Posted on November 27, 2018
Riding her bike through the inner-city streets of Surrey, Heather, often has a warm smile for others. Yet, despite her engaging smile, the idea of “hope”, even at Christmas time, has been lost for her since she was a child.
“Kids have more hope than adults do about what’s to come at Christmas,” Heather says. “Now, I don’t know what hope means, really. I’ve been let down from quite a few things to be hopeful for. I’ve been disappointed.”
After living on the streets of Surrey, homeless for two years, Heather now shares a small basement suite apartment in the Whalley neighbourhood. But the roof over her head doesn’t take away the pain of missing three of her children, who were adopted almost 20 years ago. After their father left, Heather struggled with addiction, and then made the brave decision to adopt her children out to a loving, stable family. “I wanted them to have as normal a life as possible.” Adding to the heartache of missing her kids, she is now living with the sadness of losing her own adoptive mother, who passed away earlier this year.
To quell her loneliness, Heather regularly attends the evening meal outreaches at NightShift Street Ministries. The hot meal means she can be part of a consistent community who holds out hope for her in kindness and prayer.
Heather is thankful for the support of NightShift reaching out 365 nights a year with a hot bowl of soup, emergency clothing, blankets. The nutrition and safe community are vital to her own survival, and to her friends without shelter, especially at this time of year. But perhaps her favourite thing about NightShift is the Tuesday night Art Class, where she can come inside, drink tea and paint the pictures of her dreams – mostly flowing rivers and majestic mountains. “I love art. I didn’t know I could paint, until I started Art Class,” she says.
Heather also loves NightShift’s evening prayer circle after every meal. Talking about it, she remembers two things she is still hopeful for this Christmas – that her grown children are safe, and that the drugs which have taken the lives of so many of her friends on the street, would disappear. These are Heather’s hopes.
With your help, NightShift Street Ministries can continue reaching out with hope, to people like Heather, 365 nights a year, with a hot meal, safe community and prayer, along with weekly drop in programs, basic clothing and emergency nursing.
Give the gift of helping those in need find hope, today.