In this week's good news round up, extraordinary numbers of people are declaring their lives for Christ, new faith-based projects are being released, and, in the midst of restrictions, people are choosing to worship.

Made in Steinbach, Hollywood-bound: Mother's Day gifts destined for celebs depart southern Manitoba

A local businesswoman recently spent some time packaging up one of her most popular products to ship to Hollywood, just in time for Mother's Day.

Melissa Funk, CMO of Lynn and Liana Serveware, says their extra-large cheeseboards will soon be in the hands of some new celebrity moms as part of a Mother's Day gift bag. 

Celebrities slated to receive the gift include Carrie Underwood, Nicki Minaj, Jessica Biel, Kristen Wiig, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Mindy Kaling, Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore, Katharine McPhee, Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor, Jenna Dewan, Sophie Turner, Leighton Meester, Ashley Tisdale, Iskra Lawrence, Billie Lourd, Christina Milian, Amanda Seyfried, Rooney Mara, Greta Gerwig, Krysten Ritter, Emma Roberts, Kelly Rowland and Amanda Kloots.

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‘Your eternal life starts here’—A North Korean mother breaks her silence

Lee Joo-Chan* (now in his 50s) is one of the thousands of North Koreans who grew up in a Christian family without knowing it. If a North Korean’s faith is discovered, they–and three generations of their families–face prison, physical and mental torture and even death. 

In this country (#1 for 18 consecutive years on the World Watch List), parents can’t risk telling their children about their faith–perhaps the saddest consequence of North Korea’s high “squeeze factor.” Some parents wait until the children are old enough, then let them in on the “family secret.” Others, like Lee’s parents, never feel that freedom. 

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A new Christian multimedia company releases first project

A multimedia company based out of New City Church is sharing their heart to help people across Manitoba share their stories through art and experience. 

Created by MADE has released their first full project, a music video for Tanya Elias' first single, 'Find You' alongside a min-documentary about her life. 

Bomba Ng'andu is the worship pastor at New City Church. He is one of the members of Created by MADE.

"It is essentially a creative outlet and platform. The heart behind it is to tell people's stories through their creative expressions, or gifts and talents," says Ng'andu.

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Sex trafficking victim rescued by faith

Fear can cripple our futures. And Migdalia Smith had a lot to be fearful of. As a survivor of abuse and sex trafficking, she wants other victims to know that they are not alone.

“I want sex-trafficking victims all around the world to know that God is real, and He is the ultimate rescuer,” said Smith. “I am determined to prevent sex trafficking through awareness from experience. 

Migdalia Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised with three other siblings in a single-parent home. Her mother eventually relocated the family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After tumultuous times that involved sex trafficking, stripping, drug use and abuse, Migdalia was introduced to the salvation of Jesus Christ. 

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Roussin named as Doctors Manitoba's Physician of the Year

Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer says he is honoured to be recognized by an organization representing doctors in the province.

On Monday morning, Doctors Manitoba announced its 2021 Doctors Manitoba Awards, saying this year's winners are "a group of extraordinary specialists and family physicians focused on delivering exceptional care to Manitobans" in a statement.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer, was named Physician of the Year.

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'We need God-songs to help get us through,' Tehillah Worship

A worship band out of Calgary is sharing their songs of celebration and joy with the 'church' of Canada.

Michael Larson is the Worship Pastor at First Assembly Church in Calgary, Alberta, and leads the group called Tehillah Worship. He's also a songwriter/singer. 

"Tehillah is actually one of the Hebrew words for praise. When the original founders of Tehillah formed this gathering, a young adult-focused gathering that happened on Monday nights, they thought it would be a good name. It's been a community for 30 years."

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LISTEN: Founded over 35 years ago, Newsboys releasing new music

Originally founded in 1985 in Australia, the Christian group Newsboys is releasing new upbeat music for ever-adoring fans. 

Their new song, 'Magnetic', was released on May 6, 2021. 

"We've been working on this project for a while now and we are so stoked to finally share it with you all!" the band posted to their Facebook page. 

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Congregation sees over 1,000 baptisms in under 4 months as revival breaks out

A pastor says what simply started as a prayer on his porch has turned into a move of God that has seen over 1,000 people baptized since the end of December.

Pastor Robby Gallaty of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., tells the Baptist Press that it all started after the suicides of two close friends in ministry, pastors Jarrid Wilson and Darren Patrick.

“Both of those men preached at Long Hollow within six months of their passing,” Gallaty says. “They both sat at my dining room table. It made me realize that the last person to say he’s burning out or that ministry is tough is usually the one burning out.

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Acknowledging St. Boniface staff with coffee break during Nurses Week

To honour Nurses Week, the CHVN team took a well-deserved coffee break to the admissions nursing team at St. Boniface Hospital.

Dona Friesen was nominated for Brewed with Gratitude as one of the staff that works in the admissions department of the hospital. 

"She has been such a positive person throughout this whole pandemic," says fellow co-worker Melissa Hansen. It was Hansen who nominated Friesen.

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New, 40-room Ronald McDonald House coming to Winnipeg

The province is giving a charity that provides housing for families with children in the hospital $5 million in matching funds to complete a new project.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is growing with changing needs in Manitoba, and to do that, they need more space. With a $5 million commitment from the Province of Manitoba to matching private donations, the Winnipeg house is moving its location and tripling its capacity from 14 beds to 40.

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MBCI students weigh in on Mennonite Brethren Confession

A high school course is encouraging teens to be involved in open conversations about statements of faith. 

Ramon Rempel is a Bible course teacher at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) in Winnipeg.

"One of the problems you try and work at is, high school kids need to be convinced that the church needs them as thinking, intelligent, reasoning people. Their exposure to Christianity largely comes to them as kind of a set system that they can either accept or reject," says Rempel. 

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Steve Bell among Order of Manitoba recipients

One of Canadian Christian music's favourite artists is being honoured by his home province with its highest honour.

Manitoba's Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon says that Steve Bell will be the recipient of the Order of Manitoba. She made the announcement early Wednesday morning.

"An award-winning singer and songwriter, Bell continues to use his artistic talents to inspire, entertain and inform audiences across Canada and the U.S.," a release from the Lt-Gov.'s office says. "He has received many prestigious awards including multiple Juno Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, Prairie Music Awards and Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards."

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Finding love, family and faith in the shadow of lies

When author Dione Martin was a girl, she often thought about her biological father. Who was he and what did he look like? Did he ever think about her and wonder if she was okay? 

Dione was born in New Orleans. She grew up with her African American mother and stepfather, as well as her four siblings. When she was just five years old she noticed she looked different from her brothers and sisters. She questioned her mother and that is when she found out that her biological father was white.

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How answered prayer for an addict sparked Melissa Helser's 'Revival's In The Air'

Melissa Helser, part of the Bethel Music team, is sharing the beautiful story of how her newest song came to be.

The song 'Revival's in the Air' was released in May of 2020, written by Helser after a family breakthrough.

"I wrote it this last fall for my brother who has been struggling with addiction for a really long time," says Helser.

She says her family had come to a breaking point.

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Community coming together for couple who lost home to fire

A community is rallying behind a young couple to get back on their feet after a house fire.

Steve Penner and Caitlin ‘Cait’ Mieyette lost all their belongings when a fire consumed their mobile home in Ile Des Chenes on Saturday. Only the couple’s pet dog was home at the time. A neighbour was able to let the dog out to safety.

Ritchot Deputy Fire Chief Paul Houle reports that they responded to the call just past 7 p.m. It took about three hours for an emergency crew of around 20 people to contain the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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The Color's new music video conveys child-like wonder of God

Canadian Christian band The Color is releasing a brand new song and music video for their latest work, 'Call of the Wild.'

"It's a song that touches on some of the things that happen when you're more of a kid, the wonder that exists in your life. For me, if I look back on life and my faith journey, there are moments I can reflect on when things were a little more exciting," says Jordan Janzen, the lead singer of the group.

Janzen has once more received a little of that wonder as he and his wife welcomed their first son into the world one month ago. 

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Steve Bell honoured to be among his heroes

A Canadian musician is grateful to walk in the footsteps of his heroes with his latest accomplishment, being awarded his home province's highest award.

"It kind of came out of nowhere, it was nothing I was expecting," Bell says about finding out he will be receiving the Order of Manitoba. "I just got a sudden phone call from the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba saying 'We'd like to offer this to you,'" says Bell. 

He says that when he found out, he went online to see just what this meant for him. 

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A victory story: from Christian refugee to homeless to chess champion

The kindness of a teacher has led to a formerly homeless 10-year-old boy celebrating a chess championship and a new home.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi, more commonly known by his nickname “Tani”, has become one of the youngest official Chess National Masters with a score of 2223. 

In 2017, Tani and his family fled their home country of Nigeria after being persecuted as Christians. They ended up in Manhattan where they started off in a homeless shelter. That is where Tani was introduced to chess for the first time. 

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Seewald overwhelmed by community support during accident recovery

It's been almost nine months since a Manitoban woman was severely injured in a car crash and as she continues to make her way down the road to recovery, her community has stepped up to give her a helping hand.

It's been a hard couple of months for Brianna Seewald of Mitchell, Man. On August 17 of last year, she was travelling down Highway 12 when she suddenly t-boned a vehicle attempting to cross Provincial Road 210. She provided an update on her recovery journey.

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Sadie Robertson Huff welcomes healthy baby girl

Daughter to Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, Sadie Robertson Huff is adding another girl to the family.

"We saw a million little miracles yesterday - the best one being this girl right here," posted Robertson Huff to her Instagram the day after her daughter was born.

The couple released her name the same day. Her name is Honey and she was born May 11, 2021. 

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War Amps celebrates 75 years helping amputees with keytag service

A woman born without a right hand is helping others get a hand up with the War Amps.

Jamie Lunn is the Public Awareness Officer with The War Amps Canada out of Ottawa. 

"The War Amps benefits all amputees across Canada. We have many different programs for both civilian amputees and we also continue to assist war amputees as well," says Lunn.

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Switchfoot releasing 'vibey' single and announces new album

Grammy-award-winning Christian rock band Switchfoot is releasing new music, a little different than fans are used to. 

"This is an album we made to be Switchfoot, not anyone else," says lead singer Jon Foreman. 

The band sat together and live-streamed to their YouTube channel to answer fans' questions about the new song, 'I Need You (to Be Wrong)' and the upcoming album. 

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National Nursing Week: An active example of loving God and loving others

This week is National Nursing Week, an opportunity to shine a light on nurses across the country.

Before taking on the role of public health lead at Trinity Western University (TWU) in June 2020, Taryne Lepp spent twelve years working with the  Fraser Health Authority, including five years as a communicable disease specialist.

A graduate of  TWU's School of Nursing, Lepp has also been on staff at TWU as a nursing researcher, clinical supervisor and course instructor for nurses in training. 

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The 5 best fishing spots around Winnipeg

During the warm days of summer, nothing beats sitting out on the boat or on the shore, spending time with family friends and hopefully catching some fish.

Fishing provides a great opportunity for family & friends to spend some time together and, so long as you don't get carried away in the tackle store, can be an affordable activity.

With two large rivers, smaller streams, and lakes all around, Winnipeg provides plenty of opportunity for some angling fun.

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Blake Shelton's newest release has him reading 'Bible Verses'

Country singer and The Voice coach Blake Shelton has released a new strong, straight from God's Word.

"Bible Verses" is the latest release by Shelton, a faith-based song of hope, New Release Today reports.

"No matter where you are in your faith, there are times you feel like you just don't measure up," Shelton says about his new song in a press release. "'Bible Verses' is an honest take on that conflict, but without preaching too much, it's hopeful that everything will work out in the end."

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