Glacier View Ranch was blessed to host the Rocky Mountain Conference women’s ministries group on its campus, Sept. 23-25,2022. Jana Thurber, RMC women’s ministries director, coordinated the weekend’s program, which brought over 100 women and teen girls from throughout the conference. “When God Enters Your Story…You Become God’s Wonder Woman!” was the retreat theme based on Eph. 6:10-18 of  becoming “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” when we wear his armor.

The main speaker, Sharon Leach, delved into the stories of Old Testament women, especially Rahab, Abigal and Mrs. Noah. Jana Thurber said, “Sharon used creativity and humor to drive home new spiritual perspectives from the Bible stories of women in Jesus’ lineage. We were all blessed by our speaker’s insights on how God masterfully used Jesus’ grandmothers to further His purposes.”

A heavenly worship and praise atmosphere was created by the incredible Praise Team put together by Suzie Sendros. The praise team included Melissa Clouzet, professional vocalist and Melanie Goetz on piano and vocals. Vickie Kahler and Tamara Mallory also were vocalists, and Heidi Sorensen played violin. We were blessed by the spiritual atmosphere created by their music and were consistently brought to the throne room through their leading in songs of praise and adoration to our Most Holy God.

Dick Stenbakken, the Saturday evening presenter, displayed his collection of authentic pieces of the Roman warrior’s armor. He demonstrated the different pieces a warrior wore, and how they were used as protection. He explained how each piece tied into the “Armor of God” spiritual application.

The GRV Elk Room hosted four separate areas for journaling, reflecting, praying and snacking, each creatively arranged by members of the RMC women’s ministry team: Alicia Knutsen, Amber Fellers, Ardis Stenbakken, Carol Spahr, Elizabeth Arroyo, Jackie Hayes, Jerilyn Pester, Jill Anderson, Judy Kelly, Marlene Poole, Marta Wells, Mary Perez-Gonzalez, Mona Fellers, Raelyn Wortman, Stefanie Deapen, and Valerie Johnson.

The break-out presenters, special workshop speakers, and teen leaders covered pertinent subjects including Stefanie Deapen’s “Lets ‘Meat,” Jill Anderson’s “Totally Titus Two Women,” and Alicia Patterson’s presentation on “Fearless Females Finding Courage in A Fearful World.” Mary Phillips, a health coach, spoke on how a healthy mind creates a healthy body. Jessyka Dooley and Vanessa Alarcon engaged the teens with a time of learning about the Armor of God by using Sour Patch Kids candy and other candy, and then internalizing their lessons.

Additionally, professional counselors Marta Wells, Sandy Eickmann, JoAnne Jones, and Lynnette Cunningham were available for private counseling appointments.

The weekend was packed with activities, interspersed with rest and private time, and an opportunity to walk around the lake and stop at designated places to journal about each piece in the Armor of God.

Many women participated in a service project by making of gift bags for women and children in women’s shelters around our conference. Gratitude goes to all attendees who donated items for this project. As the gift bags were creatively put together, individual prayers ascended that God would connect the customized bags with just the right recipients.

Karen Dooley, together with the regular GVR staff and other volunteers, made sure the women had delicious food to eat, including those who had special dietary needs.

Nancy Buxton, Mid-American Union women’s ministry director, gave her support, friendship, and prayers to the RMC team.

Among the volunteers was a group of Campion Academy students who arrived at check-in time, dressed in white shirts and black pants to assist the women with bringing in their luggage. This made many participants feel special.

“God truly blessed our Spirit–led fellowship together in the mountains,” concluded Thurber. “God was present in the awesome prayer room. His presence was felt while fellowshipping with Him on the prayer walk around the lake. And in the many conversations and interactive workshops and presentations we knew He was there with us. We hope more of our RMC women will be able to join us for next year’s retreat, Sept. 22-24, 2023.  We are beginning our planning soon and you won’t want to miss out on a great weekend together at next year’s refreshing mountain retreat at Glacier View Ranch!”

Julia Hansen serves as director of Guest Services at Glacier View Ranch.