Every week on our Lakeside Central & Downtown Facebook pages, we feature a short story or quote from real people around Lakeside. People who strive to be more like Jesus, even if they don’t always get it right. Perfectly imperfect people who are living out their faith in real and honest ways. We hope you’ll celebrate these stories and the people behind them. LIKE us on Facebook to see them first or follow us on Instagram @lakesideonline.
OLABANJI & ABIOLA AKINOLA
|“Reflecting on our lives as Christians, both as individuals and as a couple, we are very grateful for what God has been doing in our lives. His presence in our personal, family, and professional lives has been a reassuring experience that we are, indeed, a part of His chosen people (1 Peter 2: 9). We cherish God’s loving kindness, the joy of His salvation, His peace that passes all human understanding, and His guidance whenever we seek His face.
More so, ever since we began attending Lakeside Downtown in the summer of 2014, we have had the opportunity to connect with a lot of God-fearing and caring people, and have made, and continue to make, new friends with whom we hope to deepen, engage, and build our knowledge of God as Christians. In addition, the opportunity to be members of the welcome team at Lakeside Downtown is something we are very grateful to God for leading us into. Our passion to contribute to the building of God’s Kingdom within and beyond Lakeside is an objective we pray that God will forever strengthen and equip us to fulfill as we walk and work with Him.”
KEVIN & MARY LLOYD
|“In December of 2014, my supervisor informed me of an emergency staff meeting scheduled for that night, a Wednesday night two weeks before Christmas. As a committed leader in the Fuse Student ministry I informed my ministry leader that I’d most likely be late for youth that night.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear. My administrator, assistant administrator and the president of our board sat the staff down and announced that our child care centre would most likely be shutting down because our landlords were evicting us after 29 years. This was a huge blow.
As I drove to Lakeside that night the tears began to flow, despite being able to keep my cool during the meeting. I was, in fact, late but my ministry leader, a friend of mine, had informed other friends of this. Some were waiting for me in the atrium as I arrived, to see if things were ok.
I chatted and prayed about the situation with a fellow leader and friend. We soon joined the group in worship where we discovered none of my Grade 12 girls and fellow leaders showed up that night. I was invited to join the Grade 11 girls.
We made it through group and then it was time for prayer requests, I shared my news with the girls and other Grade 11 leaders, sobbing as I went. After youth finished that night one of these Grade 11 leaders approached me. She informed me that Lakeside was opening a Child Care Centre in 2015 and that she had wanted to approach me about becoming an ECE in the newest Lakeside ministry. I was so devastated from the news prior in the evening I couldn’t comprehend the blessing that was just given to me.
My employers looked and looked for a new place to relocate to but with little hope in sight, it looked like I would be out of a job. I decided it was time to look for a new career altogether and ministry was what I was thinking, but how does an Early Childhood Educator make the jump into ministry? Then I remembered about my conversation on that awful night in December.
I spoke to that person again and her offer still stood. With the hopelessness of not finding a new location for the centre to relocate, I gave my answer to Lakeside, Yes, I wanted to be a part of this ministry!
Shortly after I gave my answer to Lakeside, the centre found a new home in another local church. God definitely orchestrated this whole thing. It was in his plan for me to be working at Lakeside and be in ministry with the population of people I love the most – young children. Now in 2017, I am the Lakeside Child Care Centre ministry leader and I wouldn’t change where I am at all. Our God is so good!”
AMANDA VAN SOELEN
JOHN MARTIN & HELENE ST PIERRE