HISTORY OF TRR
Thirty years ago a very close friend of ours was killed in a canoeing accident at a camp in NSW whilst he was saving a girls life.
This reality check made us ‘Paul & Cheryl’ take a hard look at what God wanted us to do with our lives. We took nine months off to do voluntary work in Teen Ranch Scotland and Teen Ranch Canada. This amazing opportunity to get away and ‘listen to God’s still small voice’ brought us back to Australia with a clear vision to step out in faith and start looking for land to build a Christian Youth Camp.
Twelve months to the day after arriving back in Australia, looking at properties in ACT, NSW & QLD, we found the property now know as Tunnel Ridge Ranch. Paul and I were blessed to own our home in Sydney and so we sold it to purchase the property. Then we lived with Paul’s father for two years saving up enough money to build the shell of a house. We moved in with no water, sewage, power, internal walls or verandah rail.
Tunnel Ridge Ranch has been set up as a not for profit Incorporated Association. Paul & I own the land and our house and TRR owns all the buildings and infrastructure on the property. All these buildings have been built by the generous donation of people’s time and money. In the event the ministry is sold all the finances from the assets belonging to the ranch would be given to another ministry with similar aims and objectives.
We have the support and are accountable too a board of eight people, a tax deductible building fund, yearly audits, NARTA accreditation and are members of Christian Venues Association.
We have had so many signposts over the years confirming that this is where and what God wants us to be doing with our lives. Most recently after 20 years of working at the ranch, we were feeling burnt out and too old to keep going. God opened the door and we started the heart wrenching exploration of leasing, sharing and even selling the ministry. Thankfully God closed the door and we new that He wanted us to stay. With this fresh vision we also knew that we would have to do things differently, hiring more staff and eventually employing a program manager. Last year for the first time ever we were able to pay all our bills through camp fees, another signpost keeping us in the right direction.
The first MMM project headed by Stewart Linley was our swimming dam, ”just three small walls she said!” this is without a doubt the best swimming dam any camp could have! And it has brought so much fun to all the kids who come to TRR
Then the team came back again and again, helping us with the Gazebo, Dining Room, Tents, Dorms and Games Hall.
We are so very great full for these amazing guys Stewart Linley – Paul Sails – John Cooper along with their faithful QLD team’s and amazing wives. Afternoon tea ice creams were a tradition as well as morning smoke-o where hearing these guys pray was on a level all it’s own.
Words cannot express our love & gratitude for these guys and the privilege of serving God together with them!