The Shift: The True Story Of How One Businesswoman Left Everything Behind And Changed The Lives Of Thousands
After an incessant niggling from God to help the less unfortunate during a brutal January 2004 winter storm, successful real estate marketing consultant MaryAnne Connor responds to this urgency by boldly asking her pastor to use the church as a shelter. Seeing the need but expecting someone else to do the dirty work, MaryAnne has little tolerance for the odors that usually accompany these “untouchables,” namely prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, and addicts. But when her pastor puts her in charge of this temporary refuge, MaryAnne has no idea that her life will shift in a direction she never dreams possible. Connor states, “As the night continued, my passion for business and my former lifestyle slowly began to ebb away.” And thus, the genesis of NightShift Street Ministry.
Connor bares her soul in her poignant memoir. Connor paints a pretty dismal picture of her past. Candidly admitting to her failed marriages, looking for love in the wrong places, and overcoming drug codependency to name a few, Connor help us see why she initially veered away from the homeless. Indeed, this group of people represents the very things she detests about herself. Yet it is not until a Christmas service at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church that God begins to mend her broken heart and past. For the first time, she realizes that she and these above-mentioned social outcasts have much in common. Even though she struggles with her inhibitions and fears about the homeless, God uses that struggle to equip her for the wintry storm the following month and to create a new outreach program designed for the very people she loathes.
A highly inspirational read from beginning to end, Connor’s narrative is a balanced mix of storytelling, encouragement, and spiritual guidance. Although her memoir is heavily laced with a Christian message, readers from all walks of life and spiritual as well as non-spiritual backgrounds can benefit from Connor’s common human-interest encounters. Connor closes with a flurry of helpful spiritual information and website links. To learn more about NightShift Street Ministries, go HERE.
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