As restrictions tighten in one Manitoba region, a ministry is finding that God's love has no limits.
Yesterday the province of Manitoba announced that the Prairie Mountain Health Region, including the city of Brandon, has upgraded the response level to orange, or 'restricted', as they have the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the province to date.
Four pastors that CHVN has contacted in the region said it is too early to know what their game plan will be, except to go back to online streaming.
There are 116 active cases with five new ones in the area announced today. The province's total number of active cases is 265.
"With this new restriction level we are tightening things even more," Kim Lowes, the Director of Women’s Ministries at Adult and Teen Challenge in Brandon says.
Lowes says, "You can certainly feel the heightened anxiety in our community as people continue to wrestle with the increasing cases of COVID here."
Adult and Teen Challenge has a program for women in Brandon, as well as running a Thrift store.
Part of the restriction that comes with the "orange level of risk" is limiting the number of people inside a building to ten or less.
"[We are] limiting the students' exposure to others by having our own church services here at the centre and keeping the travel for them as simply to our Super Thrift store and back. At our store will be providing all staff and students with masks to wear full time, as well as keeping up the sanitization of customers and carts."
Adult and Teen Challenge run a 12-month discipleship program that includes academics, mentoring, life-skills training, work therapy, recreation and spiritual disciplines.
Lowes says, "As difficult as the pandemic has been it has also given us a tremendous opportunity to help the ladies walk through the challenges as we teach them how to look to the Lord for help and comfort. We trust in a very big God and He has proved Himself so faithful to us.
"I have personally watched God minister in so many ways to our student body as a whole - most often in His gentle way of speaking to them each individually. The Lord is always at work at ATC and the pandemic has just given Him another way to show us His love."
As far as safety guidelines, Lowes says, "We are continuing with the safety protocols we put in place then as far as sanitation in our centre, limiting visitors, doing checks on those who do come, etc. I believe the restrictions will help our community rally together to get our numbers back down."