6 | Lilia Oberman: My Story


When my husband passed away in September 2012, my first thought was to move to Connecticut to live with my son and daughter-in-law, who have a place for me in their home. Another idea was to move with my older sister to South Carolina to a development for active adults—like being on a cruise 24/7, except you are on land—and be close to others in my close-knit, extended family.


As it turned out, God had another plan. During this season of uncertainty, my home church was closed for reasons that will take me too long to explain. Soon after, a friend mentioned that a church just started in the school in my neighborhood. One thing led to another, and I found myself going to Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax. I was attracted by the biblical teaching and the dedicated and friendly group of energetic young people. Inevitably, I joined the small group in Fairfax and enjoyed getting to know my “adopted family.”

In the spring of 2015, I was temporarily away for four months to be near my granddaughter who had her second baby. Again, I seriously considered downsizing and moving to Athens, Georgia, where my granddaughter lives. My small group prayed for me and sent a care package that really touched my heart. I felt loved even while I was away.


Somehow, I came back home to Fairfax the very Sunday it was announced that our pastor was leaving. It was a very sad time. But the months without a lead pastor at Harvest became a seminal experience for me. I saw how faithful and godly spiritual leaders dealt with a very difficult situation. Even in my old age, “trust and obey” still works for me, and I experienced the truth that our ultimate head is the living God who desires to continue His work at Harvest. He used obedient and faithful elders and their families to keep us together. New people started visiting Harvest, and in due time, God brought Pastor Jeff, Carissa, Jolie, Judah, Jacey, and Javan. Together, they have provoked me to love and good deeds and to stay in the word with such passion and intentionality!

No, it is not time for me to move yet. No, I have not outlived my usefulness, though I am an octogenarian amongst these millennials and thirty-somethings. I am discovering that there is no generation gap as long as I am willing to laugh at my senior moments and learn new skills such as navigating the church website and downloading apps.

I am encouraged to see young people being prayer warriors and God working among us at Harvest. I am looking forward to making lifelong friends in our new small group in Centreville. Until the Lord moves me, I am here to stay, “for it is God who is at work in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).