The Shift hits #1 and MaryAnne hits TV!

The Founder and President of NightShift now has another title to add to her portfolio – bestselling author! MaryAnne Connor’s transformative memoir, The Shift, hit #1 on Amazon upon its release in e-book form in September. Since then the book has climbed onto a total of 15 Amazon Top 100 Bestseller lists. The Shift continues to hold its bestselling position, spreading its inspirational message for the first time on an international level, since the paperback first released in 2012.

The Shift is the true story of how MaryAnne, a successful businesswoman, left everything to follow the call of God and change the lives of thousands. It includes the earliest days of what would become NightShift Street Ministries – an urban mission that cares for and loves on the homeless, addicted, mentally ill and hurting in Whalley. Undergirding the remarkable story is a message of relying on and hearing from God to do seemingly impossible things.

“I’m really hoping readers will get the message of love, hope and purpose,” MaryAnne says of her book. “And they’ll be inspired to take a step forward into doing something out of the ordinary, and have their faith in God increased.”

Earlier this month, MaryAnne appeared on Canadian Christian TV show 100 Huntley Street, where she shared about the beginnings of NightShift, the call of God on all of us to help others, and about The Shift.

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NightShift is a multi-denominational not-for-profit that provides outreach services 365 nights per year, basic nursing, a women’s extreme weather shelter, healing and wellness programs, and counselling. Combined with the power of prayer and faith in God, NightShift is working to lift those seeking escape from the streets into purposeful lives.

The Shift can be found on numerous Amazon Top 100 Bestseller lists such as Christian Leadership and Christian Stewardship.

100 Huntley Street – 12 December 2016

Honoured to be in Toronto this week and looking forward to appearing on www.100Huntley.com

Tune in between 9:30-10 am to catch the interview on the live morning telecast. YES TV is available across Canada via satellite on BellTV ExpressVu, Shaw Direct, Rogers, Cogeco, Telus Optik TV, and others.The telecast is also available on-demand at . 100 Huntley Street

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Breakaway Christmas Breakfast – December 2015

When I was asked to speak at the North Langley Community Church’s Breakaway Christmas Breakfast, I learned that the ladies at the Breakaway group have been talking about lots topics over the last few months – subjects like pain, loss, grief and forgiveness – subjects that I’m intimately familiar with. Today I was able to talk to them a little about Hope – the very thing that keeps me breathing every day!

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There must have been 250–300 ladies in attendance. There were many mamas with their little ones under kindergarten age. Beautiful, as just this morning Papa led me to share more of my personal story, the personal story that was mine before NightShift began. This is a story that I have not often shared. But here I was… listening to Papa’s promptings about speaking from my own personal loss of my father, then my baby and husbands, and how I had lost all hope. I knew immense grief and no hope.

In truth, before NightShift I didn’t have much love, hope or purpose. I was desperate and had lost my compass. God’s kind of love was foreign to me. I loved people with conditions attached and only if they fulfilled my expectations – my own standard of acceptance. I learned to protect my heart from repeated hurt and pain. I slapped back with angry words to push them away. I pulled back – used the silent treatment. I criticized. I blamed.

Following years of intense counselling and prayer, I came to realize the truth and my bruises slowly began to heal. Today, I can stand before you, unashamed, and admit that I’m not perfect, nor is my life perfect. It’s ok to be flawed. It’s ok to be messy. It’s ok to be real and admit my pain. It’s ok to be vulnerable. Because with vulnerability comes strength.

The people that we serve on the street and our NightShift volunteers are the same. Everyone is looking for love, hope and purpose – just like I was. Pain is pain. My pain, your pain and the pain of the people we know and love are the same. God doesn’t waste our pain. He takes all our stuff and turns it into good if we give it to Him.

As the theme of this particular Breakaway was about hope, I was able to share how God redeemed my hope by leading me to NightShift at age 50. Many women in the crowd today, all different ages, could relate to this pain as I was very young when losing my father, my baby and my first husband. And older women could hear that they too can find hope and purpose in doing something so awesome as helping others to find hope, like I am privileged and humbled to get to do at NightShift. There was a whole lot of HOPE in the room! 🙂

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Our purpose today at NightShift is this – offering outreach, counselling, education and transitional housing by serving people who have no love, hope or purpose. Papa carried me through a lifetime of pain and heartache to joy, so I could share this joy and hope with others!

So have Hope! If God can use a woman like me – a woman with lots of flaws – imagine what can He can do with you!

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

ACTS Seminaries chapel – 24 March 2015

Location: Fosmark Centre at Trinity Western Seminary
Date: Tuesday, 24 March, 2015

Worship music opened up the morning chapel and set the mood so naturally as I was invited by Jeffrey Chan to share about serving in Kingdom missional work. A four-letter word that has been cropping up so much lately, LOVE, has been the thread to all that work – in our own workplace, our community, on the streets.

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We all have conditions surrounding love; for example, we hope that the individuals we meet on the street will change over time. However, we must operate as God does, by loving each other unconditionally. This is the core of our mission statement at NightShift. We go out into our communities and put a lovin’ on people – we meet them where they are – and it may look like a bowl of soup or a blanket that we’re handing out, but it’s so much more. We meet the people we must love, we must be the change, one step at a time. If each of us does a little, together we can shift a little more.

2015 Mar 24 ACTS Seminaries_praying_IRGACTS Seminaries is a consortium of five seminaries (Canadian Baptist, Canadian Pentecostal, Northwest Baptist, Mennonite Brethren Biblical and Trinity Western Seminary) and the chapels are an opportunity for local or international Christian leaders to share with students, staff and faculty, what God is doing in and through their lives and their ministry.

Photos courtesy Ingrid Roeske-Good

DIVAS of Coquitlam Presbyterian Church – 5 November 2014

Location: Coquitlam Presbyterian Church – Women’s Group
Date: Wednesday, 5 November, 2014 (11:00 am – 1.30 pm)

On our second opportunity to share with the ‘Divinely Inspired Victorious And Serving’ women of Coquitlam Presbyterian Church, the question of “more” came up. After a decade of serving on the streets of our neighbourhood, why are we still doing what we’re doing? Stories of our daily interactions outline that we can be doing “more” –

The Poor will always be with you – Matthew 26:11

We can’t stop doing more: the heartbreak is in the fact that no matter how often we reach out with a nourishing meal, a blanket against the wind or a pair of boots to help that teenager get his first job, there will be others who need our loving, our voice when they have none. That’s why we continue to be there, night after night, doing whatever we can to ease the pain, to encourage purpose, to light the way to hope.

Mac and the women of DIVAS

 

Benchmark Fishing Derby – 2 October 2014

Location: Mission, BC
Date: Thursday, 2nd October, 2014

Sturgeon fishing, how could I resist?! My deepest thanks to Jeff Bontkes and his team from Benchmark for inviting us along to the event and nominating NightShift as recipient of their annual corporate fishing derby fundraiser.

Jeff Bonktes of Benchmark at their annual fishing derby fundraiserWe are all capable of taking the first step to make a difference, a motto that Benchmark embraces in their Giving Back campaign.

This week during one of the evening meals at NightShift, I hung out with men and women, young children and teens, who had joined us as they do any night of the week, to accept a hot bowl of soup or a change of clothes and be part of something larger than ourselves. I looked beyond the labels, saw not prostitutes, drug addicts or alcoholics, but people in need, people broken, yet people respectful and grateful for the love and help they were receiving. Recently, one of our new volunteers commented on how shocked and saddened he was to see children on the street, in line for a hot meal. Yes, we are seeing more children and teens than ever before. One family even asked for peanut butter sandwiches to take home so their children would have lunch for school the next day. And to think this is still happening in our own back yards.

Giving comes at a cost. The first step is scary. Yet the more I speak to people who give, I’ve discovered you can’t out-give God. The more we give, the more we get back – in every way. We are grateful for every person who offers of his or her time to support the work of the ministry and we are grateful for every penny that helps us to keep the lights on.

 

Annual Fall Ladies’ Tea – 20 September 2014

Location: Seventh-day Adventist Church in Aldergrove
Date: Saturday, 20 September, 2014

I was thrilled to be invited by Betty Lang to speak at the Annual Fall Ladies’ Tea of the Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Betty Lang with MacGod calls all of us to make a difference – regardless of the mistakes we’ve made, or of our circumstances or age – in the life of another, particularly those we don’t know. It doesn’t mean changing the world alone, but accepting the responsibility to reach beyond our comfort zones and touching the lives of people close, yet far way: close by in our own back yards, far away from where we may have ventured.

ASDAC AudienceI pray that God would pursue and make us all uncomfortable until we are able to “do something” – that something may simply be smiling at someone to acknowledge they exist, communicating to show them they are seen and are valuable.

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