From Cucumber Salad to Full-time Ministry

Jul 29, 2013  |     |   General

I am sure some people are WAAAAAAAY tired of hearing of how I came to minister at the Lydia House (I am SOOOOO excited!). I am guessing that YOU haven’t heard how God spoke over cucumber salad.

No? Get ready!

My journey to the Open Door Mission has been a winding one, full of some significant valleys. Since 2008, our family became a foster family, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I found out about the molestation of one of my children, and our foster home was unjustly closed in 2011. Most recently, as of the fall of 2012, I have become a single parent. I went from a typical suburban life, to facing near homelessness in a very real way.

Move for God 5K ladies photo by Leslie Knox

Through it all, I can say that God has been faithful and has carried me through many dark days, and many of my questions. I found it very curious that during these most heart-wrenching days, God stretched me farther than I ever thought I could stretch. Though I have never cared well for my physical body, in the fall of 2012, I became involved in a Bible study that included training for a 5K race at the end of the 12-week session. In the spring of 2013, I became a member of the leadership team that organized a “Move for God” 5K. This time we were able to designate our race as a fundraiser, and we felt that God led us to support Open Door Mission. During the study, a woman named Candace Gregory attended, and one day I shared with her a little snapshot of my story.

The week before our race day in June 2013, I traveled Omaha as a youth sponsor for our church’s Urban Mission Trip. During that weekend, we served at the Timberlake Outreach Center and in the kitchen at the Garland Thompson Men’s Center. I will never forget hearing Chef Ramon’s story of how he came to the Mission, and just being impressed with his testimony. It was minutes after that, while mixing a huge batch of cucumber salad that I really felt God impress on me that the Open Door Mission was “home”.

I returned from that mission trip, and contacted my new friend Candace and told her that I didn’t know why I was messaging her, but that I needed to see if there were any ministry openings. I applied and the rest, they say, is history. I now have the awesome privilege to serve ladies and families in need at the Lydia House as a Family Support Worker.

Leaving stay-at-home motherhood and being forced to enter full-time work has been a tough thing to face. God has been so gracious even in this challenge, as I find it no greater honor than to serve Him in ministry through the Open Door Mission. My passion lies in my desire to share the hope that I have received in Christ, in spite of my recent trials and circumstances.


Kathy Swartzfeger
Overnight Support Worker
Office:  402-422-1111 ext 7029
Fax:  402-505-3916