30 September 2011

Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat Food Drive

Open Door Mission will provide more than 100,000 hot, nutritious meals this holiday season to the hungry and homeless in the heartland.

The following churches in the Heartland are partnering with Open Door Mission to do a Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat Food Drive.

Brookside Church
UnCommon Church
Glad Tidings Church
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Emmanuel Fellowship Church
Lifegate Church
All Nations Church

Would you like your Church to participate in Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat food drive anytime in the month of October please contact James Cummings at 402-829-1520

26 September 2011

Search for Significance

I have the honor and great pleasure of teaching a class called “Search for Significance” for our clients. It is a wonderful experience for me and I hope it is a blessing for them. I am constantly amazed by our conversations. Take this one over Matthew 16:24-25, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Many of the folks in class can quote Scripture incredibly well. They tend to do this to answer a question. They are quite adroit at it. One gentleman said that even when he high he could quote “the truth of God.” He understood that it was crack or Jesus. He took this passage very seriously. He is currently clean, but has bluntly told me that he is on the fence. He is still “thinking about it” because he knows what he is giving up and does not know if it is worth it.

I find this honesty refreshing. He takes Jesus at His word and understand exactly what He is saying, “It’s me or the thing you love.” Those of us who do not have the issues that so visibly reveal our allegiance could stand to learn from these folks for we may be able to fool ourselves, but never Jesus.

Another gentleman, who I have been mentoring for several years, points to this verse as part of his strength. “It gives me a reason to deny myself,” he has told me on more than one occasion. In his mind there has to be a reason, a really good one, not to be an active user. Jesus is that reason. He found that reason and is growing to be more like Jesus, because of people who he has met at and through the Open Door Mission.

We provide an opportunity for people to see Jesus through our actions and our words. Many folks, who call Open Door Mission home, have life experiences that both attract and repel them and they desperately are looking for something better. They are examining us from top to bottom. They are looking for hypocrisy or fakery. They want desperately to take the leap, but they are afraid to take something at face value.

Here is the incredible thing about our God. He uses us, as imperfect as we are, to be apart of a life changing event whether we realize it or not. My fence sitting friend has inspired others to really learn the Scripture that people in our New Life Recovery program as asked to memorize. The other gentleman has both been a blessing to his peers as well as me and other Christians who God has placed in his life. You too can be a blessing and be blessed by helping Mission residents embrace Christ. Please come be a blessing.

Steve Frazee

23 September 2011

Baby bird fell out of nest

One day as I was walking into the Men’s center I noticed a baby bird on the ground; 2men that witnessed the event stated, it fell out the nest and continued walking by it without any concern. This situation made me think that there are times in life when tribulations make us feel without hope, like a baby bird on the ground. It is only when we declare ourselves hopeless when the mercy of God deliver us from perishing in our affliction. After some minutes a staff member from the men’s center came to the rescue of the baby bird and placed it in his hands and with a lot of patience finally placed it back where it belonged. Every day I thank God for His mercy and for the blessing of working in a Rescue Mission.

“My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me”
Psalm 31:15

Jonathan Lopez

21 September 2011

Singing in the Rain

If you came to our Walk-A-Thon this past Sunday you'll know it was raining all morning, sometimes downpour!
I was one of the guide-walkers that day. Our assignment is to guide a group of walkers along the designated 1 mile path from Gallup to Open Door Mission's Lydia House where they will be greeted by Candace and eat endless bowls of delicious soup prepared by 13 local chefs/restaurants!

Since it was raining pretty badly, we offered our participants a ride to the Lydia House if they didn't want to walk in the rain. Amazingly enough, they all wanted to walk! They all said that was the purpose of our fundraising event, was to walk a mile in their shoes. And "in their shoes" they meant our clients we serve here, the homeless men and women that walk from further than Gallup to get to the mission for a hot nutritious meal and safe shelter.

Throughout the walk we talked and discussed homeless statistics and the shocking numbers. One of my walkers then began to sing Amazing Grace. She told me how only by the Grace of God alone is she still alive now and was once $40 away from being homeless her self!

The rain actually made a bigger impact on our supporters. As we got closer to the Lydia House, the entire group had a deeper appreciation and felt very blessed not having to do this walk daily for their meal.

Mimi Hannor
SDO-Heartland Circle
Open Door Mission

19 September 2011

Give Them The Clothes of Your Rack

Give Them the Clothes off Your Rack.

Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center is serving record high numbers of homeless, near-homeless and flood victims – a 37% increase in comparison to this time last year. You can help Open Door Mission by going through your closet at home and collecting any and all gently used clothes to aid the homeless and needy in our community. You can drop your donations off at the following anytime between now and September 30th.

Drop Off Locations

Journal Broadcasting
Located at: 5030 N 72nd Street, Omaha NE 68134

Nebraska Crossing Outlets & Specialty Shops
Located at: 14333 S. Hwy 31 - I-80, exit 432, Gretna, NE 68028
♦ G.H Bass & Company
♦ VanHeusen
♦ LayneBryant

West Roads Mall
Located at: 10000 California Street Omaha, NE 68114
♦ Dressbarn fdfa♦ BonWorth
♦ T-Shirts ffdda ♦ Lane Bryant
♦ VanHeusen ffa♦ Food Court Area

16 September 2011

Shining the Light of Jesus

As this is being posted, our three children are flying from Branson, MO to visit some popular theme parks located in central Florida. This has been a lifelong dream for them, and it is coming true thanks to the generosity of their “Nanna”. Due to work schedules and finances, my wife and I are not able to go. As we are excited for the adventure our kids are going on, we are also a little sad because we do not get to share several milestones, such as their first flight.

Reflecting on this, I can not help but think of our homeless and poverty stricken neighbors in the greater Omaha area. How many single parents are working 2-3 jobs to support their children, but are unable to spend adequate time with their kids as a result. How many children are forced to grow up too quickly and take on responsibilities that they are not ready for?

Fortunately, Open Door Mission is working to break this cycle of homelessness and poverty. Through the combined efforts of the Timberlake Outreach Center, Lydia House and Permanent Supportive Housing, Open Door Mission’s ministries are making an impact on our community. More importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being shared daily, and that light is the only light that can truly pierce the darkness.

Darren Timberlake
Garland Thompson Men's Center

15 September 2011

Mentoring Helps Kids Stay On Track

Studies show that children who have a mentor are less likely to skip school, use drugs, or drink alcohol. If a lack of education and substance abuse are directly related to poverty, having a mentor has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. For this reason, finding mentors for all Lydia House children is a top priority.

Over the last month, Open Door Mission has been blessed immeasurably by the Omaha Metro community. Through a partnership with Release Ministries we now have mentors for all of our teenagers. Support from volunteers, professionals, and Grace University has also brought mentors for many of our elementary aged children. We are so thankful to all those who have sacrificed time, money, and effort to this important ministry. Thank you!

If you have a heart for kids and want to make a difference right here in your community please visit www.opendoormission.org and click on the volunteer button and sign up to have your orientation and tour today.

Rachel Fisher
Children and Youth Director
Open Door Mission / Lydia House

13 September 2011

God is Changing Lives

We have a woman who has been here at the Lydia House several months and has struggled with her addiction the entire time. She’s been abusing drugs for many years and this is the longest she’s been sober. She isn’t ready to move on yet, but she’s making great progress. I got to witness how much she is growing a couple of weeks ago. She came to me at medication time and told me she was really struggling to stay sober. By this she meant she was struggling with taking only the zolpidem prescribed and not more. She said she knew how to sneak it out without staff knowing.

She asked me to help her by checking her every time she came for meds, to make sure she only took one. I praised her for being so honest. It’s amazing how much she trusts staff to tell them something like this and to ask for the help. She’s come a long way. To make things even better she attended chapel this week and rededicated her life to Christ in front of everyone! God is doing amazing things in this woman and I’m so humbled that I get to be a part of it!

God is changing Lives at the Open Door Mission and we could not do it without the support and generosity of the community. Thank you for being apart of all the exciting things God is doing.

Jessica Klinetobe
Family Support Worker
Open Door Mission / Lydia House

12 September 2011

Changing Seasons

As far back as I can remember the changing of the seasons have produced profound effects on me, and none more drastically than the Fall. My attitude changes and I drift into some kind of unexplainable dark depression. I literally sink into an “I don’t care manhole”. I am sure there is a proper term for people like me, people who are drastically affected by the natural rotation of the climates and I am sure that most of you know what that term is but, this is Fall and my attitude is changing for the worst so I don’t care to know what it is. I’m not going to Google it, I’m not going to look it up, I’m not even going to ask anyone. I don’t know what the term is and I don’t care. Now, back to the changing seasons.

Why must this beautiful weather have to change? My entire life I have abhorred the Fall. Why can’t I hibernate? Fall is terrible, announcing the arrival of Winter. Winter, with it’s freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and icy roads. I hate the slipping and sliding and falling down. That is probably the reason it is appropriately named Fall. It warns us what we will soon be doing, Falling. How can anyone think of such imposing horror and not be depressed? I become ill just thinking about it. Now Spring, that’s a different story. I have always adored the Spring and all of its many gifts, the budding of the trees and the awaking of the flowers, the laughter of the people and animals as they come out of hibernation, the warm sun and the promise of warmer days ahead. Wow, that’s living. The 77 degree days and the warm breezes add to the manic love affair I have with Spring.

Wait a minute, today is 77 degrees and there is a warm breeze. Today the sun is warm on my face, and as I sit here anticipating gloom and doom I hear people talking and laughing. Hey, this is Fall and this is a beautiful day. Why am I sitting here wasting it in fear of what is yet to come? Tomorrow is not promised but surely I have today. And what a lovely day. The LORD created the seasons to do exactly what they do, change. Who am I to abhor a day that the LORD has made. Thank you LORD for the revelation that the seasons are not the only thing you made that should change. Thank you LORD for allowing me to see that I too must change. As it is written “not my will but thy will be done”. I must renew my mind and get in harmony with what is your will. My life is not about me or what I want but rather about you and what you have ordained and how I present myself, not in conflict with but, promoting to prove your perfect will.
Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Jesse Powell

10 September 2011

Fall - The best time of the year

Early fall has always been my favorite season of the year, warm days and cool nights. But the older I get I realize early fall leads to late fall then into my least favorite season, winter.

But this is a hopeful time as well, especially at the Open Door Mission.

I work in the Development Department receiving the letters and donations that members of the community send us. I have the opportunity to read the notes from people that have sent in donations. "We're praying for you" and "thank you for all you are doing". Or the donation from a child that he or she received as a birthday gift.

And because our community is so supportive, I have a chance to meet so many volunteering families that come to serve Thanksgiving meal, help with Project Santa or spend Christmas Day with the homeless men, women and children.

Last year was my first winter at the Mission and I was moved and inspired that so many were willing to invest time, energy and love to help those that have so little. For me, last winter was a little warmer after seeing God's love at work because of the generosity of the people of our community.

In God's love,
Sue King

09 September 2011

Being a Blessing to others

My primary responsibility at Open Door Mission is to fill the Lydia House. This involves a great deal of paper work and an intense attention to detail. It is easy at times to get wrapped up in the paperwork and catching every little detail. Every once in a while, just when I need it, God sends someone to me to “wake” me up.

Recently I was going through the application process with a woman wanting to get into the Lydia house. She began to tell me about her situation and why she needed the Lydia house. She had faced abuse, devastating fire, and flood all within a very short time period. She had overcome what seemed like insurmountable odds to me. I commended her on her positive upbeat attitude in spite of the difficulties she had faced. Her response was that it was just not her time for blessings yet, “my time will come”. At that we both began to cry. Her statement of waiting for her blessings continues to encourage me months after hearing it.

I can easily see the blessings in my life but as I pray each morning for the people who sit across from me hoping to get into the Lydia house I sometimes question where their blessings are. The longer I work at Open Door Mission the more I realize how much the Lydia house is just the beginning of the blessings that will come for these people.

Vickie Gregorio
Housing First

06 September 2011

I Think I Can

"I think I Can" That was her motto after 4 months on the New Life Program. She started to believe in herself and trusting God. Doors were opening up for her.

Michelle graduated the program and set out on her own with a new job and a place to live. Today I saw Michelle at our Timberlake Outreach Center coming in for her 2911 case management appointment. She looked wonderful as she said my name and gave me a big hug. She has been promoted in her job and is being sought after by another company. She is attending a Bible believing church that is helping her grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus and it shows in her smile. She told me she is starting college classes next week and hopes to be a drug and alcohol counselor. “I think I can do it Ms Kate, I really do!” I know she can. She holds firm to Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Michelle, and all the other graduates, is the reason I do what I do, day in and day out. Watching lives change for the Glory of God and watching those lives move forward for the Kingdom. What a day it will be when we all see Jesus face to face.

Please join us for the next graduation ceremony on Saturday, October 29th at 10:30 am at the Lydia House. Please RSVP to Maggie Cope at 402-422-1111 ext 1554 or mcope@opendoormission.org

Kate Fischer, LIMHP
Director of Lydia House

05 September 2011

Story from the Permanent Supportive Housing

God has a way of reminding us of His goodness and His mercy and that He is a provider of our needs. One of those occasions happened as I was acquainting a family with their new apartment. You see they had been living in a hotel room for a while now.

The excitement on the faces of the children over being able to be in their own place, their own home was amazing. The son just sat on the floor listening to his mother and I as his sister talked about what room she wanted. I asked the mother if she needed anything and she said no; then she said you know the kids don’t have beds. Her son looked at me as if he was waiting for my reaction. I asked her son if he preferred a twin or a full size bed.

What he asked me showed how concerned he was and the responsibility he felt as part of this family. He asked “what is the price difference?" I said it will cost you nothing. He then lay back on the floor and took a deep breath; it sounded as if the heavy load he had been carrying had been lifted. I am so thankful that this family was lead to Open Door Mission’s Permanent Supportive Housing and was able to find the home they had been praying for and the things that it takes to create a home.

Jeannette Blackstone
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

03 September 2011

How Far Will You Go

Case management is a significant service we provide our men – it the Gospel in shoe leather. For one man, named Dennis, who has been at the Mission for over six years, aimless and mentally unable to take care of himself.

An opportunity to work with other Missions is few and far between. But several months ago we were able to send one of our men down to another Rescue Mission, and then a couple a of weeks later they requested if they could send one of their men to us.

In the journey of Recovery, there are times when a person needs to remove themselves from the familiar surrounding in their pursuit of sobriety. It is not that there are no temptations in a new city, but a geographical change can be that extra nudge for a person in maintaining their commitment to live for the Lord and to live soberly.

The question, “how far will you go to achieve your goals in life?” can be answered in part, I am willing to go to a different city.

John Lindsey
Coordinator for the New Life Recovery Program and Wellness Connection

02 September 2011

Jam Makes a Sweet Offering for Open Door Mission

If you think you can’t do anything or are too old to help Open Door Mission you need to meet Neva. Neva is a very sweet elderly lady that resides at Pacific Springs. She does what she does best (in my personal opinion)-she makes delicious jams. I have tasted her jams and they are very good. Neva then sells her jams to other residents and those that appreciate homemade jam in flavors you won’t find in a grocery store. She could use the money for herself but she donates the jam proceeds to Open Door Mission.

Neva can’t stand and sort clothes, she can’t lift heavy boxes, she doesn’t teach a class, but she fills a need by making jam. Neva also donates books and Bible learning materials for the children at Lydia House. So even if you think you are too old or can’t do anything you can. Neva proves that all the time by doing what she does best, caring for the homeless and near homeless. Check out our website to see how you can make a difference - www.opendoormission.org

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

01 September 2011

Ask and You Will Receive

Open Door Mission's Timberlake Outreach Center is like a thrift store except everything is free and people from the community may come shopping once every thirty days. Those who come to the Timberlake Outreach Center to shop are people who are in extreme crisis or nearly homeless.

Luke 11:9-10 says “Ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.”

This passage reminds me of a young single mom who recently came to shop at the Timberlake Outreach Center. She was a part of the morning crowd who were waiting for us to open. When I welcomed the group that morning and shared that we like to begin our day with prayer, I asked if anyone had any prayer request, she raised her hand and said I need a job. We prayed that the Lord would provide her with a job. Later when I had a chance to listen to her story I discovered other needs she had, such as paying her rent. She was behind on her rent one and a half months and her land lord had told her if she did not pay her rent this month he would serve her with an eviction notice I learned that she had lost her job because her company had down sized and her job was eliminated.

We talked our 29/11 Program which is taken from Jeremiah 29:11 Where God says to His people “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not disaster, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I invited her to join the 29/11 Program and gave her the application form to fill out. She brought it back the next day and Mandy Rios our 29/11 case worker started working with her. Mandy helped her revise her resume and this young woman started sending out job applications. In a short period of time she had a job and on top of that they offered her a higher wage than the job she lost. Because she now had a job and would be able to pay her rent next month Mandy was able to get her some financial assistance to help her get caught up on the back rent. God truly is our blessed provider.

So now I’m sure you can see why that verse reminds me of her. She asked for prayer and it took courage to do that publicly in a group of strangers. But her need was great and her faith strong. She sought help and knocked on doors and God opened the right one for her.

That’s why I love my job, it is such a joy seeing God work in people’s lives and seeing how situations that seem hopeless turn out for good.

Joyfully serving Jesus
Judy Collins
Timberlake Outreach Center /29/11 Director