The Coastside was comfortably familiar to Kathy Oler when she returned to Half Moon Bay in 2013 after 24 years in Arizona – the mountains and ocean, family and friends, church and community. Not that much had changed. But God had a new and unfamiliar plan in store for Kathy.

In Arizona, Kathy led a widow support group for many years. She thought she might serve God’s kingdom in a similar way upon returning to the coast. Kathy’s plan never quite gelled, but God’s plan began to materialize when she joined a LifeGroup.

“I realized that I wanted to have something”, Kathy said. “I felt God was putting it on my heart to start a life group for my own. I prayed it about a long time and I asked people to pray for me.” God answered her prayers two years ago when Pastor Len put out a call for new LifeGroup leaders for a six-week series titled “40 Days in the Word.”

“I knew God was speaking to me. ‘This is it,’ I thought. I’ll give it a try to see if that’s what God wants and what I want. I made the short-term commitment but I never quit. I had a group that wanted to continue. It was an answer to my prayer.”

For Kathy, the opportunity to help Christians grow in their faith by hosting a LifeGroup in her home is a privilege. “The banquet table is spread. It’s spread because we have the word of God. We’re feasting on the Word of God,” she said. “I have women who are so excited about learning about Jesus. And that’s so fulfilling for me.”

And God has been a constant resource for the group along the way. “We’re learning to be transparent; to trust each other. And that didn’t come immediately. It came step by step through sharing and becoming confident in one another,” Kathy said.

“And I’m learning so much about listening.” She points to James 1:19 as inspiration: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Kathy credits God and her LifeGroup for keeping her days bright, exciting and meaningful. “I’m 80 years old and I have this excitement,” Kathy said. “I want to be a vessel, to be used by God and for God to get the glory!”

By Dan Page, Volunteer Storyteller