We are missing another Peninsula member today.  He left earth and woke up in heaven.  Lorenzo (Loren) Pearson was a dear friend to many and a congenial spirit for all. I realize that many don’t remember Loren, which surprised me. But Loren experienced a long goodbye as he suffered with dementia (Alzheimer’s). The journey has been longer than I remembered, to be honest. And it kept him away from church for far too long.

I met the Pearsons before I ever came to Peninsula. They owned a home in the desert and we attended the same church in Rancho Mirage. When Christie and I came to Peninsula, Loren had been told that he needed to invest his life in support of some local church pastor.  Somebody out there needed his help. He decided it was me/us. When we did a push for home groups in 2002, during the 40 Days of Purpose campaign, the Pearsons joined our home group.  And never left. We were indeed very blessed.

That group has seen its days of ups and downs, and Loren and Christine were always a faithful part of our little group. When his mobility became an issue, we met in his home. But eventually, that didn’t even help. But Loren was always full of faith – and stories.  Of driving his “Bugazon” all around South America and being rescued on at least one occasion by a miracle from God. Of attending the very first “Super Bowl” in the Coliseum with Christine.  Of starting his after-markets VW parts business and trying to keep it afloat during recessions and COVID. Of collecting and displaying cars at his shop.  We got a private tour that we will never forget.

We walked through some high moments in life, and some devastating low moments in life, like when his son passed away unexpectedly. Life was not easy, but Loren made it an adventure. His joy for life and his love for Christine and his Savior were always an example to me.

Our ranks of widows and widowers are growing. And I am more keenly aware than ever of those life transitions. I guess the closer I get, the more in tune to that reality I become. We must soak our lives in the truth of resurrection. While we wait, it is hard to endure the days and maybe years of separation. But our hope cannot fade. Loren is in the presence of Jesus.  He is united again with his son.  And I hope the Peninsula folks gathered for their own mini-reunion.

We will all follow Loren (and Doug and Mary Jeanne and…..) unless the Lord returns soon. But we fear no evil. We believe that Jesus will keep His word. And His Word is so very sweet. Believe Him.  It’s the only way to live.