A Special Letter From Randy

This month, I’d like to share a personal message. After all, it is May—a month when we honour and celebrate mothers.

I’m incredibly blessed to have a mother who loves and supports me and raised me to follow Jesus’ path. Although we’re separated by distance, my mother has always been present.

Too many people who come to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission have never experienced a loving and supportive family. Instead, they have endured abuse, isolation and rejection.

Thankfully, lives can be healed.

Thanks to your support, we live our mission by ministering to the whole person. Through Jesus, brokenness can be made whole again, and our dear guests can experience the love of a family through their extended “family” here at the Mission.

Thank you for making it possible for us to help so many, as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Blessings,

Randy Benson

Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

From Ruin to Renewal
Amanda’s Escape from Addiction

I was born in East Hastings in Vancouver—a rough place, to say the least. Heroin started ruining my life when I was just 11 years old. Enslaved by addiction, I lived in Vancouver until my early twenties. Desperate for change, I hitchhiked all the way to Kelowna.

My mom followed me so we could live together. The change-of-scenery worked—for a while. I got clean. I worked for a painting company for three years, and it was during those years that I gave birth to my amazing daughters.

Despite all of the ways my life was looking up, I had never received help to completely recover from my addiction. It was something that plagued me. Eventually, I slipped back into drug use and everything fell apart.

My family drew a line, washed their hands of me.

That’s when I arrived at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, to stay in their emergency shelter because I had nowhere else to go. I stayed at the Mission for two and a half years, because I was trapped in the cycle of addiction. The staff were always patient and kind with me.

Eventually, I ran into trouble with the police and ended up in jail a couple of times. I wish my life had been different. But you can’t change your past, you can only take responsibility for it and do better today.

While in jail, I managed to get clean.

After I was released, I went to rehab for six months, and successfully graduated from a recovery program.

This time, something clicked. I wanted more than anything to rebuild my life, so I contacted people I knew would support me. I reached out to staff from the Mission. They’re so amazing. They always stuck by me.

I’m happy to tell you that my life has stabilized. I’m six years clean and I own my own company called D & A Painting. I’ve got a place not only for myself, but also for my daughters.

My kids are ecstatic to have their mom back. Every day, they tell me, “We’re so proud of you, Mom!”

I’m so grateful to the staff at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, for their support through thick and thin. They’re an amazing organization.

There’s such a great need in our city, so many women on the streets who need help. Thank you for supporting the Mission and for helping women like me to rebuild our lives!

Do You Have 600 Socks?
Nate Did. He Donated Them!

You’ll love hearing about Nate! He’s only 9 years old, but he’s already passionate about helping people struggling with homelessness and poverty. It all started with a school project on caring.

Nate wanted to show that his community cares for people who are facing homelessness. To do this, he collected over 300 pairs of brand-new socks and other essential items, and donated them to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. That’s 600 socks. Isn’t that incredible?

Nate and his mother Ana, a manager at Bed, Bath and Beyond, had a great idea. They wondered if it might be possible to employ a Kelowna’s Gospel Mission client. I’m happy to tell you that Ana hired one of our clients, and it’s working out great.

Thank you Nate and Ana for your incredible compassion.

Mission Thrift Store Supports Community
Shannon’s Passion for Giving Back!

If you’ve ever stopped by the Mission Thrift Store, you’ve probably met Shannon. She’s the Thrift Store manager, expertly balancing daily operations with directing volunteers and implementing updates to keep the store fresh and clean.

At the Mission Thrift Store, Shannon regained her confidence after a devastating car accident.

Shannon started volunteering at the Mission Thrift Store back in 2017. Her dedication and commitment were hard to miss, so she was hired as the manager.

“Volunteering at the Mission Thrift Store was the best thing that could have happened in my life at the time,” says Shannon.

“Kelowna’s Gospel Mission provided me with an amazing opportunity to improve my life and believe in myself.”

Shannon loves helping her community and giving back to people in Kelowna.

Thanks to your outstanding support, the Mission Thrift Store is open as a resource to help people struggling in Kelowna.