30 November 2016

I Work at Open Door Mission!

     I wanted to share this picture and cute story with you! 
     Recently, my daughter took my name tag, put it on, and said, "Mom, look!  I work at the Open Door Mission!"
     I said, "Oh you do? What do people do at Open Door Mission?"
     She replied, "Well, mostly they eat soup, but they help people too!"  She attended Ladle of Love with me! 
     I got to thinking, and this really reminded me that, more than anything, children watch what we do.  How blessed are we that our children get to watch us do God's work EVERY SINGLE DAY! 

Michelle Therkildsen
Development Associate

29 November 2016

Safe Shelter for the Holidays...Part 2

Continued from yesterday, 11/28.

     “They have so many wonderful programs for the kids, from the Tutoring Lab to the Bright Space with more toys than I’ve ever seen,” said Kemesha.  “Our favorite is the Book Nook, though.  We’re able to read a new book together every night, and that’s such a blessing.”
Kemesha is slowly getting back on to her feet, despite complications from an illness.  She started working at a call center and saved her money to purchase her own vehicle.
     Through everything, Kemesha knows the Lord has been with her and her children.  She has turned her eyes back to the Lord, and can see the difference in her life.  “Once we were seeking the Lord faithfully, everything started falling into place,” she said.

     Kemesha is a woman of great strength, and her perspective on life has change throughout this journey.  “As long as we’re able to eat, take showers, and be together…I feel like we’re blessed,” she said.
     And for the first time in a while, Kemesha is looking forward to the Holidays without anxiety or stress.  Thanks to wonderful programs such as Adopt A Guest, she knows her children will feel loved as they open presents hand-picked for them on Christmas day.

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator

28 November 2016

Safe Shelter for the Holidays...Part 1

     Life for Kemesha can be busy and overwhelming, with a full house and a baby on the way.  But she is grateful to have found safe shelter at Open Door Mission for her and her family.
Kemesha recalls growing up really fast.  She remembers her family being homeless as a child, but felt her father provided for them the best he could.  Life hit hard when she became a teenage mom at age 15.
     “I grew up pretty fast,” said Kemesha.  Since then, Kemesha has experienced one hardship after another.
     “The kids and I lived in a house with no electricity and barely any water,” she said.  She even recalls walking to the nearest store to warm up food for her children.
     Kemesha decided to move to Omaha when her neighborhood became too unsafe.  Loved ones and friends were being shot around her.  Kemesha's brother lives in Omaha, so it seemed like the best option for getting away from the violence.
     When the family first came to Open Door Mission, they had to stay in the Lydia House Overflow Area for a couple of weeks before a room opened up.  It was a brand new experience, but her children felt at home right away.

To be continued tomorrow, 11/29.

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator

23 November 2016

Sharing Our Heart

     Currently, Open Door Mission still has many homeless and needy men, women, and children who have not been sponsored under our Adopt A Guest Program.  I pray that the Lord would open donors’ hearts to see what He is doing, and they would humble
themselves to see what God would have them give! 
     My prayer is that as Open Door Mission staff, volunteers, and friends, we would be outspoken in our church communities and small groups, sharing what AWESOME things God is doing at Open Door Mission!  And when they see our enthusiasm and ask questions, that we would help them get involved in our Mission!
     My small group volunteers in the kitchen once a month and is going to Adopt a Guest this Christmas.  It may look small, but what if all of us connected with the Mission shared our HEART with the people closest to us and invited them in to be a part of what God is doing here?  It would have huge impact!
     I know that volunteering once a month it has been a blessing to my small group as much as it has been to our guests.  We need to be people that encourage others to get out of their seats and live out the Gospel!

Trudy Woodward
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

22 November 2016

'Tis the Season

Here I am at the KFAB Radiothon with Boyd Dingman, who helped
donate towards our match money for the day!
     The month of November has been amazing so far!  We had the Salute to the Red, White and Blue, ceremony honoring Veterans.  We’ve had volunteer groups helping to make Fixin food boxes for Drumsticks on Wheels event this past Saturday.
     And ‘tis the season of Project Santa boxes being set up throughout the community for drop offs.  The Christmas Bell tree is going up at the BOOMER station at Midtown Crossing.  It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. All that’s missing is some white stuff and cold temperatures to really make it feel like the Holidays.
     All of this craziness can get overwhelming, but it also leads me to reflect on how many times God has said to me, “Just listen to My voice and word, and have faith!”  He tells me that so frequently because He knows I need to hear it!  So join me in taking comfort in knowing that God knows the needs of HIS Open Door Mission.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  –Philippians 4:19

Candace Gregory

21 November 2016

We Will Run To YOU

These volunteers helped make sack lunches for our Streets of
Omaha program.  What a blessing!
     Volunteer Michael jumped out of the van and ran a sack lunch to a man he saw sitting under a bridge.  He was out volunteering for Open Door Mission’s Streets of Omaha program.
     "I am very grateful for you,” said the man.  “A lot of people don't pay attention to me, or they run the other way when they see me."
     Our Volunteer Michael told him, “We will run TO YOU every time."
     The man's face lit up with joy.
      The sad reality is, the people that we serve are used to people running away from them, not looking them in the eyes.  Some even get called horrible names.  In our ministry, we don't know everyone's situation or story, but we do know that people need love.  Our Streets of Omaha volunteers look forward to sharing that love each and every day.
     Some of our volunteers such as Mike volunteer all day, making lunches in the morning and then handing them out in the afternoon.  Lives of people on the streets as well as our volunteers’ lives are being changed here at Open Door Mission.  We would love you to be a part of that

Jessica Coffey
Volunteer Coordinator

18 November 2016


     Recently we received a generous donation of new pairs of socks at Open Door Mission’s Elkhorn Outreach & Donation Center!
     Carter and Delaney Richardson initiated a SOCKTOBER sock drive through their school at North Bend Central and throughout their local community to collect a total of 850 pairs of socks for the homeless.
     What a blessing!

Jesse Pauly
Elkhorn Donation & Outreach Center

17 November 2016

Salute to the Red, White, and Blue...Part 2

     The event was to celebrate Veterans, but it truly was more than that.  This is true about all of Open Door Mission events.  We are creating community on our campus because without it, life change fizzles.
     We are the body of Christ.  We are a vine and Jesus is our source.  We are to lift each other up and share each other's burdens.  We are the gathered and members.  We are brothers and sisters. We are a city on a hill.
     Please remember just how important you are.  People notice when you celebrate them, and they also notice when you are not there.  Our guests and your fellow staff appreciate seeing you go the extra mile, whether you are a volunteer, donor, staff member, or friend of the Mission.
     We are all co-laborers in Christ.  Each of us has our limits and our needs.  Our lives intersect here at Open Door Mission for a reason.  The Lord calls me and you to live a life of worship and love in a world that so desperately needs both.  He calls me and you to remember a people who are trying to forget and whom most have forgotten.
     Take time to help others be a part of community so they can experience lasting life change through the power of Holy Spirit and the aid of Christ’s community.
     These thoughts occurred to me after our service had ended, while I watched folks interacting with our Salute to Red, White, and Blue speaker.  I saw joy in many people's face.  I saw appreciation of the message they had heard.
     One of our homeless veteran guests shared with me that he wished he had gone forward to be recognized, but could not see why a homele

ss guy should receive honor.  This man is a perfect example of someone who needs to be a part of community.

Steve Frazee
Senior Programs Director

16 November 2016

Salute to the Red, White, and Blue...Part 1

     Last week we hosted the Salute to the Red, White, and Blue event to honor homeless veterans.  It was such a wonderful event!
     Sometimes we incorrectly assume that all people will enjoy and accept recognition.  During our service honoring veterans, I know of at least five men in the audience who served, but could not muster the nerve to come before the gathering to be recognized.  Please keep this in mind and go out of your way to thank any veteran you come in contact with.
     In that same mindset, I was reminded of something else that night.  I am at peace at Open Door Mission.  I am comfortable with all of the things that I do and even with the new tasks assigned to me.  It was not always this way, though.  Not too long ago, I did struggle with anxiety related to my work at the Mission, but the Lord brought peace.
     Having come out of that anxiety, I always need to remember to seek out those who are not at ease, and to encourage and build bridges for others.  I should never assume my feeling are yours.
     Thank you all for serving our true Commander and Chief (God our Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit) and those He loves in a manner that brings a smile to His face and grows His kingdom.

To be continue tomorrow, 11/17.

Steve Frazee
Senior Programs Director

15 November 2016

Contagious Joy

     In a world of uncontrollable circumstances we are only in control of one thing: that is our attitude.  We can choose to let unfortunate circumstances take our joy OR we can rise above it and hold on to what is ours to have. 
      This was never clearer to me than the moment I met a woman named K on one of our recent Streets of Omaha outings.  K was full of pain, rejection, and felt so alone.  But the day we met on the streets, and she decided to come to Open Door Mission.  K has had a lot of pain in her heart from years of neglect and abuse, but she held onto one thing and that was her joy!
     She told one of the Streets of Omaha volunteers that her joy comes from Jesus.  K has been at Open Door Mission's Lydia House for a few months now, and her joy is very contagious!  She commented to me one day, "I never thought my anxiety would allow me to be in a place full of people, but I know I am supposed to be here because Jesus replaced my anxiety with more JOY!" 
    The day we met her was definitely a divine appointment.  God has a plan for K and He used the Streets of Omaha Team as a part of that plan.  He placed us exactly where we needed to be, exactly when we needed to be there.  He did this to show his beloved daughter how important she is and to show her how much He loves her!
     God wants to use us all, as long as we allow Him to!

Jessica Coffey
Volunteer Coordinator

14 November 2016

HOPE Begins With a Meal...Part 2

Continued from Thursday, 11/10.

     God gave Robert a vision of what his future could look like in two different scenarios.  “One was very dark, but the higher road was full of light,” said Robert.  “God lead me to the higher road.”
     Finally ready to make a change, Robert’s friend dropped him off at Open Door Mission, where he joined the Veterans First Program.  It all started with a hot, nutritious meal in Open Door Mission's cafeteria.  That first meal inspired HOPE for lasting change in Robert.  At first the program was scary; having to confront real obstacles and issues in his life, but eventually the Lord granted Robert freedom.
     “I realized that when I go, the things I have won’t come with me,” Robert said.  “What matters is my relationship with Jesus.”  Robert has truly submitted his life to God.
     At graduation, Robert received a pin that states, “Courageous.”  This inspired Robert to be a better father and grandfather.  He used to be absent, but reconciled and now visits his family (including five grandkids) regularly.
     Currently, Robert is employed full time, is active in the community, and maintains his home.  As a former chef, Robert knows the difference a meal can make.  This is especially true at Open Door Mission as HOPE begins with a meal.  Thank you for your support in providing HOPE for the hungry.

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator

10 November 2016

HOPE Begins with a Meal...Part 1

     Robert spent over twenty years serving his country in the Army National Guard.  But now he is learning to serve his Lord and Savior.
     Throughout his life, Robert has kept to himself.  As a child, he grew up under the care of his grandparents.  His mother was very young when he was born, and his father was completely out of the picture.  “I grew up in front of a TV set,” described Robert.
     He kept to himself through high school, but shortly after graduating he joined something bigger than himself.  Robert was recruited to the Army National Guard.
     For the first year, Robert performed administrative duties, then was transferred to being a cook.  He started with no experience or knowledge, but soon learned how to provide good meals for hundreds of men.  Robert served his country diligently and proudly, not giving up even on the hardest of days.
     What began as a way to make money grew into a place for Robert to belong.  “I enjoyed being in the service and holding responsibility for my country.”
     However when Robert retired from the Army National Guard, life was not as you’d expect for someone who had faithfully served for over twenty years.  Losing sight of who he was, Robert began drinking heavily which compiled with other circumstances lead to him hitting rock bottom.

To be continued Monday, 11/14.

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator

09 November 2016

Happy Birthday to Open Door Mission!

     Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Open Door Mission!  The month of November marks another year of blessings at Open Door Mission.  And may God continue to bless this ministry more than humanly possible to conceive, so that we may continue changing lives for eternity.  Birthday Blessings all around us.
     Here is to another 61 + years of God's work at Open Door Mission, full of lives being transformed by the renewing of the heart and mind!

Candace Gregory

08 November 2016

Learning About Generosity...Part 2

Continued from yesterday, 11/7.

     First of all, they help homeless people who suffer in different ways.  Some women and children are affected by domestic violence, and some single adults are suffering from substance abuse and addiction.  So, those people need a safe place to stay, especially during the winter time when they suffer from extreme cold weather.  When they go to Open Door Mission’s shelter, they find a safe place to sleep.
     In addition, Open Door Mission helps people who are hungry.  They provide three meals a day.  They also give food to people who live in poverty.  Through the generosity of Open Door Mission, those people can solve their problem of insufficient food and save money for utilities.
     Finally, the most important thing that the organization does is changing homeless people’s lives by providing education.  They inspire them to attend the job training and life changing programs.  In the impact, those people graduated from school and they find a better job and life.
     The organization asks for a donation from each person who is fortunate enough to have money who can donate it.  So, when you give a gift as a small amount of money to them, you are helping people who need safe shelter, nutritious meals, and education to change their life.  Perhaps you can help to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

     I hope this warmed your heart like it did mine!  Thank you so much to all donors, volunteers, and friends of Open Door Mission!

Kaylene Powell
Open Door Mission Volunteer

07 November 2016

Learning About Generosity...Part 1

     This is a final copy of an essay written by one of my Burmese ESL students this past spring.  She gave me her permission to share it.  We were discussing charity and generosity in class, and my students had to write a five paragraph essay about how a small amount of money can still make a big difference.
     This is her final draft, on the topic she chose for herself (as they all did).  I thought you would be moved in the reading of it.  I was so proud of her progress that term!
     Press on and know that your labor is not in vain.

     Although I can’t help people whenever I want to, I still always want to help people as much as I can.  Last December, I got mail asking people to donate money to Open Door Mission.  Through the letter, we could give $20, $20, or $50.  Also, they listed their website.  So I went online and saw all of their activities.  Then I knew it:  though we donated a small amount of money to Open Door Mission, I was still helping homeless men, women, and children receive shelter beds, nutritious meals, and education to change their life.

To be continued tomorrow, 11/8.

Kaylene Powell
Open Door Mission Volunteer

04 November 2016

Run With Endurance...Part 2

Continued from yesterday, 11/3.

     Jesus calls us to keep our eyes fixed on him!  He calls us to continue the race with endurance and to do it with joy!  Jesus was able to see the big picture: salvation and saved souls!  We are not always able to see the big picture, but that is where faith comes in.  We need to believe that God is good and we need to be obedient to His calling no matter what.  We should not say, "Let’s make a deal: if I do this, I will get this."  Instead we should say, “I have faith that you will come through, Lord!”  The joy of what we get to do every day is to share in Christ's love with others.  What a great God we have that would allow us to be a part of it!  There is truly nothing better.
     Open Door Mission family, I pray would you read this and be encouraged and energized for the rest of your day.  Would you, with joy, say this is not a regular day, but a wonderful day!  And our circumstances won't determine our attitude, but Jesus and the joy that we get to join in on this wonderful ministry opportunity every day will!

Trudy Woodward
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

03 November 2016

Run With Endurance...Part 1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  –Hebrews 12:1-2
    Last week I read this study during my lunch break, and I wanted to share it with my Open Door Mission family:
     We are to run with endurance the race that is set before us, and we do this by looking to Jesus, who endured the cross and faithfully provided salvation to those who believe (Romans 10:9).  Why did He do this?  For the joy that was set before Him.  The joy of accomplishing His Father’s will and restoring man’s relationship with God.  In the midst of Jesus’ suffering, He had perspective.  He was able to see the big picture—that His sufferings would lead to redemption.  This perspective, this joy, this hope helped Him to be faithful.
     When we face challenges, when we get tired, may we remember what joy it is to share Christ’s love with others—to watch His mercy, grace, and redemption bring hope to the hopeless and save the lost.  –IF:Gathering Discipleship Study
     When I read this, I had already had a day where I needed a good Word from the Lord to press on!  This really gave me encouragement to keep going, to dig deeper on what God is calling me to.

To be continued tomorrow, 11/4.

Trudy Woodward
Permanent Supportive Housing Director

02 November 2016

Encouraged by God's Work

     Working in the Development Department, people often share fun stories and notes with me, which is such a blessing.  Sharing what the Lord is doing at Open Door Mission is my job, and I love it!  My prayer is that even when things seem tough, staff, donors, volunteers, and friends of the Mission will be encouraged by these stories of HOPE by knowing that God is on the move!  He is at work, and we get to be a part of it.
     Below is a card that was shared with me.  I don’t know the specifics behind it, but the sweet note inside is sure to lift spirits.  Please read it and be encouraged!

Beatrice Jones
Marketing Coordinator

01 November 2016

It's That Time of Year Again...Part 2

Continued from yesterday, 10/31.

     Almost every woman wrote on their sheet that they are grateful for their children, families, and other loved ones.  But EVERY piece of paper mentioned the Lydia House Staff in some capacity.  Here are a few that truly blessed my soul:

> "I am thankful for a sober, safe place to stay."
> "I am thankful for the staff and how understanding and caring they are."
> "The staff here are amazing angels that put themselves last to make this a better place, they are loving and they shine for Jesus."
> "I am thankful to live here, I am thankful to have women staff that treat me with respect."
> "I am thankful God gave me the Lydia House to be my safe haven."

     Lastly, I played the song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey.  It has been a blessing to me lately (click here to check it out).

No matter what you are going through,
Remember yesterday's a closing door,
You don't live there anymore.
Say good bye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again!

God is always good and He is always there! 

Shelly McCullough
Day House Supervisor