Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves hundreds of people every day, and everyone that walks through our doors has a unique story. Today, we would like to share with you the story of Jackie and her boyfriend Andrew, a young couple who defied all odds after seeking help at our facility.
Jackie, who grew up with very unstable parents, left home at the age of 13. She lived with her boyfriend’s family for a few years.
“I had been to bad places before, but this is one point that I had promised myself that I would never get to.” —Jackie
After relocating to Kelowna, Jackie found Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and became a fixture at our centre. She visited us often for nourishing meals, which helped remedy some of the instability in her life. When our staff member Trevor took notice of Jackie’s struggle with addiction, he convinced her that it was time to detox. Unfortunately, Jackie was arrested before she could secure a place in the the program.
“The day I got arrested and was finally transferred to the women’s correctional centre, I looked into a mirror,” says Jackie. “I had been to bad places before, but this is one point that I had promised myself that I would never get to.”
This was when Jackie realized she needed to make a change. Seeking courage through prayer, she started going to church and participating in Bible study. While in jail, Jackie started working in the kitchen and developed a passion for cooking.
After leaving prison, Jackie reconnected with her boyfriend Andrew, who had also just been released from jail and was in a recovery program as well. The couple found comfort in each other, and were able to embark on their road to sobriety together.
Both Jackie and Andrew are now almost 2 years sober, and are working full time. The road to a healthier life has not been easy for the couple, but they are both proud of the independence they’ve gained.
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is so honoured to have been a part of Jackie’s recovery story, leading to her reconnection with Andrew. If Jackie had never visited us here for meals, she may not have gained the encouragement that inspired her to seek help. This is why we are so excited for our annual Thanksgiving meal, which will give our guests more of the hope they need to move forward. We look forward to to building connections with more clients like Jackie, over more upcoming joyous festivities and hearty meals.