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2021 – November

A Message from Carmen & Rob

It was a banner year for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission as we pivoted and adapted in a year like no other! That’s why we’re so excited to share this special Annual Report edition of Connections and all our new developments.

Many times over the past year we have thrown up the simple prayer of “God have mercy!” And He has. God promises to exchange ashes for beauty, sorrow for joy. We have seen lives changed, hope realized, needs met, love and compassion given, all in the midst of seemingly endless obstacles.

Our staff and volunteers show up everyday, come what may, and give all they have to serve people who are hurting and experiencing homelessness. And you, our supporters, have diligently prayed and given in order to make this work possible. Thank you! Having you at our backs brings us great encouragement as we show up every day to whatever new challenges have arisen.

For the love of all,

  • Bob Evans Board Chair
  • Carmen Rempel executive Director

Finding God’s Grace in the Darkness

Tony’s Transformation Story

Tony grew up with loving, supportive parents, but somehow as a teen, he always felt a magnetic pull towards the bad crowd. He started to experiment with drugs and alcohol. All too quickly, it took hold and soon he had become entrenched in a world of drugs, which eventually led to a life of violence and crime.

Throughout his 20’s Tony knew he was out of control, but couldn’t seem to find his way out. Then, on one dark day, the chaos and crime boiled over.

“I was a cocaine addict, and I was selling to afford my using,” says Tony. “I was leaving a dealers’ house when a dispute erupted over money. I was on drugs and wasn’t in the right state of mind. I just wouldn’t back down and neither would they.”

Tony spent the next 11 years in prison.

When Tony finally got out of jail, he was homeless and felt totally disconnected from the outside world. Sitting down to a hot meal in our community was the beginning of a new chapter for Tony, but it was anything but easy.

“The amount of healing I had to do seemed impossible,” says Tony. “I didn’t feel like I deserved love.”

Little by little, Tony developed trust and rapport with his caseworkers at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. He signed up for the Momentum Ministries recovery program which he embraced fully, determined to build a better life for himself.

Although shedding the past and healing from trauma has been a hard journey, there have been moments of joy along the way. The biggest change in Tony has come in quieter moments, through prayer.

“Devotions have become an important time for me,” says Tony. “When I’m alone with God, it really sinks in that I have been given a great opportunity here, and I don’t want to waste it.”

Today, Tony is in line for affordable housing and is ready to start looking for work. There is still a hard road ahead as Tony continues to heal from addiction and the ravages of his former life.

“There are no words to say how grateful I am for this second chance,” says Tony. “The love and support I’ve been shown is what’s made it possible to believe in myself. In everything I do, I want to give back and live a life to honour this gift that has been given.”

It has been a big year and God has been good! Our supporters have been there every step of the way sharing God’s unconditional love with people experiencing homeleness in our city and we want to say THANK YOU!

After a tough year, our guests are more excited than ever for Christmas at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission! We’re getting ready to prepare our annual dinner of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies and pie—but we need your help!

Just like last year, we will be serving our holiday meal to residents at our shelter and delivering all other Christmas meals to-go for people in need around our community. You can ensure everyone in Kelowna enjoys a festive holiday dinner by making a special gift today.


Consider donating today.