Category Archives: Blog

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.

ASDAC Tea Setting  ASDAC_tea attendees    ASDAC_WRCA students  ASDAC_Dayna Mac


Street Talk – 13 June 2014

Location: Soulkitchen at More Than A Roof for a City in Focus “Talks with Tom”
Date: Friday, 13 June, 2014

Volunteers and tenants of More Than A Roof made breakfast and Tom Cooper invited Father Matthew Johnson from Street Outreach Initiative and me to talk about our different perspectives of ministering on the street – in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, and Whalley, Surrey, respectively. Both our ministries are situated in the midst of brokenness as we walk alongside people struggling for survival on the streets, and although our approaches might be quite different, we share a compassion to serve “the least of these” in our two different cities.

Street Talk MaryAnne Connor Father Matthew Judy Graves Tom Cooper

The differences

Father Matthew is an introverted man with a personality polar to my extroverted one, but we are both called to step into introversion and extroversion roles depending on the daily demands of our ministries. Structurally, Father Matthew is calling people into the infrastructure of the Anglican Church, from the streets and surrounding community. At NightShift we are calling people out of the church – the structure, the building – to serve, do church and build relationships on the streets.

The similarities

We both realized that despite being nervous about serving people on the street early in our ministry, we each quickly realized that we have so much in common with people marginalized and dealing with poverty, mental illness, addiction and homelessness – the pain. When the pain is too overwhelming to carry by our own power and might, we each go to our knees and spend quiet time with our Father to refresh and be filled up. We both wholeheartedly agreed that it is a miracle how God can redeem the brokenness from our lives to bring healing and wholeness to others.

As Judy Graves summed it up, we all need unconditional love and prayer and meditation is listening.

Street Talk at More Than A Roof

Hear the Street Talk podcast Talk with Tom link courtesy of the new City in Focus website.

Trailer Wizards – 30 April 2014

Location: Trailer Wizards – opening of the new location in Delta
Date: Wednesday, 30 April, 2014

For the opening of the Delta location of Trailer Wizards, we were invited to participate in a very enjoyable lunch and fundraiser for NightShift’s food collection. Ingrid participated on behalf of MaryAnne on this occasion. The winner of the 50/50 draw generously donated his portion to NightShift – thank you all for raising awareness and helping sustain the continuity of support to friends on our streets.

Trailer Wizards Trailer Wizards Open House

Unmasking the Truth – 14 April 2014

Location: Sheraton Guildford Vancouver, Surrey, BC
Date: Monday, 14th April (6-10 pm)

Unmasking the Truth speakers Cynthia Mac Kelita KamalIt was an amazing evening: 300 beautiful women gathering together, hearts melting with masks removed…Authenticity, vulnerability and healing. Lies exposed and truth reveal with a whole lot of love in the room!

Thank you, Papa, that there is beauty beyond our pain. Thank you, Ingrid, for coordinating such a great event. Thank you to all the JoyTV and all the sponsors, supporters and vendors. And last but certainly not least, thank you Kamal, Kelita and Cynthia for joining with me to encourage, inspire and empower us women! You Rock!

Here’s a link for more photos from this year’s event. Stay tuned for next year’s event planned for April 13th, 2015.