31 July 2009

Raytheon Prepares Kids for Great School Experience

Raytheon is an outstanding community business partner of Open Door Mission. This is the third year they have supported the Back to School Bash. Last year, Raytheon donated an extremely large amount of school supplies. This year, our dedicated partner has supplied brand new outfits and shoes that will be given to Lydia House and Summer Bible Day Camp children from the community. Otherwise, these families would not be able to purchase new clothes for school. Imagine the smiling faces as these children walk into school on that first day, proudly wearing new outfits and shoes, thanks to Raytheon.

Deb Veldhuis, Communications Partner for Raytheon’s Omaha site, said she had been a little concerned that Raytheon's predominately male staff of engineers would not be enthusiastic about shopping, but they proved her wrong. Some of the guys even went to Kohl's as a group and picked out some well coordinated outfits! Deb also said she was very impressed at the brand new pairs of shoes that were donated, as shoes are not cheap these days!

I also enjoyed seeing Steve Willoughby, the Omaha Site Executive for Raytheon (pictured above), who was very proud of what his staff has done for Open Door Mission.

Would you like to follow Raytheon's lead and help children in Omaha have more to be excited about as school approaches? Please call, or email, Maggie at 402-422-1111, ext 1554 today!

Darren Timberlake
Community Relations Coordinator

30 July 2009

Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian Church Chooses to Make a Difference for Children

Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian Church decided to do a very special mission outreach this summer-they did a Back-to-School Bash drive for Open Door Mission. The congregation collected 45 pounds of new clothes so that needy children would have a new school outfit for that first day of school. They also presented Open Door Mission with a gift card to purchase any needed item not donated. We appreciate Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian for making a difference in a child’s life. Their gifts will also give hope to the child’s family because someone cared for their child.

Open Door Mission is providing hope and help to thousands of families every month because of people like you and the Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian congregation. Your donations to the Timberlake Outreach Center allow families to “shop for free” for everything from clothing and appliances and bedding to pots and pans. Drives like Back-to-School Bash help provide for the “extras” like a Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas toys or new school clothes for children. A Food Drive will help provide the most basics of basics-a meal for a hungry family, man or woman. Please consider partnering with Open Door Mission, just like Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian, to make a difference in your community. Call me so I can help you provide hope and changed lives for hungry, homeless and hurting.

Maggie Cope

Communications Coordinator

402-422-1111 ext 1554

29 July 2009

The Way Out

If you have ever heard the term, “Such a time as this,” that is what it is like at the Open Door Mission. More than ever lives are being changed by the help of others. As men and women come to the Learning Center they find out that all is not lost that they can learn and grow.

Recently, I have been working with a lady 60 years of age who has come into the Journey To Work Program. She has some learning disabilities and was afraid that learning was impossible. Soon she found phonics to be a challenge but she could do it. So many people walk around as if all is lost and there is not hope. I try hard to let those that come through the Learning Center know that, with Christ, there is hope and a way out of the old life.

Deb Champion
Learning Center Director

28 July 2009

The Gathering at Williamson Automotive

Friday evening, July 24th, was a great evening of great food, family fun, Christian worship and fellowship at A Plus Williamson automotive. Activities included ATV and Hayrack rides, Live Music, Dancing and Martial arts demonstrations, and water balloons.
Karen Williamson and her son, Jesse are great partners of Open Door Mission, and have sectioned off a notable portion of their square footage to provide a space to collect donations, anytime they are open for business. They also host a Stuff A Truck on the third Saturday of each month. This saves the donors the time and expense of traveling to Open Door Mission's campus to drop off much needed items.

Live worship music was also provided during the Gathering. Dan Applegate, the Community Services Director for Open Door Mission, came out to thank the Williamson's, and all in attendance for their generosity towards Open Door Mission. He discussed the ongoing needs at the Timberlake Outreach Center for Beds, Washers and Dryers, Diapers, and all sorts of household goods and gently used clothing. Open Door Mission sends a truck to Williamson Automotive twice weekly to pick up the items that have been dropped off by faithful supporters in the West Omaha community.

A special thank you to Karen and Jesse Williamson for going out of their way to organize this event that created many fond memories of inspired Christian fellowship for people from multiple churches in the area.

Community Relations Coordinator

27 July 2009

Farm Credit Services

Farm Credit Services Is Filling Up the Racks for Back-to-School Bash

What a blessing to go to Farm Credit Services of America on Monday July 20th. It was a rainy day, but the employees at Farm Credit Services had their own sunshine-bags and bags of new clothing and shoes for the Open Door Mission’s Back-to-School Bash to provide new school outfits for the 300 children we serve through Bible Day Camp and Lydia House.

The drive was organized by Anne Hadley and involved Sherrie Guill, Jane Drake, Callie Porter, Jeremy Fritz (all in the picture), as well as Janice Barajas, Kelsey Kegier, Kathy Graham, Leigh Cheloha, Susan Hicks and Pam McIntosh. These employees bought shoes, jeans, dresses, shirts and something more-hope for needy children! The simple gesture of purchasing even just one item of clothing will make a difference. A child will have a new outfit to wear to school that first day. A family will learn that others do care about the less fortunate in the community. Farm Credit Services employees have helped make the first day of school special for children that often feel left out because they don’t always have the opportunity to get a new outfit for school.

It was a joy to see how happy the people at Farm Credit Services were, making a difference in a child’s life. They experienced just as much joy in giving, as the children will experience in receiving the new outfits. Would you like to experience that special joy like those at Farm Credit Services? Would you like to make a difference in a child’s life? Would you like to be a part of making the first day of school a success for a child? Would you like to touch a family by providing a new outfit for their child? Would you like to give hope for a better life to child by showing you care?

You can organize a Back-to-School Bash drive at your church, work or neighborhood-but you need to act now-we need everything by August 3rd. You can choose to purchase a gift card from Target or Walmart to purchase clothes and shoes for the children. You can make a monetary donation specifically for Back-to-School Bash. You can pray for the children-that they continue to stay in school and work toward goals that will help them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Please contact us for a tour of Open Door Mission, to see how hope is provided every day and lives are changed. Contact me if you would like to do a drive to provide for the hungry, homeless and near homeless of our community. Contact me if you would like to a speaker come to your work, organization or church. Contact me if you chose to make a difference in the lives others.

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

26 July 2009

Elk Horn Lutheran Church Does It Again!

Elk Horn Lutheran Church in Iowa has a real heart for the homeless and Open Door Mission. This week they brought down another car load of donations-they had more but need a van to bring it all down. So they said they will be back in a week or so. This time they brought supplies for the new Lydia House. Dishes, towels, dish cloths and lots of brand new pillows! They also brought more Bibles and books for our library so the clients can have positive, uplifting reading. What a blessing all these items will be to the residents of the new Lydia House (opening in a few months). These donations will help make Lydia House a home to so many women and families.

Would you like to help provide linens, dishes, pots & pans, utensils, curtains, pillows and other items for the new Lydia House? I would love to help you organize a drive to help Open Door Mission provide so many basic items for our clients-everything from food to pillows, from clothes to furniture. Your gift can change a life. Your gift can bless a family. Your gift can make a difference in our community. Please call me to see how you can be a part the solution to break the cycle of homelessness and give others a Summer of Hope.

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

25 July 2009

Return of the Lost Sheep

As a Volunteer Associate, I get the privilege of working alongside many generous and hard-working volunteers on a daily basis. Although I have only been working here at Open Door Mission for 2 short weeks, I have already found that Friday’s are an extra blessing in my week because we are not only able to help the mission and the people we serve here, but we get the opportunity to go out into the community and help those who are in need of food by handing out sack lunches.

This past Friday, July 17th, I was able to visit with a woman who briefly shared her story and how the efforts of Open Door Mission have helped her change her life. Once dependant upon drugs for her survival, she shared that she now depends fully on God and His strength to get her through her days. She has been physically transformed from a thin and frail, drug abusing and hurting woman into a healthy, vibrant and energetic daughter of the Most High God. More importantly however, she has been spiritually transformed by the grace and love of Christ. She told us that while she gives ultimate credit to God and His transforming power, she also made it a point to mention that Open Door Mission was the vessel through which He accomplished His great purposes in her life.

Hearing her tell her story brought tears to my eyes as I realized how true Jesus’ words are in Matthew 18:12-14 when he tells the parable of the Lost Sheep. Jesus tells us that “If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost”

This woman was once that lost sheep but has now been found by the amazing grace of God, and although it may seem insignificant to some, I believe that if this woman’s life was the only one that Open Door Mission had a hand in changing, all our work and efforts would still be worth it. The angels are rejoicing over this woman’s decision to follow Christ and we should be rejoicing right along with them!

Nicole Ricely

Volunteer Associate

24 July 2009

The Secret of the Watermelon

Today was such a wonderfully blessed day here at the Open Door Mission. We received a generous donation of watermelon that is being used for a yummy dessert here at dinnertime. The watermelon got me thinking about how God is so good! He not only provides for our physical needs, but He has provided the free gift of life through his son Jesus Christ. The Open Door Mission is a place where physical needs are met as well as spiritual needs. I wanted to share the secret of the watermelon with you. It is a great new way to share the gospel message. It follows the same format as the wordless book.

The inner black seeds represent the sin of man. The problem we have is that our sin separates us from spending eternity in heaven with God. The consequence of our sin is spiritual death.
The inner red part represents the blood of Christ. Christ gave his life on the cross to pay the price of our sin, that we might be saved and reconciled to God.
The white rind represents a clean heart. Faith in Christ; his death burial and resurrection, results in our hearts being cleansed from sin. When we believe in Jesus Christ for salvation we become new creatures.
The outer green represents growth. After believing in Christ as savior we must develop our relationship with Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with other Christians and service.

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

How is God blessing you today?

Patti Cummings
Volunteer & Partner Associate

23 July 2009

Mission of Mercy

On Friday the 10th of July, 18 residents of the Open Door Mission were blessed with free Dental work through the Mission of Mercy program run by the Nebraska Dental Association. The day was long but all of the participants agree that it was well worth it, and they were very thankful that the Open Door Mission was able to provide transportation to get them to the event and back.

Mike was so thankful that after having all of his teeth pulled he still wanted to talk, even after I told him not to say anything, he still insisted and said, “Thank you for bringing me, I needed this”

I had a chance to speak to one of the organizers of the Mission of Mercy event, she thanked the Open Door Mission for providing transportation and she also said that the homeless people in the community is one of the groups that the Mission of Mercy event is truly meant for.

Tyrone Abdul

29:11 / SuccessNet Case Manager

22 July 2009

Psalm 35:28

Greetings from the Lydia House

This is Angela, overnight supervisor for the ladies and families. Wow! The house is full of praises. Last time I wrote about one of our residents having extreme faith, well… her faith has been rewarded! She got the little house, and has moved in already. She was the first of many to recently get their own place. Praise God!

Now we have many new faces and along with those new faces comes new life at the Lydia House. I am hearing praise songs coming from all directions. From the bathrooms, residents’ rooms, clients are humming praises as they walk down the halls, and the best part is that the kitchen staff has also joined in and plays praise songs on the radio every morning. It is such a blessing to be able to praise God with them at the end of my shift.

"My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long." Psalm 35:28 (NIV)

Angela Casper
Lydia House Overnight Supervisor

21 July 2009

Count Your Blessings

If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep tonight, you’re better off than 75% of the people in this world. If you woke up this morning---you are more blessed than the one million people who won’t make it to see the end of the week.

Hi, my name is Dan Applegate. I am the Director of Community Services at the Open Door Mission. This pretty much describes the people we serve at Timberlake Outreach Center on a daily basis. We see heartache, loneliness and hopelessness every day. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to raise and feed a family in the metro area. You know what I’m talking about. With increasing fuel prices and sky-high food bills we have seen an increase of people needing help to make ends meet.

The summertime makes it even more difficult for moms to feed their children because they are out of school and eating all their meals at home. It has become a huge challenge for the Mission and its staff to keep up with the demand. I would like to take a moment to thank all of you that donate your time and resources to the Mission. We definitely couldn’t do what we do without your help. Thanks for reading and I pray a blessing for you and your family. God bless!

Fitness Goal Scores a Wii for Open Door Mission

Great Western Bank started a fitness contest about 3 months ago to encourage health and exercise in their employees’ everyday lives. The winning team would be given the privilege of presenting a Nintendo Wii (complete with the sports games) to the charity of their choice. At the NW Radial branch of Great Western Bank, the “Call Center Crushers” crushed the competition and chose Open Door Mission as the recipient of their hard work. A big thank you, to Kelly Martinez, Sarah Logan, Alisha Nutt and Justin Bailey, for doing an outstanding job getting fit and for donating the Wii to Open Door Mission.

The gift of the Wii will let our adults, families and children not only have fun, but to also be active and interact as they test their skills at various sports. The Open Door Mission now can provide golf, tennis and bowling for our clients-without having to build a bowling alley, tennis courts or a golf course-isn’t technology wonderful? The gift of the Wii lets our clients enjoy some of the extras of life that might not be possible without the generous spirit of groups like the “Call Center Crushers” of Great Western Bank.

If you would like to learn more about Open Door Mission please call Cris at 829-1504 for a tour or to volunteer to bless the lives of others. If you would like to have a speaker come and share information about Open Door Mission please call Maggie at 829-1554.

19 July 2009

The Optimist Creed

Friday morning I had the privilege of speaking to the Omaha Breakfast Optimist Club. It was a wonderful time where not only did I enjoy a nice breakfast, but I could share about Open Door Mission.

At each place setting there was a copy of the Optimist Creed-I was intrigued to discover that so much of it applied to what we do here at Open Door Mission.

“Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future” - that is what we encourage at Open Door Mission through our various programs. Hope and a hand up to make a better life for the individual and the family, that is what we strive to do every day.

“Be enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own”-the staff at Open Door Mission rejoices in the success of our clients. We love to see lives changed by God and are privileged to be a part of God’s work at the mission. To see the clients move out of homelessness is an awesome thing. Come to one of our graduation ceremonies sometime and experience the joy of changed lives. Come take a tour and see how you too can be a part of a success story.

“Think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best”-the staff encourages our clients to look for something better, to be the best they can be for God. Sometimes that starts with just a safe place to stay and a nutritious meal. It can go further to help with counseling, recovery programs, education, working training or just being there when it seems like no one cares. Open Door Mission cares every day for over 320 men, women and children by providing them safe shelter. Open Door Mission cares every day by serving almost 1,600 meals a day to the hungry this summer. Open Door Mission cares every day by sharing your donations to the Timberlake Outreach Center with those in need. Open Door Mission can care for so many because you care, because you are “optimistic” about making a difference in someone’s life and in the community. Please contact us to volunteer to serve or if you would like to organize a drive. Help us provide a Summer of Hope.

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

17 July 2009

Lutheran Church of the Master

Today I had the privilege of joining the Lutheran Church of the Mater at the closing program for their VBS. They had 250 children that attended the week long Vacation Bible School. Their theme was “It all comes back to Jesus” and the staff challenged the children to bring can goods to help full the pantry at Open Door Mission. I believe that the pictures above show that these children stepped up to the plate and met the challenge. The Children collected over 600 canned good and came out to weigh 1133lbs. The middle school Pastor even brought students to the mission this week to help and they came back today just to sort all the cans they collected.
Are you organizing a Vacation Bible School or similar program this summer that could use a local mission's project? Contact Maggie Cope at Open Door Mission to set up a food drive at 402-422-1111 ext 1554.
James Cummings
Executive Administrator
Open Door Mission

No small undertaking!

Picture a large room filled with 30, 40, maybe 50 people. They are seated in groups of 6 or 8 around large, round tables. They vary in age. Some were born at the tail-end of the 20th century. Others were raised on black and white TV (or no TV at all!). Many are somewhere in between.

Some are chattering, joking, chuckling. Some are quiet and intent. They all seem very busy. Are they playing cards? Holding a meeting? Attending a class? Sharing a meal? Actually, if you look closely, you'll see that they're stuffing envelopes!

Over the past 45 days or so, well over 100 volunteers from churches, businesses, service groups, and Open Door Mission's Emergency Shelter have given hundreds of man-hours to this task. Individuals too, have come with friends to help send out mailings that amount to over 80,000 pieces. No small undertaking!

It has been a joy to witness so much loving effort and cooperation among so many. These volunteers worked hard so that the summer of 2009 might become a Summer of Hope for the hungry and homeless in our city.

Open Door Mission is a place where many can be involved in having fun, and reaping the special rewards that come when we make a difference in people's lives. Come join us!

Judy Ward
Development Associate

16 July 2009

"To enjoy life and know there is life to be enjoyed."

Hi, my name is John Lindsey, and I am the mental health therapist for the men in the shelter at the Open Door Mission. I work with men who are homeless, for a myriad of reasons, though the top two issues are addictions and mental health issues. Often they will under report these causes and will merely report the lack of employment, housing or other external circumstances of life. This is understandable, but can eschew the type of services we might direct them towards. For if a man does not address their addictions or mental health issues, they are not going to move forward in life, nor will they be able to maintain any sort of independence, should someone out right provide them work or housing.

My job as a servant of Christ is to labor in the power of the Spirit to engage and equip these men to learn personal skills, to develop perspectives that will empower them to take a few more steps down the road of life and toward the Lord of life.

A blessing I would like to share with you today, is from last month, during the College World Series. Because of some generous donors to the Open Door Mission, we were provided general admission tickets so that thirty men were able to attend four games, two of them during the championship games.

I had the privilege of taking the men to these four games. They had such big smiles on their faces, the enthusiastic expressions, simply when they heard that there were tickets available to go to the games. So you can image the joy and cheer they felt to actually attend the games. The Mission also provided some money so they could get a drink at the games.

Men express their gratitude often through telling stories and sharing past successes of better days. I heard lots of stories. The men who were able to attend were so thankful, to get away from the chaos of the shelter, to step away for a moment, from the frustrations and cares of their lives, and to take in the sights and sounds of America’s pass-time. It was a delight for me to experience. I want to thank all our donors, and especially those who made it possible for thirty men to take a break from the challenges they face, and to feel like men. To enjoy life and know there is life to be enjoyed.

14 July 2009


I heard a story recently about a young man applying for a theater usher position. The owner asked him what he would do if a fire broke out. The young man replied, "Oh don't worry about me, I can get out just fine."

Isn't that the way many act today? "I'm not my brother's keeper, I'm taking care of myself." Believers in Christ have been given a responsibility to care for others.

Here at the Lydia House Emergency Services, that's our goal. From the moment a single woman/family walks through our doors we take our responsibility to care for them very seriously. Greeting them with a smile, giving them words of hope, encouragement and love. We give them a warm meal and provide them with personal hygiene needs. A comfortable bed is assigned to rest their weary bodies and souls. We allow them to feel safe.

Meeting their physical needs is only a part of what we do in Lydia House Emergency Services. We also meet their spiritual needs by sharing the gospel and introduce them to Jesus! James 5:20 "you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins." We can't turn our heads and say, "I'm not my brother's keeper". Our residents come to us broken, without hope. We are responsible for bringing them to the Lord. We must be concerned for our brothers and sisters, we must have courage to share the gospel with them. We must have integrity in the way we go about our work and we must be gentle in our approach.

Yes, we have been given a responsibility to care for others, and that's what we do in the Lydia House Emergency Services.

Kate Fischer LIMHP

12 July 2009

Producers Livestock

Producers Livestock decided to make a difference in the community-they had a food drive for Open Door Mission. They did a Summer of Hope Food Drive to help provide food for the almost 2,000 daily meals we are serving this summer. Producers Livestock donated 441 pounds of basic foodstuffs that allows our kitchen staff to provide the homeless and near homeless in the Omaha area with a nutritious meal.

In the summer, need grows because the schools are not able to provide so many needy children with a free breakfast and lunch. At the Open Door Mission we provide 3 meals a day for the community, as well as our clients. We also provide breakfast and lunch for the 300+ children who attend our Summer Bible Day Camp. No child should go hungry; no parent should feel hopeless and anguished at the prospect of not being able to provide a meal for their children. Thanks to partners like Producers Livestock, various businesses and organizations, and people just like you; Open Door Mission can provide food and HOPE for HUNGRY men, women and children in the community.

Please consider organizing a food drive in your workplace, church, organization or neighborhood-you can make a difference in someone’s life with just a simple gift of food. Choose to make a difference today-contact me to set up a food drive for Open Door Mission.

Maggie Cope

Communications Coordinator

402-422-1111 ext 1554


11 July 2009

"Tickets Please!"

It is truly amazing sometimes what we are able to be a part of here in Men’s Emergency Services. Every Friday, volunteers come in and make sack lunches to be given out on the Streets of Omaha. Today we had a volunteer who brought her little girl with her; she looked to be around 4 or 5 years old and was not interested at all in making sack lunches. As I walked into the dinning she greeted me at the door and informed me that she was the ticket taker and I could not get in without a ticket. Thinking quickly, I remembered that we had generic tickets in one of our offices and if I planned on entering the dinning room I was going to need something. I could clearly see the determination on this little girl’s face.

A couple of our men who stay here at the Garland Thompson Men’s Center overheard this conversation and immediately asked me for tickets so they too, could get past the little girl at the door. It was wonderful to see these grown men, 30 – 50 years old, go into the dinning room just to present their “ticket” to a little girl who was trying to keep herself occupied, walk around the dinning room and leave just to do it again. I’m not sure whose smile was bigger, the little girl when she received the ticket or the smile on the Men’s faces when they saw the little girl smile.

So often we take for granted all the small things that keep us warm inside like seeing the pure happiness on the face of a 4 year old ticket taker.

God Bless,

Tim Suelter
Director of Men’s Emergency Services

10 July 2009

Friends of the Friendless

This last Tuesday, I attended our monthly “Friends of the Friendless” luncheon and meeting. At these get-togethers, we always have testimonies from one graduate and one disciple still on the New Life Recovery Program. These speeches are about victory; in God and in the recovery program at Open Door Mission.

What is interesting and touching to me are the stories of how they’ve reached that point; what they have gone through and what they have achieved. Each story is different and very personal, sometimes tragic, often difficult to hear. Yet, each telling has similarities, as well. There are many common threads in the histories and events of the people who come to Open Door Mission to get their lives back. There were crises, events, environments, bad decisions, unhealthy lifestyles, any number of issues that led them to the point where they knew something had to give, had to change in order for them to overcome failure.

It is always so touching and uplifting to hear these men and women tell where and what they came from to get to this new place of hope and recovery. It is even more glorious to hear most of them witness to the fact that they could have done none of it without Jesus Christ in their lives. You see, His way really is the only true solution that will bring success and victory in lives that look hopeless.

Here at Open Door Mission, we like to say that hope begins with a meal, but we also teach that hope continues, grows and blossoms in the grace, mercy and love of the Lord. All recovery stories need a permanent result to be truly successful and to “stick”. There are many stories here and many lives being changed in awesome ways. Come and listen to some of the stories and you will see what I mean.

Friends of the Friendless meet the first Tuesday of every month, 11:30 a.m., at the Open Door Mission's chapel. For more information, contact Cris Morris at 402-422-1111.

Dee Best
Development Specialist

09 July 2009

Song of Josiah

My office at Lydia House is located right off the families' common kitchen/living room area. I often hear/learn much about what is going on from this prime location - sometimes things I may not really want to know! One of my favorite "eavesdropping" activities is hearing the kids come home from school, or Open Door Mission's Summer Bible Day Camp. They are usually eager to tell every detail about the day as their parents prepare them a snack or the evening meal. I smile remembering when my children were young; I smile knowing that for many of our families this common activity may be a first for them. I am so thankful that Lydia House is here to assist families in building new lives together.

Last night, I was blessed to listen to eight-year old Josiah as he came bounding in from Bible Day Camp. For the next hour+ he talked and sang non-stop as his mom prepared dinner for him and his two younger brothers. He accounted for all the days events including swimming, nachos for lunch, "did you know Lakeisaha lost a tooth!", new teacher Josh was cool, and on and on. But, what blessed me the most was his singing. He knows all the Bible Day Camp tunes he learns during Bible time with Miss Janice. He may not know all the words; and in that case, he just fills in with 'Oh Jesus...I love Jesus...oh Jesus'. When that happened too long, mom asked him if he knew any other songs. He would switch tunes and continue to joyously sing.

We do not always know where the families go when they leave the mission, but for Josiah, I do know that the songs he is learning will always be with him. In the years to come, when needed, the songs will rise up in his soul to remind him of his child-like faith - to bring encouragement and strength during difficult times or to lead him back to the Cross.

Thank you all for your support that moments like this can take place in our families' lives.

'Oh Jesus...I love Jesus...oh Jesus'
I have hidden your word in my heart.... Psalm 119:11

Ronda Nelson
Lydia House Assistant Director

07 July 2009

Faith and Hope Restored

I have worked at the Open Door Mission for over 5 years now. It has been the most rewarding experience for me as an employee. I came to work at the Open Door Mission after being laid of from a company after 16 years. The mission has restored my faith in the Lord and myself.

So the Open Door Mission not only brings faith and hope to its clients but also to some of our employees.

Betz Woodhull
HR/Accounting Assistant

06 July 2009


My name is Chaplain Joy Stevens and I am the Director of WorkNet here at the Mission
I am amazed at the number of people in our community who still think that the Open Door Mission is only a shelter and food for homeless men. It’s a bit like calling the luxurious Queen Mary Ocean liner simply “a boat.” Oh yes, we do shelter and feed homeless men, women and children but we do so much more. For example just one small branch of our ministry is in the jails and prisons. We have chaplains visiting inmates in four area institutions; two county jails and two prisons. While still incarcerated, we meet with individuals to help make a plan for when they get out. Without a plan, these people will be homeless or else return to the streets and the crime that initially landed them in jail. Sometimes, we can simply offer them a place to stay with food, clothes, toiletries and case management. But, more often than not, they need to take part in our New Life Recovery Program which helps them untangle from life altering addictions. Once on campus, we help our clients get connected with meetings/classes, a church, select a mentor, and eventually move out on their own. As a requirement of the New Life Recovery Program, they are required to get their GED through classes offered at the mission.

The last part of our program is a month long class called WorkNet. This program is designed for those with employment barriers such as criminal records, felonies, poor work record or lack of skills. They learn what jobs they are well suited for and how to market themselves in person, on paper and over the phone. They also learn how to become a good, promotable employee. In addition, the Mission is willing to give 3 years of case management in our 2911 program to insure that their lives remain stable once they are out on their own..

Whew! That still is not all. The Open Door Mission is over half way through with a building project with a 59,000 square feet facility that will house women and families as well as permanent housing and programs. If you drive by and see this beautiful, enormous building, you will never again look at the Open Door Mission as merely a shelter. This new building looks way too much like the Queen Mary.

Day Camp / Back to School Bash

I know it seems like summer has just begun, but Open Door Mission is already thinking about Back to School. Take a minute to think about a first day Back to School you experienced-new class room, new teacher, new supplies, new haircut and a brand new school outfit-the year was off to a fresh start.

For the children we serve at our Summer Day Camp and Lydia House the first day of school may not be a good memory-they don’t have the new outfits and new haircuts the other children may have. The schools will provide new school supplies, but as they look around their classroom they realize their clothes are “hand-me-downs”, and in some cases 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand-me-downs. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with hand-me-downs (my children wore them a lot), but the every child deserves to feel special as the school year starts and you can help.
Would your church, business or organization like to sponsor a Back-to-School Bash drive? I can send you a set of cards; each card has an item of clothing (size and gender) that Open Door Mission needs to provide NEW outfits for the 300 children that are served through Lydia House and Day Camp. If you can’t do a Back-to-School Bash drive perhaps you would consider a gift card to Target or Walmart to purchase items so that each child has a new outfit to make them and that first day of school a special memory. Would your hair salon be willing to provide 5-10 children with a free haircut? Are you a hairdresser that would be willing to provide free haircuts? Choose to make a difference in a child’s life; choose to give hope to the whole family by making their child feel special and loved. Please call me to set up a Back-to-School Bash drive or volunteer to do haircuts. I would love to help you reach out to a needy child. Click here to email Maggie

01 July 2009

good to know your work is appriciated.

To Candace Gregory and the ODM staff,

Thank you so very much for the message of current success at the ODM. Most importantly, thank you for your service, doing Christ's work for his people, our brethren, the ways that many of the rest of us are not doing or are not able to do.

May God richly bless you in your work. You will continue to have our support and prayer. We appreciate your prayers for our family as well.

May God's peace be with you always.

Gerald Relford