A Christian ministry run by a husband and wife is hoping to build connections in the downtown community with their birthday BBQ.

Virginia Spence and her husband Allan run Courageous Heart Ministries in Winnipeg. They are hosting a BBQ for the public on September 6 at noon at 150 Henry St. alongside Love Lives Here ministry. 

"I really wanted to include the community for my birthday celebration. I feel like sometimes we need to get out of the church, out of the building, and we need to get into the community," says Spence.

Courageous Heart Ministries has been a non-profit organization since 2018. They also work alongside other local ministries, such as Give the Word, Dignity House, Love Lives Here, and Zion Apostolic. 

"I went to an event on Tuesday put on by Heather Barefoot [who runs Love Lives Here] and I felt strong in my spirit, that this is an amazing place."

Spence and her husband believe that coming out of the pandemic season and into community is vital for rebuilding connection. 

"We want to reaffirm to people that we are here because that's what's going to make a difference in people's lives."

Allan grew up in Nelson House and was a commercial fisherman. Now his ministry includes simply being downtown. 

"He just wants to be out walking and praying and with people every day. His place to minister has been Portage Place and right next to it, the Air Canada Park. He finds so many people and community family members who are bound in these different difficulties in their life. He reminds them that God loves them and that they have a home, family, and community that loves them," says Spence. 

Their physical ministry was put on hold for the most part during COVID, and this BBQ is a start to what Spence believes is a new season. Anyone is invited to attend this celebration.