When Bruce first walked through our doors in 2014, he was facing one of the toughest times in his life. He had been living with and providing full-time care for his beloved 98 year-old mother, but the time had come when she needed more care than he could provide. She was moved to hospice.
Just two weeks later, Bruce was shocked to learn that the house they had been living in had been put up for sale. With a very small budget for rent, Bruce was worried. “I looked throughout the entire Okanagan Valley but I couldn’t find anything within my price range,” says Bruce. “I didn’t know where I would end up.”
Thankfully, Bruce found Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. He was relieved to learn that not only was there safe shelter and nourishing food available to him, but case managers could help him find an affordable place to live.
Over the years, Bruce continued to eat at the shelter, not just to supplement his low income but because the community at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission had started to feel like family.
“It’s not just a meal…Everyone at the mission has become my family.” -Bruce
Bruce had gotten to know our staff member, Shawn, who was also helped by Kelowna’s Gospel Mission many years ago. Then, last November, Shawn introduced Bruce to his mother-in-law, Goldie, who also often came for meals. They got to know each other and fell deeply in love. Bruce knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Goldie. After asking each of her children for permission, Bruce proposed.
Our Mission Chaplain, Pastor Lester, married the couple in June. It was an amazing feeling to have such a joyous celebration take place in our shelter.
Bruce and Goldie continue to come for meals regularly and have become dedicated volunteers, who enjoy giving their time to support the community that helped bring them together.
“We are looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal,” says Bruce. “It’s a special time to get together with extended family and celebrate all of the blessings in our lives.”
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is so honored to have been a part of Bruce and Goldie’s story. They have become an important part of our big family.