Obituary of Jackie Annette (Bell) Heistad
Jackie passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 9th, 2023, at De Salaberry District Health Centre, St. Pierre-Jolys, MB, with her family by her side.
She was born on September 20, 1965, to Paul and Elsie (Buchinski) Belcheff in Invermay, Saskatchewan.
She grew up on their family farm northwest of Margo, SK, and attended Margo School. She was very close with her family and grew up with traditional family values, celebrating holidays together with her grandparents and aunt and uncle. She was a good athlete and participated in many sports including track and field, volleyball, fastball, figure skating, and later on in life discovered that she loved roller blading and would try to get Jason and Judah to join her.
Jackie loved the outdoors and in the winter she loved snowmobiling on her JAG Arctic Cat 2000 and spent many hours snowmobiling with her sister, Brenda, or best friends Gaylene and Sherry.
She also loved spending time with her parents helping out on the farm and spent a lot of time helping her Dad on his grain farm and could drive anything from combine, swather, tractor, grain truck, etc., and during harvest would spend lots of time on the combine writing songs. Her Dad often addressed her as "My Jackie," saying it with love and pride as they worked closely together on the farm.
Everyone loved being around Jackie as she would light up a room, had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to laugh and to joke around. She had a magnetic, caring, social personality and was fun to be around. When you spoke with her, you felt the positive energy, like you were the only one in the room as she was always very approachable and focused on your conversation. Cooking and doing dishes (indoor work) wasn't really of interest and when it came to helping her Mom make meals for harvest and seeding, her mother would rather her play and sing to her, and her younger sister got stuck helping out..lol. Jackie had a very deep and loving connection with her Mother as they would often pray together. Jackie and Brenda were always very close growing up and continued to be close. While in school, Jackie was also like a big sister to Brenda's friends and was generous to take them all out to movies, and many other events, often in her Dad's red crew cab.
She was very musically gifted and blessed with a beautiful singing voice. She learned to play guitar (self taught) at a young age and she and her sister were asked to sing at many weddings, showers, and many other events. Jackie would sing lead and Brenda harmony. Jackie loved to sing and would often negotiate to get Brenda to sing with her at talent contests. She had a love of nature and animals and would often be found practicing sitting on top of a steel grain bin, or inside a grain bin (as the acoustics were good) or on the lawn singing to her dog and cats.
When it came to discussing her career aspirations, she was passionate about music and always wanted to go to Nashville, TN. So for her graduation present, her parents took her to Nashville. She fell in love with it and wanted to move there and learn how to write and play music. In the early 90's she entered the Bud Country Talent Search and won. As part of the win, she performed at the Craven Jamboree near Regina on the big stage with The Johner Brothers backing her up. Craven became an annual family event. She and her dad would get up early and line up with the lawn chairs and when the gates opened, would run down the hill and set up their lawn chairs as close to the stage as possible. Her passion for music grew and she eventually moved to Nashville.
During her time in Nashville, she met a lot of talented, like-minded musicians and songwriters, many of whom she met at songwriter's circles and became friends with well known country music artists. She learned a lot, including improving her song writing abilities and opened up for artists like Randy Travis and collaborated with many others including playing percussion in concert with Michael McDonald from the Dube Brothers. She was honoured to have been awarded Tennessee Songwriter of the Year in 1992 and also had the opportunity to perform at the Grand Ole Opry that same year. She had won many other awards and accolades.
One of the many highlights was in the studio, working with studio musicians who worked with Elvis Presley, Alabama, producers who worked with many other popular artists (Nashville Royalty Mark Birchfield, Owen Bradley) and many other popular artists while having her dad, Paul, right by her side in the studio who also had musical experience in Nashville.
Her mother's business was growing and Jackie moved back home to help her mother with her business. In 2003, she met Jason (who she knew of previously from talent contests) and they became friends and on October 9, 2003, at the Toronto Airport Church she said "Yes" to Jason's proposal and on August 28, 2004, they were married in Regina, SK. On July 25, 2006, they were blessed with a miracle son, Judah Elisha Heistad. Shortly afterwards, they settled in Regina and met Femi and Remi Ogunrinde based out of Lighthouse to All Nations Church and served for 14 years as worship leaders, playing live music and spreading the gospel through playing music and raising a musical son.
In 2005, a songwriter by the name of JoAnn McFatter and Paul Keith Davis came to Regina and released an impartation of prophetic songs and a spiritual gift was passed on to Jackie and Jason as well as a couple from Manitoba in Todd and Melanie Toews. Since then, Jackie's ministry had blossomed both locally and in other nations, such as Nigeria and Israel.
In July 2019, Jackie and Jason were invited to be worship leaders at the 40th Anniversary at the Rock Lake Ministries Reunion and met Roger Armbruster with whom they deeply connected. Roger was an instrumental leader who worked to help many people from different backgrounds and different churches who spoke about healing of the land and who realized the importance of relationship with the Indigenous People of the land in addressing the social, economic and environmental issues of our day. His message resonated with them, doors opened, relationships grew and they ended up moving to the Niverville area by May 1, 2021, which is where they made their home by October 1, 2021.
During the season of Covid, especially during the summer and fall 2021, government health restrictions allowed for greater numbers of people to meet outdoors than indoors. Therefore, during that season, a number of the Maranatha church services were held on the Church Parking Lot with Jason and Jackie leading worship from a flatbed trailer. Many people in the community including people driving by on Main Street who would stop and listen to Jackie's powerful, penetrating voice and were attracted to her songs and message. Subsequently, a number of those people started attending Maranatha by that fall.
Over the next year and a half, Jackie imparted her free flowing style of worship to other worship leaders at Maranatha so that they, too, started to flow at a deeper heart level with less script and more spontaneity and creativity. Her legacy lies not just with what she accomplished in her lifetime, but also in the lives of those that she has impacted and imparted her gifting to.
The very first service where she led worship at Maranatha during the pandemic, one of the members of the church who was watching online saw a picture of what was happening during the worship. People had gifts of the Spirit inside of them, like doves inside of a cage, but when Jackie released her songs, he saw these doves were being released out of the cage and people were set free. Free to fly like a dove, like a butterfly or like an eagle. She focused on the positive helping people believe that there was something of value inside of them and to be confident.
Jackie's gifting had great commercial value, and was marketable as merchandise, but in the end, instead of putting her gift up for sale, she chose to give it away so that others could receive it freely, and in turn, be fruitful and multiply the seeds that she had freely planted in them so that they, in turn, could bless others. Jackie has touched thousands of people around the world with her music, her words, and her hope was to help people by releasing the glory that is already inside of them and bring them closer to the Lord.
Jackie was predeceased by her Mother (Elsie Belcheff), grandparents Paul and Annie Buchinski; grandparents Mike and Maria Belcheff, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband Jason; son Judah; her father Paul Belcheff; sister Brenda Belcheff (Dave Moffatt); mother-in-law Lorna Heistad; sister-in-law Brenda Presnell; nephew Jesse Presnell; Aunt Mary (Joe) Kowalyshyn; Uncle Marion (Doreen) Buchinski; Aunt Pat Buchinski; Aunt Lillian Ziola and many cousins, extended family and friends.
The family would like to extend a very special sincere thank you for the many people that helped Jackie through her ordeal with sickness, including those who helped as caregivers for their son while they were away, as well as the doctors, nurses and staff in Canada and in Mexico, and also to Adele, CEO of Global Health Care Connections, for the wonderful care and compassion showed throughout Jackie's stay. They went above and beyond the call of duty, and made Jackie comfortable in a very difficult situation.
In lieu of flowers, those who are wishing to give a love gift in Jackie's memory and to receive an official income tax receipt at year's end for the same may do so by directing their gift to the Project Fund entitled Music to the Nations that is managed and administered by the Maranatha Board of Directors who distribute all of the funds that go into this project to the ongoing needs of Jason and Judah Heistad.
Please make all donations wishing an income tax receipt payable to Maranatha Niverville Inc., but do not write either the Project Name (Music to the Nations) or the names of Jason and Judah on the memo line of the cheque itself. That information should be written in a separate sheet of paper, and the funds will be directed accordingly by the board of Maranatha Niverville Inc., which is also a Registered Charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. To make an online donation, simply go to the maranathaniverville.church website, and click on the "Jackie's Celebration of Life" link where you will soon find an online donation option.
There will be two Celebration of Life Services for Jackie, as follows:
*Monday, August 7, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. Maranatha Niverville Church, 99 Main St., Niverville, MB (click HERE to watch the livestream).
*Friday, August 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Lighthouse to All Nations Church, 686 Pasqua St, Regina, SK, with lunch to follow
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Birchwood Funeral Chapel Co-op, and to the Leadership Teams of Maranatha Niverville (August 7) and of Lighthouse to All Nations in Regina (August 11).