NightShift 2005

by NightShift

The snowstorm of January 2004 eventually passed, but the needs of people struggling on the street remained – for connection, hope and nutrition. The growing group of volunteers stayed steadfast in providing overnight shelter, safety, a hot meal and prayer for weary souls. The name “NightShift” soon emerged for the ministry – coined to reflect not only the nighttime hours of service, but more importantly, the “shift” that happens in hearts when we served, and when we are served.

Months after the storm had passed, NightShift’s volunteers, led by MaryAnne (Mac) remained steadfast in providing consistent hot meals, and hope, to these new friends living on the street. Mac had stepped away from her business in real estate marketing to follow God’s call into full-time ministry.

After losing use of the Gentle Shepherd Church near the end 2004, due to a labyrinth of bylaws and early opposition, NightShift was displaced. But the people they had served and befriended at the overnight shelter pleaded with them not to go. Their physical needs were great, and so were the needs of their hearts.

Undeterred, NightShift found their temporary “home” in 2005 at the old Bentley Field, and they began serving a nightly hot meal on tables under tents. Mac remembers: “Even though we didn’t have a physical building anymore, that wasn’t going to stop us from responding to God’s call. This is where hot meal outreach became part of our DNA.” This kind of perseverance would become one of NightShift’s four values: perseverance, humility, integrity and unity.

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