About Us

YWAM Santa Fe is a part of Youth With a Mission Worldwide.

Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.

Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently work in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.

One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff (known as “YWAMers”) come from over 130 countries, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.

Learn more about Youth With a Mission.

Karen Lafferty

Born February 29th, 1948 (leap year), Karen spent her growing up years in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Karen Lafferty is probably best known in the Christian world as the author of the scripture chorus "Seek Ye First." This chorus, and its message, has been key in opening doors for Karen around the world and found in most major hymnals today. Karen's public performance began during her teenage years as she participated in musical groups ranging from folk and rock groups to marching band, stage band, orchestra, choir and solo performances. She received the majority of her formal musical training at Eastern New Mexico University earning a Bachelor of Music Education.

Karen spent her first years in ministry with the Christian recording company Maranatha! Music, which was an outgrowth of Calvary Chapel. There she recorded four albums. As she began to have invitations to share her music outside the USA, she began to see the incredible potential that contemporary Christian music had in reaching youth around the world. Karen began to seek the Lord concerning this new discovery and a strong burden to be involved in world missions full time was birthed. After completing missionary training in Holland with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Karen founded Musicians For Missions International (MFMI) in 1981 as a part of YWAM in Amsterdam, Holland. She states, "God has called me to be a 'Musicianary'; to seek those places where others aren't going and to disciple the national musicians, who can then reach their own nations. I believe there are other Christian musicians with that calling too. MFMI's goal is to work with the local church to facilitate these musicians into ministry, especially "missions."

For more than two decades Karen has concentrated her energies on developing MFMI. She has led many multinational music teams on tours in more than 50 countries; held numerous music seminars and short term outreaches for musicians; launched a "School of "Music In Missions" as part of YWAM's University of the Nations and has produced and assisted with many recordings in several languages.  While living in Amsterdam, she and the MFMI staff musicians were regularly involved with ministry to prostitutes and street people.

In 1995 after leading the first "School of Music in Missions" in Amsterdam, Karen felt she needed to return to the US to help her elderly parents. She relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico and incorporated YWAM Santa Fe to be the new home for Musicians For Missions International. Although Karen has become very involved with local Santa Fe churches, her call to the nations remains strong. She is still a world traveling troubadour who loves to share the Love of Jesus through music.     In 2022 Karen released her autobiography (with the help of Becky Hefty) entitled "Seek Ye First: The Karen Lafferty Story".  It is full of stories of the Jesus Movement and mission adventures, but is also told with honesty and transparency.  Karen's prayer is that readers will see the incredible healing love of God that will give them faith and hope for their own lives.

Released with Credo Publishing - May 2022


See more about Karen Lafferty and purchase her music and biography at Karen Lafferty.com

Marianne Millar

Growing up in Southern California, Marianne Millar was called to the arts at a very young age.  Always known as "the artist" in school, she began to seriously pursue painting as an art student at the University of California, Davis.  After earning degrees in Fine Art, Art History and some further study in Illustration, Marianne embarked on her painting career in 1993 with a single portrait of a Native American. 

A fascination with culture and indigenous art spilled over into her richly detailed paintings of historical Native American figures, dances and ceremonials and indigenous artifacts.  

As her career expanded, Marianne began showing her work in various galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She has been blessed to sell her work to many individuals and corporations around the country and has a following of fans from around the world.

In 2006, Marianne began to feel the tug of the Lord calling her into missions and decided to give Youth With a Mission a try.  Her "short term" call has turned into ten years were she has served in Antigua, Guatemala, all through Central America and the Caribbean and now in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In becoming established with YWAM Santa Fe, Marianne felt the Lord graciously call her back into painting and is now producing fine art professionally again and is showing her work at the Wiford Gallery of Santa Fe.

"Being able to merge my ministry, my love of indigenous cultures, and my art has been a great gift and is what makes YWAM Santa Fe the perfect home for me."   - Marianne