Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST) is a collection of local churches that each take a week throughout the winter months to feed and house the homeless within their church.
Our church took Christmas week for the 18th year in a row and debuting as the coordinator of the whole shebang was moi.
What an adventure it was. Jeff declared it was good for me to, at least once in my life, feel I was in over my head. I was stretched to be certain but the rewards far outweighed it all.
We were able to shelter a total of 266 men and women through the week. (That's 800 meals!)
*The whole thing didn't crumble down around me.
*We only had to turn away a handful of people.
*We didn't run out of food.
*Spirits were high.
*I made many friends (church friends and street friends).
*No mental health issues.
*Police didn't need to be called out.
Dare I say I'm already looking forward to next year?! :) I dare.
One of my favorite parts is that since the shelter has moved onto the next church, I've run into three of my new street friends on the, well, the street. How fun it is to know them by name and hug an ol' friend.