I do not exaggerate when I say that thousands and thousands of folks have poured through Lakeshore in the past 10 months. Hundreds of churches have sent teams down our way to stay extended periods of time, and countless others have sent supplies, financial assistance, prayer support, and other forms of aid. I know I’ve only been able to mention a small fraction of those who have helped. Human limitations prevent me from remembering or keeping track of everyone, much less expressing written acknowledgement publicly on my blog. Please do not interpret my shortcomings as lack of gratitude. I do try to thank them in person when here.
I deeply regret not having the time, mental acumen, or energy to profusely thank every single person and group providing assistance and support. Whenever I do mention someone, like Providence Baptist Church in Maryland, Jeff Hill from New Jersey, or the folks from Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral FL, I add a sincere apology to those I do not have opportunity to mention. Even with that apology, I still receive a few comments and emails from those perturbed that I have not taken the time to specifically mention someone in particular. For example Elouise Parker writes:
Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa has done quiet a bit for this group of people from October until now and I have not seen any mention of their helping. Their youth came to you near Christmas and did a fun day for your youth and their brotherhood prepared a meal. They came on a Sunday Afternoon in October with a huge covered trailer and seven other vehicles loaded with items for you. The youth department furnished the hams for the Christmas event and the church furnished lots of other items. I know that these people did not do this for personal glory but for the glory of our Savior but they should have some recognition also, not just those that came from far away. Monica Miller and Brad Triana have done lots for your people also.
I apologize for not yet mentioning Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa, or nearby Izabel Baptist Church, pastor Jeff Mizell, and Clifton Baptist Church, pastor Tony Hicks, and I think at least one or two other churches who have helped from the Bogalusa area. We deeply appreciate all the help they have sent our way. We appreciate the meal the Memorial Baptist Church brotherhood provided. We also appreciate the 100+ other big meals that other churches and groups have prepared in the last 10 months.
I have a list of about 300 churches who helped with Christmas in Lakeshore. I will try to locate it and post their names. Please forgive me for not already doing this. I wish I could write a blog entry for each group and what they did to play their part. I do not even know. We were able to provide Christmas to approximately 1000 families on the gulf coast through these events.
Please also forgive me for not being able to publicly acknowledge the countless people who have sent supplies for our food distribution center. Thousands of people would not have groceries on their FEMA camper tables, or in their tents if it were not for the generous donations from across the country and from those closer to home. Back in October, when the convoy from Bogalusa came, we were receiving 20 or more similar shipments a day. I would have loved to take a picture of every group, and make a blog entry of each one, however, I could not even physically be there myself for every shipment, much less take the time to get to my computer and comment on it. In October, I was still performing funerals for people who died in the storm, trying to help people living in tents get water to keep from dehydrating, traveling two hours away for inter net access to post the little I was able to, and taking 80 phone calls a day. Please understand that my failure to publish recognition for all the assistance does not typify our people’s deep felt gratitude for the help that continues to flood into our storm ravaged community.
Since the storm hit we have been running non stop. I only have time to pause to write about a small fraction of what happens. I deeply regret my human weakness and inability to keep up with everything. For example, just this week we had 11 different groups here working with us building and rehabing at least a dozen homes. Each house deserves a full blog post as does each of the groups that were here. We also still have a few donation deliveries a day. Each one of these deserves mention and recognition as well. I just can not humanly keep up. I’m sorry. Please accept my apology and my heart felt sincere extension of gratitude to the fine folks from Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa for all they have done.