In 1999, Laura Baber completed the Center for Spiritual Formation’s Ministry of Spiritual Direction Program. While living in Pennsylvania, she met with a few spiritual directees as she practiced and honed the art of prayerful listening. She led retreats as congregations invited her. In 2006, Laura moved to Kentucky and the floodgates seemed to open. Immediately two women began meeting with her for spiritual direction and the seed of the Equipping Lydia vision took root. By 2008, she had 180 appointments throughout the course of that year. The overwhelming refrain was that women were “drying up” in their communities of faith. They needed a place to go where they could drink deeply from the well of God’s love without having to defend or explain prayer, quiet, listening, weeping, or extended worship.
As Equipping Lydia grew, a group of “prayer midwives” interceded for this challenge and discerned the need for Spiritual Refreshment Retreats. Since then Equipping Lydia has hosted numerous retreats in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia, seen hundreds of men and women through the ministry of spiritual direction, created and held space for men and women of faith to discern if they are being called to become Spiritual Directors, provided spiritual formation leadership mentoring and training, offered numerous spiritual formation groups and holy listening sessions.
Equipping Lydia continues to envision a world where Christian women are renewed, awakened. inspired, supported and equipped leaders. We know that there are many women who are leading in their homes, churches, communities and abroad who are in need of REST. Equipping Lydia holds space for them to be renewed, be equipped, to serve and provides tools that that can aid them towards becoming spiritually mature leaders.