Manitobans are finally seeing restrictions easing, new music is coming, and Christians are finding ways to care for their community members in spite of COVID-19 it this week's good news roundup.


Hutterite dive team recovers body of missing Winnipegger

The body of a missing Winnipeg man was found after a seven-day search out on the ice by a Hutterite dive team in Kenora.

Harold Slegers went missing in early Nov. 2020. Police dive teams weren't immediately able to find him in their search of Pelican Pouch Lake.

That's when friends and family turned to the Hutterites.

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Westman soup kitchen continues doing what they do best amidst pandemic

The Helping Hands Soup Kitchen has had to adapt to the pandemic, and since COVID critical red, those adaptations have continued.

Co-Chair, Chuck Elliott, says Helping Hands has proven itself over the years to be there for its community for the long-term to serve people in need with a hot meal, and they expect that support to continue for a long time into the future.

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'Healing is the hardest thing': Christian foster mom changing lives with love

For more than a decade, a local foster mom has made a difference in the lives of the kids she's cared for by simply doing her best to love them.

Barb Bell will be turning 60 next month. The twin girls she fosters will be turning three around the same time.

"I said, 'We aren't taking any more kids,'" the foster mom remembers. "I said no, I cannot do it."

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2021 bringing greater musical and ministerial impact for local artist

Jordan St.Cyr is excited for the new year and opportunities ahead, including releasing a music video for his hit single 'Fires'. 

"2020, while it was super strange on the live music front, that whole thing just went away, we made strides in other areas."

As a Christian artist, St.Cyr took home a few awards as a singer/songwriter last year.

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After talking retirement Lecrae announces new album

Christian rapper and Grammy-award winner Lecrae is working on a new mixtape, Church Clothes 4

In July 2020, just before releasing his album Restoration, Lecrae publicly announced that this might be his last full album recorded. 

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Folklorama preserving communities while apart

A popular festival says their latest initiative giving people free access to at-home activities is helping to share culture.

For the past 30 years, Christian Hidalgo-Mazzei has been working with Folklorama to showcase the colourful array of cultures in Manitoba.

"I graduated from university and it was just like a summer job that I got that summer, and I was asked to come back and help out," Hidalgo-Mazzei says. "I ended up just staying and I made a career out of it."

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Brewed with Gratitude crew bring coffee and joy to personal care home

The first recipients of the Brewed with Gratitude joyfully received a coffee break at one of the Personal Care Homes in Winnipeg. 

"To all staff of CHVN Radio on behalf of West Park Manor PCH, we would like to extend our thanks for choosing one of our staff Susan Walls that has been nominated on this contest," says staff at the Manor.  

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'Being his dad is an absolute honour,' says worship pastor about miracle son

Mike Burnard is sharing a new and vulnerable song to celebrate his miracle son's 2nd birthday.

Mike and Jasmine Burnard have two sons. Their youngest Declan celebrated his 2nd birthday on January 18, 2021. However, the first month of his life, the couple didn't know if they would see this day. 

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WCC will host online celebration for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca is inviting the global ecumenical family and friends to join a livestreamed public prayer service on the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

“As restrictions in many places due to the coronavirus pandemic are making it difficult to physically gather, this global online celebration will allow us to pray together wherever we are,” says Sauca. 

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Christianity spreading in India in the face of growing persecution

Despite the growing persecution of Christians and a strict lockdown in India, the Church is growing there, too.

“But even [amid] that persecution, God grows and strengthens his Church,” says David Reeves, President and CEO of unfoldingWord.

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Praying for a 'powder keg': Manitoban-American pastor shares his prayers on Inauguration Day

An American pastor now ministering in Winnipeg says he is hopeful and prayerful for his country on Inauguration Day.

John Schaffner and his family have been in Winnipeg for the last four years. He says his country has experienced deep division through the term of President Donald Trump, and it's something he's experienced firsthand.

"Politics has fractured my family like never before the last four years. It hasn't been theoretical or philosophical for us the last four years; it's very personal."

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Exciting things on the horizon for lead singer of The Color

Jordan Janzen is excited to share news of a new album being released this year, as well as expecting a second child in the coming weeks. 

The Color decided to try something different for their upcoming album being released later this year. In October, the band announced on social media that they were looking for fans' input. The band had roughly 60 songs to pick through, so they asked for help choosing. 

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Woman who saved teens from water being honoured by Mounties

A woman's heroic acts are earning her a commendation from RCMP Manitoba.

Renata Bandel is a recent recipient of a Certificate of Recognition for her quick actions during the summer.

On June 3, Bandel was with her sister, niece and nephew were spending time together at Delta Beach in Portage la Prairie. While heading out for a swim, she heard a commotion.

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Manitoban family says return of NHL good for their mental health

Sports fans from across the province have enjoyed the return of the NHL with an all Canadian Northern Division and despite not being able to go to the arena, it's boosted spirits.

Steve Smith of Steinbach is an avid sports fan and he welcomed the return of the Winnipeg Jets. "It's just a bit of normalcy," Smith says. "Back in the fall, there were sports programs that had no sports to talk about. So now, to get Jets into a rotation and adding in the Bombers signings, it's neat that we're getting back into a sense of normalcy. It's a big thing."

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Facebook group helping people become angels without wings

A woman from Thompson started a Facebook group to help seniors but it has spread its wings and grown to 26 communities in Manitoba.

Tiff Price is an entrepreneur, wife, and mother to four. She's also the founder of the Manitoba Community Angels Facebook page.

"The reason why the project was started was to help seniors right now who are going through the pandemic with things like getting their groceries, shovelling for them, or someone to talk to," she says.

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Revised public health orders could let COVID babies finally meet their relatives

First-time moms are waiting with bated breath for the revised COVID-19 restrictions as their newborn babies may finally be allowed to meet their relatives in-person.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” is how the saying goes and unfortunately those proverbial villages have been empty in recent months. According to Steinbach Family Resource Centre Executive Director Jo-Anne Dalton, the primary struggle for mothers since the pandemic set in has been that lack of personal connection.

“Anybody who was pregnant pre-pandemic has had a baby born in this ten-month period,” she states. “These babies who are six months to a year old right now, a lot of them have never even met their grandparents.”

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New Public Health Orders finalized, changes to gathering sizes

The province has announced limited changes to public health orders. The new orders will take effect this coming Saturday and last for three weeks.

“We recognize the significant sacrifices all Manitobans have made throughout this pandemic and especially in the last two months, to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community,” says Premier Brian Pallister.

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Long time Newsboys member releasing music as solo project

Singer/songwriter and New Zealand native Phil Joel is releasing a solo album called Better Than I Found It.

Joel is releasing the six-song EP on January 22, 2021. The entire project was written, recorded, and produced in his home studio during the quarantine. 

He was apart of the well-known Christian band Newsboys for a total of 14 years, initially joining in 1994 as bassist and vocals. He left the band in 2006 to spend more time with his family. He rejoined the group in 2018 for a tour.  

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Manitoba craft exchange sharing art inspiration

A craft exchange is giving local artists who have been cooped up in their homes something to do together.

Katrina Craig, Program Director with Manitoba Craft Council (C2 Centre for Craft), says their members will be exchanging crafts next month.

"Our members can bring in any piece of craft, whether it be artwork or a functional piece, so you could bring in something like a mug as well, you write your name on them, we arrange them and return you a surprise piece of crafty," the director says.

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Tim Tebow's childrens book shares message of purpose and inclusion

In a way to share Christ with children, Tim Tebow is releasing a new children's book called Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember.

The book is about an animal party with the lead character based on Tebow's own dog, Bronco. 

Tebow is well-known for being a two-time national champion, first-round NFL draft pick, and Heisman Trophy winner, playing for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets. However, he's used his influence to reach others for the gospel and has been outspoken about his Christianity as well. 

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Keeping pups safe from barking cold weather

The Humane Society of Winnipeg is sharing tips to keep your dogs safe outside in the cold winter temperatures. 

"Exercise is important but of course we have to keep in mind the actual weather temperature. Adjusting your walks and activities outside to the temperature is important. It's also important to keep an eye on the wind chill and not just the temperature itself," says Catherine McMillan, the Director of the Behaviour and Community Support at the Winnipeg Humane Society.

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Lauren Daigle hits no. 1 on Billboard charts for Dance/Electronic

Grammy-award winning Christian artist Lauren Daigle has made waves with her cross-over hit 'Come Back Home' with Petey Martin. 

Producer Martin alongside Daigle launch at No. 1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart as of January 23, 2021.

"Yes! This is so cool - thank you,' Daigle posted to Facebook after hearing the news. 

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Winnipeg pianist sharing music with seniors

It’s a passion for music, and the sharing with others, that has prompted piano performer and teacher, Corey Francis, to contact as many personal care homes across the province as possible, to enjoy virtual concerts of his students’ performing.

Francis began the ‘Sharing is Caring’ incentive where the recordings of their recitals will be shared virtually with residents, with each month featuring a new recital of talent from his 66 students.

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WATCH: Community sings as pastor leaves home for first time in over 3 years

Pastor Jose Chicas left his sanctuary on church grounds after his deportation fears were alleviated.

A crowd surrounding a small ground broke into Amazing Grace on Friday afternoon as Chicas stood outside of his home, ready to face the world.

Since June of 2017, Chicas has been living in a small house on the grounds of St John Missionary Baptist Church in North Carolina. A site called Keep Pastor Chicas Home says he feared leaving the home would mean he would be deported to his native country of El Salvador.

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Celebrating child care employees on the front line

We're back with our Brewed with Gratitude and this week CHVN brought coffee and muffins to the Prairie Nature Children's Centre daycare in Winnipeg. 

"I want to thank you for the coffee, the muffins and the encouragement you brought to us at Praire Nature Children’s Centre today. I work with an amazing team of Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Assistants," says Heidi Dueck, who was nominated.

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Local businesses prepping to greet in-person customers again

Employees are ripping off plastic walls and refilling hand sanitizer stations in anticipation of Saturday's reopenings.

Taped off aisles and plastic covering items such as cards and colouring books will soon be a thing of the past for most of Manitoba. At Midnight on Saturday, new Public Health Orders are taking into effect, effectively eliminating the Essential Items list for most regions.

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