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2023 – November

Carmen’s Message

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”―Teresa of Avila

“We need more bread!” was the theme of the week. An idea was hatched—ask the churches. 

We asked them to expand their communion practice by inviting members to bring a loaf of bread to communion Sunday services. It would provide a steady stream of bread into our ministry and create a beautiful spiritual practice for disciples seeking to worship Jesus through giving to the poor. 

The idea gave us all goosebumps. 

The work of Jesus, to care for the poor, the sick, the homeless, the outcast and refugee, continues in us. This is a holy work. A physical, embodied, practical work which we are privileged to participate in. 

In Christianity, we see the spirit and spiritual as separate and superior to the physical. Now I have come to see everything as spiritual. Handing out bandaids and polysporin is physical and so very spiritual. Singing songs and praying is a beautiful form of worship—as is scooping oatmeal into cups and donating bread. 

Thank you for walking alongside us on this journey.

For the love of all,

  • Carmen Rempel Executive Director

Persevering No Matter What

Originally from Romania, Teodar immigrated to Canada hoping to create a new life. At first, he felt like he was in a whole new world full of opportunities. Though his wife was unable to follow him, Teodar spent three years working hard so he could sponsor his wife and daughter to join him in Canada.

After settling down here, it seemed as if the family was very happy. For a time, they did all sorts of activities together. But then, things started going downhill, and he and his wife started fighting. One day, she made the decision to move to the States with her daughter… without Teodar.

The separation wasn’t easy. For several years he had many sleepless nights, lying awake, longing to see his daughter.

Then came the pandemic.

For Teodar, this was the worst possible timing. He was evicted from his apartment just as the rental market spiked. Unbelievably, he now couldn’t afford to live on his own. This turn of events was devastating after working so hard to come to this country. 

“I thought Kelowna would be a better place to live, but I ended up paying too much rent,” he said.

With nowhere to go, Teodar has been staying with us for the last 13 months. But he doesn’t let his situation get him down.

“I want others to know that despite facing significant struggles, you can still persevere and stand up,” said Teodar.

We’re thrilled to report that he’s recently been approved for subsidized BC housing—where his rent will actually be affordable!

The 77-year-old told us that he’s had a pleasant experience staying at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and is so grateful for the help and support he received from our team. And it’s all thanks to donors like you!

A Personal Connection

Arlene Giguere volunteered her help and we wanted to share her incredible experience with you today!

“One of my goals in 2023 was to partner with an organization that was making a difference, and I truly believe Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is. My daughter has struggled with addiction and lived in shelters. So I wanted to do something to give back for all the help, compassion and support she has received over the years. 

But I didn’t realize how much I would get from volunteering, it’s one of the highlights of my week!

This experience has taught me a lot more about showing compassion. Since volunteering, when I see people on the streets, I am more likely to engage in conversation. I’ve had lovely chats with people and given out hugs when it seemed appropriate.    

A very common misconception is that being homeless equals addiction. There are many people living in shelters that are not struggling with addiction. The residents are so grateful for the hand-up and the delicious meals; they often thank me for volunteering.  

Everyone at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission are incredible advocates carrying the Mission’s message, and I have seen beautiful, loving and compassionate relations with clients. As a volunteer, It feels great to be part of your team.

Giving to this organization is crucial because it plays a vital role in providing immediate relief and long-term support to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. 

People experiencing homelessness are our neighbours. Providing them with services gives them hope for today and tomorrow and, importantly, access to social workers, counsellors, dentists and personal grooming—not to mention amazing, nutritious meals! This is the least we can do to help our community.”—Arlene Giguere, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, Volunteer

Learn more about volunteering on our website today!

Tremendous Success

We’re thrilled to share that our annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Sunset Ranch Golf and Country Club in September was a tremendous success! Thanks to the generosity and support of donors like you, we teed off to raise critical funds to continue our mission of helping those in need in our community. 

It was a day filled with camaraderie, fun, and a shared commitment to making a positive impact. 

Your participation and contributions truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve, and we are deeply grateful for your ongoing support. Thank you for helping us make a meaningful impact for people experiencing poverty and homelessness in Kelowna.

Consider donating today.