© Aaron Stuckel
Recipients of Moffat Family Fund grants pose with their cheques after a short ceremony at the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council building.
Buying the land was only half the battle for Ron and Lorna Silvester, who recently received a $10,000 grant from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation through the Moffat Family Fund.
The Silvester’s owned a ranch near Ardill and Mossbank territory where, for years, they operated Twin Lakes Ranch Ministries. In 2010, in an effort to allow their burgeoning ministry to flourish, they purchased a parcel of land east of Moose Jaw.
“We have 205 acres, and we have coulees on both ends of the property. It’s fun to ride through the coulees,” said Ron. “Last year was our first run so we didn’t have many (kids) through the summer. It was just trying to get it started and getting rolling.”
The ministry offers youth the opportunity to experience the cowboy and rodeo ways of life, with lessons in horsemanship and barrel racing, regular trail rides, overnight camps on their land, and rodeo Bible camps that teach the lessons of the Cowboy Church.
“That’s our whole basis in life is to have a blueprint to know where we’re going, so that’s what we use the bible for,” said Ron. “It’s just the basics of what we do, and we do some minimal teaching, as well.”
But the Silvesters want to expand the ranch’s capabilities to include some wagon rides that they can share their land with their newfound community.
“We put in for a grant to buy a team, harness and a wagon,” said Ron, who will use the $10,000 cheque from the Moffat Family Fund to purchase the horses. “We’ve already found that team and we’re very excited about that.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.