We call it the Prayer Board. We were in Mexico participating in Titus Project when it was built, but it has come to dramatically shape the journey God has us on as a YWAM campus this year. I (Michael) wish I could tell the origin story in detail, but instead I’ll focus on the testimony of God’s faithfulness when we come to Him in prayer.
The current season for YWAM Turner Valley has been one many would call “challenging,” but all of us involved have found this season one of our most fruitful and joy-filled. The challenge started with our School of Biblical Studies student numbers being very low: four students to be exact. This was fewer than half of the students we had last year. With school fees being a major source of income for the campus, low student numbers meant that many items laid out in budgets had no foreseeable source of income. We would keep the lights and heat on, and people would not starve, but main key elements of running our campus were not going to happen without miraculous provision. More recently, a major supporter of our ministry – a food bank in Calgary – did not renew its longstanding support of our mission. The food bank had been providing food for our campus for over fifteen years. This was in part how we were able to keep fees for both staff and participants low. With Helen overseeing our Food Services department, this directly affects her day-to-day work life.
Now for the awesome testimony part. All of these needs inspired an increased focus on prayer in our community, but not only for financial issues – for any and every thing we could think to bring to God. The Prayer Board was built and at 5:00pm each day people meet to pray for what is on the board. White pieces of paper have needs and requests on them. Pink pieces of paper have words and pictures from God recorded on them. Finally, the yellow pieces of paper were for answered prayers.
When I got back from Titus Project, the biggest number of papers were white, but quickly there was so much yellow we had to start moving them to the edge of the Prayer Board, as you can see in the above picture. There has been a steady flow of pink also, such an encouragement to our ministry. All that yellow represents thousands of dollars and other miracles, all provided by our heavenly Father. It also represents a season that should have felt like just scraping by, but has instead felt more abundant than any of the past years I have been on this campus. This board as a whole represents a coming together of our community in prayer, and I believe a preparation for an exciting journey with God in the near future. As for our food situation there is a peace in the sense that even though we do not know yet how it will look to see such a major support go away, we are not nervous about it. Actually the people who should be the most nervous, like Helen, are some of the most at peace. There is an excitement growing amongst us, shaped by all the yellow on the Prayer Board, to see what God is going to do in this next season.
I share this because in Revelation it speaks of how people overcame the Accuser by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11) . I know for a fact I am covered by the blood of the Lamb, and through sharing my testimony I come against the lies of Satan both in my own life, but hopefully in yours as you read this. We serve a Father who is our provider and longs to give to us abundantly, but sometimes we hold on so tightly to other sources of provision we miss the adventure of seeing God answer our prayers. I hope this post encourages you wherever you are at. Please feel free to join us in praying for God’s continued provision for our campus, and you can be a part of seeing those white pieces of paper become yellow testimonies.