Praise the Lord. If you came by our site in the past 24 hours you may have encountered an error message or a “experiencing technical difficulty” notice. I did something really stupid yesterday. Hyped up on DayQuil, battling a sinus infection, and between phone calls, I decided to upgrade our WordPress installation – which should only take less than 10 minutes. The newest version of our blog software requires Mysql 4.0.0 or higher. Since the latest version of Mysql is at 5.0.45, I assumed the server could handle the upgrade. I assumed wrong. After having other unrelated problems transferring the upgrade files over a less than stellar connection, the installation process slapped me in the face with an error. Fortunately, I had backed up my database – or so I thought. I realized that somehow the backed-up database only contained user information and not the posts. It looked like I had lost all my blog posts for the last year. I almost cried. To make a long story short, after a couple hours of hair pulling, I recovered the data and installed a legacy build of WordPress. Its all good. Now, if I could just kick this sinus infection and keep my head from exploding.
Last week our good friends from Providence Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head SC painted Mrs. Gilum’s house, among other things. This week Kristy and Liz teamed up with a crew from Jersey Baptist Church of Ohio to lay the flooring. Mrs. Gillum wanted me to pass along her deep gratitude for all the folks who have come help her rehab the flooded house. She looks forward to moving back in before Christmas.
Google Earth recently updated their satellite imagery over part of Lakeshore. You can now see our camp site; the red roof of the kitchen, shipping container bunk houses, quonset huts, sheds, the big metal building, various campers, vehicles, the office, and other things if you can pick them out. If you grab the full free download of Google Earth you can fly around, zoom in, etc.
You can check out my previous Google Earth satellite posts and grab the post-Katrina overlay and a file I created that points to all the SBC churches in our Gulf Coast Baptist Association. For reference, here is the satellite image of our church property from before the storm:
James Bobbitt, one of our church members, used to drive a truck before Katrina destroyed his home. Instead of returning to the road, he has worked along side of me as an instrumental part of the rebuilding efforts. His heart to serve his neighbors epitomizes Luke 10:25-37.
If you’ve been to Lakeshore, you’ve met, worked with, and no-doubt fallen in love with James. One of our volunteers from Park Valley Church wrote the following poem about her conversation with him while they were here.
Could I fish with you?
A simple measure for people I meet
If nothing bites, would you still enjoy
water spiders wicking across the
surface of a lake, or the reflection of fall
Will you be a â€œkeeperâ€ or will I â€œtoss you backâ€
That being said,
I met a â€œkeeperâ€
on a mission trip
to Lakeshore Baptist Church, MS
A retired truck driver, volunteer coordinator,
â€œSaintâ€ to the victims of hurricane Katrina,
â€œSaintâ€ to his neighbor, family, church community
James sat in the
sipped bitter coffee,
shared stories about his family
James spoke about all that they had
lost to the hurricane,
and their faith in God,
James words sounded
like rain on a tin roof,
a comfort, and peace
echoed through me,
there was work to be done,
drywall to be hung, footers to dig
but, for that moment,
on that morning,
nothing was biting
I knew James could see
the time worn message
in the ripples a fish makes
as it surfaces on a still lake
and he had the patience to watch as the ripples fade.
As he spoke,
I remembered the ripples,
and when they faded
I thought to myselfâ€¦keep talking my friend, you are the â€œFisher of Menâ€
Lisa Malone 2007
Mrs. Speed, a widow in our community, lost her house in the storm. Katrina left nothing but the concrete slab. Through the work of countless volunteers we rebuild the house from the ground up on the existing foundation.
Last week folks from First Baptist Church of Tullahoma TN set Mrs. Speed’s cabinets and folks from Sixth Street Baptist Church of Alexander City AL tiled her kitchen and laundry room and laid flooring in the rest of the house. The flooring crew really went the extra mile by staying up late into the night to finish the job. The floor came out beautifully.
Fourteen days ago we began building another new house. Folks from the Alliance of Christian Churches in South Jersey for Katrina Relief dug the holes and set the pilings. A team from Oak Grove Baptist Church of Monticello KY framed up the house, hung the windows and doors, roofed it, wrapped it, and even wired it. The home owners treated the framing crew to fried shrimp and oyster po-boys and home made root-beer. Today guys from the Calhoon Baptist Association of north Mississippi are running the plumbing. Guys from Alabama look to install the air conditioning next week. Then we can get it inspected, start insulating, hanging sheet rock, painting, laying the flooring etc. The family looks forward to moving out of their FEMA camper and into their new home.
btw, this house represents only one of the ten projects our volunteers worked on in the last two weeks. I wish I had time to blog about each one. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate mission teams continuing to grace us with hard working trips to the gulf coast. We still see plenty of work to do and no end in sight, so please help us spread the word and prayerfully consider planning your next mission trip to Lakeshore for the glory of God.
Jamie Dunbar has served here in Lakeshore for almost a year and a half. She created this video for her Rolling Hills Church, her home church back in Wisconsin. I wanted to share it with the rest of you. She often underestimates the huge contribution to the team by humbly shrugging her shoulders and telling people that she “just helps out some.” In fact she puts in the work of several people. In a typical week she fields calls from the volunteer teams planning trips, makes all the sleeping arangements (which proves to be a much bigger juggling job than most people think) she runs errands, brings people to job sites, keeps the calendar, sings and plays guitar for the worship services, leads women’s bible studies, sets up for church services, troubleshoots complaints, and accomplishes 10,000 random tasks that we need done on a regular basis. Her self sacrifice has proven an invaluable asset to the team. Check out her web site, Because of Grace.
Our friends from Providence Baptist Church of Franklin MA hit several houses last week tieing up many of the odds and ends needed to prepare the houses for inspection.
Oops. I meant to post this last week. Folks from the following churches and teams worked with us in September:
- Augusta Baptist Disaster Relief Team â€“ Augusta, GA
- First Baptist Church â€“ DeKalb, MS
- First Baptist Church â€“ Gaffney, SC
- Grace Bible Church â€“ Canton, GA
- Gum Log Primitive Baptist Church â€“ Meridian, MS
- Highlands Fellowship Church â€“ Abingdon, VA
- New Beginning Family Worship Center â€“ Northport, AL
- Old Oak Ranch Conference Center â€“ Sonora, CA
- Providence Presbyterian Church â€“ Hilton Head, SC
- St. Luke Lutheran Church â€“ Ann Arbor, MI
- Sierra First Baptist Church â€“ Alta, CA
- Sixth Street Baptist Church â€“ Alexander City, AL
They got a lot of work done and we still move forward with so much more to do.
Kristy, from Kentucky, Jim and Nancy from South Carolina, along with Providence Baptist Church of Franklin MA finished wrapping the greens house.