Having felt God’s strong call over many years to challenge the way we operate, the community of YWAM Sheep River committed in November 2019 to a different way of engaging with the resources and community God has given us. Because it is so closely linked to growing in faith, we are calling this different way of operating our “Faith Journey”.

YWAM Sheep River now offers the training phase of our programs without charging fees. Students and participants are not charged for their tuition, housing, and food while with us, but we ask all of our staff and students to join us in prayer as we rely on God’s faithfulness to meet our needs through his miraculous provision.

With this approach to ministry we emphasize four principles:

Everyone in our community, whether staff, student, mission builder, or ministry partner, feels the ownership of praying for the mission of YWAM Turner Valley and its needs.

Together, we unite in prayer for the resources we need to accomplish all God has called us to do.

We are obedient to trust in God’s miraculous generosity to provide for our campus’ needs rather than seeking student lecture phase fees to make ends meet.

We intentionally focus on celebrating what God is doing through and in us.

All we ask is that, when you come, you unite with us in seeking and following God’s call on this campus and your role in it. We want to move away from our schools and programs being a service provided to you in exchange for payment. Instead, we want to recognize that what we are truly doing is welcoming new missionaries to our community, and by extension into our faith journey of seeking God’s provision. The faith journey is a practical way of living this intention, by quite literally removing the payment-for-service model of training. You will not be charged for the training phase of our programs, this includes tuition, housing, and food.

Our bills still need to be paid, but we are no longer looking to students or participants to be the way we receive those finances. All we ask is that all members of YWAM Sheep River seek God in prayer and obedience for provision.

Our community has operated this way since 2019 and this is what we have seen.

  • We regularly meet for prayer as a campus to earnestly seek God.
  • Everyone has the chance to feel the ownership of YWAM Sheep River’s ministry; training, sending, and supporting God’s people to serve among the Unreached.
  • We frequently celebrate God’s provision together as we witness miracles great and small. Our hearts are full of gratitude!!!
  • We choose to live simply, and with the potential of sacrifice. Everything from heating to community celebration is under God’s provision, and we know God may bring us into times of having only the basics.
  • Our programs continue to train and support young missionaries, but now with the benefit of offering a real-time example of God answering our prayers through the provision of this campus’ needs.
  • This experience is part of our discipleship process whereby our students partner with staff, ministry leaders, and community friends, to offer up our needs together to God.

On this faith journey, we need to seek God’s provision to a level we have never had to before. If you have a resource or service you feel would be beneficial to our ministry and would like to make it available, please email info@ywamturnervalley.org and we will let you know if it would be helpful.

We highly value and appreciate the support of those outside of the ministry, and celebrate when God provides in this way. One thing we do want to make absolutely clear is the responsibility for provision lies solely with God, and nobody should feel it is their responsibility to provide for the needs of the ministry where God has not called them to.

In light of this, we ask you to prayerfully consider your offer, and follow what God places on your heart. We want to fully respect what God has told you, and we thank you for your interest in coming alongside us in this journey!

Similarly, if you see a need in the ministry and you can’t be the one to provide for it, we would love it if you could unite with us in praying for the needs of YWAM Turner Valley. And if you come across someone that might want or feel called to help us out, feel free to send them our way!

We are confident this faith journey is the way God has called us to seek His provision, and we trust He will provide. We have already seen God provide miraculously time and time again for our practical needs. We recognize any needs we have are in direct response to what God has called us to do. We will continue to lift our requests to Him in faith, knowing God to be generous.

We are also actively engaged in being responsible stewards of the resources God has given us, so we have established some firm principles:

  • We will never go into debt. We trust God to bring in the resources for anything He has called us to, and are committed to only spending money God has already given us.
  • We will set deadlines for finances or other resources to come in, suitably in advance of when we need to use them. Responsible stewardship means committing to uses of the resources God has given us in a timely way that honours our ministry partners.
  • We want to ensure everybody in and outside of the community knows the responsibility for provision lies solely with God, and nobody feels it is their responsibility to provide for the needs of the ministry where God has not called them to.
  • We want the whole community to be united in praying for the needs of the ministry. We are all on this faith journey together, and one person’s need is everyone’s need.

While we seek to steward what we have wisely, we are looking to God to provide and trusting Him to be our safety net.

We have committed to this faith journey as an act of obedience to God’s specific call on us at this time.

God has been calling this ministry further in to a journey of faith consistently over the past several years. The journey started in 2013 with a word from Ron Smith, a leadership mentor to the campus and founder of the School of Biblical Studies program worldwide. He challenged us to stop charging students fees. This led to a long period of staff discussion, prayer, and consideration. At the end of these discussions, the decision was made not to proceed with a different financial structure at that time.

It was this discussion, coupled with significant ministry needs and diminishing budgets, that led the ministry to introduce our “faith wall” in 2014. This faith wall served as a uniting point for the community to bring prayer requests, words, and answered prayers, offering all up in prayer together. The faith wall carried us through significant challenges, such as no longer having access to local support that provided most of our food for more than twenty years. This caused us to seek God’s provision for eleven community meals a week. Seeking God’s direction together, our newly-appointed kitchen manager created a reasonable plan and budget and, with the aid of large donations of beef and ham, we figured out how to make quality yet inexpensive meals in this new normal.

Over the last six years, as we have gathered at the faith wall, we have become even more aware of all the ways God has answered our prayers for ourselves, our ministry, and the wider world. We continue to be encouraged and challenged in faith as we unite in the centre of our campus daily to pray at the wall.

2019 saw a return to discussing Ron’s word from 2013, off the back of numerous other supporting words, pictures, and Scripture passages spoken over us in the intervening time. These words led us on a journey of discernment and consecration. This included frequent and intentional staff discussions, prayer times, and gathering together over several months. This was more than just discernment, but also a period of growing in unity, obedience, faith, and prayer. It was a time of consecration to prepare us for the decision made in November 2019. This decision was to proceed with a different way of seeking finances and uniting as a ministry community – the “faith journey”.

We feel this “faith journey” is the way God has called us to operate, and will move our community to be even more unified, to grow our opportunities to express our faith, and to reinforce staff and students feeling genuine partnership in our missional call.

Our faith journey only represents the way God has called our ministry to run currently. It does not represent the ‘right’ way of doing things for anyone other than us, nor is it a fundamentally better way for all ministries to run. Committing to this journey has required a great deal of prayer and discussion to discern whether God truly is calling us to this, and is not the kind of decision to take lightly.

Our encouragement to other ministries is simply to prayerfully and thoughtfully follow God’s calling for their ministry.

+1 (403) 933-3755

Give us a call and one of our staff will be happy to discuss this further with you.


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