Serving Through the Seasons of Life

Ingegerd Elin Larson, 1930-2023: A health problem brought this missionary home. Hear how she kept giving and serving for the more than 50 years that followed and left a legacy for those who come after her.


Marti Wade


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March 7, 2024


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Check out this article, Serving Through the Seasons of Life: Hear how Ingegard Larson kept giving and serving for the more than 50 years after a health problem brought her home, leaving a legacy for others.


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A single woman in Africa

It was 1958 when a 28-year-old single woman who had trained as a nurse completed a Bible school degree and got on a plane to Africa. Her church had sent her to join a medical ministry in Morocco and Tunisia with an organization called North Africa Mission. Later, that ministry would be renamed Arab World Ministries and eventually become part of Pioneers.

Did Ingie think she’d spend the rest of her life in North Africa? Her own health problems brought that chapter to a close by the mid-1960s—hepatitis. But her time in the Arab world changed the trajectory of her life for the next 50 years. It also shaped the legacy she would leave when she died in 2023 at the age of 93.

Starting over in her thirties

Ingegerd Elin Larson had already been through one big, unexpected life transition. Born in Sweden as the youngest of 11 children, she lost her mother when she was only three years old and went to live with an older sister in the U.S. when she was only five.

When she arrived in America as a young child, Ingie probably had no idea what her life there would hold. Coming back from Africa in her mid-30s, she was better equipped. To continue carrying out her calling, she joined a church with a strong focus on missions. Over the years, she would host missionaries in her home. She also used her professional skills and experience to serve as a nurse and nursing instructor in Pennsylvania and earned several more degrees and honors before retiring from full-time nursing in 1977.

A legacy of loving internationals in the U.S.

Coming off the mission field didn’t mean Ingie’s days of cross-cultural ministry were over, either. Throughout her life, her memories of North Africa and her love for the people there led Ingie to build relationships with Arabs, Africans and others who had come to the U.S. Some she hosted in her home. Even when she was in her 90s, she taught English as a Second Language classes and made sure each of her students received a copy of the New Testament in their own language.

Leaving a legacy that endures

Ingie was single all her life. She had no children and outlived all her siblings, though numerous nephews and nieces survived her. As she got older, she made plans for her estate to help others serve and share the gospel among the world’s people. When she passed away in 2023, Ingie left a large portion of her estate to Pioneers to be used to further ministry among the unreached in North Africa and the Arab world.

We praise God that the eternal focus Inge had all her life will continue through her legacy and foresight in setting up planned giving.

Has God called you to support what you, for whatever reason, cannot do, or to carry on after you are gone? Learn how you can create a lasting legacy through planned giving.

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<p class="rich-text-callout"><strong>See Also: </strong><a href="#"><em>Discerning Your Calling: How Do You Know If God Is Leading You to Serve Cross Culturally?</em></a></p>

Take the next step

Read about Lilias Trotter, another single woman who served in North Africa. Living years before Ingie Larson, she blazed a trail for others to follow.

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