Potluck Provides New Friendship!—

The children’s ministry leadership training retreats are not just a time to be equipped with wise teaching and connected to excellent resources. They are an opportunity for the spirit of God to work and move in profound and creative ways. My first prayer as I prepare for the retreat is “Lord, let me be open to your movement. Open my eyes to any divine appointments you are preparing for me”.

God keeps answering that prayer most emphatically by the “potluck” roommate He provides.

For the past two years I have arrived at Ridge Haven not knowing who my roommate will be. I plunk my suitcase down next to a complete stranger’s and pack them up two days later in the presence of a dear friend. In 2022, my first year attending this retreat, I was placed with a roommate who works for a church 1,000 miles from my own, but who happens to live 20 miles down the road from my sister in law! This summer I was able to connect with her while visiting family, attend her church, and spend time walking and talking together…finding encouragement and delight in our deepening friendship.

In 2023, I would be placed with a different roommate. One who, again, lives geographically far from me, but who deeply understood things about my family situation in a way I couldn’t understand myself. This woman was uniquely placed by God to speak into my life and pray over my concerns and heartaches in a way very few people could. The precious time we spent in conversation and prayer caused peace to overflow from me into my extended family at a time it was desperately needed. The very memory of that time brings tears to my eyes!

I rejoice in my Heavenly Father who delights in surprising me with exactly what I need in a roommate…and I don’t have to do anything but show up ready to be blessed!

Carrie Vance 

2022 Certification  Graduate