27 November 2013

Prayer Power


“Prayer is important.” As my experience in full time ministry expands, I am more and more aware of this truth.  It isn’t a plattituted the pastor says to get people to do another action. It is an essential component to the progress of the Kingdom of God.

We as servants and workers of the harvest cannot make it without we ourselves doing this. We have to have that lifeline in place to the Father of the Heavenly Lights. We can only survive for a short time with our breaths (prayers) held in before we collapse, passed out. Without our communication with The Mighty Counselor we become fatigued and exhausted and our “cup” runs dry. We NEED our communication with our father.

We as servants and workers of the harvest cannot thrive without having this done for us as well. Intercession and uplifting is essential to our “body” being strong. The head cares what happens to the foot and vice versa, because without one another there would be death and great pain. Same is true in our everyday lives. God pushes us to pray for our brethren, and we are compelled to call out to God for others. We see struggles and want to be sure to cast the concerns to the courts of the most high that his mighty hand would be at work.

So as I move forward in life and ministry, prayer becomes more paramount. I hope that you too see this in the Word and begin to dive in to the communication with God. He texts too! I have found writing out prayers is very focusing as well, as it forces one to slow down and be engulfed in what you are doing even more. I now understand the saying, and now say it “I covet your prayers.” As do we all here at Open Door Mission. Be it the guests we serve, the volunteers that help, or the staff that labor, the covering you can provide is…. Important (to say the least).
Taylor Clinch
Permanent Supportive Housing Director, Open Door Mission

26 November 2013

YOU...make the difference

This is a very busy time of the year at Open Door Mission. More men, women and families are seeking help to feed their families, provide safe shelter and even find gifts for their loved ones.

I have the opportunity to see the generosity of our donors and volunteers as the Development Department processes each donation and every volunteer hour that is given. Without YOU, Open Door Mission could not help all the men, women and children that come through our doors.

I just want to say, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your generosity in helping those we serve.
Linda Gunderson
Development Supervisor, Open Door Mission.

22 November 2013

14 years later, why I choose to work at Open Door Mission.

Hi, my name is John Lindsey, and I provide mental health and recovery services – therapy and recovery classes with men and women in our life changing programs – the practical outworking of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my fourteenth year.

I often kid the students in my relapse prevention class, that they are human, even though they have worked long and hard at earning the moniker of being an addict or alcoholic.  Addressing addiction and recovery requires having an accurate understanding of addiction so we practice recovery appropriately.  If addiction is merely about doing a substance or activity in a compulsive way, then recovery is stopping those patterns.  But if addiction has hijacked our whole way of living life, then recovery must address every area of life. 

In my first description of addiction and recovery, abstinence is the goal – doing whatever it takes to not use or engage in a compulsive activity.  As important as this is to start recovery, what the outcome we want and they want?  Let isn’t it “life change”?  That is what I find so exciting working at ODM, we address recovery in the context of eternal life – knowing the Father and His Son Jesus Christ; learning to experience life in all its fullness! How do we do this?  Through the instruction, reproving, correcting, and training of life skills, recovery skills, and spiritual disciplines. 

John Lindsey
Care Coordinator, Garland Thompson Men's Center
Open Door Mission

20 November 2013

Why I love the Holidays.

Things I am Thankful for….

I LOVE the holidays! For most people it means getting together with family and friends, eating amazing food and sharing in wonderful fellowship that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It also means sometimes losing sight of the real meaning behind it all. Here are the things I am thankful for….     

Gods Son - Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

God’s Love - Matthew 22:37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 

God’s Forgiveness - Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Gods Promise - Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Amber Briggs
Receptionist, Open Door Mission

18 November 2013

Here for a reason.

My name is Shawntel Scaife and my mission began here at ODM for 1 year, but I am just getting started.  I started off on the overnight shift but soon moved over to our Woman and Family Crisis Center in which, I quickly grew to love. Our crisis center is usually the first stop our woman make when requesting services from the Open Door Mission. These individuals are usually sad, tired, depressed and hungry when they walk through our doors. I find myself praying, consoling, and often times crying with them.  My heart breaks for them especially the children so that is why I dedicate myself to trying to meet each and every one of our guests needs in a timely manner.  Many of my days are long and stressful but I still look forward to returning the next day to do it all over again. I know that God has put me here for a reason and I am living purposely in his will.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Shawntel Scaife
Women and Family Crisis Center/Lydia House, Family Support Worker, Open Door Mission

14 November 2013

Praise to our Father for the privelege to work here at Open Door Mission.

I am so grateful to be a part of the team here at the Open Door Mission. Today a young man came back after Church. He asked to have a private conversation. We went to my office and he shared how God spoke to him at church, with wet eyes. He has an estranged relationship with his dad and wants to make things better with him. We talked and one of the things I was able to share is how we have an estranged relationship with our Heavenly Father.

He shared that a couple of days ago something happened and God came into his life. I was able to share a clear gospel to him and he was able to say that in Jesus Christ he knew he has salvation. 

How exciting to be in the thick of things coming at us at a high rate of speed and God gives us those moments to minister to peoples hearts.  Praise God for the privilege to be here at the ODM.
Greg Johnston
Intake/Case Worker, Garland Thompson Men's Center, Open Door Mission.

12 November 2013

One Person At A Time

It had been a busy evening signing up our Open Door Mission guests for this year’s Adopt-A-Family program.  As I sat at the table with my laptop entering the clothing sizes, and wish lists of each person that came to my station, I observed a gentleman coming my way after waiting his turn in line.  His steps were a bit slow, and his head was shaking involuntarily due to some type of physical condition.  The expression on his face was pleasant as he gently smiled at me when we made eye contact.  As I started asking him his clothing sizes, he struggled to get the words out as he diligently focused on forming the words to answer my questions. 

 After gathering the initial information I needed, I then asked him to tell me 3 things other than clothing that he would like to put on his wish list.  I could tell that my question caught him off guard.   He thought hard and then finally said,  “All I need is a stocking cap….and some gloves.”   I told him that those items would be included in his clothing list, and then I gave him some suggestions of things he might want to put on the wish list.  I mentioned a wallet, which perked him up a bit as he slowly pulled out his wallet and told me that the wallet he had was 11 years old.  I added a wallet to his wish list.  I then asked him for another item to add to his list.  It was at this point that tears started streaming down his face and he said, “I have never had anybody ever ask me what I want for Christmas before.”  As I saw the sadness in his eyes, my eyes also filled with tears.  I hurt deeply for this man and realized just how much many of us take for granted.

 A Christmas list is so common place for most of us.  Just this morning I received a text from my adult son asking me if his dad and I knew yet what we wanted for Christmas.  Yet, this man had never had anyone ask him this question before.  Before, that is, he came to Open Door Mission.  God allowed me the opportunity to have this man come to my sign-up station.  I believe God brings these “special” moments into our lives for a purpose.  When this man left my station I knew that my husband and I were going to adopt him for Christmas!   I think of him often.  I ask about him. I pray for him.  Now, I am looking forward to shopping for him and bringing him a smile when he opens his gifts on Christmas.

As you go through your day, watch for the opportunities God places before you.  We all can make a difference….one person at a time.
Celeste Norman
Special Events Coordinator, Open Door Mission

08 November 2013

See what's new at Open Door Mission...Community Garden and Aquaponics!

This is WOWT, Channel 6's report last evening.  Jason Green, Director of Operations, and his team built our latest project, check out the report on our 2013 garden and aquaponics.

"Over the summer, the Open Door Mission turned to gardening to help put food on the table. The winter menu might feature fish. The Mission serves approximately 2,100 hot meals for the needy every day. It’s a challenge keeping pace as the need grows and assistance programs diminish.
Last summer, the charity turned to the soil. Their first garden was productive, producing thousands of pounds of food but the growing-season is limited to a few months out of the year.
With a chill in the air, the creativity moved indoors. That’s where you’ll find the Aquaponic Hydroponic System. While tomatoes bask beneath lamps up above, tilapia swim in the waters below. The water provides a home for the fish and nourishment for the tomato plants.
Candace Gregory said, “Every little bit adds up to make a difference because we change lives one person at a time, and we believe hope begins with a meal.”
The Aquaponic Hydroponic System is also serving as a great educational tool for the kids.
The Mission hopes the tilapia will be big enough to eat in a few months."
Alex Hassel
WOWT, Channel 6 News

Click here to view the news clip

06 November 2013

It's the little things that make the difference.

How blessed we are by the faithful volunteers that come and shine their light here.  To walk down to our break room and see the bright smiley faces these volunteers is truly such a joy.  It is so encouraging to see and be reminded that people helping people is still ingrained in people.  BeNeca Ward, Author Of "3rd Generation Country, A Practical Guide To Raising Children With Great Values", puts it best, “One value that was sewn into the stitching of our character at a very early age had to do with our responsibility to help others....We were expected to be of assistance to our neighbors... “Being neighborly”... was synonymous with being kind, friendly, and helpful to our neighbors and something that we were encouraged to do on a regular basis through firsthand experience. It was a bit like mandatory community service.”
Rolling utensils for our guests to eat with may seem a waste of time for some, but to us here at Open Door Mission it is essential.  Thank you to the tenants of Pacific Springs Retirement Village for offering your time and smiles to help us.  For more volunteer opportunities please visit our website at http://www.opendoormission.org/volunteer
Tami Hungerford, Public Relations Assistant at Open Door Mission 

04 November 2013

God's ability to rise above our own worries

Ever met with all-consuming fear? Ever eyed anxiety in the face?
Recently, I did just that.
Day after day in serving at the Open Door Mission, I get to build relationships with wonderful people. Often the people we serve are stuck in unhealthy patterns. Some are just trying to cope in whatever way they know. Some are breaking the cycle of addiction or abuse and do well for a while, then seem to hit a rut, become overwhelmed, or meet a trigger that creates a setback. There are just so many potential setbacks.
I realized in speaking to one of our guests several early mornings in a row that her anxiety was causing God to be so very small in her life. When she was wringing her hands in worry and completely consumed with the details of her recovery and the steps required to get there, she was stripping God of His very able power in her life.
May we open the grip on our worries and lay them at the cross!
Kathy Swartzfeger
Overnight Support Worker

01 November 2013

T. A. W. G.

 Time alone with God is the most precious gift we can give to the Lord…time that is not rushed, time that is not given out of a sense of duty…rather given from a heart that is so in love with Jesus….YOU CAN’T WAIT TO BE IN HIS PRESENCE and lavish your love on Him!!!
God has designed us to enjoy Him above all else. He wants to occupy every part of our heart and to be everything we would ever want or need. It’s in His presence your anxiety turns to peace…it’s in His presence that your fears turn to faith…it’s in His presence that God whispers in your ear, “I am all that you need.”
God deserves the BEST of your time! The enemy will do everything in his power to distract you…DON’T LET HIM!!! God is so faithful to us…He delights in our faithfulness to Him!
Give God your best…He’ll do the rest!!!
 In His Grip

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Matthew 6:33