The Things We Do (Over and Over. Part 3)

There is something we have done for 16 years at SunRidge, over and over, because sixteen years ago we looked at each other around Christmas time and asked, “Do we really need a Christmas Banquet for ourselves?” As we considered what we were putting our effort towards at Christmas we thought about how most of us were well provided for, well fed, and well cared for in a loving community. That was the year we decided our Christmas party wouldn’t be for ourselves.

Every since, we have hosted a Community Christmas Dinner and have filled our building with whoever comes. Our guests may be neighbours from down the street, someone new to West Kelowna, friends we are connecting with at the Westbank United daily Lunch Program, those who may top up their shelves at the Foodbank, strangers we bump into and invite on the spot…its a wonderful collection of people mixed in with our own wonderful community.

Every year we plan out a great meal, decorate the “house” from top to bottom, gather up door prizes, put together gifts for each family, plan fun games that anyone can play, sing songs, and have wonderful and entertaining conversations around the table with new and old friends . We have had many repeat guests — some have come every year! We have celebrated birthdays, given hugs to those who have lost loved ones, staged free portraits for our guests (and their pets), laughed a lot and eaten well. Who comes to serve? Everyone from soft-hearted Senior Citizens to our sweet and spirited students; there are even places for kids to practice loving others.

There are lots of ways to connect with the wider community in big and small ways, and this is just one way. It is one way to say, “No matter how well or how little we know one another, let’s be together and have a lovely time.” It is something we have invited over and over, for sixteen years.

This year our kitchen team cooked up an amazing Ukrainian meal (home-made pirogies, cabbage rolls, meat-balls, orzo salad…). It was a hit!!

Thanks to Lisa K. for being the lead-lead for our 16th Community Christmas Dinner and thank you to all those who worked on this weeks ago, who showed up days ago, who came early and stayed late. Thank you to all of you who looked people in the eye, hosted a conversation, took a photo, brought a cup of tea, sang your hearts out, loaded a dishwasher, swept the floor, and closed the doors at the end.

Merry Christmas!

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen


Stepping In

In case you didn’t know, SunRidge partners with Westbank United Church to come alongside in serving lunches to those who need them in our West Kelowna community. And who needs lunch? There are those who have experienced a turn in life that has left them homeless. There are those who have lost their job and a lunch here and there brings relief to the budget. There are seniors who might not be cooking a hearty meal for themselves. There are young people who are sorting things out and some warm food and some warm words are helpful. There are a lot of different kinds of people who come to a hot meal (three times a week) and sandwiches on the off days.

This requires

  • a lot of organization (Nancy is a force to be reckoned with),

  • a home base (thank goodness for the centrally located United Church facility and their compassion for the city)

  • food (donations come from all over our city from churches, businesses, farms, and concerned individuals)

  • volunteers (lots and lots)

This week we were short-handed on Monday and it highlighted again how many people it requires to keep this work going. So today I am highlighting people who “step in.” I know there are many who do — lots of faithful behind-the-scenes servants who help with no fanfare. There are people who send lovely home baking — the guests LOVE the home baking. There are people who go around finding donations, people who serve once and twice and three times a week. There are people who buy last minute groceries, people who wash dish after dish, people who give hugs, people who cut onions and…there is one beloved person who even comes to tenderly cut and style people’s hair.

If you would like to get involved in this practical, love-your-city, mission email our rep Randy at lunchprogram@sunridge.org or contact us here. There are on-site opportunities and other things you can do if you can’t do that! We also have a grocery list at the Connect Centre. Pick one up and add a few things to your list each week. You can drop off at SunRidge or at the United Church.

How did our shorthanded Monday go? Thanks to Mark P., Kim R., and Lindsay W. and some others from outside SunRidge who all “stepped in”…we got’er done! Go team go!

At the end of our shift, I like how Mark summarized things:

 Why is Mark wearing oven mitts while stirring Coleslaw?

Why is Mark wearing oven mitts while stirring Coleslaw?

“A kitchen filled with love and servants hearts. People of all ages and backgrounds banding together to do their part in order to make a HUGE difference to show those less fortunate in our own community that they are loved, cared for and matter so very much. What an honour to be a part of it.”

 Teresa Klassen



Mexico 2017 - House Building Trip

Another amazing year! The 2017 trip was so full of laughter, good challenge and unexpected blessings. Check out our photos and video below for a glimpse into the adventure.


Mexico 2016 - House Building Trip

This past spring SunRidge Student Ministries loaded up into the church van and headed down to Mexico to work with Amor Ministries in a house building project! It was an amazing adventure! Read more below for a glimpse into our trip...


Day 1

 We departed from Sunridge! We made it to Washington for lunch and had Subway at a weird grocery store. We continued to drive through the night!


Day 2

We hit some bad winds at 3:30AM and decided to pull over at a rest stop. We all slept soundly for 3 hours and then hit the road after a quick reenforcing of the roof rack after the crazy winds! A full day of driving commenced until we arrived at North Coast Church in LA at about 830PM! We also obviously made stops at every in n out burger we could! The church was so awesome and we set up our beds in the youth building and hit the hay!...eventually.


Day 3

We woke up and cleaned up the youth building and had a wonderful breakfast that some students from North Coast made for us! It was wonderful! After attending the service, we grabbed lunch at...In n out burger! We then headed to the Amor office and crossed into Mexico. We got to the campsite and set up our tents and got everything ready for the week ahead. We had a wonderful dinner that was made for us by some ladies from La Cocina which is the food program that Amor has set up with local churches from the community! 


Day 4

CONCRETE. Lots of it! We had a great breakfast at camp, did some devos and then drove to the site and met the family and began working on pouring the slab for the the house! It wasn't too hot on the first day which was perfect because cement day is a tough day! After a long day, with the slab now poured we headed back to camp. Cold showers, great food, and wonderful times around the campfire! 


Day 5

FRAMING. Nails, nails and more nails! It was all hands on deck as we cut lumber for walls and nailed everything together! It was a hot day! Amazingly, just up the road we discovered a small store that sold...Coca Cola in the glass bottles! What a refreshing wonderful experience! It became a daily stop at the end of every work day. With all of the walls framed and put in place, we called it a day. 


Day 6

MORE FRAMING AND EXTERIOR WORK. We got the roof on the house and wrapped the house in bailing wire which is the foundation for supporting the two layers of stucco that would eventually get put on the walls. Everyone was working very hard and it was on this day that Thomas successfully fell asleep standing up! We were also beginning to make lots of friends in the community along with a couple of puppies that we decided to name after different condiments.


Day 7

EXTERIOR WORK AND FIRST COAT OF STUCCO. We then had to wrap the house in paper and then stretch chicken wire over it. Once that was done, it was time for stucco! It was all hands on deck to get it on. We also saw a snake! It was really big and the family was very quick to kill it. COOL! We worked with a wonderful Amor staff last year named Louis and it was on this day that he came back and helped us with the house! More Coca Cola was inhaled and we went back to camp. 


Day 8

FINAL STUCCO AND CLEAN UP! It was the last day we had to work on the house and we started off the morning by heading to Wal-mart and buying a broom, a welcome mat, some toys and a soccer ball for the family. We got to the house and worked hard on the stucco! The family then made us a wonderful chicken and rice meal. It was SO GOOD! It was also very touching as the meal cost them their whole weeks worth of wages. With the house finished, we had one last Coca-Cola, a very beautiful dedication and farewell with the family. We drove back to camp for the last time.



Day 9

 We woke up early and began taking down the campsite! We had breakfast one last time with La Cocina and then put the finishing touches on packing up and headed for the border. The crossing went so smoothly and so quickly that we grabbed in n out and headed to Coronado beach in San Diego! We had a ton of fun playing in the ocean and relaxing in the sand. We then headed back to North Coast Church. We attended the evening service and set up our beds once again in the youth building. Corey and Josh got some nice sunburns.



Day 10

In the morning the youth pastor at North Coast, Chris, took us all out to a wonderful diner for breakfast! It was so good and Chris was so kind to us. We then loaded up and dropped Alecia off at the Los Angeles Airport because she had to get back for work and school. After that, we went to six flags amusement park! Despite the long lines, everyone had an awesome time and Erin even did the drop of doom! We had one last in n out burger and drove through the night heading north on the I-5. We were now homeward bound.



Day 11

We arrived at the YWAM base in Salem Oregon at about 4pm and enjoyed some hot showers and a time of communion together. We also watched a little bit of Iron Man 3, but we all fell asleep. 


Day 12

 The final leg of the journey. We loaded up and hit the road at a great time! But because there were a lot of weak bladders on board, we had lots of stops and enjoyed the slow ride home! The final border crossing was a breeze and 5,400 kilometres later, we arrived safely back at Sunridge! A trip well done! 

Thank you so much to everyone who supported us through generous donations, giving of your time and prayer! It was an amazing trip, we were blessed with smooth travels and challenged to love Jesus, love people and live mission! We love you SunRidge!


Kyle Dyck

Student Ministries Youth Pastor


India 2015 - Brittany's Story

Are the 48 Hours of Travel Worth It?


As a traveler, I have become accustomed to sacrificing comfort for the sake of adventure.  Sleeping on the floor of a ferry terminal or in a car parked on the side of the road, running through a train station with your backpack that feels like it weighs 100 lbs - are all just a part of the experience.  However, when your travel includes 21 other people and approximately 19 hours of flight time, a 4 hour train ride that actually takes 6 because the track needs to be repaired and a 2.5 hour bus ride through the Himalayas complete with middle of the night passing on blind corners, there are points when you cannot help but wonder if the final destination is worth it.  Despite extreme fatigue and the fact that I didn’t get to change my clothes for days, this week I was reminded that the travel and the hard work are ALWAYS worth it.  


In a nation that can most aptly be described as chaotic, Shanti Niketan is a place, where upon arrival, one feels absolute peace.  It is a peace that can only be explained by the fact that both the staff and children deeply love and diligently serve our King. I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say that hours of breathing in paint fumes or paving in the 30 degree sun are all made worth it by the simple phrase “Didi (big sister), your work is done, come play.”  The children and staff of this home love so genuinely.  They truly desire to build a relationship with you and immediately welcome you in as family.  This means that during your day, they help you.  There is nothing like seeing an assembly line of kids racing to move the paving stones as quickly as possible down to the small boys dorm.  Or trying to be so precise while “cutting in” the paint along the ceiling in the girls dorm, only to have the girls come in and make a mess of it.  It is both a giant test of your patience and the greatest relief, doing things the Indian way would make us all far less stressed in North America!  


Being a part of one big family also means that we get to party together.  These kids party well. They can dance, they can sing, they can act and they LOVE to perform.  There are two medium boys (15 year olds) who I have had the privilege of meeting during my time here.  Both of them are musicians and immediately wanted to play for me.  We sat in the chapel together and they began to play me some worship songs on the guitar and their brand new drum kit.  As they played, I began to sing along.  It was amazing to be able to connect with these boys because we had something in common.  It sounds cheesy but music truly does break down barriers.  After we played together, the boys joked about us making a band .. or at least I thought they were joking.  They were serious.  They “voluntold” me that I would be singing at their Saturday October birthday celebration, they even chose the song for me.  When Saturday night came, I sang “The Stand” by Hillsong while one of the boys played guitar for me.  It was great to be able to sing for them but words cannot adequately describe how it felt when I invited the children, staff and team to sing along with me.  To hear a room full of kids, many of whom have been abandoned, singing - well more yelling, the lyrics “I’ll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered, all I am is Yours”, was by far one of the most moving experiences I have ever had.  I was fighting back tears as I continued to lead them in worship.  


Week One is finished.  Our bodies are tired.  The projects around the home have not been without challenge and there is still a daunting list of tasks to complete in the next seven days.  However, God has been so faithful to us and we have certainly felt the prayers of everyone back home.  Please continue to pray for safety, unity and that we would truly be able to love the children and staff of this home well.  We are all looking forward to telling you many more stories when we are home. See you soon!


— Brittany Judas     

2015 India Construction Team

Child of Mine is a Christian organization from Canada partnering with two Children's homes in India. God has called us to come alongside the Homes in such a way that we can bring value to their vision – Raising the Future Leaders of India’s Church.

This year our Sunridge construction team is Scott, Tracy, Lane and Martine Horovatin, Jasmine Zilke, Erin MacIntosh, Holly Hiebert, Brittany Judas, and Nelson Chapman. 

They will be spending three weeks at the Shanti Niketan Children’s home working on various construction projects needed for upkeep of the property. 


Check out these team member stories!


Find out more at www.childofmine.ca.

Mexico 2015 - Student Ministries House Building Trip

In March of 2016, SunRidge Student Ministries got in a van and drove over 30 hours down to Northern Mexico to build a house for a family who needed one. It was an amazing few weeks of not only building a house, but building relationships. We were blessed by a smooth running trip and we are so looking forward to heading back down there in March of 2016!

Want to be on the next Mexico Trip?

Head to our Mexico page for more information and application!


Child of Mine December Update



 We want to take this opportunity to greet all our COM Partners and wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year 2015!

We thank and praise God for Hid blessings and protection we received the whole month! It was the busy month and yet very excited being the long awaited Christmas season! Yes, we felt the warmth and loving care of the Lord the whole month.

HEALTH: Many children especially younger ones were suffered with chicken-pox.  Since it was contagious disease we had to keep the children in isolation; the sick room we have was always full packed even when we put extra beds. But we thank God for healing them all after a month! We also thank God for giving us Ms.Ngaihtei, the Home Nurse who looked after them lovingly.

EDUCATION:  Students from Kindergarten to Class V finished their Promotion Exam. All of them passed with good marks. We really thank God for all His blessings - the opportunity of studies, meeting all their school supplies they needed; good health; teachers; and all supporters.

The students from Class VI to IX also gave their Promotion Exams but still waiting for their results. (Classes from X- XII will give their exams in March 2015.)

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: We had birthday celebration on 24th December 2014 for December born. We baked cake; time of singing and praising God for birthday boys and girls,; prayers for their life’s ahead; gave gifts and some special items were presented by other children.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS: We are very much thankful to COM Partners for the Christmas gifts. We bought trousers, shoes and salwar suit for some big girls.  Children, staff and their children are very much grateful to you all!

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: We had a good time during Christmas season. Some alumni also came Home and we had Fellowship with them. We had Christmas carols with other churches too! On Christmas Eve, we had some Games; carols, praise and worship at the Hall till 1:00a.m.  We thanked God for Jesus Christ; re-dedicate ourselves for His ministry. After greetings with each other, we had dance party.

On Christmas day we had Ecumenical Worship Service with other churches at our Church in Subathu. Our children also presented two special items. The Church was full; many people had to stay outside. We had love feast after the Church service.

On 26th December, we had Christmas celebration at our Home. Children performed different items. Some children’s parents also presented. God brought many people more than we expected, many of them were from other faith. We pray that God, the Holy Spirit would continue to work in their hearts.

STAFF GIFT EXCHANGE PROGRAM: We had Staff gift exchange program on 30th Dec., 2014 on which we gave thanks to God for all His love and care we received the whole year through; encouraged and prayed for one another; seeking God’s will and re-dedicate for the coming year in our ministry. 

Once again, we thank God for bringing many people into our lives. May God continue to bless each one of you for all the love, care and support you gave us!

With many thanks and God bless,