Message from our Executive Director

Those who come through our doors take many different journeys. Some have a chip on their shoulder that gets them into fights and have our staff applying polysporin to cut up knuckles. Others come with slumped shoulders that speak of shame and misery.

They are often hurting souls looking for peace, or an escape from the pain of whatever brought them here.

Our role is often to simply be present in the pain. Often we can’t fix it. We can’t convince them of anything, all we can do is be present, walk alongside them, and offer companionship and conversation over soup.

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big impact. And big or small, we couldn’t do it without you!

Please enjoy reading this update from Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and I hope you enjoy seeing all the lives you’ve touched and transformations you’ve made possible over the past few months.

For the love of all,

Carmen Rempel
Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission
God Opened Jonathan’s Eyes
But You Helped Restore His Sight

My name is Jonathan, I’m 44 years old and I’m eternally grateful to be here.

Four years ago I hurt my back weightlifting. I had major surgery and a disc removed. That’s when I started taking prescription pain medication. When the doctor cut me off, I eventually began using heroin.

I was living on and off the street, sometimes staying in shelters. But then I started going blind.

I had to navigate Penticton without my eyes, but it got to the point where I was getting lost. I would go to the store and find myself wandering around dangerous areas where people started beating me up and robbing me.

One payday, I cashed my whole check of $1,100 and was immediately robbed… I couldn’t take care of myself and I was all alone. So, I tried to kill myself by eating a ball of heroin.

When I woke up, I was really surprised it didn’t kill me. When I took myself to the hospital, the doctor told me I had cataracts and that they could fix my eyes in Kelowna.

“I believe that losing my eyesight was God’s way of slowing me down, telling me there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, and I’d better do it before it’s too late.” – Jonathan

It was then that I made the decision to stop using drugs completely. If I kept using, I knew I was going to die.

My first day at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, I was pretty sketched out. I couldn’t see. But there were a lot of people that helped me. The frontline workers soothed my anxieties and reassured me it was all going to be okay. My caseworker, Richard, made arrangements for detox, health care, my eyes and finances—he helped me more than anyone.

Everyone saw I was doing the work, and moved heaven and earth to get me the surgery as soon as possible.

Now that I’ve had one eye done, I can see and get around on my own for the first time. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with myself, but for now I’m just taking it slow. I’ve set some attainable goals, and I’ll keep on working on them.

I think losing my eyesight was God nudging me and saying, “It could be worse.” It really opened my eyes—mind the pun!

To everyone who donates, thank you for helping me get my eyesight back. You’ve done so much for me. The name of this place speaks volumes: Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, the Gospel to seek out your fellow man and do good things for them.

Capturing Your Generosity in Kelowna
Thank You For Impacting So Many Lives

Generous people like you are the beating heart of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. Every day, your gifts are at work, meeting basic needs and empowering people to rebuild their lives. Take a look at just a few of the incredible moments you made possible below. Our gratitude may be immeasurable, but we promise to never go without saying how much we appreciate your support!

Are you inspired by our community and eager to make a difference? Each and every dollar has the potential to make a huge impact for people struggling with homelessness, poverty and addiction in Kelowna. Head over to our website to make a gift that helps transform lives today!

We’re Hosting a Seasonal Celebration!

When you’re a part of our community, you’re welcomed in and loved like family. That’s why our staff and volunteers are looking forward to serving Thanksgiving plates of turkey, ham, stuffing, vegetables—and of course, pie for dessert!

Outreach Teams will also be delivering special Thanksgiving dinners across Kelowna, taking the time to stop, listen, and pray with individuals who often feel alone or overlooked.

Many of our neighbours facing poverty or homelessness don’t know how they would get by without this essential service. Please support our Thanksgiving meal this fall and help change lives for the better!