“In God, there is no retirement.” — At 76 years old, Whelma continues to actively preach the gospel and lead a Victory group. She and the rest of the women she is leading prove that no matter how old we are, God can use us to fulfill His purpose.
Prior to the lockdown, my Victory group would always meet and walk together in our village. That’s something we always looked forward to. Our weekly meetings became avenues for us to share our lives with each other—which is very important, especially at our age.
When the enhanced community quarantine was imposed, we knew that we could no longer meet like we used to. But we are thankful that God has provided means for us to still meet virtually. When I learned that we could meet online through a messaging app, it made me really happy. It’s always a joy to see the people in our group and witness God’s faithfulness in their lives.
Our weekly online meetings are usually held on a Wednesday. We start at 2:00 p.m and usually end at 4:00 p.m. Our group, composed of fifteen women in their 60s and 70s, loves to talk and share different stories with each other. Sometimes, even after we’re done with everything, we still continue to chat and catch up with one another.
We start our Victory group meetings with a prayer. After that, each of us recounts weeklong testimonies of God’s goodness in our lives and in our families. We also praise God before doing our group discussions.
In this challenging time, staying connected with our Victory groups is so important. Sharing how God turns our problems into testimonies goes a long way in encouraging us and bringing us hope. Most of us are already in the twilight of our years and dealing with different health issues. By meeting together, we are reminded of God’s promise in Isaiah 46:4 that helps us be strong in our faith:
“. . . even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
In God, there is no retirement. No matter how old we are, God can use us to lead people to Him. One of the ladies in my Victory group once shared with me how happy she was to finally have a relationship with Christ—and hoped she had heard God’s word a little early in life. Whenever I remember that, I always get encouraged to continue doing what God has called me to do. Though I never really saw myself leading a group before, God showed me that He can strengthen me beyond my ability and use me in this capacity.
Whelma Hermano is a former OFW with seven children. At 76 years old, she faithfully leads a Victory group for seniors in Victory Santa Rosa.