​The Johnstown, PA Service Adventure from 2017. From left to right starting in the back row:  *Leah Rittenhouse, Lea Rossol, and Adrian Zndra. Front row: Jollen Baderstcher and *Krista Rittenhouse. *unit leaders.

Interview with sisters Leah and Krista Rittenhouse
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Susan: I'm sitting here today with Krista and Leah Rittenhouse. Can you say what years you were in Service Adventure?

Leah: I was in Service Adventure as a participant in 2008/2009 and then served as a Service Adventure leader from 2015 through 2018.

Susan: I am wondering if you could share a little about how Service Adventure impacted your life journey.

Leah: One of the things that was present in both my participant experience and my leader experience, was that those were times in my life where I was witnessing and having relationships and living more closely with people who were living in poverty and struggling with some of those challenges, and one of the families that really had an impact was one I got to know at work.  

I worked at a shelter for families experiencing homelessness and there were quite a few refugee families who were coming through our shelter, and so I got to know a number of them really well and just learned more about the challenges that they were facing as new immigrants to our country, and that has been something that I have continued to seek out—cross-cultural relationships—and I've continued to work with refugees in different capacities and have really enjoy that.

But beyond that, living in places where poverty is around me and in front of me and that I have people in my life that are sharing their stories with me—that has given me a whole new perspective on the life of Jesus and the people that he was spending his time with and what it means for me to follow Jesus. It's given me a new perspective on—as I think about the future—where do I want to place myself, and what it means to live in solidarity and to share life with people. It's made me aware of my own privilege, and I have continued to wrestle with what it means to be a person of privilege, so that's something that my time of service really kind of brought to the forefront and it continues to be on the forefront.

Susan: When you were a participant did you ever think that you would be a leader at some point?

Leah: No, not at all.

Susan: How did that come about?

Leah: My service Adventure experience as a participant was really positive and so I really loved the program and what it was for me. I guess my sister and I had dreamed together about—wouldn't it be cool to be in Service Adventure again as leaders—but had never talked about it seriously. But we liked the program enough to at least dream about it.

And then when we were approached by this lovely Susan Nisly about it—it seemed like something that we could do together that would be something we would be excited about—excited about the values of the program—so it seemed like a good fit.

Susan: And Krista agrees?  So, was it really challenging working with your sister on a regular basis?

Leah: No, it was awesome!

Susan: I think it'd be hard to work with her.

Krista: I am pretty agreeable.

 

 

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https://www.pjsn.org/blog/From-participant-to-leader

​Leah was a participant in the Anchorage Service Adventure unit in 2008–2009 and Leah & Krista served as Service Adventure unit leaders in Johnstown, PA from 2015–2018. 

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