May 2007

With school winding down in May, we saw fewer teams and volunteers in Lakeshore this past month then average. That doesn’t mean we didn’t see great accomplishments and forward progress. What they lacked in numbers they made up for in hard work, determination, and sweat. We began building four new houses from the ground up, progressed with several others, and expanded our volunteer housing capabilities. We thank God for these teams who worked with us:

  • Campers on Mission – MS
  • Central Church of God – Hilton Head, SC
  • Decatur Baptist Church – Decatur, AL
  • First Baptist Church Altamont – Altamont, KS
  • First Baptist Church Athens – Athens, AL
  • Grace Heritage Church – Auburn, AL
  • Immanuel Baptist Church – Louisville, KY
  • Kyle Jefferys crew – Huntsville, AL
  • Park Valley Church – Manassas , VA
  • Southside Baptist Church – Huntsville, AL
  • St. Luke Lutheran Church – Ann Arbor, MI

Dirty Work

Dirty work

I praise God for the thousands of selfless volunteers not afraid to work hard and get their hands dirty (very dirty) for the cause of Christ and for the relief and recovery of those effected by the storm. These folks came from Hilton Head SC and served with us last week, drilling holes for the pilings of one house, pouring concrete for the piers of another, working in the warehouse, and all sorts of other things – all without letting the smiles on their faces fade.

Dirty work

Dirty work

Campers on Mission

Mississippi Campers on Mission

Last month volunteers erected two new quonset huts to expand our volunteer sleeping capacity. We plan to move our existing hut adjacent to the two new ones and add one more. A team of “Mississippi Campers on Mission,” with funding from Mississippi Baptist Convention churches worked here all week building bathrooms in one of the huts and walkways between them all. The new facilities will add 10 showers and 10 commodes to our camp site. We, and all our future volunteers, deeply appreciate the work of these great folks.

Campers on Mission is a national fellowship of Christian campers sponsored by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention.

more showers

more showers

walk way

New Warehouse

30X60 Warehouse

Shortly after the storm we acquired use of the flooded local elementary school gym to use as a warehouse for collecting and staging contributions and building materials for our ongoing projects and very active distribution center. The gym gave us about 8,000 square feet of storage space and we usually have it packed to capacity with goods coming in and out. We can’t thank enough the school board and the county supervisors who made these facilities possible for the good of the community. Literally thousands of people received aid and resources because we were able to utilize the building.

The school board recently informed us that we need to vacate the premises for a June 1 schedule demolition to make way for the school’s reconstruction.. This news sent us scrambling for alternative storage options. Providentially, a local resident offered a parcel of land for our use, and we have begun making a transition. We plan to replace the gym with three smaller shelters, a stick built structure, a metal Quonset hut, and a big tent.

Stick Built Warehouse:

Our friends from Trinity Lutheran Church in Japa Maryland planned and collected materials for a 30X60 building on the donated property. (See artist rendering above.) This 1,800 square feet of storage space will tremendously help with our warehouse needs. The Maryland team will construct the building on their June 11th trip.

Metal Quonset Warehouse:

Last year a generous man in Georgia donated a 30X40 metal Quonset hut, similar to the one we use as our church facilities. We plan to erect this building adjacent to the stick built warehouse to provide an additional 1,200 square feet of space. We need to pour a slab for this building. We estimate about $2,500 for the foundation. Please contact us if you would like to contribute toward this project.

Big Tent Warehouse:

Some of our good friends from Virginia donated a 40X60 tent to the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts in Lakeshore.. We plan to incorporate the tent into the warehouse complex to give us another 2,400 square feet under roof. Not ideal for long term use, this tent will give us breathing room while we make plans for a more permanent solution. We need to pour an asphalt pad for the tent to sit on and keep the stuff off of the wet soggy ground. If you would like to help with the asphalt for this project, please contact us.

Forklift needed

When we loose the gymnasium, we will also loose the forklift used to unload trucks and move pallets. We need a replacement. We think an all terrain forklift would work best. We would love for someone to donate or indefinitely lend some equipment for this purpose.

Bigger Warehouse plans

The three planned structures, the stick built warehouse, the metal Quonset hut, and the big tent, will give us approximately 5,400 square feet to replace the 8,000 we will loose when the gymnasium comes down. Since we look to have the ongoing relief, recovery, and rebuilding in Lakeshore continue for several more years, we find ourselves praying toward a much larger building that can serve as a warehouse for the foreseeable future to meet our long term needs. The generous family providing the land for those three buildings has graciously offered enough space to rebuild a gym sized structure as well. A building that size would pose a considerable investment. Please join us as we seek god’s will in this matter.

Lumber from North Alabama

Lumber from Alabama

Decatur Baptist Church blessed our community with a truck load of rough cut lumber. One of their members owns a portable saw mill and the men in the church took turns cutting timber donated from several places. Another man volunteered his time and his rig to drive the full load of lumber from north Alabama to the gulf coast. The wood will serve in several of our rebuilding projects.

April 2007

First Baptist Church – Tullahoma, TN and Conrad

We praise God for the following teams that came to work with us in the month of April 2007. Nearly 400 volunteers glorified God through the ongoing relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. Mr. Howee and Mrs Juanita, Mrs. Bonnie, and Mrs PeeWee all moved into their homes this past month and dozens of families saw progress toward getting back into their houses.

  • 4H Northeast Regional Council – Arab, AL
  • Augusta Baptist Association Disaster Service Team – Augusta, GA
  • Cornerstone Community Church – New Port Ritchie, FL
  • First Baptist Church – Tullahoma, TN
  • First Congregational Church of Kingston – Kingston, NH
  • Government Street Baptist Church – Mobile, AL
  • Great Bridge Baptist Church – Chesapeake, VA
  • Harvest Community Church – Charlotte, NC
  • Heritage Baptist Church – Douglasville, GA
  • Highlands Fellowship – Abingdon, VA
  • Immanuel Baptist Church – Louisville, KY
  • Mechanicsville Baptist Church – Darlington, SC
  • M.O.S.E.S ministry – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Solid Rock Ministries – Zeeland, MI
  • Southside Baptist Church – Huntsville, AL
  • St. Luke Lutheran Church – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Trinity Baptist Church – Mentor, OH
  • University Baptist Church – Dayton, OH