25 December 2007
The highlights are as follows,
Men's Emergency Services serving 220 men with gifts, food, fun and the Christmas story.
More than 100 sponsors providing gifts through Adopt A Family.
Christmas Bells arriving by the hundreds to be used all year long.
Operation Santa serving thousands of children.
and TODAY a Christmas Buffet with all the trimmings being served at the Open Door Mission.
19 December 2007
Every December, our families are blessed with a dinner at Olive Garden! So yesterday was a great opportunity to help model and teach the ladies/families how to do all the little details of preparing for a nice dinner out.
I learned so much from the women/families about life skills that I take for granted I somehow “naturally” know how to do:
--We did manicures on those who were interested —do you know someone who doesn’t know what cuticle care is? I do.
--We cut, trimmed and styled hair ---do you know someone who doesn’t know how to work shampoo through their hair to get it clean or get severe tangles out or use a curling iron? I do.
--We shopped at outreach for appropriate outfits –do you know someone who doesn’t know how to select properly fitted clothing or put together a coordinated outfit or how to choose proper shoes for going out in the winter weather? I do.
--We steamed out wrinkles, removed lint and hair, and sewed up holes – I heard questions like: “what does a garment steamer do?, what is a lint roller?, and how do I fix this hole?”
Your Lydia House ladies prayed, sang Christmas songs, talked about good manners, ate too much chocolate fondue (“what’s fondue?; why do they call it fondue?”), and cheered on each other’s growth steps toward “godly femininity”!
All that we did yesterday may seem like insignificant or even frivolous activities to some people however, if you could have seen the true joy and sense of self-confidence on the faces of our ladies/families as they posed for photos with their attractive hairstyles and holiday attire you would understand what a blessing it was to be part of it!!
This morning: one family member remarked that now they know “how it feels to be rich”. Another person reported that they surprised to be “overjoyed and having so much fun without using and having the opportunity to watch their children celebrate Christmas for the first time as a sober parent”. Another client expressed “gratitude for the memorable day of pampering both body and soul”.
Tomorrow is our last day of program classes until after the New Year. Please keep our women and families in your prayers as many do not have anywhere to go for the holidays and although the Lydia House staff will still be here, the break in regularly scheduled activities and programs is often multiple opportunities for the evil one try to snatch them away.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Many blessings to all,
17 December 2007
A local toys supplier came to the rescue. Fat Brain Toys donated 3 pallets of toys for the Open Door Mission's event. Jay Nemec is pictured here unloading those toys. A big Thank you to Fat Brain Toys for helping seving the homeless and needy children of our community.
14 December 2007
On Saturday, December 1, while lots of Omahans huddled snuggly around their fireplaces or TV’s, snow and ice fell on the city. But the “show” went on for Janice Kuhn. She held Coffee for a Cause at her home in West Omaha.
Janice had invited more than 150 people, and in spite of the nasty weather, her “show” went on. She held a fund-raising event in her home to support the charity of her choice, which was…you guessed it…Open Door Mission’s Lydia House! With husbands providing “valet” parking, guests were treated to coffees, teas, cookies and candy.
Janice entertained a good number of visitors in spite of the weather, and was able to raise $1,000 for Open Door Mission. In addition, she filled her two-car garage with gently used donated items! She wondered just how big the turn out and donations would have been had the weather been gorgeous that day! She looks forward to bigger and better next year.
A big thank goes to Janice Kuhn and all those who visited her home for Coffee for a Cause!
13 December 2007
07 December 2007
One of our very own Lydia House homeless women that work at the Westroads Mall was at work on this day of tragic events. One of the Open Door Mission's staff's wife and child shopping minutes before the shooting started. The list goes on of those, I personally know, that those that are being left in the aftermath with whirlwind emotions and fear.
Yet, the feeling that God's hand of protection and provision was on their lives and not the lives of others has proposed complex questions.
There are no simple answers to those questions at a time like this. Words do not seem adequate.
So, I go to God's word for my comfort and peace. MATTHEW 5:4 says, "Blessed are they that mourn;for they shall be comforted." Jesus promises comfort for everyone that mourns. It is one of the mission's of the Holy Spirit to give peace to your heart. Galatians 5:22 ,You are assured of perfect peace as you turn your heart toward God and trust Him. Isaiah 25:3 and Romans 8:28
I have to say this, have to... ARE YOU READY? Only God knows the time or hour but you best be ready to meet our maker. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, please receive this Word to YOU, knowing that it is given in love. It is for us who are now alive to prepare
ourselves to meet God. God's word to you, if you are not prepared, is one of assurance that you can be. Please click on this link Step Up to Life to follow a simple plan to a changed life for eternity. Then let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can welcome you into the family of God.
06 December 2007
01 December 2007
29 November 2007
26 November 2007
It was so much fun.
21 November 2007
I want to give you a little history prior to the Brookside Church arrival on Monday so that you can truly see God’s hand at work.
On Saturday, November 10th, the Open Door Mission held a Health Fair with free flu shots for the homeless and working poor families. Our team of volunteers and staff were not prepared and quite frankly overwhelmed with the response of 1,986 individuals in need.
On Saturday November 17th, the Open Door Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet served more than 6,000 Thanksgiving meals to working poor families and empowered them with a Turkey and Fixin box to remain in their own homes for Thanksgiving.
There has been a 76% increase in program services at the Open Door Mission Ministries, this past quarter. The Timberlake Outreach Center is serving more than 5,000 families, each month.
I say all this to get to my real point, Divine appointment and God’s timing.
Brookside Church could not have shown up at a better time. Our shelves were bare and now they are not.
I want to mention one last thing without being too long winded BUT a few more blessings; the monetary gift of $1,000.00 from Brookside Church members and the other was the willingness of Ann, a Brookside Church member, to do the shopping for the needs of the Open Door Mission.
The Open Door Mission is YOUR home mission field, thank you Brookside Church for partnering in making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
I want to thank you for your partnership in Changing Lives for Eternity…
20 November 2007
16 November 2007
Jerry and Roger from West Cosmo along with Candace Gregory President / CEO of Open Door Mission
Thank you to Keven, Chris, Abbey, Mady and Max for bringing in turkey's to help feed the hungry and the homeless
15 November 2007
I had the opportunity to spend the entire working day from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with the KFAB team.
I know that I have the best job in the world.
But.... the KFAB team might be a close second. It was alot of fun.
The KFAB staff and listeners provided meals and care for more than 13,519 homeless men, women and children. Just to give you an idea that will provide 24 hours of meals and care for 9 days at the Open Door Mission and Lydia House.
YOU can still jump in, it's not too late to be part of making a difference right now - log on to http://www.kfab.com/ or call 898-HOPE/898-4673
Let's talk turkey tomorrow...gobble, gobble, gobble....tune into Channel 7 KETV's morning show to catch the update. But just in case you miss it... we are only short 350 turkeys for Saturday.
07 November 2007
05 November 2007
The Open Door Mission kicked off their annual Turkey and Fixin Drive with valued partners such as Channel 42 KPTM, HYVEE, and KGBI 100.7 FM and KCRO 660 AM radio stations. The Open Door Mission is preparing to serve more than 6,500 meals at the Great Thanksgiving Banquet and give away more than 2,000 Turkey and Fixin boxes to the working poor families, in the community, empowering them to be in their own homes. CURRENT TURKEY COUNT: The Open Door Mission is still in need of 800 Turkeys as of today.
01 November 2007
26 October 2007
I had a couple who have been coming in for the last 3-4 months that were staying at NP Dodge Park.
They work Temp jobs and their car broke down and they were paying someone $15/day to take them to the transit center on 30th & Ames so they could catch a bus to work, then when they got off work they walked 1 ½ miles from where the bus dropped them off to their tent for the night.
They were 4 days away from homelessness (because NP Dodge Park closes for the winter) when a gal that they had started chatting with came and offered them a 3 bedroom duplex RENT FREE for 6 months ON THE BUS LINE. Not only that, but the Duplex had a refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer and BED already.
I can tell you that we prayed together many times for housing for them and for transportation. They do not know the Lord personally, but He is drawing them to Him. The husband acknowledged that only God can provide this type of provision at just the right time. Isn’t that awesome???
I just thought you might get the same warm feeling I did when I heard about this and had the chance to pray with them and thank God for His goodness all the time!!
Have a good weekend!
09 October 2007
16 September 2007
Scott, Open Door Mission's Volunteer and Partner Director's Husband, was busy setting up a canopy to protect the Open Door Mission booth from the wind and possible rain. It worked great. This was a tremendous blessing that we have not had in the past for outside events
The children attending the event seemed to enjoy the Open Door Mission's bean bag game. There were as many as 20 children in line at times. Each child, was given an opportunity to throw three bean bags at the Open Door Mission purple and yellow house, in attempt to get it through the heart. Sam and Seth Morris and Steven Gregory were full time busy with facilitating the game. The Open Door Mission wooden house is really getting a workout. It originally was designed for parade floats and had children standing inside waving from the windows and doors. Each child, received a Hobart coloring page, phone a story flyer and a hunt in the Open Door Mission's pirate chest for treasure, too.
Chris Morris, Open Door Mission's Volunteer and Partner Director, and I were full time busy untangling cross necklaces. Amazingly, many of the children waited patiently for a cross necklace rather than a trinket or candy from the Treasure Chest. The majority of the children and families attending the event were members of the Boys and Girls Clubs from Omaha/ Co. Bluffs. Since many of the children waited well over 10 minutes inline, Chris and I were able to ask questions about attendence of Church, Sunday School, etc. I cannot count how many times we were asked by children, " Why is Jesus not on the cross? or " Where is Jesus?" Through penny cross necklaces, all tangled up, God presented divine appointments to share that "He Lives."
This afternoon, Charity Watts, Lydia House Director and I had the opportunity to participate at the 3rd Annual Out of Darkness Walk A Thon at the Gallup University Campus. There were more than 500 walkers. Before the walk started we were able to mingle with participants at the brochure table. I was one of many guest speakers at the opening ceremony. This event brings awareness and education to mental illness and suicide, in our community. It was an opportunity to thank many of our mental health partners that collaberate with the Open Door Mission to provide mental health services to the hungry and homeless.
13 September 2007
Excitingly, God is answering many of our staffing prayers and providing Godly team members with a passion to serve God through the homeless and poverty stricken, in our community.
The Open Door Mission's new Community Relations Director has begun training. Damon will be speaking on homeless and poverty issues with an anti drug pro school message. The Open Door Mission speaks at many schools, businesses, civic groups, churches, etc.. Please give us a call to book a speaker at 829-1505. Maggie would be happy to assist you.
This Saturday is National Kids Day. Children are a Blessing from God. The Open Door Mission will be participating with a booth at a free carnival located at 72nd and Ames. I encourage you and your family and friends to come out and enjoy some quality time together. The event is free and is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be all kinds of games at booths with prizes, arts and crafts, face painting, food and more.
04 September 2007
I thank our Lord Jesus for doing the will of our Father God,by which we are saved. I also thank God for you and all those that have the Fathers heart for the lost and lonely, those needing a home not built by human hands, just by love. For that is the Fathers will, My prayers for you all, are that the love and light of our Father God will penetrate the hearts of all those around you, with hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thank you all again for allowing my friends Joshua and Michael and I, with Salt & Light Mission Relief to join in serving on the 18th & 19th of August and I pray God will allow us to do so again.
Faith, hope and love,
30 August 2007
7 a.m. when I arrived.
The United Way Day of Caring 400+ volunteers have left a hand print on the Open Door Mission that will always be remembered by the impact that the collaboration of the business and corporate world has left ... People still do care about People.
Many First National Bank employees started arriving at 7 a.m. Team leaders Stacy and Laura were awesome. By 8 a.m., 200+ FNB employees had arrived armed in paint clothes and carrying supplies. This group meant business, no slackers here. Following orientation, they dug in their heels and tackled the projects until 3 p.m. only stopping for a half hour lunch break or shorter for many. FNB painted the exterior of the Timberlake Outreach Center and the Permanent Supportive Housing Apartments, yard work throughout the campus, painted all the parking lines in the lots, painted the inside of the Men's Ministry Emergency Services and Lydia House, painted the exterior of the main Mission building, the list goes, on and on and on. The Open Door Mission Team looks forward to partnering together on future projects at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Aquilla employees spent their time making thousands of care kits for the homeless men, women and children. Each care kit contained a toothbrush, toothpaste,Kleenex and hotel shampoo, conditioner and soap. These are given out in the emergency services departments.
UPS employees spent the entire day stuffing envelopes. This project saved the Mission hundreds of dollars. This group was so committed to this project they refused to leave until it was done realizing the savings would provide more meals for those hungry, in our community.
Tyson Food employees tackled the organizing and painting of the receiving and distribution areas of the Timberlake Outreach Center a very labor intensive project.
World Insurance employees made more than 650+ sack lunches for the Streets of Omaha program. These lunches are given to men, women and children that live on the streets in abandoned buildings, along the train tracks, in their cars, along the levy, etc..
Mutual of Omaha employees painted all the shoe, hat, socks, and underwear racks. A very tedious and time consuming task.
Reflecting on the day there are several other accomplishments:
1. Many volunteers have a better understanding of the complexity of homelessness and poverty and therefore can be an advocate for those without a voice.
2. Time Changes Peoples Lives. Just 2 hours a month will make a difference in someone's life.
3. Many volunteers have a better understanding of the Open Door Mission's programs and services that are provided to the hungry and homeless and that it could not be done without the partnerships provided by volunteers.
This is just the beginning. God has so much more instore, it's just around the corner. I can hardly wait to see...stay tuned in you won't want to miss it.
The Timberlake Outreach Center was able to empty 30 gaylords of products onto the floor in preparation for the fall and winter months.
The Christmas mailing is about 75% completed. This was a sit down project that saved the Mission hundreds of dollars doing it internally rather than out sourcing.
The TORC outside is primed and painted with one coat. We plan on putting on the second coat on Thursday. Also, the outside of the Permanent Supportive Housing apartments received their first coat of paint and the 2nd one will be done on Thursday.
The north side of the main mission building has one coat of paint on it.
The backpacks are sorted and we have a complete inventory list for Christmas usage
The kitchen was painted.
You will not believe how much difference the outside of TORC and PSH look. The before and after are unbelievable.
Glen, Open Door Mission’s Property Manger said he was almost in tears when he saw the first 50 orange shirts arriving to help.
Praise the Lord for His Blessings are falling upon us.
I hope that you enjoy the photo's.
25 August 2007
We just wanted to let you know that this has been a stellar week at the LH. We have four of our aftercare graduates children now attending OCA fulltime on full scholarships. OCA was very impressed with our grads and their children. The kids had a great time today and even made some friends and picked up an instrument for the first time. What a blessing this whole process has been.
We always want the best for our graduates and their children, this is just one step in the right direction to breaking the cycle of homelessness for generations to come. I am so proud right now I have been crying just thankful for the opportunity to change a young life forever and see them reach new heights they never even dreamed were possible for single moms with one income. Praise God!!!
We have a lot of changes coming up for the LH in September so I will be telling you all about it in a few weeks.
We also had several new fun things going on. We had “mic” night with our 7 LH grads and they got to practice their testimony’s with men sitting in there ( I don’t know how they felt about hearing 7 testomiy’s) but I believe we will actually be able to hear the women this year and have a nice neat exciting 3 minute testimony that is precise and together.
We are having picture night tonight and a trip out to golden corral to celebrate our 7 grads, discuss their futures and hopefully help in fulfilling a lot on long term goals a grand dreams for each of them. Isn’t graduation time the most exciting? We get excited weeks before in the planning process and can’t wait for the day to come to see at least one dream they all have had lived out of walking across a stage with heads held high and a beautiful cap and gown to go with it.
Signing off for now,
14 August 2007
God has really brought to my mind today just how grateful I am for all that He has done for me and how He has grown me and continues to grow me in Him. I remember very clearly feeling like some of the clients I see coming in – overwhelmed, unloved and without hope. I came to the Open Door Mission at what I consider the very worst time of my life and I am amazed everyday how far God has brought me since then. I knew of God’s love for His creation, but I did not know that He could and would forgive me if my heart was right and I was ready to accept Him.
I can’t say enough about our volunteer chapel teams that come into the Outreach Center everyday to tell the people of the community about God’s love and forgiveness. They spend 30 minutes preaching God’s word and then stick around to answer all kinds of questions and to help lead people (who are ready) to the Lord! I have been so blessed to see people from the community come and spend time with a chapel volunteer and the next time I see them, they are changed, smiling and have hope and are involved in a local church. God is so good!
The other thing that God brought to my mind today is how blessed I am to work in a place where we pray as a team each morning before we start our day. We get to pray for our ministry here at the Open Door Mission, for fellow staff, for clients and various other things. Speaking of prayer, I would encourage whoever reads this to pray for the clients here at the Open Door Mission as well as the community coming in. We are in constant need of beds, appliances, dressers, and we especially need fans, air conditioners and bottled water due to the extreme heat! If you can donate financially we would appreciate it, but we would also greatly appreciate your prayers!
If you would like to volunteer your time or talents, please contact Cris Morris at 829-1504, we would love to give you a tour and tell you more about what we do here at the Open Door Mission and at the Timberlake Outreach Center!
12 August 2007
I had the opportunity to attend a confrence in Lincoln, Nebraska regarding how to help those who are homeless to get permanent housing. There lots of issues like who are funding these projects, remodeling existing buildings, case management support for indiviuals and how to help those with mental illness. I found the Personality Disorder particulary intersting, becuase this helped me to understand better the population that we serve wth mental illness.
Even more exciting, I began to train an equip two new staff members as case managers in the Lydia House Recovery Program. It has helped me to think about all the information that seems to come so easily because I have been woking and ministering at the Open Door Mission for 14 years. I discovered that I needed to make a check list of all that I do, so I could be more effective. It has helped. My goal is complete the training and work full-time in the 18 month After Care Program for those who have graduated from our New Life Recovery Program. I am really excited that I will be working with Dick Erant the Men's After Care Case Manager. He is a great asset to the Open Door Mission.
I am going to sighn off now, because I realized that I could go on and on about the great things that happening in my life at the Open Door Mission.
In Christ Love and Care,
Lydia House Recovery and After Care Case Manager
09 August 2007
Well, one thing is for sure, without their help, we could not meet the growing needs of the nearly 5000 men, women, and children we serve each month at the Timberlake Outreach Center.
Hi, my name is Judy and I’m the Assistance Director of Community Services at the Open Door Mission.
Our staff at the Timberlake Outreach Center are grateful to all the people who volunteer their time and talents to partner with us, to help meet the needs of people in our community who are in extreme crisis or nearly homeless. One such volunteer was a young woman named Alex. Alex volunteered nearly 100 hours at our Timberlake Outreach Center this summer. She was a tremendous help to us. She shared with me how rewarding it was for her. I asked her if she would be willing to share some of her thoughts on volunteering at our Timberlake Outreach Center with you, and here’s what she wrote.
Well, Alex is right, we really could use your help! If you are interested in volunteering at the Open Door Mission please give Cris Morris, Director of Volunteers a call. Her number is 829-1504.
"Instead of wasting your summer vacation on the sofa watching TV or playing video games why don’t you try volunteering at the Open Door Mission? That’s what I did over my summer vacation and it was amazing – I found it to be both fulfilling and rewarding.
I’ve never experienced anything like it before. At first it was
overwhelming, but the entire staff welcomed me with open arms and made me feel appreciated. It was an eye-opening experience to see how many people in our community are in desperate need of the services provided by the Open Door Mission to its residents. The Open Door Mission provides services such as: clothing, food, furniture, diapers, career development and life skills classes to those who are displaced and financially needy.
My experience at the Open Door Mission has also made me realize how
blessed I am for the life that I have. I will never take the gifts in my life
for granted ever again. Additionally, while volunteering at the Open Door Mission my relationship with God was enhanced and I realized how important it is for God to be in my life. I look forward to volunteering at the Open Door Mission for many years to come. I hope while reading this blog you asked yourself what you can do to help out at Open Door Mission; they could really use your help! "
Dedicated Volunteer, Alexandrea Swanson
08 August 2007
In Ephesians 4 the Apostle writes, “. . . but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head even Christ . . . building up of itself in love . . . walk no longer . . . in the futility of (your) mind . . . because of the hardness of (your) heart . . . lay aside the old self . . . that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:15-24).
I am trained as a mental health practitioner, licensed in the state of NE. My role is to address the men’s core personality and lifestyle issues like addictions, co-dependency, and a history of abuse, abandonment or neglect. These issues often result in a shame-based lifestyle of spiritual and moral corruption which the Bible calls sin! God’s remedy of healing such a miserable existence is the three-fold process of the gospel of grace – our past justification, our present ongoing growth of sanctification, and our future glorification – a developmental process.
Two terms that the Scriptures employ for this developmental approach to a life of holiness are: Renewal and Transformation. Renewal is an event-oriented or cognitive-behavioral approach where content and truth are transmitted; and through activities like, classroom instruction, participation in personal & corporate worship, service involvement, fellowship, Bible study, prayer, etc. While transformation is a process-oriented approach of experiential and emotive or “heart work,” where a person addresses their emotional and core personality issues; through activities like individual and group therapy, accountability groups, meditation, etc.
Please pray for the men to “work out their salvation in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12b) and for the staff that we can use our gifts and training to effectively “speak the truth in love.” There are many ups and downs on the journey of living life on God’s terms!