I was only 10 years old when I heard a voice that only spoke to me. It would say, “Don’t tell anyone.” The voice always gave me the menacing impression that there would be consequences if I did.
The voice drained my will to live. It would convince me that when I got positive feedback, like my mother telling me she loved me—I was being deceived. It would argue, that’s just something people say but don’t mean. It took away all the good in life.
This went on for about 20 years, until it finally wore me down and eventually, I tried to commit suicide.
I had lost a lot of blood, but then something happened. Another voice came to me, which I believed to be God or an angel sent by God. It whispered in my ear, telling me to call 911 and not go any further towards death. God wasn’t going to let me die. In that moment He rescued me, and I called 911.
When the paramedics came, they put me on a stretcher. As soon as I lay down I instantly fell asleep, finally at peace.
I woke up in the hospital. It was then that I found out my inner voice was actually the onset of schizoaffective disorder. But my story didn’t end there.
Not too long ago, I was evicted from my rental because my landlord decided to renovate.
Then I got a call from James, the facilities manager at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. James knew me and had heard I was sleeping in my truck, so he offered me a bed at the shelter.
“Another voice came to me, which I believed to be God or an angel sent by God. It whispered in my ear, telling me to call 911 and not go any further towards death. God wasn’t going to let me die.”
It was such a relief—not just to have a bed but to have all the necessities of life: showers, washrooms, laundry, and food. When I first got here I drank a lot. I didn’t cause trouble, but I wasn’t comfortable with the amount I was drinking and I knew I needed to do something about it before it got worse.
So, with the help of my caseworker, Renée, I went to detox. She also told me about Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s Momentum Ministries, a program that helps people like me find employment and housing while instilling a sense of freedom and responsibility.
Today, I’m happy working as the facilities assistant with Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, and have recently moved into my own place at an assisted living building. But I’m still taking it one day at a time.
Thank you for giving people a place where they can get help getting their own place, finding jobs, and accessing other community services. It all makes a difference, it sure did for me.