This morning I received an email from our friend Bob Thomson planning another trip to Lakeshore. A band of churches have cooperated together to form what they call “The Alliance of Christian Churches in South Jersey for Katrina Relief.” Various crews from this effort have made a number of trips to the gulf coast over the past two years. You can see some great pictures in Bob’s Lakeshore, Mississippi photo gallery. (btw, the above pictures are of the “kitchen” in January 2006.)
I emailed Bob back and decided to share the email on the site, because it also applies to so many people who have come from across the country with much needed help and continue to do so. Thank-you! We look forward to your return trip as well.
Its great to hear from you and we look forward to your trip in October. The churches of South Jersey have been such a tremendous blessing to the ongoing relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts here in Lakeshore.
The last two years have been difficult for our community and sometimes the end of recovery seems nowhere in site. Just yesterday, I had four new families and individuals come to me asking for help. One family has the resources to purchase materials, but their money can not stretch far enough to hire contractors. They have been trying to do all the work themselves. The arduous process has become extremely wearisome and their strength seems almost spent. Another widow owns land and will loose her FEMA camper soon. She has no money to rebuild and doesn’t know where to go. I meet people almost everyday like this. I do not know where I could find the strength to go on in this without the knowledge that God continues to send his people to work along side of us in this ministry of mercy.
At the same time I stopped by seven or eight houses, in various stages of rebuilding, all with the sweat and hard work of volunteers. A widow in our community came by the church property yesterday, just to say “thank-you” one more time for the house we helped rebuild for her. The progress could not have moved forward this far without the help and long term commitment of dedicated folks like you. I can not express how much I appreciate your determination to bring help and hope in the name of Christ to the gulf coast for the glory of God. We look forward to seeing you and your team in October.
by grace alone,
Pastor Don A. Elbourne Jr.
Lakeshore Baptist Church
The kids of Hancock county began their Fall semester this past Friday. On Saturday we hosted a Back to School gathering at the park, complete with games, crafts, food, music and more. Rocky Bayou Baptist Church of Niceville, FL orchestrated and implemented the incredibly refreshing event. Children attending the fun packed day received school supplies donated by Rocky bayou. We can’t thank this church enough for their partnership in the ongoing recovery of our community.
Big equipment has begun site preparation for the new elementary school. South Hancock Elementary will replace the former Gulfview at the same location at the corner of Lakeshore road and Lower Bay Road. The school bored plans to have the new facilities ready for the 2008-09 academic year. Meanwhile, the kids still travel up to their temporary site behind the middle school at Stennis.
As I stepped into the pulpit this past Wednesday night, I noticed the crowd a bit smaller than it has been all summer. Instead of getting discouraged, I quickly realized how many states we had represented in the service. Folks from Alabama, California, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Tennessee all met together to worship. A team from Oklahoma would have been there, but had to cancel at the last minute. Tomorrow, more folks from California roll in along with a team from North Carolina. The crew from Michigan join us on Monday and the Illinois group arrives on Tuesday. That’s 12 states – an almost typical week in Lakeshore.
Lord willing, next Wednesday night, the metal building we call “the sanctuary” will fill to near capacity. How does that happen in a place that just two years ago very few people knew existed? God’s faithful omnipotent gracious hand of providence continues to turn the hearts of his self-giving mercy-loving people to the life-rebuilding Christ- exalting hope-offering cross-embracing sweat-drenched work here on the gulf coast, to the praise of his name and for the benefit of our community.
The flurry of regional accents over breakfast this morning will all testify to the day when we will gather together around the throne of our great God and King along with people “from every tribe and language and people and nation,” (Revelation 5:9-10) to sing the all surpassing worth of Christ our redeemer. Maranatha Lord, come quickly. As we wait, we work together and seek to minister images of Christ’s mercy today for his glory.
We thank God for the folks who came and worked in the Mississippi heat of July to bring help and hope to our community in the name of Christ.
- Castlewoods Baptist Church â€“ Brandon, MS
- Clifford & Nancy Delnay Family â€“ Ann Arbor, MI
- Daniels Bible Church â€“ Daniels, WV
- Ellison Ridge Baptist Church â€“ Louisville, MS
- Evergreen Baptist Church â€“ Vancouver, WA
- Faith Lutheran Church â€“ St. Louis, MO
- First Baptist Church Bluffton â€“ Bluffton, SC
- First Baptist Church Clayton â€“ Clayton, NJ
- First Baptist Church Gaffney â€“ Gaffney, SC
- First Baptist Church Madisonville â€“ Madisonville, TX
- Fisher Creek Baptist Church – Duck Springs, AL
- George & Kathy Nelson â€“ Meridian, MS
- Immanuel Baptist Church â€“ Louisville, KY
- Keys Baptist Church â€“ Park Hill, OK
- National Hills Baptist Church â€“ Augusta, GA
- Providence Baptist Church â€“ Franklin, MA
- St. Luke Lutheran Church â€“ Ann Arbor, MI
- Tabernacle Baptist Church â€“ Chicopee, MA