by Kelly Johnston
We’re chatting with Lisa, a Lakelander who stays active with the church’s youth and small groups. We ask Lisa how she first found out about Lakeland over 12 years ago.
“We drove by and it took us three times to figure out what the service times were because there wasn’t a sign and we couldn’t get a hold of anyone,” she shares with a laugh. “But we eventually made it.”
With her history with Lakeland, Lisa has many memories. “Dressing up for the family dance ages ago. Getting baptized in the lake, that stands out.”
Every summer, Lakeland gathers on the shores of Longview Lake and celebrates the rite of baptism. From celebrating with swimming, sand volleyball and other picnic activities to gathering together on the beach and blessing those about to take the next step in their journey of faith, we love hearing from Lakelanders how much this event means to them.
Lisa’s sharing prompts us to ask about her journey in faith.
“I was part of Gen 2 with Dan. Those retreats helped me deepen my spirituality. Steve & I both have demanding jobs & it can be hard to stay focused on our faith and solitude time.”
“I’m interested in disaster relief. Steve & I are hoping to do more of that when we retire. I also have a heart for rural communities and domestic violence survivors. I served on the board of Lexington House of Hope for a few years. I remember feeling a huge boost in my faith when we were helping with cleanup after the Joplin tornado. My job was to evaluate home sites and determine what needs the family had. As I listened to families, I sometimes asked if they would like me to pray with them. Everyone I asked said yes. It was a boost to my faith to experience prayer in such a way. I’m not much of a talker but those were special times of connection.”
“I didn’t have a big coming to faith moment or turning points. It’s been more of a gradual journey, bits and pieces. With small groups, I have been leading women’s groups for 8 or 9 years. This year, I’m volunteering with the 2nd graders. It’s hard, there’s a lot of them. It takes three people.” She laughs again. “We’ve got some runners”
To wrap up this portion of our interview, we ask what one of her favorite sermons was.
Lisa pauses and tilts her head to the side. After a moment she speaks, “Garrett’s story about when there was a tornado and how he hid the kids under the porch steps and how his kids didn’t understand but how it was the best thing for them, protecting them from something else, and how God does that for us.” A slight smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. “That really stuck with me.”
When I walk in the midst of trouble, You revive me. Your right hand saves me.