30 November 2017

Here we go again, each year I am blown away at the complexity of the organisation that goes into Nightshelter, after the getting to know you training event on Wednesday I felt led to write the following...

Offering food and accommodation is only part of the story

You can be forgiven if you think that Derby Churches Nightshelter offers food and accommodation to seriously needy people every night from 1st December to the end of March – yes they do that but it is only part of the story.  People become homeless for a reason and of the hundreds that use the night shelter this winter, every story will be different.

The incredible thing is that for every problem, Derby City Mission has a dedicated angel and the contacts to solve that problem.

There is no hint of 'religion' (I think Jesus hated religion) just simple unconditional love, meeting those in need where they are with no condemnation.

Don’t misunderstand me – a lot of Prayer goes into this.

A normal night of operation

Every night from 1st December to the end of March, a Church (of all denominations) in Derby opens its doors -  very brave to allow a team of volunteers to provide a hot meal, friendship, a listening ear and bed and breakfast.  To make that possible a big red van is collected from their warehouse and taken to the venue for that evening.  In the van are 35 beds, food for the evening and breakfast, games, spare clothes toiletries etc.  In the morning that van is taken back to warehouse and hey presto it is loaded again for the next evening (some of those angels involved in a big way!!)

Unconditional love

Every guest (that is what they are) staying at the Nightshelter, is invited to come to the Guest Support morning at Ozzy Road on Wednesdays where there are representatives from multiple organisations and agencies so that personal contact can be made and a suitable solution to their problem sought – oh I forgot to mention the enormous fried breakfast and endless hot drinks served too!

Many other solutions are on offer:

  • do they want to go home? (that could be to another country) that can be arranged and provided for
  • do they have medical problems? appointments can be made and someone to take them if required,
  • the list goes on...

April 2018

For the past few weeks we have all been counting down the weeks to go.  The staff look really shattered but always full of enthusiasm but now I have done the last Nightshelter evening and Guest Support with the realisation that teams have been built over the months (28 teams in all) from all walks of life, friendships have been created and a real feeling of sadness (but relief) is upon us.

There will be statistics published which will surprise us all but they are guests whose lives have been transformed.

What is our success rate?

100% as every life has been touched by the Love of Jesus, seeds have been sown, that is all we can do, the rest is down to God.

Finally thank you to all the staff for giving ordinary people like me the opportunity to be where Jesus would be and do what Jesus would do.

Bless you

Signing off....

A tired and happy volunteer

Volunteer for us