A Message From Carmen
Carmen's Words

The encouragement to not be afraid runs throughout the Christmas story.

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, I have heard your prayer…” — Luke 1:13 

“…Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you are favored by God.” — Luke 1:30 

“Don’t be afraid! I bring good news of great joy!” — Luke 2:10

There is great power and comfort to be found in the articulation of solidarity. Loneliness is scary. It’s why some choose to stay in abusive relationships too long, and why people sleeping rough often do so in groups. 

The powerful draw to be with others impacts our decisions everyday, for better or for worse. At Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, we echo the Christmas cry of “do not be afraid, for we are with you” as we surround those in our care with a loving community. We don’t always get it right, but we stumble forward in our imperfection. 

May you all know the “with-ness” of God’s great love for you this Christmas season, and may you spread it to others.

For the love of all,

Carmen Rempel
Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission
Meet Brian
Here’s his journey:

BC Born and Raised

Brian Tompkins, 63, has lived in BC’s Interior his entire life. For more than two decades, he worked as a bush logger—a job he loved, for both the freedom and the fresh air.

A Terrible Loss Changed Everything

Brian’s wife was killed by a drunk driver. He turned to drugs to dull the pain and began his difficult struggle with addiction. During this time he became estranged from his three children and grandchildren.

The Wake-Up Call

Everything Brian owned—including his wedding ring—was stolen. It was a wake-up call that he needed to make changes. But when he tried recovery programs, he felt discouraged by the sad stories he heard. He soon found himself on the streets. Winters were the hardest: he would walk all night just to keep warm.

Brian Finds Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Brian moved to Kelowna, where a doctor directed him to Doyle Shelter. After two weeks, he was accepted into Momentum, a program that helps prepare people for stable employment and housing.

A Mentor to Others

Through our PEERS program, Brian started working on our maintenance team, which helped motivate him to maintain his sobriety. Other residents now look to him as an example to inspire their own recovery process!

From experiencing homelessness to finding hope

Brian has been in Momentum for six months. He is about to move into new rental housing, and best of all, he’s started to reconnect with his kids and grandkids!

  • “My whole life has changed. I get along well with both my children and my grandchildren. I can now look at myself in a mirror.” — Brian

We've Accomplished So Much Together!
2021-2022 Year in Review

Once again, God has been good! As housing costs rise and inflation puts more and more people in vulnerable situations, our supporters have never wavered in their commitment to sharing God’s unconditional love with people experiencing homelessness in our city.

  • We want to say THANK YOU for your exceptional generosity.

Moving Forward Together
2023 Will Be Marked By Relentless Compassion

In the coming year, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission will continue our work to build a community of people being made whole. Our 2023 priorities include:

  • Planning our next purpose-built facilities to better meet Kelowna’s evolving needs 
  • Sharing stories that reduce the stigma of homelessness and cultivate compassion
  • Making treatment and recovery services more rapidly available to shelter residents
  • Launching our new brand to inspire anyone who comes in contact with Kelowna’s Gospel Mission to help us shape a better world 

Thank you for your part in offering care and compassion to the people of our city.