27 September 2018

Group Prayer

     As I was coming into work today I saw something that made me smile and made me think. Walking down a sidewalk towards the Administration building were 3 of our program students. I recognized two of them from my Conflict Resolution class.

     Just then, they stopped and huddled with their arms on each others shoulders and began to pray. It's not unusual to see prayer on our campus, but it is usually staff who initiates that. Seeing our students spontaneously stop what they were doing to pray (for whatever they prayed for) made me smile. They have come so far, and now are walking the talk. They understand who gives them the power and protection to complete the journey that they have started here, and depend on His grace to complete it.

Meredith Seaman
Heartland Circle Coordinator

26 September 2018

Birthday Party

     We had a few friends stop by for the Lydia House birthday party! A big thank you to the decorations from Oriental Trading Co, gifts and more from Simon Says Live a Better Life. Also, Scatter Joy Acres brought animals for The Birthday Party Project’s County Fair theme! Our guests had such a great time!

Amy Harvey
Community Relations Director

25 September 2018

Guest to Donor

     I just got off the phone with a new monthly donor.  As I was learning about him, I found out he is originally from Togo, Africa. When he moved to Omaha back in 2010, he used to come to the Timberlake Outreach Center to get help with food and clothing.  He was also blessed by Open Door Mission's annual Drive through Christmas (a program that provides Christmas presents for children in the community).

     He was very excited to thank Open Door Mission and what the employees did for him when he first moved to the United States. His family is now in a good spot financially and to show his appreciation, he is now a monthly donor!  

     We are blessed to have a wonderful staff at Open Door Mission. They are a lighthouse to those ships that need a safe harbor from the waves of life and where they can get repaired, physically, emotionally and spiritually!

Joshua Smith
Heartland Hands Coordinator

24 September 2018

Manna Food Pantry Volunteers

     Thank you to the Divine Shepherd team. They never complain about the task and there has been many over the years. Today, they got their hands dirty organizing and cleaning canned goods to feed the hungry! 

Candace Gregory 

21 September 2018

Rebuilding Lives

Health, home, purpose and community: these are four major dimensions that support a person in recovery! Key components in purpose is community service and job training. Students were busy this morning sorting donations, stocking shelves and taking pride in their work. Thank you!

Candace Gregory

20 September 2018

Medical Supplies

     Thank you to the Visiting Nurses Association Nikole Roach for delivering medisets to Open Door Mission. VNA’s shelter nurses are the first line of healthcare in Omaha Metro area homeless shelters, ensuring vulnerable individuals and families have access to healthcare and community resources that support their journeys toward stability and self-sufficiency.

Candace Gregory

18 September 2018

A New Bike

     Prayer is a powerful thing. My friend Marianne was going through a rough patch last year. I was praying for her, but felt she needed more prayers. I asked her if I could share her prayer needs with my students in the Parenting class I teach. The ladies are great prayer warriors; they readily embraced Marianne’s need for prayers. 
     After a few weeks, Marianne shared with the class how important their prayers had been in changing lives. Flash forward to the present, Marianne is moving to Alabama and found herself needing to leave her brand new bike here in Omaha. She decided to donate it to a deserving lady at the Lydia House that was in the New Life Recovery Program, was taking/had taken my Parenting class and had shown positive change in her life. Annilee was chosen by Lydia House staff to receive the bike. Marianne is blessed by prayers, Annilee is blessed with a new bike. I love the way God works!

Maggie Cope
Gift In Kind Coordinator

13 September 2018

Did You Know?

We recently had a speaker come to Open Door Mission and present on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The following are notes from the presentation: 

- PTSD traces its identification to the Civil war? They referred to it as the Soldier's heart.

- In the 1980 researches noticed similarities in symptoms between combat veterans and domestic violence victims

- 8% of US adults suffer from PTSD

- More women than men are affected

- 65% of male rape victims suffer from PTSD
- 46% of female rape victims suffer from PTSD

- Amygdala (part of your brain) that warns us if there is danger is remains too active. It doesn't assess safety very well--just danger.

Unconscious mind
Doesn't deal that well with time, so, if you were hit by a yellow Volkswagen beetle at 10th & Howard - years later you may not like yellow, Volkswagen beetles and prefer not to go to the Old Market. 

Part of the challenge of dealing with PTSD is that items are stored in the unconscious mind (almost time independent) and dealt with the Amygdala which focus on danger. Getting control of these thoughts and reactions requires going from the unconscious to the conscious and getting control of the Amygdala.

Steve Frazee 
Senior Program Director

07 September 2018

Lunch is Served

     The evening before, we were slow cooking pork shoulders for pulled pork the next day for lunch. But, when I came into work this morning, the pork was not cooked enough to pull apart!
     With only 45 minutes until lunch, I was worried that I didn't have anything prepared for our guests to eat! At that moment, I had no volunteers and no back-up plan. 
     I started to panic. Fear washed over me that there would be nothing to eat. And then, I heard a calming "ding" from the back dock's doorbell. I open the door to find a generous donor with 125 pounds of hot dogs and about 1/4 even had hot dog buns! 
     I was incredibly thankful. But once again began panicking that I would have to get all of the meat panned up, cooked, and ready to serve all by myself. That's when the kitchen's other doorbell rang. When I opened the door, three smiling volunteers asked me if I needed any help today. I looked up to the sky, laughing, "Thank you God for helping me today. I love it when you do this." I was instantly calm and lunch ended up being a success. 
     I am so thankful to have a Father that cares even about the little details. All glory to HIM! 

Gary Hughes 
Community Kitchen Chef

06 September 2018

Mobile Diabetes Clinic

     Last Wednesday, we had the Methodist Nursing Students bring over the Mobile Diabetic Clinic. What a blessing to so many as they got checked for blood pressures, blood sugars, height, weight, body mass index. And at the end they received a warm oil foot soak and foot message! We have some very happy feet on campus! Thank You Methodist Nursing Students for honoring our guests with such respect and love!

Kate Fischer, LIMHP
Health & Healing Center Director

05 September 2018

God Rebuilds Lives

     Today, a guest named Rich gave his testimony at our monthly Friends of the Mission luncheon. He was severely abused as a child and was introduced to drugs and alcohol at age 11. For more than 23 years, he abused drugs and alcohol. He torched relationships with his family, his extended family, and some friends along the way. His wife and children left him. He was homeless for years. He said that he hated God for allowing him to have such a messed up childhood, and blamed all of his problems on that.

     It wasn't until he was exhausted from living a life of drugs and homelessness that he was ready to hear God calling him. He fell to his knees and prayed that God take the desire for drugs away from him. Through a series of people, "coincidences", and events - he finally believed that God wanted to heal him and restore him. It wasn't until he almost drowned, that he encountered Gods power, and knew it was real. When he was finally ashore, the only possession left was his bible, which came floating up to him opened to Psalm 32 which says "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered". 

     Rich has been in our Rebuilding Lives program for nearly 3 months now. He is sober and is growing in his relationship with God. He said the desire for his old life is totally gone.  Now Rich sees that God really loves us right where we are. It's not until we come to the end of ourselves sometimes that we can hear him calling to us. Please continue to pray for Rich, and for all of the men and women here who are bravely trying to walk away from the bondage of addiction and walk into the light of Hope. 

Meredith Seaman
Heartland Circle Coordinator

04 September 2018

Lydia House Success Story

     I love when my team texts me their happy, happy, happy pictures of SUCCESS! 
     This is my friend Cheyenne. She once was experiencing homelessness and lived at the Lydia House. She has since obtained employment, saved her money and now has her own apartment!

Candace Gregory