Overnight Heroes

Last week our coordinators asked me to be an overnight host. So on Thursday night, I gathered a sleeping bag, a pillow, a few sundries, and trundled off to church.  My husband, Bill, could not spend the night so he stayed home.  I had no worries because Ginger Higens, one of FPNI coordinators told me that her husband Jack would also be staying at the church.  I had been an overnight host before and it was not horrible.  In fact, it was not even inconvenient if I didn’t have to work the next morning.

I arrived at the church and the door was locked. I tapped and tapped until Gina, one of the guests heard me and opened the door.  I was delighted to see her.  Bill and I had been dinner hosts when they were staying at the First Baptist Church and we had talked about their daughter and life in general.  It was nice to catch up.  I went into the gym where Jack greeted me with a cart for my stuff and keys to the doors.  He gave me an update about the families and then, Jack and I talked.  The guests were spending some alone time so they didn’t share our conversation.  I learned about some of the experiences Jack had in Vietnam.  He didn’t share the scary stuff just the amusing or drudgery stories.  We also talked about life.

Jack showed me to the overnight host’s room. They had made it so cheery!  There were two comfy chairs, a light, a little clock, a huge comfortable blow up bed.  And on the bed was a thank you gift.  A gift from for me for doing so little!  It was a cute little bag with chocolates and fall color fluff stuff.  I ate a chocolate and went to sleep.

I slept really well. The Sunday school room was dark and quiet. The little clock they provided kept me from checking my phone and fretting about the time.  I woke up about 6:00a.m., got dressed, and went downstairs to make coffee.  Paul was down there and he had already made the coffee.  We said hello and sipped in silence.  Gina came in dressed in a cute black dress.  She had a job interview that day and it sounded like something she was really interested in.

Jack joined us and let me know that the other guest, Nicole, and her baby were about ready to go. I asked if I could leave a bit early as I was helping with the FPNI fundraiser Cardboard and I had a lot of last minute things to get done.  Usually the overnight hosts have some jobs to do, making sure things are turned off, and doors locked.  We do not enter the guest’s rooms but can tell if things need to be turned off.  We are all ready to go by 7:00a.m. but this morning, Jack let me leave at 6:30 a.m.

I like overnight hosting. I like the quiet of being in our church and helping keep a family safe in case of an emergency because I know this building inside and out.  I appreciate how easy the coordinators made it to spend the night.  Most of all I appreciate all the people who answer the call of the coordinators to help with making meals, hosting dinner, laundry, setting up, taking down, and especially hosting during the night.  Thank you.

Teri Burch

President of the Board



  1. Reply
    Judy hays says

    Thank you for Terry for sharing your experience. I also want to thank Ginger and Jack for making this such a pleasant experience for you. Your comments have encouraged me to try overnight hosting again. I understand they have new beds that are more comfortable. I hope and pray that your experience will encourage others to try overnight hosting or any kind of Hosting at least once. Thank you for all that you do

  2. Reply
    Carolyn Keefer says

    Thanks you for sharing your overnight experience. Family Promise is such a important mission for our church. Our amazing coordinators at First Pres (Jack, Ginger, Eric, Chris, and Laura) deserve our strong support in any way we can assist them. Thank you, Teri, for your amazing work as President of the Family Promise Board and setting the example for all of us.

  3. Reply
    judy flieger says

    I am so proud of our church and members like you. Thank you.

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