become. I was as far as I could be from God. I no longer felt the Holy Spirit within me. I was living up to my name of "The Boogeyman". I no longer felt conviction for anything bad I was doing at this point in time. 
     I came to the Open Door Mission broken, hurt, and full of broken promises. I remember beforehand at my house I was so tired, hurt, addicted, ashamed, and full of misery that it brought me to my knees. I cried out to God to please forgive me for all that I had become. To please show me mercy and grace even though I didn't deserve it. That pain I felt was indescribable. I had never felt that before in my life. God heard my prayer; he lifted that pain and gave me the strength to pick myself up from the floor. I will never forget that day and now is the rock in which I stand to never go back. I learned firsthand that day how forgiving God is. I did not deserve His grace, yet had never forgotten about me. He was just patiently waiting for me to get tired of the way I was living. 
     I will be forever grateful to God for forgiving me and allowing me a second chance at life. I show just how grateful I am everyday by living each day that I wake up with breath, for him. I strive each and every day to do his will and try my hardest to fulfill my purpose that he has in store for me. I know that I fall each and every day but that's okay. God has showed me that he is okay with that because I am not perfect. He just wants me to make an effort everyday on building a stronger connection and relationship with him. Through that, he teaches me the lessons that I need to learn and in return, I gain so much knowledge and wisdom. I truly believe now that I have a purpose and that feels so good. That feeling is the fuel that I use to persevere through the trials that I fail at so many times. That feeling is the reason I pick myself up and dust myself off no matter what. I know that in whatever I do from now on, God has my back. He has my best interest at heart. 
     For the first time in my life, I am excited for my future. My favorite quote by man has to be a quote by Mark Twain which is, "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why." My favorite scripture has to be Isaiah 41:10 "fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand." Both I believe I have experienced firsthand. When I feel down or discouraged, I look up and remember how far I have come in my journey. It brings a smile to my face. I no longer feel stressed, depressed or anxious. I feel such a peace nowadays. It's a good feeling having God in control.
     If I could give one piece of advise to someone that just made the decision to turn their life over to God, it has to be that God is looking for availability, not ability. Our talents will never impress God, but our submission will get His attention. You learn that lesson and you will hit the ground running . Prepare yourself because your life is going to be full of blessings and you will be a blessing to others, you watch and see. If someone with as dark of a past as I have can change their life, hope is not lost. Anybody's chains can be broken. It's up to you if or when you've had enough. Make the change and commitment. God is always waiting patiently. The next move is yours. What will it be? 

Angel Diaz
New Life Recovery Program Graduate.

08 November 2018

Providing Hope

     Once living at Open Door Mission, Kristi is now helping others in need at Open Door Mission...Providing Hope for a Changed Life.

Maggie Cope 
Gift In Kind Coordinator

07 November 2018

Sons and Daughters of God

     This is the season when it gets tough. Some days for our guests, and some  are tough on staff. I can't tell you how important it is to be filled up with the word of God on a daily basis. As I was spending time with the Father last night, he shared something with me that I would like share with all of you. God speaks to me in acronyms all the time and he said, "Do you know what son and daughter mean?"



I hope this brings encouragement to all as we serve a good, good Father.


Damien Wilson
Men's Support Worker

06 November 2018

Compassion Fatigue

     This was sent to me from a wonderful volunteer and I hope you all will be encouraged by it. 

From Today’s Daily Bread

Compassion Fatigue
Bill Crowder

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

Matthew 9:35–38
Jeremiah 24–26; Titus 2

Anne Frank is well known for her diary describing her family’s years of hiding during World War II. When she was later imprisoned in a Nazi death camp, those with her said “her tears [for them] never ran dry,” making her “a blessed presence for all who knew her.” Because of this, scholar Kenneth Bailey concluded that Anne never displayed “compassion fatigue.”

Compassion fatigue can be one of the results of living in a badly broken world. The sheer volume of human suffering can numb even the best intentioned among us. Compassion fatigue, however, was not in Jesus’s makeup. Matthew 9:35–36 says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Our world suffers not only from physical needs but also from spiritual brokenness. Jesus came to meet that need and challenged His followers to join Him in this work (vv. 37–38). He prayed that the Father would raise up workers to respond to the needs all around us—people who struggle with loneliness, sin, and illness. May the Father give us a heart for others that mirrors His heart. In the strength of His Spirit, we can express His compassionate concern to those who are suffering. 

You can make a difference.

Laura Keen
Timberlake Outreach Center Director

05 November 2018

Thank you, Pops!

     Scott (Scotty to me, Pops to everyone else) received this card from a Marian High School student. He is always helping out with staff and volunteers with a smile on his face and servanthood in his heart. I am so thankful that an outside group recognized him in such a beautiful way. Just added to his smile. Keep being Jesus to others can see Jesus and know Jesus. Way to go, Scotty!

Kate Fischer
Health & Healing Center Director

02 November 2018

Who Are You Imitating?

     We are all imitating someone in this world.  What does being an imitator mean?  It means to copy the behavior or actions of another (dictionary).  Who are we copying?  Are we in love with the culture around us and just imitating famous people we admire? Are we imitating famous Christians even? Or, are we imitating God?  Ephesians 5 calls us to imitate God. 

     Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them--Ephesians 5:1-7

     When I look at my own life I ask myself, do I imitate God.  Do I know God?  Can I imitate someone I do not know?  Am I making time to truly know who God is?  How can I know more of God, in order to imitate God more?  Am I living a life of love to be imitated? (IF: Equip Bible Study)

     Am I a good witness to those around me that don’t know Christ?  Am I imitating a famous Christian or am I imitating Christ?  Am I making time to be in God’s Word everyday. Not just read it, but actually be present reading it.  Through the busyness of full-time ministry, I sometimes get so wrapped into the day to day, that imitating Christ gets pushed to the side and I find myself saying, “When I have more time, when I get more sleep, when life slows down….etc.”  Do the words I speak bring life to those around me? Am I filled with thankfulness, or am I dragged down by the hard days of full-time ministry? 

     This passage just points to Jesus.  It points to the fallen-ness of humankind.  We struggle to imitate God; we don’t always speak life and are not always thankful.  But the Good News of the Gospel is we don’t have to have it together.  We have a personal relationship with Jesus who died for our sins, rose again and saved us!  With Jesus, we can imitate God; rearrange who we are to join where He is (Jo Saxton).  Once we take our eyes of ourselves and just look to Jesus, our only response is gratitude (Sissy Mathew).

     I pray we would be people that would imitate Christ and be known for imitating Christ.  I pray we would look internally and rearrange who we are to be where God is.  Would we not just get dragged down by the stresses of everyday life, but instead be people who exert thanksgiving, even during the hard days.

Trudy Woodward
Lydia House Director

01 November 2018

College Possible

     Last weekend, we were blessed to have more than 1,000 hours of service donated by College Possible high school students. 
     “Open Door Mission was thrilled to be partnering with College Possible as providing HOPE for others is a core value for both organizations,” said Candace Gregory, President/CEO of Open Door Mission. “The student's impact will have a ripple effect on the community that will stay with them into their careers which will lead them back to volunteerism, again and again. WE are grateful for the more than 1,000 hours of service being donated that will leave a College Possible hand print all over the Open Door Mission Campus.”

Kristen Dineen
Public Relations Coordinator

31 October 2018

Bellevue Schools

     Thank you to the Lewis and Clark Middle School "Builders Club" and the Bellevue West High School "Key Club" who volunteered and donated items at the Timberlake Outreach Center. We love watching school-aged children get involved at the Mission. It's really awesome that kids not only care about the community but want to help us empower men, women, and children to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.  

Garrett Ross
Volunteer & Partner Director

30 October 2018


Dr. Tommy Watson shared his story of growing up in a home filled with addiction and his fight to get out of it.


Steve Frazee
Senior Program Director

29 October 2018

Flu Clinic

     We want everyone to be protected this year. It's going to be a bad one they say. 

     Thanks again for numbers that came out! We surpassed our goal!

Blessings All,

Kate Fischer
Health & Healing Center Director

26 October 2018

Winter Vegetables

Last week, the snow didn't keep Garry the gardener down! He says, "Snow one day, picking tomatoes and peppers from greenhouse the next!"

Garry Struebing

25 October 2018

Food For Thought

     What happens when you are blinded by your desires?

     You fail to see your higher calling.

     In TUMI, Open Door Mission's Urban Ministry program, we were discussing sanctification and salvation. In the discussion, we realized our focus was on a point in time, saved, and not the relationship, salvation. Good things can blind us.

     Sometimes when we work, we work to solve a problem, desire. This can cloud or blind us to our higher calling.

Steven Frazee
Senior Program Director

24 October 2018

Apple Creek Apartments

Apple Creek apartments is hosting a food drive and look at all of these goodies! This food will go to individuals and families who are in need this holiday season. 

Lauren Catlett
Digital Communications Coordinator

23 October 2018

Timberlake Outreach center Blessing

     We want to give a big thank you to students from Bellevue High School, Kara, Scarlett, Tea, Katie, and Caitlyn. These amazing women decided to bless the Timberlake Outreach Center's guest children by making sack lunches and giving out gifts for a school project. Way to make a difference, ladies!

Evelyn Valdez
Bilingual Intake Worker

22 October 2018

Suburban Rotary Club

Suburban Rotary Club came over this morning with 150 pairs of Scheels mens hiking boots. Methodist came with nurses & occupational therapists. Many volunteers helped register, soak feet, measure for a perfect fit and then handed a new pair of boots! What an amazing Blessing to all who had the opportunity to come. 

Kate Fischer
Health & Healing Center Director

19 October 2018

Lydia House

     So many of our days at a job like this are filled with stress, confrontation and frustration. Today I want to give you some good news! Recently, a lady left the overflow room in the Lydia House (LH) and she wrote out an exit interview. On this interview she wrote that her favorite thing about the Lydia House was the "peaceful, kind staff". She stated that we were very helpful and she was "comfortable and treated with respect here" and she is very grateful!

     Another one of our ladies was recently given a family room so she could be reunited with her boys. She told me in tears that this would never have happened if it were not for the LH. 

     Greg helped get keys out of a locked car for one of our ladies. She wrote a note saying "Very few people would have taken the time to do that for her". She was so thankful!

     We had a lady that was taken to the ER and had her appendix removed. She was thankful to be sleeping on a mat although she was in immense pain. I asked Ronda, an employee of Open Door Mission, if we could quickly move her to a room so she could recover in a bed. Ronda made this happen and this guest has thanked us more times than I can count. 

     Last, I had a Parole Officer call me today about one of his ladies who used to be in the New Life Recovery Program. He stated that he is thankful we are firm with his clients. He said the ladies tell him they do not get away with stuff here and yet they are still thankful to be here. He then told me that whatever we are doing, keep doing it!

Shelly McCullough
Case Manager


18 October 2018

God's Sovereignty

     God's sovereignty is over all. Sometimes it is hard to be still and wait, as God is working in us and through us. As I get to see our guests every month, I try to encourage and give them hope (I understand we all have different situations in our lives that are difficult to deal with.) But when we know God and we live a life of faith, we know that He is the way and the truth and I love sharing this good news with everyone. 
     Jill is a beautiful lady that I have gotten to know over the years I've served here at Timberlake Outreach Center (TOC). She has gone through a lot; we've prayed, laugh and cried together, but always knowing God will take care of her needs. 
     She went through a lot with her family and lost custody of her children. So, she's been trying really hard to get them back. A few months ago she came and she told me she was getting ready to get her children back. I said, "God will do that for you."
     We prayed and gave thanks to the Lord for what HE has already done and she went home. 
     Today she stopped by the TOC and we were not that busy so she walked to my area. She said hello. I looked at her and she looked happy, but that time I only saw her. When I looked again, I saw her children standing around her and my eyes got watery and I said, "Oh my God you have them!"
     She said "Yes, today is my first day without someone watching over me." She gives thanks to God she has them, and we praised our Lord together.
     This is so amazing because God's timing is perfect. Jill is in a better place with herself and ready to love and care for her children. I know God takes care of every need we have if we believe and trust Him. Let's speak life to everyone that we cross paths. 

Evelyn Valdez
Bilingual Intake Worker

16 October 2018

Collegiate Kiwanis Holiday Help

Nebraska/Iowa Circle K International (Collegiate Kiwanis) stopped by the Timberlake Outreach Center on Saturday and helped sort and organize hats, gloves, and scarves for the cold days that are upon us. They also helped us inventory hams and turkeys for Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for the help for the Holiday Season. 

Garrett Ross
Volunteer & Partner Director


15 October 2018

Lifegate School

     Today, a few staff from Open Door Mission were eating lunch at a table in our community dining room. Throughout the kitchen and dining room were many elementary aged children in blue tee shirts. They were wiping tables, helping with food, all kinds of jobs. Three sweet 11 year old girls came to our table and asked if they could join us. 
     We asked where they were from and they told us Lifegate School.  As we sat there, they asked us many questions. 'Do you work here?' 'Do you sleep here?' 'What do you like most about your job?' 'Do you get to talk to the people here?' And then they did the most amazing thing; they asked if they could pray for us. We all stopped and bowed our heads while these three beautiful little girls took turns praying for us. They prayed for the mission and asked that Jesus shine His light on everyone here.  It was so simple but so powerful, and they were not intimidated at all to just talk to the Lord - in front of strangers. It was the biggest blessing of my day. 
     Volunteers come in all sizes, large and small. The faith in these three little girls shined brighter today than many adults. It was a reminder to me that God is working in many ways, in many people and in many places - to call us all to Himself. And sometimes He shows up in the most unexpected ways. 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 

Meredith Seaman
Heartland Circle Coordinator


05 October 2018

Fall Garden with FedEx

     Fed Ex stopped by and not only donated 196 lbs. of food, but helped us in the Garden by picking vegetables and cleaning up. They were a great team! 

Garry Struebbing

04 October 2018

Riverside Presbyterian Parish

     These folks made 216 lunches today and a whopping 1,080 sandwiches! I couldn’t keep up with them!!! Not even kidding. What a blessing these seniors are! 

Carissa Zachary
Streets of Omaha

03 October 2018

A Successful Foot Clinic

     Suburban Rotary Club came over this morning with 150 pairs of Scheels men's  hiking boots. Methodist came with nurses & occupational therapists. Many volunteers helped register, soak feet, measure for a perfect fit and then handed a new pair of boots! What An Amazing Blessing to all who had the opportunity to come. Thank You! 

Kate Fischer, LIMHP
Health & Healing Center Director

02 October 2018

Beals Elementary

     Beals Elementary stopped by to help us make sack lunches for our Streets Ministry and we are so thankful! 

Carissa Zachary
Streets of Omaha 

01 October 2018

From Father to Son

     One of the most encouraging things happened to me today! 

     Vance, a staff member at the Garland Thompson Men's Center, is a graduate from our New Life Recovery Program.

     He was a MESS when he first came to us; but my, how he has changed because of Christ!

     As I was leaving from lunch today, he came over and told me about a conversation he is having with his son.

     His son is going through some health issues right now and Vance is showing me the exchange of text messages between his son and him which read something like this:

Vance: How are you doing with the pain?  Be careful with the pills.
Son: No pills, pain is manageable, but I am getting sick because of medicine. It is really hard to deal with.
Vance: Do you Pray?
Son: Yes
Vance: Do you read the Bible?
Son: No

     Vance then quoted John 1:1-4, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

     He explained how Jesus longs to be known, have a relationship with each of us and that we can know him by his word he left for us. He then told his son how much he loved him.

     After reading the texts, he was wiping away tears and said: "I'm sorry, I just am happy that I am able to talk to my son about Jesus like this, and he is receptive."

     I have tears while I write this.  I love seeing God redeem broken people like you and me. He adopts us into his family.  

     I can't think of anything more beautiful than a father loving his kids the right way!

Joshua Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator

27 September 2018

Group Prayer

     As I was coming into work today I saw something that made me smile and made me think. Walking down a sidewalk towards the Administration building were 3 of our program students. I recognized two of them from my Conflict Resolution class.

     Just then, they stopped and huddled with their arms on each others shoulders and began to pray. It's not unusual to see prayer on our campus, but it is usually staff who initiates that. Seeing our students spontaneously stop what they were doing to pray (for whatever they prayed for) made me smile. They have come so far, and now are walking the talk. They understand who gives them the power and protection to complete the journey that they have started here, and depend on His grace to complete it.

Meredith Seaman
Heartland Circle Coordinator

26 September 2018

Birthday Party

     We had a few friends stop by for the Lydia House birthday party! A big thank you to the decorations from Oriental Trading Co, gifts and more from Simon Says Live a Better Life. Also, Scatter Joy Acres brought animals for The Birthday Party Project’s County Fair theme! Our guests had such a great time!

Amy Harvey
Community Relations Director

25 September 2018

Guest to Donor

     I just got off the phone with a new monthly donor.  As I was learning about him, I found out he is originally from Togo, Africa. When he moved to Omaha back in 2010, he used to come to the Timberlake Outreach Center to get help with food and clothing.  He was also blessed by Open Door Mission's annual Drive through Christmas (a program that provides Christmas presents for children in the community).

     He was very excited to thank Open Door Mission and what the employees did for him when he first moved to the United States. His family is now in a good spot financially and to show his appreciation, he is now a monthly donor!  

     We are blessed to have a wonderful staff at Open Door Mission. They are a lighthouse to those ships that need a safe harbor from the waves of life and where they can get repaired, physically, emotionally and spiritually!

Joshua Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator