Since childhood, Helen Gibson has wanted to serve others. At 69, she is expanding her quest of service by studying health evangelism at Weimar Institute.
Gibson’s life-changing story begins in Missouri with the passing of her mother-in-law in 2013. She and her husband had been caring for his mother for 15 years. Nine months later, they found out he had colon cancer. They began treatment for him, but unfortunately he passed away six months later. She felt impressed by God to downsize from a 3000 square foot house and all the stuff that tied her down there.
“I didn’t want to spend all my energy on myself.”
After giving most everything away, she decided that until she knew exactly what God wanted her to do, she would visit with her four children and keep praying. Later, Gibson found herself in Canada trying to get involved in volunteer work there. However, that wasn’t part of God’s plan.
Then the thought came to her, “You should go to Weimar”. She felt puzzled. Why would she need to go to Weimar? What was there for her to do? Brushing the idea aside, she focused her thoughts elsewhere. However, by the end of summer of 2016, things in Canada weren’t working out like she had hoped they would. She didn’t know what to do until her brother threw in his suggestion: “Why don’t you go to Weimar?”
“Then I said to the Lord, ok if you can send me to Weimar on $250, I will know that’s where you want me to be.”
Still in Canada, over 1400 miles away from Weimar, California, with only $250, she knew that would be a miracle.
The first miraculous event was that she flew from Canada to Spokane, Washington, for only $30. Sunday, before she was set to fly to Weimar, they found a ticket for only $207.
“So I said, ok, that’s less than $250. I guess God wants me here. So I came and enrolled in the health evangelism program at the institute. That’s why I’m here.”
As a young adult, Gibson earned a college degree as a secretary, but says after she graduated, she was unsure of what she was supposed to do in life. After several doors closed, a window finally opened, when her sister commented that her school needed an assistant dean. She applied, got the job, and went on to work there for a year.
At that time, her eldest sister and brother-in-law were serving as missionaries in Africa. To their dismay, Gibson’s sister got hepatitis and passed away while still in the mission field, leaving behind two small children at the ages of five and three and a half. Their father asked his children: “What are we going to do? We need a mother for you kids.” Then Greg, Gibson’s nephew, replied: “Why don’t we ask Aunt Helen to be our mom?” They did exactly that and Gibson and her brother-in-law, John, got married. She became a mom and raised her sister’s children as well as having two more later on.
Meanwhile years later, she is a college student at Weimar Institute with repeated confessions of how much she’s enjoying her time at college. She shared that all of the staff and students have made her feel more than welcome, and she very much loves and appreciates her Weimar family. She especially loves that, through the health program, she has the opportunity to participate in health expos and outreach activities.
“I’ve learned a new way to serve.”
Gibson’s program ends in December. As for her future, she gave a simple response: “I don’t know.” She says she’d like to stay at Weimar and love on people in need, but for now, she’s leaving it in God’s capable hands.
Her favorite Bible verse is Matthew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Written by: Andrea McCraw, a senior at Weimar Academy