When I lost my wife of 27 years to cancer, I lost everything. I threw myself into service for a year in my wife’s memory, thinking I was dealing with my grief by helping seniors. Instead, I slowly became a functioning alcoholic.
After a year, I met a woman who had recently lost her son to suicide. We connected easily and quickly got married. We started partying, never dealing directly with our individual grief.
Finally, after finding out that my hip needed replacing, we decided to join Alcoholics Anonymous. There, a senior member advised me to spend some time apart from my wife, and I agreed.
During this time apart, I put my faith in God. But I was in physical pain too and was eventually diagnosed with bladder cancer and a defective kidney which had swollen to the size of a rugby ball. In such constant pain, it was difficult to be happy.
God answered my prayers time and again, over the next year. After the third surgery on my bladder and another surgery to remove my kidney, I told my surgeon that I wouldn’t agree to more treatment, that I had another program in mind.
During the following “program,” many people gave me unconditional help, particularly a couple who had both defeated their cancer with high alkaline water (ph 9.5) and a nutritional diet of fresh, organic produce. After only four months of their guidance, I returned to my surgeon and he announced that I was miraculously 100% cancer free. I was overjoyed.
Earlier this year, at age 67, I decided it was time to go somewhere entirely new, to discover more about my faith. That place was Kelowna.
Unfortunately, my money ran out quickly. When I came across Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, I applied and once again my prayers were answered.
Meals and shelter were both generously provided and I expressed my gratitude by helping out. Through recommendations of my kind caseworker, I joined the Missions’ Program, including Bible Study Group.
After staying six weeks, I found shared accommodations in a townhouse, only a half hour walk from the city centre. Since then, I’ve completed a WorkBC workshop and am now seeking employment. I look at my time at the Kelowna’s Gospel Mission as my training ground. The fellowship shared at the Bible Study sharpened and extended my unlimited faith.
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission dramatically pointed out to me that works of compassion and justice are not optional pursuits. They’re the very heart and soul of the kingdom of God, the very priorities that Jesus pronounced in His ministry.
I humbly thank Pastor Joe for assigning me a bed and always having an encouraging word, and Pastor Doug for exemplifying compassion in every situation. I also want to thank my caseworker, Ms. Terra, and her infectious enthusiasm, directing and helping me establish essential services within a new community. Thank you, also, to every facilitator, volunteer and trainee who helps pull the yoke together. God bless each and everyone.