A Message from the Executive Director

As the season of spring reminds us of hope with its fresh, vibrant colours, I can’t help but think of the hope that we see being spread throughout our community here at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

I’m constantly amazed and encouraged by the fortitude of our clients, once they start seeking change in their lives. And as much as I see that they are working hard to fight the good fight, I know that their strength is borne from without—and their journey towards new life is only possible with God’s grace and helping hand.

I am also delighted by the turnout we saw at our Strides to End Homelessness event. It was wonderful to see the greater community pulling together and people of all ages getting involved, with many of our own guests even turning up to volunteer! An underlying benefit to doing the walk alongside those we serve was that we had the opportunity to strengthen relationships, interact in a new environment and work to make a difference together.

When I look around at everything that has been accomplished at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, I see people who are experiencing the joy of community and positive, healthy change—and it’s all because of support from people like you. Thank you!

 

Blessings,

Randy Benson
Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Regaining Hope
After Thinking I’d Lost It Forever

In my youth, I struggled with addiction to drugs, but I managed to get all the way through my twenties keeping my drug abuse hidden and in check. I even managed to get myself into a relationship. After five years of being incapable of loving myself, my addiction and self doubt had disabled me from loving someone else, either. My girlfriend was beautiful, pursuing a successful nursing career and full of love, but it didn’t matter.

As time went on, I ended up needing major surgery on my Achilles tendon. Afterwards, I abused my painkillers until I was hopelessly addicted and depressed. I went through the methadone maintenance program, but my problems only got worse.

I hated myself, especially for all of my lies. I sabotaged any hope of saving my 8-year relationship with my girlfriend. Then I began to smoke crack cocaine. I spiralled further than ever into a hell of my own making. Finally, after my family had discovered my addiction and I’d stolen thousands from my girlfriend, I jumped on a plane and ran. I devastated everyone I knew, and I disappeared.

Eventually—when I’d lost all hope and didn’t care if I closed my eyes and never opened them again—I found myself at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. It turns out that God works in mysterious ways. There I was, years after high school, tired of living, and resting my head in the same place that my childhood friend, Chris, was working to make a difference!

The morning after I arrived, they couldn’t wake me. They put me on bedrest and I slept for the next five days. Finally, I regained the strength to eat breakfast and stay up. That’s when Chris pulled me into his office, like an angel sent from heaven. “Look,” he said, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

The lessons I learned at the Gospel Mission have been integral to getting clean and staying clean.

Well that was it, I broke! With tears streaming down my face, I told him everything. The worst part was, I felt like I deserved it.

Chris listened and started to sort out the pieces. He worked closely with me and I started getting a little stronger each day. I reached out to my family again and started to repair burnt bridges.

Then a miracle happened! I felt a flicker of hope inside. After months of rebuilding, I finally felt strong enough to move to an intensive six week residential treatment centre nearby. Chris and I discussed at length the fact that I had done treatment before. We looked at some second stage treatment houses and contacted the one I currently live at, to coordinate the rest of my treatment. More success!

So now, looking back, I have been sober for a year as of May 4. Although I still struggle daily, I am cautiously optimistic that I may never use drugs again. I have hope for the future and I’m starting to believe that I’m worth saving. For the first time ever, I have an opportunity to rebuild my life, and lessons I learned at the Gospel Mission have been integral to getting clean and staying clean.

Thank you, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, and please never stop giving the gift of hope back to those of us who thought it was lost forever.

Forever Grateful,
Brian

Thank you Team Joshua and Pastor Jeff!
I see the new life that Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is continually bringing to our community and I know that as many people as possible need to be a part of the work they’re doing. So many of us have so much to give.

Our top team at Strides to End Homelessness was Team Joshua, bringing in a total of $4,694! Pastor Jeff Falke from Power’s Creek Church put the team together and carefully picked the team name. He explains that it references Joshua from the Bible, who was told by God to walk around the walls of Jericho until they fell down.

“In my mind, I can relate it to breaking down the walls of homelessness,” says Pastor Jeff. “I see the new life that Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is continually bringing to our community and I know that as many people as possible need to be a part of the work they’re doing. So many of us have so much to give.”

Thanks to generous people like those in Team Joshua, we’re able to continue hosting community-building events and making it possible for those experiencing homelessness to break free from poverty.

Please give generously today to help end homelessness!

 

Your chance to help!

To meet the many varying needs of the city’s most vulnerable, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission offers a wide range of services daily. We welcome everyone—no matter who they are or where they’re at—and we empower these people to make healthy changes in their lives. Gradually, our community members achieve stability and rebuild their lives and we celebrate with them, each step of the way!

These are people just like Brian—and none of the inspiring success stories like his would be possible without your support! So please, give today and support new life and positive change in your community!