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What Could I Offer?

Lillian Wiberg

  • FROM Freehold, NJ

  • NOW Henrico, VA

I have always wanted to go on a medical mission trip, as I am a nurse. However, “always” usually refers to your whole life.

My husband found the Lord by watching a television evangelist, and I committed to God shortly after noticing the change in him, some 47 years ago. I grew in my faith through our attendance at my local church and also the local chapter of a global Kingdom movement called Aglow. We became active in our church and began making decisions based on God's leading in our lives.

My husband retired without a retirement fund. I had been working in administrative positions in nursing at a psychiatric hospital, but was also between jobs. I felt the Lord call me to work at a detox center with alcoholics and drug addicts, which I knew nothing about! God showed me that I was on His mission field, right here at home. So I didn’t go away on a mission trip.

At one point our church was sending another group on a medical mission trip, and at the last minute one of the nurses could not go. I was asked to take her place! It turns out I could not get off from work. I was so disappointed. I continued to work at the detox center for 18 years until I retired at 65.

Several years before I retired, I realized that my husband was having memory problems. He was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My heart’s desire to go on a medical mission trip faded like the sunset. I moved to Henrico to be close to my children so they could help me care for my husband. The Lord showed me I was once again on His mission field, until 2 years ago when he went home to heaven.

In the beginning of this year I made a bucket list. Number one on my list was, “Go on a mission trip!” That very Sunday, I discovered that a women's team from my church was going to Linda Vista, Costa Rica, to work with at-risk girls! I was excited, but hesitant. I’m in my 80’s now, so I thought, what could I offer?

But I found out it was not all about me, but what God had to offer the at-risk, 5th and 6th grade girls in Costa Rica. I had an abusive childhood—an alcoholic and sexually abusive father—just like some of those girls, so I could relate to them. I was asked to give my childhood testimony to them, and many came forward. We prayed and cried with them. I realized that God will use us when we are available and willing to be used by Him.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, but it wasn’t about me; it was about them. I am so grateful the Lord granted me the gift of “going,” which had been my heart’s desire for so many years.

Lillian Wiberg is a spunky 80-something who is still not afraid to try new things. From playing soccer to keeping homeless people, Lillian lives with audacious compassion. Confident that opportunities to help people are everywhere, Lillian prays and meets the needs right in front of her. Lillian's latest venture is the fast-growing Caregivers Education & Support Group where she encourages people managing long-term care for friends and family. Want to chat with Lillian? Click here and we’ll have her contact you!

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