28 July 2007

More from CANADA

This must be some cruel joke on me.... because it is hot again, today. The only relief is that this morning it was cloudy and cool.

This morning,at 8:00 a.m., we were all off like a herd of turtles to the Kingston Market. That is the weekly outing here in the country. Everyone and anyone heads to the market on Saturday morning to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, home baking, jams, candy, and crafts etc.. Also, you can buy your breakfast to support the local community.We had pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast and juice for $4.00 Canadian. We left with full belly's and two homemade pies, coconut cream and pumpkin and a boat load of vegetables and salmon steaks.

Looking forward to tomorrow, we will worship at a small country church. Then head home for lobster, right off the boat and into the pot.Then cracked and dipped in butter. Yummy, can't wait.

Om Monday, I will be heading into Saint John to visit with staff and tour a Women's Homeless Shelter. I look forward to sharing with you my findings with hopes of bringing back new ideas for the Lydia House.

I will be talking about some of my Canadian travels on Inside the Open Door With Candace this coming Thursday, on KCRO 660AM,
at 4:00 p.m.CST www.kcro.com Tune in, I would love to take your calls..

27 July 2007

Candace from Canada

Wow, God really has a sense of humor.

First of all, I am on vacation with my family visiting my mother and father in New Brunswick - I have a new Treo. You know the new one with great technology that you can answer email immediately, find a phone number at your finger tips, and make call at a moments notice. Well, down here on the river in the valley, I have NO SERVICE. This has only happened to me one other time and that was in Branson, MO. I never went back there for another vacation either. So, if I want to work, I have to take the time to turn on the computer, boot up, wait, wait and wait some more... My how technology spoils TYPE A personality people.

Second of all, many of you know this but I hate the heat. Yup, that's right it makes me irritable, cranky and I detest sweating.. I love air conditioning in cars, central air in homes and winter time. Well, we are in an all time heat wave. Summers here in Canada are usually a nice toasty 75 degrees. This is our second day pushing 90 degrees and you guessed it NO central air up here in this part of the country. You do not typically need it. Not even a window air unit. I told you God has sense of humor.

Great day,today, many of you know that one of my first clients when working for the government in the Human Service field was a three year old boy named Joel. Joel has spina bifida. He has been part of my life since 1987. We have gone to Disneyland, taken summer and school vacations, together. He has visited my family in Omaha and has volunteered at the Mission. Well, Joel and his fiance, Jen, stopped by to visit, today. It is simply amazing what God has done in his life. I cannot believe the blessings.

Well, I am off to play Mexican Train... that's what we do up here, on vacation.

Guest Blogger Judy Collins Open Door Mission's Timberlake Outreach Center is changing lives

Open Door Mission - Timberlake Outreach CenterMy day started like most days, I met with co-workers to discuss our day and pray together. Then it was the usuall, answering voice mails, e-mails, meeting with food pantry, and some of our 29/11 clients. I also met with some of the volunteers who would be helping some of the students in our new Learning Center. Our days are very busy, yet exciting because we never know the work God is doing in the hearts and lives of the people He brings through our doors, until He chooses to reveal it to us. It’s always such a blessing to hear from former clients whose lives have been changed and they have hope for their future.

Such was this day. One of our senior citizen clients came in for a food pantry and shared some problems she and her husband were having and I knew of an agency in our community that would be able to help them. I had tried to get this couple connected with this agency on several other occasions but they had always refused because they had hoped they would be able to solve the problem themselves. Well, today they were open to my making a call to this agency to see if they could help this couple.

Open Door Mission - Timberlake Outreach CenterTo my surprise, when I called, a familiar voice on the other end of the line said, “Hi Judy, remember me.” And of course I did, the first time I met her, a friend brought her in for a food pantry. She had lost her job and was having a hard time getting another job. In the mean time the bills continued to pile up and she was in danger of losing her home, but also hope for her future. However, God is a God of hope and when things seem impossible for us they are POSSIBLE for Him.

I asked her if I could share her story and if she would write me a little note that I could share with you, and here is what she wrote:

"The first time I came to the Open Door Mission Outreach Center I was in need of
food, and little did I know that I would be getting my soul feed. The staff at
the Mission took the time to listen to my story. A story I had been telling to
countless people, some who listen just because I was talking and some who
genuinely cared, but the day I went to the Mission I left with my needs met both
physically and spiritually.

I had a new-found meaning in my life, a strength that led me to have faith in myself through God who can change all things. I kept on with my journey to find a job, a person who would give me a chance to prove that I had paid my debt to this community. And it happened, today I am very grateful to all who have helped me and at my present job, I am able to help and give encouragement to people who are in the same situation as I was.

I often think of the Mission and thank God for using them to help me believe in myself again. Through a phone call from Judy seeking information to help another person I have been given this opportunity to thank the Open Door Mission and it’s donors. Your help does make a difference in peoples lives. Thank you and may God Bless and keep you."

Her story is just one of hundreds whose lives are being changed through the work God is doing at the Open Door Mission. We are grateful to all our donors, volunteers, resource people and staff, who have partnered with us to help change lives, one person at a time.

Joyfully serving Jesus,

Judy Collins, Assistance Director of Community Services

26 July 2007

Open Door Mission's Annual Community Picnic

Open Door Mission - Community PicnicLast Saturday, Open Door Mission hosted it’s fourth annual Community Picnic. It was a great day of fellowship, food, and fun. Over 2,000 men, women, and children enjoyed a day filled with barbeque, games, live music, and good company on a beautiful summer day.

Terry Brown, a UPS employee and long-time friend of Open Door Mission coordinated the event. Dr. Pepper, Frito Lay and Omaha Steaks partnered with the Mission to make this a great day.

Open Door Mission - Community PicnicDuring the picnic, Clarkson College provided a Free School Physical to children that are homeless or families without a primary care provider. Also, families were able to “shop”, everything is free, for clothing, personal care items, and household bric-a-brac. The Timberlake Outreach Center is available for needy individuals and families who are struggling week to week just to make ends meet.

Open Door Mission - Community PicnicIt took over 100 volunteers to make this day a great success.

It is such a pleasure to work along side so many people from this great community. Thank you for caring for the homeless and near-homeless in the heartland.

24 July 2007

Hi Everyone from Lydia House Director Charity Watts,

It has been an exciting weekend here at the mission. In case you missed it we had our annual community picnic. Through this we were able to entertain and share the gospel with hundreds of people. We had wonderful food, clowns, balloons, and games. There were so many volunteers here I could not keep track of how many hands it took to make this a great event. If you were a part of volunteering for this we certainly wan to thank you with all our hearts, we could not do it with out you. We also opened our Timberlake outreach center and gave away so many items it will be fun to see what we have left today. We then partnered with Clarkson College and gave school physicals to those in need so they would be able to enter school with no problems. Thanks you to Clarkson and the nurse practitioners, audiologists, and students who made this happen. As staff it really means so much that we are able to reach out those in our community who have needs but are unable to attain things because of lack of funds through this trying summer of rising gas prices and other expenses that come when the heat reaches over 100 degrees.
It was nice to be able to catch up with you. Remember if you would like a tour to see all of the new things going on at the mission just call and we will be here. Hope to see you soon,

Luis Palau Heartland Festival

Well our staff had a fabulous time at the Heartland Festival. Our balloons were a hit, and ultimately there were more kids than balloons. It was a pretty awesome thing to see both sides of the grandstands at the living it extreme sports demo filled with "Jesus Loves You" in all different colors. Hope you enjoyed it as well

21 July 2007

Community Picnic, Today

The weather was awesome for the Community Picnic, TODAY. A special thank you to all the great volunteers, especially, Terry and Cindy Brown as we could not do this event year after year without their partnership.

There were more than 50 children that were under insured or non insured
that received free school physicals provided by the faculty and
students of Clarkson College of Sciences.

There were more than 2200 meals served at the picnic. There was live
music with testimonies, face painting, clowns making balloon animals, carnival games, three jumpy air tents, flag football and volleyball. There were several presentations of the Gospel, and counselors were available to pray and counsel with the men, women and children. I know
that there were professions of faith and re dedications, but I do not have number, yet.

The Timberlake Outreach Center served more than 283 families with a
total household being more than 1087 individuals.

Mark your calendars for Back to School Bash on August 18th. We will
need volunteers to stuff the book bags prior to the event. Get a group
together and come on down, sounds a little like The Price Is Right:-)
If you are available, to volunteer, please email
cmorris@opendoormission.org Chris would be happy to assist in partnering with you.

Spread the word, we already are in need of the following items:
college spiral notebooks, college loose leaf, erasers, three ring
binders and character book bags for the younger children. We are
expecting to serve a record high number of children considering that
our services are up 77% this quarter compared to last year's numbers.


18 July 2007

Heartland Festival

History was made for the Kingdom of God.Were you there? What do you think?

Have you seen the video???

PRAISE God for 105,000 people who attended the two-day Heartland Festival on the Qwest Center Omaha grounds.

PRAISE God for over 5,500 decisions. This is one of the highest number of decisions for any American festivals.

PRAISE God for outstanding media coverage from the two largest daily newspapers in the state of Nebraska plus extensive television coverage with “live” on-site reports before and during the Festival.

PRAISE God for 4 sold-out affinity lunches and a great number of decisions.

PRAISE God for a great volunteer force and Festival Friends (counselors).

PRAY for every individual who made a decision to follow Jesus Christ for the first time or made a recommitment of their faith. PRAY, also, for those who are seeking more information about a relationship with Jesus.

PRAY for the many congregations that have committed to following up the decision makers that they’ll be diligent about the process and work at incorporating them into a local congregation.

PRAY for the churches, parishes and ministries of the Heartland that the spirit of cooperation, outreach, prayer and fellowship will continue and grow.

17 July 2007

Water Patrol Hit the Streets of Omaha

Good Evening,

Wow, what a weekend. The Open Door Mission team has been praying for the Luis Palau Heartland Festival for many weeks. It was a fabulous event in so many ways starting with the many salivations and rededications to Christ. Our team is now praying for the follow up to so many will be able to be completed in a timely manner and successful. We know with follow up it is very time sensitive. The Open Door Mission will share with 14 other nonprofit organizations the food donations. I am excited to hear the testimonies from the Open Door Mission staff on their volunteer experiences. We will be meeting and sharing this coming Wednesday afternoon. The numbers are not in, yet, but we gave away more than 2,000 Jesus Loves You balloons and had more than 200 individuals/families request volunteer information. Our team started making phone calls, today.

Last week, I met with the owner of Qdoba Mexican Grill for lunch. Their four stores will be joining the Open Door Mission's Back to School Bash sponsors, HYVEE, Great Western Bank and Fox KPTM channel 42. By the way, their chicken mango salad was awesome.

The Open Door Mission has been blessed with a number of youth and/or college groups that come to the Open Door Mission as a home mission trip experience. This week, we have a group from Arizona and next week from Kansas. Both of these groups are returning from last year which is a good sign that their team had a previous valuable experience. Also, we have been receiving more Urban Plunges which are a real blessing.

The channel 7 appeal for bottled water, fans, and window air conditioner units has been very successful.

Open Door Mission staff and volunteers hit the pavement, this afternoon, with bottled water for those on the streets of Omaha. The summer months are dangerous to those living on the street and do not have access to water and air conditioning. Hopefully, our efforts to keep many hydrated was successful in preventing heat related illnesses such as death.

Guest Blogger Joy Stevens Discipleship Counselor

Here is a praise report from Women’s New Life Recovery Program.

We have three women who are soaring through Intermediate level. It is much more than just accomplishing the work put before them in a timely manner but these three women are truly experiencing the joy of being in and studying God’s Word. The Word has taken root and is producing holiness, righteousness and joy. I could even see future ministry possibility or Bible College for any or all of these three.

A woman expressed to me today as I was walking in that she rededicated her life at the Luis Pulua festival. She has been in and out of here and we have been concerned that she has not been getting the Word of God into her life, hence ”in and out of here.” She said that she is totally committed to the program now and wants extra Bible studies because she feels God really wants her to finish the program.

I would like to write a praise for my partner Laurie who is such a kindred spirit. We are often called into prayer for the women and I sense the heavens tremble. We share tears over women who do not connect with God’s work in their life and tears of joy and happiness over those that do. It’s great to be a part of a two fold chord. (Actually more than that because we have a whole great TEAM of staff women working here in NLP as well.)

One of our graduates, is close to moving out. I asked her, after being here for two years, what was the one best thing she learned. She said it was developing a relationship with God. She believes that she was born again here and that is what changed her life the most. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I will be in China from this Thursday, July 19th and back in the town August 17th. I would love it if you would pray for me.



Guest Blogger Men's Director Stan Latta

We just completed a week here in Men’s Recovery which reminds us of God’s unfinished business. God seems to have a theme for every week! This week we have seen three of our men follow the commandments of our Lord by way of baptism. You can say congratulations to Scott, Eric and Phil when you see them and let them know that you’re excited for them and also encourage them to continue on. You may not know it and the men may not show it (hey, maybe I should change my report to poetic style) but, the men really do need it and it really does mean a lot to them to hear it from you.

It seems like every week, we hear from one of our former men who wants to return and that is true again this week. It really encourages the staff here to see guys return and make a second effort when they leave us unsuccessfully the first time. It takes so much courage and integrity for the men to do that.

John Lindsey, Open Door Mission's New Life Recovery Therapist in Men's Ministry, heard from one of our former men who we helped get to the Mission in Kansas, City. He reported doing extremely well down there. You know, we really don’t care where they are placed at; we do care if they are doing well and living healthy there, so that’s always great to hear. Speaking of the apostle John (actually that’s just our nickname for him here), he did a radio interview with Candace on Thursday, hope you were tuned in. If I’m not mistaken, that’s the first time our therapist did an entire radio interview by himself. As you have already suspected, he did an incredible job. No surprise there, huh?

What may surprise you (and then again it may not) is that the quality of our men was once again reflected in their work patterns today at the Luis Palau Festival where they were volunteering time as a group. Not only did some of the men comment on how much they were enjoying the time, but they also finished incredibly early. I kept telling them to slow down or the work would run out (but why should they listen to the director?) Well that’s literally what happened! The event manager came to me and said, ”Sorry, but we’ve given you everything possible to keep you busy, but we really have ran out of things to do, everything is done early this time and that’s rare! He was extremely complimentary about the amount and the quality of work the men did. My only dilemma is the temptation to talk about how that reflects on the staff, so, while I’m still ahead of that temptation, I’ll leave all the well deserved credit to our men (but it really is a temptation). They will be back on Monday to start the first day of tearing down and I’m sure that will be a long day to make up for the short one today.

Likewise, I and the rest of the staff here will be volunteering our time this weekend and hopefully, we can reflect as well upon the Mission and our Lord as the men did! Praise Him!

Guest Blogger Carol on Volunteers

Here is a praise report from the Volunteer and Partner Department.

We had a group of 19 people from Kansas City,Mo called Young Neighbors in Action.

Today is one of the volunteers 21st birthday. I walked up to him and commented that it was so kind of him to spend his B-day here @ the Open Door Mission. He said to me that he could not think of any place he would rather be than the Open Door Mission. You know I must admit this -I start crying tears of joy. We all are so Blessed .

Yulice, Open Door Mission's Volunteer and Partner Associate, had 10 volunteers with her on the Streets of Omaha. The sandbox was cleaned. Jim, Open Door Mission's Food Service staff, got a lot done in the pantry area with volunteers. We put clothes away in the Timbe lake Outreach Center. Last but not least we even got some weeding done in the garden.

What a busy GREAT DAY in the Volunteer and Partner Department. This is how GREAT Volunteers partner with the Open Door Mission to make a difference !!! Volunteers ROCK!!!

10 July 2007

Update from the Front Lines

Hi Candace! I just wanted to send you a quick email about how good God is!

Today, we were able to give 2 different clients NEW air conditioners!! It is so amazing how God works because both of these individuals had no idea that we even gave out air conditioners! In one instance, a gal who needs a double lung transplant and who is on oxygen all the time received an air conditioner because she lives in a trailer and it is so hot, she is having trouble breathing. This particular client had 2 different people calling on her behalf because they were concerned about her health and the hot weather!

The other client that received a NEW air conditioner is a gentleman who has prostate cancer and who has a severe heart condition. This gentleman lives in a trailer and it has been so hot that he has been spending the hot days in his cellar to stay cool. He also had no idea that we gave out air conditioners and a friend of his called and inquired on his behalf and then came and picked up the air conditioner and took it to him and also installed it for him! God is so good!!

Just wanted to say thanks to the donors who made this possible for these folks and the others who will receive air conditioners and fans!



09 July 2007

Thank You Channel 7 Viewers

Open Door Mission - Thank You for the huge donation of Fans and Bottled WaterWow, this is awesome.... More than 500 cases of water and close to 80 fans have been delivered to the Open Door Mission in the last 24 hours. The water and fans started arriving quickly after Channel 7 aired the story. Thank You for partnering with the Open Door Mission to make a difference in so many lives, in our community.

If you have ever gone without water for aperiod of time or lived without airconditioning, tell me your story?

Open Door Mission - Thank You for the huge donation of Fans and Bottled WaterYou can continue to make a difference by donating your time to provide a Summer of Hope by: reading to children, serving a meal, preparing a pantry, etc.. Check out the Volunteer Opportunities.

Scammed in Denver

Okay, I am a veteran Rescue worker and I have been around the block a few times...and I was scammed in Denver and the person was not homeless for the record.

Chris, Open Door Mission's Volunteer and Partner Director, and I are attending a three day conference to learn about volunteer ministry. As we arrived at the Denver airport, we walked out to the ground transportation. First mistake, asking a shuttle van driver "if" instead of "where" the Doubletree Hotel shuttle was located. The prompt response was that there was not one. Second big mistake, getting on the shuttle van for $19.99 a person. Upon arrival at Doubletree, I noticed two vans in the parking lot. Amazingly, written on them was Doubletree. My thoughts began to turn at that time towards our shuttle van driver whom was taking our luggage out of the back. " No tip for you, buddy," was what I planned to say, then I heard myself saying, "thank you." Well, the Doubletree front desk confirmed my thoughts that there was a FREE shuttle to and from the airport provided by Doubletree. So, I am calling the American Shuttle, Inc. , this morning, and exchanging words on their deceitful employees service.
How would you have handled this situation?
On another note, the FREE warm cookie provided by Doubletree at check in was chocolate chip and it was really good.