A Message from Randy

We are so grateful for gifts like yours, providing possibilities for recovery and renewal. This Easter we saw such an outpouring of generosity. And during our annual Strides to End Homelessness event, we had more than 225 sponsored walkers participate to help raise funds and awareness. It’s always such a pleasure to be outdoors in the fresh spring weather, enjoying community and healthy exercise with so many friends and families.

Thank you to everyone who gave—and is giving—to make a difference. Your continued support is appreciated as we move into summer and face the ongoing needs of our community. We hope you will enjoy the stories we’ve shared, and feel some of the same joy that you have brought others.

Randy Benson

Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

  
Cody’s Story
A New Start

Cody grew up on a big ranch, participating in rodeos and enjoying a good life with a loving family. He served in a church and played in a gospel music group, participating in outreach efforts on the streets as well. As time went on, life became more complicated. He built up a company with his business partner and they did all right for a while. But gradually, his business partnership deteriorated.

In September of 2016, Cody came to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission to get himself through a rough patch. His business was over, and he’d lost his housing and couldn’t find enough work.

“You get unconditional love at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. They serve every person in whatever way is needed.” —Cody

Soon, Cody got to know the staff, volunteers and guests at the Mission and realized that it would be much more difficult to leave than he’d thought. He hadn’t realized how much he wanted to start over. It had seemed far too difficult a task. But with the encouragement of his new community, he discovered that he had the strength to make some big changes.

“You get unconditional love at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission,” says Cody. “I’ve seen how this place works, how they serve every person in whatever way is needed, whether it be your food or your clothes, or a place to live. If you really put your mind to it, your dream really will come true.”

This past January, Cody got his own place! He has spent the last few months getting to know the people at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, and becoming a part of the community.

Today, Cody volunteers on the front line, helping out wherever it’s needed—even with the cooking and cleaning. He especially enjoys helping serve food. “You see people at rock bottom,” he says. “But you also get to see when they start to do well and that’s why it’s a good place.”

“I want to give back what they’ve given me,” says Cody. “Thank God that Kelowna’s Gospel Mission was here and for everything they have done for each and every one of us.”

Eventually, Cody would like to come back and work at the Mission. “You can sit down and people actually open up and talk to you,” he says. “I was so impressed by that, and now when I’m here, I get to encourage other people!”

It’s people like Cody who are the reason we come to work every day, at the Mission. And it’s support like yours that makes these transformations possible. We’re so grateful for your generosity!

  
One Donor’s Story of Ongoing Generosity
Meet John, of Wishbone Site Furnishings

John Jansen is the owner of Wishbone Site Furnishings in Kelowna, and this year he sponsored Strides to End Homelessness for the third year in a row! In his business, he thinks of God as a senior partner and for him, this means giving back the first fruits.

“We were part of Strides from the beginning and we want to continue to be a part of it,” says John. “We want to encourage people to take baby steps toward giving.”

Choosing to partner with Kelowna’s Gospel Mission in this way was a big decision, but John and his family wanted to be missionaries in their own backyard. “The Mission gives you so many opportunities to get engaged in the community,” says John. He and his family enjoy serving at the Mission in other ways too, helping out at the shelter and pitching in when other needs come up as well.

“You have to be intentional because there are so many things that pull you away,” says John. “If you make that effort, there are a lot of great rewards.”

We are so thankful for people like John who support the community so faithfully.

We hope you are inspired by the generosity John has shown over the years! You can give online at kelownagospelmission.ca/donate.

  
Why I Give

Every time someone gives, it’s a blessing! And when we get the chance, it’s wonderful to hear some of the reasons why people are so generous. We’ve shared some words of motivation below, and hope that you’re inspired!

 

  • “We want to give back to this beautiful community we live in by supporting great organizations such as yours!”

  • “I know what wonderful work you do in our community; I want to help you help others.”

  • “Jesus calls us to feed the poor. Giving is a good way to do that.”