Last weekend, a few Grade 11 students from White Rock Christian Academy came out to serve with the nightly teams at NightShift. They rolled up their sleeves and many of them were surprized by what they saw and learned. Here are their accounts:
“Last night I happened across three neat fellows, all named James! It was so great to meet each of them and hear more about their lives, dreams, hopes & hurts. As we were saying our goodbyes, we had the opportunity to lift our discussions up to the Lord, one by one. I will never forget those moments as God’s truth and love filled us up. Picture it … hands held … hearts warmed … and our glistening eyes under that starlit night! God was so present. To top it off, the third James provided me some awesome passages of scripture & words of encouragement for MY life and ministry. I was so touched by the sincerity, politeness and the brotherly love of these three new friends.
“Thank you so much for the introduction to Nightshift. What a wonderful discovery for us and a huge opportunity to share God’s Love! I feel so blessed to have been able to come out tonight. It is such an awesome reminder that the simplest acts of kindness & small gestures can truly impact someone’s day and turn sadness into joy. It is so easy to get caught up in the trials of your day, but the real joy is watching an outpouring of God’s Grace & Love.”
“I was handing out warm drinks and milk and one guy took the time to shake my hand and tell me his name and say thank you. It took me a little bit by surprise, but just the fact that he went out of his way to say that, really touched me. All of the people there were really polite and were appreciative of what we were doing! I had an amazing time and it would be awesome to do it again!”
“Thank you so much for taking us to NightShift last night. It was a great experience and I would love to do it again sometime! What I found surprising and wasn’t expecting, was the fact that some of the people are just like us living in a house, possibly with a job and they just need a little help or are struggling. Of course there are the ones living on the streets as well, but I thought they would all be living on the streets and all using drugs/alcohol but that wasn’t the case with some of them. Another thing I was not expecting and I found very impactful was how appreciative they were and how friendly some of them were, and if you took the time to introduce yourself and got their name it went a long way; you could see their faces light up!”
“I feel so blessed to have been able to come out tonight. It is such an awesome reminder that the simplest acts of kindness & small gestures can truly impact someone’s day and turn sadness into joy.”
“Nightshift was a really amazing experience. Going into the service I had a set idea of what it would be like, but my view completely changed. The people we were serving were very polite, and so thankful for the food and clothes they were receiving. Something that really stood out to me was how their faces would light up when you said their names. Often times people don’t acknowledge homeless people because they think they’re scary or abusing substances. I think we take a lot for granted. They appreciate when you just give them your attention, say their name and just talk to them. It was definitely an experience I won’t forget, and I’d love to come back and serve again. ”
“I was really surprised by how open they were to share about their lives and they were so kind and polite it made the experience so enjoyable. I would definitely love to go again.”
“I just want to provide you with some feedback from my first time experience at NightShift last night.
I was a hot lunch mom when my kids were in elementary school during a time when the parents have such a strong influence on their children, as far as being polite and using manners, never before have I served such an appreciative group of people.
“Please”… “Thank you”… Smiles … and comments such as “The soup is plenty” or “Just a sandwich will do.” It was such an honour and a pleasure to serve … and make a few new friends in the process!”
“The best part of the night for me was getting to chat with a guy who used to live right around the corner from where I live in White Rock. He told me his story and how he ended up in Whalley. It was really eye opening and crazy to hear how a few turn of events can totally change someone’s life. He seems to be doing better now and that was encouraging to hear. “