31 August 2015

This Moment is Yours

Sometimes the simplest of words, such as these from a
volunteer at All Nations Omaha Church college group
are exactly what people need to hear.
     When someone talks to you about something difficult in their life or something they are struggling with, usually we want to be able to give them an answer.  Sometimes I really want to be able to tell someone how to fix their situation, or say things to make them feel better.  However, I cannot do that; I don’t know any person that can.
     The thing is, people don’t always want to hear the answer.  It’s their journey to walk along, and maybe what they need at this moment is to pause and have someone listen.  Take the time to just listen to someone, get to know them as an individual.  The wonderful support that comes when someone deeply listens to you without judgment or correction can be very therapeutic.
     I’ve seen Christ open hearts as I simply listen in this way to guests at the Lydia House.  The other day I was helping a guest get some clothes, as she only had what she was wearing.  She told me she had just gotten out of jail, had nothing, and was trying to turn her life around.  I listened to her story as she told me about trying to get her daughter back.  She told me, “You can only fall if you allow yourself to fall, and I’m not allowing myself to fall anymore.”
     We continued to talk, and she apologized for bothering me with all of this.  I told her that I live in the moment, right now this moment was hers, it was not a bother at all, and that I was blessed to hear her story.
     I still do not know where those words came from, and I truly believe that after pausing to listen to this woman, God was able to help me say exactly what she needed to hear.  Holding back tears she said, “That’s nice to hear, because no one has said that to me in a long time.”

Tyler Johnson
Family Support Worker

28 August 2015

Beloved Bible Teacher

     They call her Miss Paulyne.
     At 91 years old, Paulyne Campbell is a combination of grace and iron will — and without apologies. 
Anyone attending her Bible class at Open Door Mission’s Lydia House will join hands in the prayer circle (including all visitors) because it is, after all, time to give thanks.
     And that is part of Campbell’s message: Have a grateful heart and a head filled with the Bible.  With that as your guide, you can persevere in life and in the grace of God.
     This month, she celebrates 18 years of volunteering as a Bible teacher at Open Door Mission.  In a moment of reminiscing, Miss Paulyne says her favorite story from all these years is when one of her students called her the meanest teacher she had ever had.
     She tells the story with a gentle chuckle. It was graduation day at the Mission, all graduates dressed in their caps and gowns. One woman rose and asked for “Miss Paulyne” to stand.
     “She said I was the meanest teacher she had ever had, but that she learned more from me than she had ever learned from anyone else,” Campbell recalls. “It was funny, but it was true.”
     “We don’t need to guess who we are, and whose we are,” Campbell said, citing this as her reason for being demanding.  As it turns out, her firm encouragement was worthwhile; the woman from this story later went on to open her own shelter for homeless women.
     Many other students from her class speak of Miss Paulyne with respect and affection.
     “She’s amazing, I’ve learned a lot from her,” said Makayla, who has been at the Lydia House for five months.  Secord said Campbell communicates by delivering a message of self-respect.
     “This is the way I want to live my life from now on,” Secord said.  “I hope to get a job where I can help kids who have been through what my kids have been through.”
     Campbell’s life is full of service work.  She cares for her sister, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to volunteering at Open Door Mission, Miss Paulyne is active at Pilgrim Baptist Church, editing quarterly study books for the Women’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention.
     “Her life story shows how a strong faith allows you to keep rising,” said Reverend Cedric L. Perkins of Pilgrim Baptist.  Miss Paulyne, he said, is as quick with a kind word as she is with her expectations.
     “She has a caring heart and spirit ... she gives words of encouragement through notes and emails,” Perkins said.
     When Miss Paulyne first came to the Mission in July 1998, she knew was supposed to be a Bible teacher.
     “People need to know the word of God, that’s part of my purpose for being here. (At Open Door Mission) I can reach more people than anywhere else,” Campbell said.  “…Each time I go, it’s a rewarding experience because I love people, I love to help.  This is the best way that I can do that.”
     Open Door Mission is a Gospel Rescue Mission, meaning anyone can seek shelter there, but also available are recovery and life-skills programs offered for lasting change.  Members of these programs take a variety of classes, including faith-based classes, such as Campbell’s Bible study.  In line with the Mission’s vision, Campbell’s students memorize the books and verses of the Bible as well as its stories.
     Steve Frazee, Senior Program Director at Open Door Mission, said there’s a vision behind this old-school approach.  “(Miss Paulyne’s) big focus is on having people know how to navigate through the Bible,” Frazee said.  “It’s a road map, and it will help them figure out other things.”
     Clearly, Miss Paulyne is running straight into every opportunity to serve, and her fuel is her faith.
     “Each person has to do what he or she or can do to help someone walk the path of righteousness,” she said. “We can only do that by trying to be an example.”

This story has been adapted from Omaha World-Herald Staff Writer Nancy Gaarder’s story.  To view the full story, click here.

27 August 2015

Doing the Dishes

     Recently during a service at Reality Church, I was convicted by Pastor Lance Burch's message.  It also reminded me of our volunteers and donors at Open Door Mission.  In his message, Pastor Burch referred to Matthew 20:28:
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
     This verse encourages me to be more selfless and to live a life centered on serving Christ.  He continued to talk about how small efforts lead a pattern for our lives and can be a real game changer in our community.  It is all about making yourself available, seeking God for direction, and being an instrument.  He continued with this thought, quoting P.J. O'Rourke who said: 
"Everybody wants to save the world, but nobody wants to help mom with the dishes."
     I love seeing transformed lives happen at Open Door Mission.  I believe that wouldn't be possible without all the people "helping us with the dishes" (both figuratively and literally).  When a person donates to or comes to volunteer at Open Door Mission, he or she is serving Christ and making a lifelong impact, because there are no small roles in this ministry.
     I'm appreciative of this message.  Instead of focusing on changing the world, I want to "wash the dishes" and be available when God calls me. 
     Thanks to all the volunteers and donors who are making an impact at Open Door Mission.  If you are looking to get involved I would really encourage it.  There are so many ways you can help.  Find your niche and make an impact!

Lindsay Wyant
Leasing Specialist

26 August 2015

Going Back to School

     I can’t believe school is already back in session!  Time flies when you’re having fun; especially during summer.  However, I do fondly remember those days of shopping for school supplies and preparing for all the upcoming activities like school dances, sporting events, recitals, and etc.  There was so much excitement surrounding going back to school.
     When I was a child, I never once thought about all of the time and resources that went into getting my siblings and me prepared to start the new school year.  The lists of needed items seemed to never end: backpack, notebooks for each class, pencils, pens, art supplies, and clothes.  While shopping for these items, the bill can multiply quickly, especially for families with more than one child preparing for school.
     At Open Door Mission, we serve impoverished and homeless men, women and children, for whom preparing for school is impossible.  But Open Door Mission also knows that a vital key to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty is education.  So we make sure each child is fully equipped with whatever they may need for school.  This is accomplished through the generosity of donors in our community!
     It’s not too late to contribute to our Back to School supply needs!  Click here to view our Amazon Wish List.

Alexandria Ewing
Director of Community Relations

25 August 2015

The Mission Goes Green

     My name is Joshua, and I am the Gift In Kind Director at Open Door Mission.  Basically, I oversee any donated items that are dropped off or picked up, ensuring that they are used for greatest possible good!
     Our area deals with a lot of donations, both big and small, so we get a lot of left over cardboard, plastic, paper, and etc.  This provided us with the opportunity to look into more advanced recycling.  Since beginning new recycling procedures, Open Door Mission has saved thousands of dollars in waste costs, even making money by selling our items to recycling companies.
     This has been really exciting to see, but please remember: this is just a drop in the bucket financially when you look at the total cost it takes for us to continue providing the free services that we currently are blessed to offer.  But every part helps!  Open Door Mission’s recycling program is still in its infancy, and we are continually trying to figure out how to recycle better, faster, smarter, more efficiently. 
     We feel that is our responsibility to be the best stewards of everything is entrusted to us by our donors.  From new socks and underwear to used pots and pans, each box of donations is used with good stewardship in mind.  We ask the Father to continue to bless us and those we serve as we try to be as responsible as we can with all the wonderful items entrusted to us!
To view our urgent needs list, click here!

Joshua Smith
Gift in Kind Director

24 August 2015

How do you Serve?

     Do you ever think about how you look at and act toward people who are different from you?  Is it possible that when treating someone like they do not belong to our type of people, that we are judging them?  I know this to be true first-hand because I am guilty of doing this.  I used to go out of my way to avoid those Jesus calls my neighbors, making not so nice comments about those in poverty and volunteering to help those in addiction just to make myself feel better.
     Then God allowed me lose everything of value to me: family, friends, home, belongings, and financial security.  Then I lost my job.  I had volunteered before at Open Door Mission, so I applied for a job there, thinking I could stay for at least a year. But thankfully, God had a greater plan.  That one year has turned into all most fifteen years of great blessings and joy serving my Lord and the hungry and homeless.
     I love my job not because I can do good things, but because God has shown me a great truth: we are all created in His image.  There is no social ladder in God’s eyes.  God calls us to love unconditionally, meaning totally and with no reservations, judgment, or fear.  During this journey, I have been inspired by many words of Mother Teresa, as my love for God and the people I serve has grown deeper.  I long to serve with a non-judgmental, servant’s heart, because that is how God loves us.
     Here are some of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes:
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”
“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.
     I hope you will come to volunteer at Open Door Mission.  Come to serve God in a loving way.  Come to experience the joy seeing others being blessed.  Come to have your life and heart changed!

Sign up to volunteer today!

Maggie Cope
Community Relations Coordinator

21 August 2015

God's Kingdom is Made up Of...

     How many rolls of toilet paper does it take to serve over 1,000 people at Open Door Mission in one day?  In one week?  In one month?  More than we have on our shelves!  Last week we began the call for our friends to help us stock our shelves with toilet paper, and the response blessed our hearts!
     Kudos to all who helped meet this urgent need for toilet paper, especially to these little helpers, Henry and Jax.  We are so grateful that they responded to the call at such a young age!  Matthew 19:13-15 certainly comes to mind:
One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that He would lay hands on them and pray over them.  The disciples shooed them off.  But Jesus intervened:  “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.  God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.”
     Bless them!  It's not too late to help.  We go through hundreds of rolls each week.  Thank you in advance!
Click here to see more urgent needs.

Victoria Leuthold
Director of Development

20 August 2015

Words From a Graduate

     I received this letter from a graduate of Open Door Mission’s New Life Recovery Program, and was so encouraged by his words.  Let me share his story, one of a life transformed.

     Hello Candace,
     My name is Jonah, and I just recently graduated from Open Door Mission’s New Life Recovery Program.  I walked into the Mission last December, and will be forever grateful to all staff here.  The past eight months have been amazing.
     I have met you face to face once , at the 60 Years of Blessings Auction and Dinner.  I walked up to the table in front and you showed me to an open seat at a table with a family of five.  That night, I am proud to say that I shared my story with them.  I told them about being lost in the darkness of this world, and that Open Door Mission took me in off the streets and helped me rebuild my life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.  For we live by believing and not by seeing.  -2 Corinthians 5:6-7
     That’s from my New Life Recovery Bible, given to me by Pastor Dave.  I see the light and I will always follow it on the narrow path to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
     I enjoyed listening to your commercial on 100.7 every morning at 7:50 am., right before devotions start.  Keep up the good work; men, women, and children need the Mission and God loves you and all your staff abundantly.  God bless your family and take good care.
     I start full time work Monday, and will be renting a room in the Rebuilding Lives Center.

     Praise God to hear these encouraging words and a story of lasting change!  What a blessing to be used by the Lord in this ministry.

Candace Gregory

19 August 2015


     God. Men. Mountains. Legacies.
     Another staff member and I took ten men from the Rebuilding Lives Center to the wilds of Colorado.  We went to commune with God, rest in nature, enjoy fellowship, and maybe even wrestle a grizzly bear!  It was absolutely inspiring and uplifting.
     Our goal was the Peak Challenge, an annual opportunity when men across the country seek to experience God in a way that would resonate deep within their souls.  We were challenged physically by hiking 14,000 foot beaks, biking, and rafting.  We engaged in a spiritual battle, more aware than ever before that eternity is at stake.
     All 12 of us, the 12 tribes, were able to add a stone to the cairn.  This was in remembrance of God’s faithfulness.
So Joshua…said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.  Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you.  In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”  --Joshua 4:4-7
     God was at the forefront for all the men there!  Not all of us made it to the top of the mountain, but that is another story.  Thanks for letting me be a part of this epic adventure, and play a part in these men’s lives.

Click here to learn more about the Peak Challenge.

Gary Struebing

Elkhorn Donation Center

18 August 2015

A Heart to Serve

The Timberlake Outreach Center is one of many programs at Open
Door Mission that would not run without the help of faithful
volunteers.We have Walk Ins Welcome opportunities on:
Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Saturday 1-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-3 p.m.  Drop by today!
     As a Volunteer Coordinator at Open Door Mission, I get to work with a variety of amazing people from different backgrounds and lifestyles.  One of the volunteers that I have the privilege of working with every week is Mike.  Mike started volunteering around the beginning of the year, and has been consistent ever since.  He not only wants to help with tasks we have prepared for him, but also wants to learn about our processes at the Mission and get good at them.  From organizing bread donations in the Timberlake Outreach Center, to sorting through trash to find recyclable metal, Mike will do it all. 
     His heart to serve and help has grown in the last couple months.  He has started letting his coworkers and neighbors know that he volunteers every Monday, and that he will gladly take with him anything they wish to donate!  He doesn’t just want to get the job done, but wants it to be excellent.  Some Mondays he is so eager to serve, that he wants to stay later than our closing time, or he shows up 30 minutes to an hour early.  Mike is a volunteer that is making a difference for the people of our community, and most of them have never seen him.

Sign up to volunteer today!

Elijah Akkerman
Volunteer Coordinator

17 August 2015

Businesses Bless the Mission

     As the Business Relations Coordinator, I have the pleasure of coordinating fun drives, speaking engagements, tours, volunteer events, fundraisers, and many other different ways a business could partner with Open Door Mission!  I'm so blessed to be able to work with all the amazing business partners to make a difference in our community.
     This picture is just a snapshot of the many wonderful business and individuals I get to work with on a daily basis.
     If your business or organization would like to make a difference too, please contact me at mhannor@opendoormission.org.

Mimi Hannor
Business Relations Coordinator

14 August 2015

An Interview With Sue King

I sat down with Ms. Sue King in her Administration Building office.  She works on the fourth floor, also known as the “Penthouse,” and her office window shows a bright, sunny day outside.  Her corkboard is covered with pictures of her family along with important work-related details.  Each question was answered with good humor and deliberate thought.

BK:  How long have you worked at Open Door Mission?
SK:  I started in February, 2010, so around five and a half years.

BK:  What different positions have you held?
SK:  I began as a receptionist, and did that for about a year.  Then I moved upstairs to the Development Department and have been there ever since.

BK:  How would you describe what you do?
SK:  My job encompasses the mechanics of entry and processing of donations to Open Door Mission.

BK:  What is your favorite thing that Open Door Mission does?
SK:  I really love that we are a Gospel Rescue Mission, where the people we serve are introduced to the Word.  We have Bible studies available and groups who come in to enhance our guests’ spiritual lives.  And I just love that churches partner with us to give our people rides to church.  How cool is that?

BK:  Can you describe any moment at Open Door Mission that has inspired or impacted you?
SK:  When I first started as a receptionist, I was so impressed by this woman at the Lydia House.  She came and told me one day about receiving a Bible from her estranged daughter, and she was so excited.  I was struck by her excitement both for the contact with her daughter, and to be able to join a Bible study with her new Bible.  It was something I had never considered, because I have never been estranged from my kids, and I have always had a Bible.  But for this woman, she was equally thrilled about both her daughter and her Bible.  I thought it was neat to see someone so moved by the gift of a Bible.

BK:  What has changed at Open Door Mission since you began working here?
SK:  Of course there are the new buildings: Lydia House, Garland Thompson Men’s Center, and Permanent Supportive Housing.  All are amazing buildings.  But also the numbers of volunteers we see and Gift in Kind donations we receive are out of sight.  The new thing that I’m really excited about is the opportunity for people to live in the Rebuilding Lives Center and Permanent Supportive Housing apartments.  It’s just so awesome to offer people the chance to be independent and pay their own rent.  This way they get to be proud of where they came from, where they are now, and even have goals for where they’re going.

BK:  Where do you see Open Door Mission going in the future?
SK:  I think we will keep growing so that we can offer more programs to prepare people for re-entry into society.  That’s one of Open Door Mission’s goals with our guests, is to help them learn how to live outside of the Mission, clean and sober and with confidence.  However we grow, the next steps will be focused around providing better opportunities, and around sharing the Gospel more effectively.

Interviewee:  Sue King
Development Associate

13 August 2015

Stranded in the Stall

     Uh oh...Open Door Mission needs YOUR help to restock our shelves with toilet paper.  With 816 safe shelter beds provided on campus for men, women, and children, toilet paper is a hot commodity.  And this week, the Mission opened its last package of toilet paper.
     Needless to say, this is NOT an item we want to run out of.  Please consider dropping off your donations to the main campus at 2107 East Locust Street or to our Elkhorn Donation/Outreach Center located at 1620 North 203rd Street Elkhorn, NE.
     Because no one likes to be stranded in the stall, waiting to air dry.  Help your neediest neighbors out!

Victoria Leuthold
Director of Development

12 August 2015

The Possibilities of a Blank Page

     I love working in Development at Open Door Mission.  One of my favorite things about my job is taking a blank screen or piece of paper and adding color, text, and images to make a creative or informative document.  There is nothing more satisfying than communicating the Mission’s needs in an effective and inspirational way.
     Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way about writing.  That is not one of my strong points, but I know that God created other people who love to write.  Painting a convicting and engaging story comes naturally for many other people.  So I have learned to work like the Body of Christ, and request that they use their gifts to help strengthen mine.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  –Romans 12:4-6a
     Open Door Mission is always looking for volunteers with a passion for writing and would use their talent to help us write stories of hope, letters, and other written materials.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer writer contact Open Door Mission’s Volunteer Department at volunteer@opendoormission.org.

JoAnn Dodd
Annual Campaign Manager

11 August 2015

Inside the 2911 Program

     One of the most encouraging parts of managing the 2911 Program is the fact that I get to build a rapport with all my clients.  I can tell by their facial expressions when they walk into my office if they are having a good or bad day.  I especially like when they come into my off and say, “Dee you were right.”  After all, who doesn’t like to be right?  Just a little humor there. ;)
     My clients are getting to know me as well, and some can tell when I’m tired or having a really busy day, and they actually offer prayer or words of encouragement.  I thoroughly enjoy working with clients on their goals, helping them to de-escalate after a conflict or a trying day.  Each person is unique and incredible, and I love living life alongside them.
     Most of all, I love to see clients go after their goals.  I have one particular client who is a full-time student, mother, wife, and part-time accountant.  She is currently pursing becoming a police officer.  She was recently featured in a news segment called: “The Road to Blue.”  The segment featured women from all walks of life from Omaha who were getting ready for the fall’s application process and physical agility test.  I felt so much pride watching her doing self-defense moves and holding her own with an ex-cop.  She doesn’t let anything hold her back.
     Just today I sat in my office with a client and we spoke about how life can be an uphill battle dealing with addiction, poverty, abuse, etc. while trying to get to that next level.  We discovered the very thing that holds us back the most is FEAR.  In that moment, my client looked at a scripture I have posted on my wall that I have recited myself over and over in trying times:
My God did not give me the spirit of fear! God gave me the spirit of power! God gave me the spirit of love and God gave me the spirit of a sound mind!  --2 Timothy 1:7
     We looked at each other with tears in our eyes and though no words were said, the look of triumph was more than enough.

Diedra Williams
2911 Case Manager

10 August 2015

Enormous Generosity

Open Door Mission is blessed by our many volunteers
who donate their time to serve the hungry and homeless.
     Working at Open Door Mission is a blessing.  I am constantly amazed at and grateful for the enormous generosity of people giving of their time, money, and donations.  The interaction is such a benefit to our guests and our staff.  I am also in awe of the many, many things that Open Door Mission accomplishes with their resources of staff, volunteers, and contributions.  It truly enhances and changes the lives of many people and families.
     It reminds me of 1 Peter 4:7-10 (MSG):
Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time.
     Come take a tour and see for yourself.  You will be blessed.

Click here to sign up for your tour today!

Janet Henderson

07 August 2015

Spirit of Giving

These kids are truly excited to go back to school,
now with more confidence than ever!
“You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who’ll never be able to repay you.”  — John Wooden
     Right now at Open Door Mission, it’s BACK TO SCHOOL time!
     I always stand amazed at how God uses His people in Omaha and the surrounding communities to bless the needs of our children here at the Lydia House.  And there has been an extra overflow of blessings now that it’s time for school to start again!
     Moms and dads at the Lydia House do not have the resources to buy school supplies and new clothes for their children each year.  But because of generous and kind people LIKE YOU who participated in Adopt-A-Student and bought everything these kiddos need to go back to school, moms and dads have one less burden to worry about.  What a blessing you are to these families by providing the huge blessing of school supplies and clothes to start another school year!
     These families will never be able to pay you back.  But I do know one thing for sure:
Thank you to all sponsors who adopted students!
And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, YOU were doing it to me.”  --Matthew 25:40
     I get to witness a true Spirit of giving during this time of year to so many children who would have to go without if not for your generosity!
     As staff, we all get to witness the kids’ excitement as recipients of your giving, and it truly blesses our hearts to see the love of God in action through YOU!

Overnight Support Worker

06 August 2015

Fresh New Look

     This past Monday, helping hands arrived just in time for back to school preparations.
     Capitol School of Hair Design partnered with Open Door Mission to help more than 50 children and their families feel ready to return to school.  They provided them with free haircuts.
     Those behind the initiative say the goal is to help students go back to school with the confidence they need to succeed.
     Steve Frazee, Senior Program Director for Open Door Mission said, "For some of our folks who are working and getting ready to take that next step towards permanent housing, this is a way to save money.  For other folks it is an opportunity for them actually to get a haircut [after] just letting their hair go because [a haircut] is something of a luxury item for those folks."
     Students arrived by the busload and left with fresh, new looks along with a renewed confidence for tackling the classroom.

This blog post was adapted from WOWT’s story.  To view the full story, click here.

05 August 2015

On Staff at Open Door Mission

Open Door Mission staff love serving together, and truly support one another.
     Although I haven't been on Open Door Mission’s staff for very long, I know without a doubt that God is moving here.  I am so grateful for the opportunity, and even encouragement, to pray with and for the people we serve.  How awesome is that?  I’ve never worked in an environment like this before, and it is such a blessing.
     Another thing I have noticed is that the other staff members truly appreciate each other’s jobs.  There is such an emphasis on being grateful for one another’s God-given gifts, which is so refreshing.
     I daily thank Jesus for the opportunity to serve full time here at Open Door Mission. 

Greg Quillen

04 August 2015

I am Not Who I Was

     It has been a year since God called me to start a new journey in my relationship with Him: to start working for Open Door Mission.  I have the privilege to serve at the Timberlake Outreach Center, where the Love of God is visible in every inch of this building.  I have been a witness God working through the lives of so many people that walk through our doors:
     Our Guests:  They are so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to come and get what need.
     Our Volunteers:  They come with a smile and ready to serve.
     Our Timberlake Outreach Center Team:  Coming together in fellowship in Christ with the only purpose of glorifying the Lord our God.
     Every day I come to serve, I know God has a new experience ready for me.  I just have to be ready to listen and let the Holy Spirit guide me.  Now I know that a smile, hug, or positive word can open hearts for people to receive the Gospel.  What an awesome responsibility!
     I am not who I was, because now I go home every day knowing I am blessed.  I see clearly what God has done for me and what He wants me to do: serve with my heart, give hope, and the greatest of all, share the love I have received from Him.  I found my purpose in life.  What about you?
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  –Proverbs 19:21

Evelyn Valdez
Timberlake Outreach Center Reception

03 August 2015

Turning Himself In

     Greetings to all who have an interest in Open Door Mission!  I have had the privilege of being part of this helping ministry for almost 12 years.  During my time here, I have seen the Lord do for our guests some amazing and even miraculous things.  He also blesses us staff in abundant ways!
     For instance between 2008 and 2012, exactly during the recession, the Lord allowed us to build three brand new buildings!  I now work in one of these buildings, the Garland Thompson Men's Center, in discipleship.  Every day we see God touch the men, women, and children He directs into our care. 
     An example of this is the story of one gentleman who had trouble with various addictions.  He struggled to stay committed to our six-month New Life Recovery Program, and consequently left the Mission a couple of times.  He eventually saw the value in making a strong commitment, and was able to graduate.
     Immediately after graduation, he had to return to another state, to face charges for past crimes.  He was told he could be in prison for three-five years.  He said goodbye to his wife and children, and headed out, not knowing what faced him.  At the Mission he had learned, through the help of staff and Bible classes, how to be honest, trust the Lord, and obey the authority of the land.  So despite not knowing his fate, he knew he needed to turn himself in.
     The mercy of the Lord was shown to him, and after only 30 days in prison, he was set free!  He returned home to his family just in time for Christmas, and to a new full-time job.
     This is just one of God’s many stories of victory that staff, volunteers, and supporters, like you, have together witnessed.  Thank you all for what you do, in support and prayer, to enable all of us to help the many in need who come through our doors---like this man and his family.

Click here to view more stories of HOPE!

David Eischeid
Discipleship Counselor