Memories of Lakeshore

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I love receiving emails from folks who came to Lakeshore years ago and still remember their experience. “Timmy P.” sent me this in the middle of the night. I praise the Lord when I hear someone speak of their time in Lakeshore, over a decade ago now, as the most humble, proud, and fulfilling moments” of their life. May God receive the glory.

Good day Pastor Don,

I have zero idea what compelled me to write this or even start researching lakeshore as I was trying to sleep (failing miserably at that obviously)… I came with Mike Deese and the group from Crosspointe Community Church in Roswell Georgia, just minutes outside of Atlanta. I remember so many details vividly. That Thanksgiving was our first of two trips (Christmas was trip 2) . It was such an amazing time for us as volunteers, to be able to give in any way we could. The bonding that took place I know I’ll never forget and can never be taken away from me. As we got closer we knew what lied ahead of us, but nothing could prepare us for how bad it really was. The drive down the freeway and seeing cars 20 feet in the air up in the trees. Boats and houses as well. It was so unbelievable, it was almost like we were in a dream.

But crossing that hump (maybe railroad tracks?) and once the truck crested and came over that little hill there was a little excitement. The kids knew we we were close to the ocean so they wanted to see the water, but ALL we saw was foundation slabs where houses once laid. All the way down to the shoreline slab slab and more slabs. I don’t remember how many houses or portions of were left. Just trailers here and there and then your makeshift church, with sleeping quarters near.

I remember meeting you and you were excited and energetic about helping and even sort of happy. You were so focused on rebuilding the church and giving the local people, your friends and family, a place to return to for fellowship, worship, and providing hope.

I remember the sadness over a lot of folks. Myself included… Seeing the markings on houses that we knew meant deceased. When we were at the school giving out food and clothing, and people asking for two of something instead of one because they were helpless, hopeless, and scared. The time I spent there was personally the most humble, proud, and fulfilling moments of my life. 37 years old and it still holds true today.

I’ve cc:ed Mike Deese on this as well, but I just came across my old camcorder (remember those? When was the last time you saw one of those? Our phones are now our cameras.) with pics and videos of him, his family, and the one he will remember the most, because I betcha he still has a pretty scar on his knee. A utility truck hit a lower power cable and a transformer fell to the ground with an awful light show. Mike took a spill and gave himself a nice gash. Everyone headed back to Atlanta. We headed to the hospital. (I just chuckled a little) . Mike wasn’t gonna miss out though. He had his wife pick up some soft shelled crab and smuggle them in, and I got chick FIL A. And I’m rambling. . . Ill forward the Pics tomorrow.

But I’ve read about the complications with your eye site. And the Gulf oil spill. And there you are still not giving up and making the best out of things and you are still preaching. It’s amazing, sir. I look up to you for that. I feel like you have a lot more facial hair than you did back then though.

Christmas was a second trip and we brought 8, I believe, prefabbed staircases for people who couldn’t easily get in and out of their FEMA trailers. I remember how grateful everyone was both trips. Truly amazing.

Again, I don’t know why I started typing, but I’m glad I did. Keep on doing what you do sir. It’s motivation for someone who never lost all that you have, and again and again. And still move forward, positive, with your head high. . .

Thanks for listening to me. Take care gentlemen. Keep on doing what you do.

Timmy Pietruszewski

What are your memories?

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