Posted on December 23, 2022
The miracle of friendship
With Christmas Day almost here, the team at NightShift Street Ministries is reflecting on, and celebrating, the genuine friendships formed within our community. We have been blessed to see deep connections formed between our staff, volunteers and friends on the street.
The depth of love and friendship I have witnessed at NightShift is nothing short of miraculous. Human connection is vital to our survival and sharing hope.
I want to introduce you to Gord and Dawson, two unlikely friends, who connected through afternoons in NightShift’s Welcome Centre. Our Program Assistant, Dawson, facilitates the Welcome Centre daytime drop-in on weekday afternoons. Gord first began coming around NightShift in September, after hearing about us through a friend. At that time, Gord was on the street, and trying to find stability.
Gord remembers first hearing about NightShift: “My friend knew I was newly homeless and so he said, ‘come with me, I know a place that you can get a sleeping bag, a blanket, and a hot meal.’”
Since then, Gord has found a place to sleep at a local shelter, but he regularly comes to NightShift’s hot meal outreach, and to our Welcome Centre drop-in to connect with friends. In fact, Gord’s favourite part about NightShift is the community. He loves meeting people and being able to share his experiences with others – like Dawson.
“Gord is just the nicest guy. He’s always so positive. He’s like a light, and everyone sees it,” Dawson shares. “He’s so generous too.”
Dawson says he often sees Gord helping others, whether that be helping a staff member clean up in the Welcome Centre or lending a hand to a member of our community.
“There is often so much kindness and love among people on the street,” Dawson shares. “Where you might expect to see violence and anger and hate, instead you often find love, joy, empathy, tenderness, vulnerability and care.”
This Christmas season will you support people in need to access NightShift’s hot meal outreach and connective daytime programs like Welcome Centre?
Your gift fosters hope and friendship!
I am honoured to witness the friendships, like the one between Dawson and Gord, formed over the years at NightShift. Human connection, friendship and mutual support is important to building healthy community.
This Christmas, may your hearts and homes be filled with love and friendship. Jesus grew up from a baby in a manger to a Saviour who intimately called his followers “friends”, and commanded us to love one another. May we do just that.
Thank you with all my heart, for supporting people in need in the NightShift neighbourhood.
MaryAnne Connor (Mac), Rev., RPC
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Join NightShift as we celebrate the season of Advent on our social media platforms and Advent page on our website. Each day you’ll get a “window” into the life of our ministry. And we’ll be sharing stories of hope with you throughout December!