27 April 2012

Salute to Volunteers

Waking up knowing that I get to work at the Open Door Mission is always great. I love coming in to work being able to greet friends, coworkers, residents and the volunteers especially that I interact with on a daily basis. Since my hire date, which was last October, I have had a wonderful time learning about and becoming indoctrinated in my position. Every day is a new day and God is good and powerful and His presence is felt greatly.

One of my joys is to get to know the volunteers, fitting I suppose since that is the position that I fulfill. It strikes me as quite a worthy and worthwhile endeavor—volunteering. That might go without saying, but it’s true nonetheless. Some volunteers are what we call ‘professional’ volunteers…individuals or groups that come in on a regular basis and are extremely comfortable in their role. These people have been a huge blessing to us. One family in particular, the Wilkinson’s, is perhaps my favorite group of ‘professional volunteers.’ I’m not sure if I’m allowed favorites, but they are at the top of my list. They give time two Sundays a month to volunteer in the kitchen and serve food. I love that, their selfless service is an example to all of what dedication and sacrifice and love is. Wilkinson’s, if you are reading this, thank you so much for all you do.
Without volunteers Open Door Mission would be hard-pressed to provide the services that we do. So if you are interested in volunteering, my advice? Don’t hesitate…come on in and get signed up and scheduled to volunteer. For those who already volunteer, I salute you. I challenge everyone to give up some of their time and volunteer and make a difference. Helping people is what is important. And hey, what’s even better is that we get to share Christ with others here! Hope to see you at the Mission.

23 April 2012

Strength to start a New life

If it was not for the help and support of Open Door Mission and strong family ties, Bryce might still be drinking today, jobless and sleeping in his car. Bryce started drinking when he was nineteen and hung out with people that were not a good influence on his life. As he continued drinking more and more, he also started suffering with depression. The drinking got to the point where he was spending everything he had on alcohol which, eventually, caused him to lose his job and have his daughter taken away.

When Bryce’s grandfather told him about the programs offered by Open Door Mission, Bryce didn’t even hesitate. He joined the Journey to Work Program—focusing on breaking the cycle of homelessness through personal development, money management, job training and educational skills.

Starting Anew

There have been so many benefits and positive experiences going through the program. Bryce has been able to humble himself and have a new relationship with God. It has also helped him to gain a new, stronger self-confidence and he is able to interact with others in a more positive, healthy way. He has already begun to give back to Open Door Mission by volunteering his time as security at the Lydia House while he is going through the Journey to Work Program.

Bryce’s biggest desire upon graduating from the program this spring, is to get his eight year old daughter back, who is currently living with his sister in Washington state. He hopes to restore and strengthen relationships with family members as well as get back to the family business of farming. Bryce feels confident that he is at a good place in his life. With God in his life, he will be able to accomplish every one of his dreams and desires, especially to be a great dad to his little girl.

Submitted by Shelly Martin
Open Door Mission Volunteer

17 April 2012

Hungry For Change

As a child, Mikaela grew up in a very loving home. At age 11, she was introduced to drugs by a relative and, yet, managed to live a somewhat “normal” life during her school years. After graduating from high school, her life spiraled out of control. She was hanging out with drug users and dealers and soon found herself as an inmate in the county jail. Following court ordered drug rehabilitation, she remained sober for four years.

In 2010, things spun out of control, and Mikaela found herself turning to drugs. Her mother realized she had to demonstrate tough love to get Mikaela’s attention. Mikaela was no longer allowed to stay at her mother’s home and, as a result, found herself walking and sleeping on the streets for six weeks. In spite of all this, Mikaela managed to hold two jobs while homeless, but used that money to feed her addictions.

While on the streets Mikaela came to the conclusion that things had to change. She knew all about rehab, but felt something was missing from the program she had gone through years earlier.

New Life

At this point, Mikaela remembered hearing about Open Door Mission’s Lydia House and its Bible-based New Life Recovery Program. In need of help, she made the tough decision to give custody of her two year old son to her mother. Mikaela checked herself in at the Lydia House and enrolled in the New Life Recovery Program.

There she soon found God’s Word permeating her mind through the classes she attended. In November 2011, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. Mikaela considers herself to be a brand new baby Christian and knows she is in the right place for growth to occur. She realizes that she has a long way to go but knows she can make it by allowing God to have His way in her life.

Mikaela hopes to regain custody of her son in April and pursue a nursing degree. Her goal is to conquer her addiction and be gainfully employed so she can provide herself and her son a brighter future. Mikaela’s prayer is to truly find the heart of God, get to know her “real” self, and keep growing in every part of her life. Will you join us in praying for Mikaela?

Submitted by Celeste Norman
Open Door Mission
Heartland Hands Coordinator

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

12 April 2012

Prudential Ambassador Real Estate Making a Difference!

Vince Leisey, President of Prudential Ambassador Real Estate and a group of employees have been volunteering their valuable time on the Open Door Mission Campus faithfully over the last 8 years. The 2nd Wednesday of each month, they help serve the hot, nutritious meals to many hungry and homeless men, women, and children. Here are just a few reasons why they come....

"Prudential Ambassador Real Estate has been coming on a monthly basis because we feel we have been so fortunate ourselves and we want to give back to the community.."
"I have been coming for 7 years because it is so rewarding to do something for our fellow man and families we see here."

"I have been coming for a number of years because it is enjoyable to give back to someone who needs help and I think I take away more than I give."

"This is my first time coming and I came because it is always nice to give back to the community and there are people that need help and assistance. I know that if I was in their shoes, I would want the help"

Thank you for making a difference right here in our community.If you have a business, church, or group that would give 2 hours of your time to help serve a meal, please give Corine a call today at 402-829-1504.

07 April 2012

Homeless Children Enjoying Easter in a Big Way

Today, Open Door Mission’s homeless children and their families got to enjoy an Easter Brunch compliments of Rick’s CafĂ© Boatyard management and staff. Families had the opportunity to enjoy a great time of food and fellowship including an Egg Hunt for the children. You can't forget photos with the Easter Bunny, too.

"We're all about giving back. Our motto at Rick's Cafe is "Pay it forward". The employees donate their time and resources to make this a wonderful Easter for each child. We do this Easter, Halloween and Christmas because we care," says Liz Clark, Head Hostess at Rick's Boatyard.

"It is exciting to see businesses in the community thinking of hungry and homeless men, women, and children in the Heartland,” says Candace Gregory, President/CEO. “Open Door Mission is providing shelter to more than 420 homeless men, women, and children daily. For the children to be able to get the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, participate in an Egg Hunt and have a meal at a restaurant provides a very special Easter weekend for all.