A Message from our Executive Director, Randy Benson

As the weather cools and we move into the shorter days of autumn, I always think of how much I appreciate the change of seasons. God is at work in nature, and although I will miss the summer the changes remind me of how happy I will be to see it again next year.

Gratitude and giving thanks is a common current that runs throughout all we do at the Mission. I don’t just mean the gratitude that we see in the faces of those we help, or even verbal acknowledgements of thanks. It also means giving thanks to God for what we are given, be it a blessing or a test.

It can be easy to let hardships compound and weigh you down. It can be easy to get discouraged, but I challenge myself to appreciate each one, because they build strength and renew our sense of purpose.

An accidental fire in March and the destruction of our outreach van could have been disastrous.  However as a result, the community rallied around us, not only providing a new van but helping to fund the construction of a courtyard. Here is an outdoor space where the homeless can feel safe and spend the day without facing confrontation by police and business owners.

This year, I am thankful for my beautiful family, for my health, but most of all for the kindness of people in our community. Whether they donate, or volunteer, or even just reach out to someone who needs it, they are making what we do possible, and facilitating positive change in people’s lives.

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2—Corinthians 9:11-12

 

Blessings,

Randy_sig-crop-solid

Randy Benson

Executive Director

Beep Beep
Gail's Journey

Seven years ago—before I worked for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission—Gail came from the prairies to live at Harmony House. She was only 93 pounds when she arrived and came as a result of an ultimatum from her father. “It’s Harmony or death,” he told her.

We are overjoyed that she chose Harmony and life.

When I met Gail 3 years ago, she’d been clean and sober for over 4 years, and had put on some healthy weight. However, she still kept very much to herself. Physically, she’d achieved a lot of healing, but there was still more to her journey.  She rarely left the Harmony property except to go to church or the grocery store. Even then, she preferred to be accompanied by staff.

Over the past 3 years, Gail has worked hard to reclaim the life that the years of addiction stole. The Mission’s dental clinic offered to take care of her damaged teeth, so she was able to get dentures. Today her smile is infectious.

Her newfound confidence is such a reward for those of us who’ve been walking with her along her journey.

Shortly after finding her smile again, she took a part time job walking dogs. It was transformative—not only did she develop a healthier body, she had a small income. Most importantly, she soon started talking with people she met on her daily walk with the dogs.

Just as Gail’s dog walking work started to dry up, the Kalano Club—a safe and sober club that provides space for 12-step meetings and serves food—offered her a job. She was able to continue earning money and meeting people, all while helping them by sharing her experience. Many times, she has told me that she spent her shift 12-stepping. Gail is able to help others by sharing what God has done for her. She makes no secret of who her “higher power” is.

Gail always has a goal to be working towards. First it was new dentures, and the return of her smile. Then it was an electric scooter, bringing new freedom. I smile each time she beeps the horn on her purple “Hardly Davidson,” as she heads out for her shift. This year’s target is getting to her daughter’s wedding.

Being able to attend graduations—and now a wedding—has been huge for Gail. When she first came to Harmony, she doubted that she’d ever see her family again. Now she regularly visits them at Christmas and for other family celebrations.

Gail is an amazing asset to Harmony House. She encourages the new residents as well as holds them accountable in their recovery. Her transformation from weighing 93 pounds and spending her days hiding to a vibrant woman living to help others, is all due to God’s goodness. One of her favourite sayings comes from our church – You are loved. That’s the message Gail carries to the world – “You can do it. You are worth it.”

— By Nancy Tordiffe, Director of Harmony House

Thanksgiving

Every year, we welcome hundreds of people through our doors for a Thanksgiving banquet. Over 50 volunteers come together—including community leaders and members of our local government. Together, we prepare a delicious meal of turkey and ham with all the trimmings,  and pie for dessert!


We’re expecting over 800 guests on Thanksgiving day. It’s one of our biggest events of the year, with everyone from seniors to families coming together to celebrate, but we couldn’t do it without the support of donors like you.