Despite some tragedy in news headlines this week, Christians responding with love to others in need and an intense introduction to summer temperatures brought smiles to faces.

'Here within moments': Officers bring peaceful end to armed incident

A Winnipeg business owner is praising police after officers brought a quick end to a frightening incident Saturday afternoon.

Katie Renae is the owner of The Dog Loft Inc. in Saint Boniface. She says a woman armed with a rifle entered the business vestibule and wouldn't leave.

"I would like to make a HUGE shout out to Winnipeg’s finest police officers! Your quick response to the life or death situation today, saved the lives of many," Renae writes in a post on the business's Facebook page.

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After 10 years Bruce Oake Recovery Centre open and accepting admissions

Scott and Anne Oake are celebrating the opening of a recovery centre in honour of their late son Bruce who passed away from an overdose. 

Greg Kyllo is the Executive Director at the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre in Winnipeg. The centre officially opened this week.

"We're a long-term, science-based residential program. We are 50 beds so 50 individuals receive evidence-based over a 16 week period right here in Winnipeg," says Kyllo.

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Students nominate MBCI teacher for top award

A teacher from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) in Winnipeg is one of three teachers in the province being recognized for their dedication to students.

Brandon University announced their 2021 Distinguished Teaching Awards recipients last week, and MBCI's Kristin Harris was among the recipients. Harris is the Grade 7 homeroom teacher, where she teaches language arts, math, Biblical studies, science, social studies, and Middle School and High School German.

"I was pretty surprised, to say the least," says Harris.

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Spirit of the Grassroots People: A story of survival

Flags are flying at half-mast at municipal, provincial, territorial and federal buildings across the country, but there are calls to do more to honour the 215 children whose remains were found at a former residential school in B-C.

There are also calls for governments to use ground-penetrating radar to find similar gravesites at other schools across the country.

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UPDATE: Jets confirm up to 500 fans in the stands starting this week

The Winnipeg Jets will not be playing in an empty arena on Wednesday.

Five hundred fully vaccinated healthcare workers could be present for this and next Wednesday's games against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Winnipeg Jets say up to 500 fans will be in the arena for Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup series Round 2.

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Heat warnings issued as temperatures set to soar in Manitoba

Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for most of southern Manitoba ahead of an approaching heatwave. 

The national forecaster says that a ridge of high pressure will bring with it daytime high temperatures in the low to mid-30s and overnight low temperatures in the mid to high teens. 

Although the hottest air is expected to move off Saturday, temperatures still remain above normal into early next week. 

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Summer homework: Get out and play!

Research is proving that play is just as beneficial to children's overall health as times of learning are. 

"We have just come through a full school year of our children receiving their education during a global pandemic. There has been classroom and online learning, mask-wearing and distancing protocols - things students have never had to do before," says Terry Warburton, Clinical Director of Recovery of Hope Counselling in Winnipeg. 

These vast changes have made it difficult for some children to focus in and learn over the past year. 

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Unfettered: Imagining a childlike faith beyond the baggage of Western culture

In 1998, Mandy Smith together with her husband, a New Testament professor, moved from their birth country of Australia to the United States.

The pair had planned to stay in the U.S. for two years while attending school, but things quickly changed when their family started to grow. In the end, they wound up spending over two decades there before returning home.

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Commuter Challenge Week encouraging people to change things up

Commuter Challenge Week is looking different the second time around since the pandemic, but the organization is still encouraging families to be active. 

Kathryn Winkler is the National Coordinator for Commuter Challenge. Across Canada this year Commuter Challenge Week runs from May 31 until June 4.

"This year we're really encouraging people to walk, cycle, and telework. The idea especially with telework, we've opened up the program this year and encouraging people to log any active trip during the day while they're teleworking at home," she says.

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Empathy and compassion on 'full display' in Manitoba

The Justice Minister says while he is seeing issues with churches not following the health orders, alongside them others are stepping up.

In the fall of 2020, Minister Cameron Friesen asked Christians to "be the church." Seven months later, he says the vast majority have been advocating for and following the Public Health Orders, with some exceptions.

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Twin born at Blumenort corner on Highway 12

A Steinbach couple added to their family by two, but the delivery of their twins wasn't quite what they'd expected. 

Joseph and Annabelle Steele have a seven-year-old girl and a one-year-old son, and in the early hours of May 28, they added a set of twins to the family.

The Steele family lives in Steinbach, but they were told that the Bethesda Hospital does not deliver twins. So, when Annabelle went into labour at 3:30 A.M., they headed for Winnipeg.

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Former Atheist leader in Kenya gives his life to Jesus

A man who served as secretary for Atheists in Kenya (AIK) resigned after finding faith in Jesus Christ. 

Seth Mahiga worked for AIK for less than two years when he resigned. Mahiga could no longer work for a place that he didn't believe the message they promoted. 

"Seth's reason for resigning is that he has found Jesus Christ and is no longer interested in promoting atheism in Kenya. We wish Seth all the best in his newfound relationship with Jesus Christ," AIK President Harrison Mumia wrote on Twitter.

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Sending love to Shamattawa with shoes, loaves, and baby supplies

One local Winnipegger is hoping his Facebook post inspires actions of love, to stand in solidarity with the Manitoba Indigenous community.

Greg Armstrong is a retired chaplain with ties to the Indigenous community. When he heard about the remains found in Kamloops, he wanted to do something to stand with his 'brothers and sisters.'

"My thought was, in my retirement, I still have connections and influence," says Armstrong.

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Overcoming struggles and sharing God's gift

With parents involved in worship ministry, Sarah Kroger’s love for music was sparked at a young age, but the impact of bullying and her struggle with anxiety and shyness hid her musical gift for years.

Everything changed when she met Jesus in an intimate encounter through worship at a youth conference.

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Manitoba's healthcare heroes swap scrubs for jerseys Wednesday

Healthcare workers with various roles throughout this pandemic took on a new role Wednesday night: Winnipeg Jets fans.

Swapping well-worn scrubs for jerseys, 500 healthcare workers walked into the doors of BellMTS Place as special guests of the hockey team.

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'Religious leaders definitely have a role in protecting our community': says pastor

A group of southern Manitoba pastors are being called upon to help address the low COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the region.

John Klassen spent about 35 years involved in pastoral ministry in the Winkler area, having recently retired from his position at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in March, and is presently serving on a part-time basis for the Arnaud Mennonite Church. 

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Prison in Guatemala seeing revival with over 10 baptisms

While unlikely, a spiritual revival is coming out of a maximum-security prison in Guatemala during a pandemic. 

Before the pandemic, there was a Bible study program for inmates put on by Crossroads Prison Ministries. But once COVID-19 came, that was all shut down. 

El Boquerón Prison is one of three maximum-security prisons in Guatemala. This is where the prisoners are coming to faith in Jesus. 

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Turtle Lodge, NCTR, declaring day of prayer for 215 Indigenous children found at Kamloops Residential School

Elders across nine nations are asking the country to come together in prayer on Sunday to honour those who were both lost to and survived residential schools in Canada.

Turtle Lodge, an international centre for Indigenous education and wellness, is asking to be joined on Sunday in prayer for the 215 children that were found buried at Kamloops Residential School last week. 

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Ministry leader stepping up as hub for items to Shamattawa

Responding to the tragedy in Kamloops this past week, one woman is starting a group called Grannies on a Mission, open to anyone who wants to help. 

"I look at my little grandkids and I just can't imagine them being taken," says Klassen.

"It's pretty dear to my heart. I think of my dad coming from a Metis background where he never even talked about it. It's had me in a big wet weeping mess this whole week," says Joy Klassen in response to the 215 children's remains found in an unmarked grave at a former residential school in B.C. on May 27.

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Shawna Cain wins Juno in Christian music

Shawna Cain took home the top prize in Christian music at the 2021 Junos Opening Night Awards Friday evening.

The winner for the Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year was announced around 8:30 p.m. Friday, two days ahead of the official 2021 Junos ceremony.

"Thank God, I thank Jesus Christ for everything from the lyrics to the recording to the mixing," Cain says in her acceptance speech after a smattering of applause over video call from her fellow category nominees.

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New Casting Crowns music video one of comfort for those who've lost loved ones to COVID-19

A brand new music video with a moving story behind it is out now for Casting Crowns fans.

"Scars in Heaven" is the faith-based band's latest release since 2018, when their last album, Only Jesus, was released. The album received RIAA Gold certifications for the songs "Only Jesus" and "Nobody."

The song's lyrics tell a tale of regret at first, as they express the remorse of someone who feels they didn't spend enough time with another person before their death.

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Justin Bieber and Clayton Moore lead worship powerful session

A powerful night in worship was led by two significant names in music late last month.

Justin Bieber and Chandler Moore of the Maverick City Music collective led a worship session live in Kirkland, Washington.

The church, Churchhome, is where Bieber regularly attends services.

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Winnipeg Pastor shares power of prayer after almost dying from COVID

A man recovering from COVID-19 is sharing his powerful testimony of coming through the worst of it.

"Like a lot of people, I took care of myself, and I tried to be careful. I figured it probably won't happen to me but then it did," says Richard Thorgeirson, an administrative pastor with The Believer's Church in Winnipeg.

Back in early November of 2020, he came down with a slight fever. 

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