Its been a while since I’ve been able to give a small glimpse into what God has been acomplishing in Lakeshore and what still needs to be done. With busyness all around me, I’ve snuck off for a few minutes this morning to give a brief update.
With the help of volunteers flooding in from across the country we have been cleaning peoples property, mucking out homes, bull dozing houses, building storage sheds and camper stairs, running a food and supply distribution center on the church property, making huge Christmas plans, and holding regular Sunday services that grow in attendance with each passing week.
We moved from a make-shift blue tarp, to a quonset hut, to a big white tent. We plan to erect a 38X90 temporary metal building next week. Lord willing, it will arrive Monday afternoon (Dec. 5) and teams will be on site to raise it quickly. We will need to lay down indoor/outdoor carpet, build bathrooms and a platform area, wire it for lighting and install a heating/cooling unit.
Laundry facilities prove to be one of the greatest needs facing residence still living in tents and FEMA campers. Five washers and dryers have been donated to the church to meet this community need. We plan to build a small building on the church property to house the units. We will need to clear a grove of trees and bring in lots of sand to build up this area.
Land continues to be our major obstacle and we are drawing up purchase agreements to acquire our neighbors property. We originally thought we could buy the property behind the old building, but negotiations fell through. It looks like God is opening the property north of our current location. Please pray that we will follow His leading and that the funds will be available.
Lakeshore Baptist Church still staffs the FEMA water and ice POD at Gulf view Elementary School in Lakeshore. Our local volunteers tirelessly keep track of the number of cars flowing through (about 300 a day) and keep the inventory ordered and available. This chore has started to wear on the most dedicated as they try to put their lives back together, find jobs, make plans to rebuild their homes, etc. We could use teams of 3-4 people to come in for a week to staff the POD.
We have begun rebuilding three homes that we hope to have families in by Christmas. We could use carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc for these jobs.
We have a portable saw mill. I wanted to make a full post about this blessing that a church in California donated, but time restraints force me to make only this brief mention. We have been able to churn out lumber for some of our construction projects using downed trees from the storm, but it has been a challenge to keep it manned. The mill could provide a wonderful opportunity for a men’s group to come down and spend several days working the mill and creating lumber for rebuilding.
Greg London continues to be a God-send as he coordinates work crews, organizes projects, and helps me manage the overwhelming amount of simultaneous efforts.
If you would like to make a trip to Lakeshore to help, please call Greg (770-402-3419) and he will help you with the details of your trip, where you can stay, etc.
Time doesn’t allow me to mention the need for volunteers willing to do the plethora of unexpected tasks that arise on a daily basis. We have a very long road ahead of us. Its been three months, but will take at least three years of volunteers coming down and lending assistance, sending supplies, providing funds, and keeping us in constant prayer. We stand amazed at what God has been doing and we trust that He will continue “to work in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)