Stories of Advent – Year End

by NightShift

Wishes from the heart

What a pleasure it’s been connecting with you this Christmas month. I have enjoyed sharing NightShift stories of love, hope and purpose throughout December.

NightShift celebrated Christmas with a sit-down turkey dinner and gifts for our community on December 17. For our friends on the street experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction and mental illness, this was a special time to extend love, honour and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We served 126 guests in Surrey, who filled their bellies and hearts, sang carols, and received gifts.

One of our favourite Christmas traditions at NightShift is to ask our guests to write down their Christmas wish on a paper ornament. As I read through these wishes, I am overcome with emotion. The yearnings of those who have so little speak volumes about the human need for family, community, God and love, hope and purpose that are inside all of us. I’ve included a few Christmas wishes from our friends on the street here:

You can help people in need on the street find connection by supporting NightShift’s hot meal and clothing outreach, daytime drop-in centre, resource worker, and access to recovery. Will you make a year-end gift to help create that sense of community for those who are struggling?

“For happiness and good things for my family and friends, and for everyone to find a home.”

“To see my mom this Christmas.”

“To be off the streets, back to work and to see my family once again.”

“The Spirit of Christ.”

“To get out of my tent and into a shelter or a home.”

“Find my heart. Loneliness & sadness has taken a hold on me. Wishing for a stronger path.”

“My Christmas wish would be to finally have my family back together under one roof, to hold my daughters in my arms each morning and to get back to the life we used to be.”

“So so so thankful & grateful for the generous, delicious + full of love meal.”

“I pray that everyone here gets to know the Lord.”

As I look forward to the plans that God has for NightShift in 2023, I am so grateful for you, our community of support, our cheerleaders, our donors, our volunteers, our examples of love-in-action, and our friends.

With all of my heart, thank you for being a part of the NightShift neighbourhood. Your support this year has meant the world to us – and to the people we serve. May you be richly blessed in 2023!

Happy, Hope-filled New Year,

MaryAnne Connor (Mac), Rev., RPC

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