Mission Christmas: Helping a lost man find his way home

Image Credit: Kelowna Gospel Mission

KELOWNA - In all the hustle and bustle of Christmas there always seems to be something that stops you in your tracks to remind you what the season is all about.

Last night, right in the middle of the dinner rush - on a full moon no less - the RCMP pulled up outside Kelowna's Gospel Mission and dropped off an elderly man whom they had found lost in Peachland.  He was tired, hungry, very scared, and clutching his bag with white knuckles.

Terra, one of our Case Workers took him to sit. Our staff didn't know him, even our regular clients didn't know him. He was certainly lost. Our staff, even some of our clients kicked into high gear and came to comfort  this man, who was clearly in distress. Eventually Terra found that he wasn't from the Kelowna area, or even Peachland,  he was from Penticton!

Brian*, 74, is mentally challenged, and earlier in the day had a misunderstanding at home. He went for a walk and got lost. Fast-forward to dinnertime. The RCMP dropped Brian off at Kelowna's Gospel Mission, where they knew he'd be taken care of.

We found and contacted his family, who were beside themselves with worry. We gave Brian the phone and could overhear the conversation.

"Brian we love you and we want you to come home!"

Brian started to cry.

"They want me to come home."

Then our staff started to cry... even our clients who had come to sit with Brian started to cry. A big ol' cry-fest;  tears of joy to be sure!

After dinner, our Chaplain, Lester Mesenbrink took Brian to the Greyhound. Brian was so thankful for all the help. He is now safe at home with his family who loves him.

*name changed to protect client confidentiality

Ami Catriona is the Marketing and Communications Officer for the Kelowna Gospel Mission.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

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