18 December 2018

Toy & Joy Warehouse

     This is the project that the team has been hard at work at for the last few weeks. They transformed the warehouse into the Toy and Joy Shop. It looks amazing. A special thank you to Amy and Jason and their team’s and hundreds of volunteers. 2018 Project Santa has already served over 1,000+ needy children! 







Candace Gregory
President/CEO

17 December 2018

Project Santa Toy Drive with KFAB & KGOR

     Thank you to everyone who dropped off new toys for Project Santa during our remote broadcast with NewsRadio 1110 KFAB at Dingman’s Collision Center (144th and Industrial) today. You can still donate toys through the end of next week at Dingman’s and other KFAB Project Santa drop off locations or bring them to our Timberlake Outreach Center or Elkhorn Donation Center.







Kristen Dineen
Public Relations Coordinator
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14 December 2018

A New Life

     My name is Erick Gomez. I was born and raised Omaha, Nebraska. I lived with my mom Lorraine, stepfather Ines and four sisters. When I was a child, I was abused physically by my stepfather. I felt he did that because I was not his biological child. So, I moved in with my great grandparents Eva and Frank. I then started to attend church almost every Sunday with my grandfather. He also happened to have a terrible drinking problem. 

     One Sunday when I was 12 years old, my grandfather and I attended church and afterward he took me to my mom’s house so he could go to the bar and have a few beers. I argued because I did not want him to go, but he did anyways. Later that day, my grandmother sent my cousin to look for my grandfather because he had not come home yet. He looked everywhere. When he finally found him, my grandfather was unconscious and bleeding from his head. We found out my grandfather fell down the stairs and cracked his head open. He lost his memory, could not walk and he barely talked. 

     That really hurt. I began to smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, hang around gang members, and involved myself in criminal activity. By this point, I was moving from friend’s house to friend’s house. 

     When I was about 16, I got very sick and my mom, who I was staying with at the time, thought I had a flu so she gave me some flu medicine. A couple of days later, I couldn't walk or hold my head up. My mother saw how bad I looked and took me to hospital. They had to do emergency surgery and the doctor said if I was a young kid or an older person, I probably would have died. I then had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. 

     One day when I was at my mom’s house, she received a call from my grandmother saying my grandfather has passed. That really hurt me bad. I once again started drinking, smoking marijuana and doing methamphetamine. I then joined a gang in south Omaha and dropped out of school. This caused me to move in with one of my friends. I met a girl that lived across the street from him named Clair. Together, we had my first child, Alivia. That made me slow down a little and I began to work and try to start a family. 

     One day, I received a phone call from my mom saying my grandma Eva had passed away due to her age. I did not take that very well and started on my drug addiction again. I began to shoot methamphetamine up and not being at home like a father should. 

     I went to jail a lot. But this last time they were going to send me to prison for 2 to 5 years for stealing a car and fleeing from the police. I was in jail and my girlfriend and my daughter came to visit me. She told me enough was enough. They were not going be in my life if I did not change. 

     After that, I switched into the cell called God mod. I began to read the Bible, attend Bible classes and learn about our savior Jesus Christ. 

     It was December last year I spoke with my lawyer and asked if I could go to a drug program instead of going to prison. On December 21st, they called me for court and the judge gave me a signature bond to Open Door Mission. I could not believe it! My prayers began to get answered. 

     I arrived at Open Door Mission ready to change my life and continue to find Christ. The blessing began for me. I found my grandfather, John, on my dad's side of the family which I have not seen since I was a little kid. We have a great relationship and he’s in my life, my daughter's and my wife's. The last Saturday of October I got my GED and also got married to Clair. I am also planning to attend college to learn a trade in HVAC. 

     My life is finally coming together. I am a great husband, father, stepfather, and a leader in Christ for my family like I was raised to be.  I want to thank Open Door Mission for everything they have done for me and my family. I would also like to thank my wife, mom, step-dad, and my brothers and sisters of Christ. I would like to close by reading one of my favorite bible verses Psalm 19:14. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight Lord my rock and my redeemer.







Erick
New Life Recover Program Graduate
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13 December 2018

Channel 94.1 Visits the Lydia House

     A photo shoot with babies and toddlers - what was I thinking?? Thank you to Channel 94.1’s team for ALL their smiles. YOU can pick up your special Christmas Card when you drop off your Diapers on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the Linden Market Hy Vee at 132nd and Dodge. 







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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12 December 2018

Olive Garden for Dinner

     Christmas Season, the season of giving which started with gift of Jesus over 2000 years ago. We now find new ways of celebrating that gift with gifts from our heart to those God has placed in our lives. The wonderful folks from the metro area Olive Garden Restaurants came to us to serve their wonderful cuisine to our guest. The staff made the desserts they served tonight. 







Steve Frazee
Senior Program Director
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11 December 2018

Toy & Joy Shop

     Piper is busy filling the stocking stuffer bins! The Open Door Mission’s Project Santa’s Toy and Shop served more than 1,000 children in its first 2 days! Could you donate just 2 hours of your time - they need us and we need you! Visit www.opendoormission.org and click on the Holiday Volunteer button.







Candace Gregory
President/CEO
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10 December 2018

Shop with a Cop

     Thank you to the Omaha Police Officers and Walmart for a successful Santa's Shop with a Cop event. Helping make this Christmas one to remember for the children staying at Lydia House. The children got to pick out clothing and toys they would enjoy.







Steve Frazee
Senior Program Director
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07 December 2018

A New Life

     HEY NOW! My name is Mark and I came to the Open Door Mission one year ago. I lost my self-respect, my family, my child, and my car. I was tired of getting high, shoplifting, and asking for money. I hurt my mother and father to the point that they would not talk to me. With all of my options used up, I came to the Open Door mission and joined the New Life Recovery Program. 

     For the first time in my life, it was up to me and I wanted to change my life. I had never opened up the Bible or even had Jesus in my life. As time went on, I learned more and more about His grace and mercy. All I had to do was accept the free gift that was always there. At the Mission, I learned to pray and read the Bible and build a fellowship with my brothers that are true, meaningful, and real. Also, through the testimony of others, I learned of their struggles as they learned of mine. The Mission kept me busy working and learning about Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. 

     As time went on, God began to renew my heart and mind. I was baptized on April 8, 2019 at City Light in Midtown. I became a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. I pray everyday for his guidance and truly believe I cannot do this alone. Blessings come every day in Christ Jesus and I believe that He has a plan for me.

     I plan on staying here at Open Door Mission and joining the Urban Ministry Program and also get a job. I believe I need the structure and continued sober living environment. I will succeed in this life and will be prepared for life everlasting. Thank you to Jesus and Open Door Mission for saving my life. 

     I will sign off with my favorite bible verse which is Matthew 5:9. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." 

     I would like to dedicate this day to my daughter Jenna, who was sadly killed in a car crash 4 years ago. 







Mark
New Life Recovery Program Graduate
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05 December 2018

Toy & Joy Shop

     Yesterday marked a big milestone for Open Door Mission: The first day of the Toy and Joy Shop. I was asked to help from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. and what an experience that was! In total, the Toy and Joy Shop served 550 children, and getting to be a part of that process was truly an honor. 

     As I was standing with the men and women awaiting their turn to shop for their children, they would share with me a little bit of their story.... 

"The father of my child left and it is just me looking after our son. I  am really struggling being able to afford all of it." 

"I was just diagnosed with breast cancer. As a single mom, I can't keep a job and I do not have any money to put Christmas presents under the tree." 

"I graduated from the New Life Recovery Program and Open Door Mission is the reason I am still standing here, but I am having trouble finding housing. I am so thankful for everything that you have done and continue to do for me." 

     These are just a few snippets from different testimonies I was able to hear yesterday. What a blessing! 

     My heart was overflowing with gratitude, because the employees of Open Door Mission could NOT do this without the help of our community. Thank you to the donors who stock the shelves with toys, thank you to the volunteers who help make things run smoothly, thank you to the prayer warriors who bless this place, thank you to everyone involved who make this event happen for boys and girls in need. 







Lauren Catlett
Digital Communications Coordinator
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03 December 2018

Christmas Is Coming

     It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Lydia House! Thanks to this little guy for helping us decorate the tree. What a blast! 







Lydia House Staff
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