The Big Dig

mud holes

We started setting pilings for a new house a couple weeks ago. The ground water saturation prevented the determined ARBCA team from completing the task. As soon as we drilled the 24″ holes, they began to fill with water and the walls collapsed. We tried to pump the water out, but to no avail. The mud pit just continued to grow. We finally made the call to return to the drawing board for Plan-B. After consulting with the Bay. St. Louis building department, we came up with another way to tackle the problem. This week a hard working crew of volunteers from Wisconsin, dug out each hole and built forms for the concrete.

mud holes

mud holes

mud holes

2007 Tax Receipts

This week Joell, Jamie, and Courtney have been stuffing envelops to send out the tax donation receipts for 2007. God continues to make the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts possible here in Lakeshore through the generous contributions from our friends from across the country. If you made a financial donation in the 2007 calendar year, please accept our joy filled thanks and expect to receive a tax receipt in the mail shortly.

Speaking in Alabama

This weekend I’m traveling to Alabama to speak at three different churches on Sunday. I’ll start the morning at First Baptist Church of Oneonta AL where I’ll address a Men’s breakfast at 6:30 am. Later I’ll preach in the 11:00 morning worship service at Fowler Springs Baptist Church in Blountsville AL. That evening, 6:30 pm, I’ve been invited to speak at an association-wide evangelistic rally at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Hayden AL. I appreciate Ernie Carroll of the Friendship Baptist Association for making this trip possible. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello. Mitch Axsom, an elder at First Baptist Church Clinton LA will preach at Lakeshore in my absence. Please pray for my wife and I, that God would grant us traveling mercies and that God would glorify himself through this opportunity to proclaim his sovereign grace.

Auger and Trailer Needed

skidsteer_wth_auger

We build most of the houses in Lakeshore on 8X8 piers. We have been renting a 24″ auger to dig the holes to set the pilings. Owning our own auger would make better use of our financial resources. We have a John Deer 250 Skid Steer that can accept an auger attachment. If anyone could locate and purchase an attachment to fit the Skid Steer for our rebuilding, we will put it to good use.

We also could use a trailer, with ramps, to haul the Skid Steer and our Tractor from job site to job site. Right now we have been driving the tractor around town, which is slow going, or rigging precarious make shift ramps to load the equipment onto our trailers that are not designed for that sort of thing.

Update: We have purchased an auger attachment. We could still use a equipment trailer with ramps.

Letter from Mrs. Bea

Mrs. Bea continues to recover and wanted me to pass along this heart-felt thank you.

I want everyone from the east to west, north to south to know that in the midst of surgery I felt the prayers that were being sent up for me.

When I had complication from the breathing treatments, causing me not to be able to see, I couldn’t imagine this being permanent. Not being able to see my children and grand children’s faces again would not be an easy thing to accept. I prayed and again felt all the prayers that were being sent up for me. I prayed whatever God’s will was I would accept. As soon as I gave the situation up to the Lord I began to get some of my sight back. Praise God! I’m not 100% but now I know that soon will be completely healed.

I will always be so very thankful to each and everyone of you for the continuous prayers that you all offered up on my behalf.

Hope to see you all again real soon!

With Love,
Mrs. Bea

Vegetarian Cooks

Malis cooking

Yesterday we only had a few small teams here – three guys from Wisconsin, two men from Pennsylvania, and a couple of sisters from New York. Britney and Melissa have been here before and have become like family. They graciously cooked for us yesterday before having to return home early this morning. Their meatless Lasagna and Spaghetti turned out very good and the vegan banana bread with peanut butter frosting dessert was outstanding.

Brit and Melissa cooking

Jamie, Cooper, Melissa, Britney

Brit

A Biblical Guide to Mercy Ministry

The PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) at their 15th General Assembly in 1987 set forth their Biblical Guide to Mercy Ministry. I find the position paper very helpful in providing a Christ-centered understanding to our relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts here in Lakeshore.

A. To what ministry of mercy does Christ call his church?

1. To a ministry that flows from the compassion of Christ

a. Christ’s compassion is perceptive, directed toward the needy.
Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, and comforted the sorrowing and afflicted. He gave an illustrative list of such human needs, including also shelter and personal caring for the prisoner (Mt. 25:35,36).

b. Christ’s compassion is active, expressed in deed as well as word.
Jesus was “mighty in deed and word” (Lk. 24:19). His compassion was communicated by his hands as well as his lips: he healed the leper with a touch, put his fingers on the eyes of the blind and in the ears of the deaf, broke the bread with his hands. The Shepherd’s great deed of compassionate love was giving his life for his sheep.

c. Christ’s compassion is gracious, directed toward the undeserving.
Jesus ministered to publicans and sinners (Lk. 15:1,2). He defended his ministry by saying that he came to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mk. 2:17; Mt. 9:13; Lk. 5:32). He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 19:10). Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6).

d. Christ’s example and precept call us to compassionate ministry.

(1) The claim of his free grace

Christ teaches us to love our enemies, for God loved us when we were enemies. Not only does God in his common grace send his rain on the just and unjust (Mt. 5:45); he demonstrated his own love to us in that while we were yet enemies Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8, 10). We are not to ask, “How many must I love?” (“Who is my neighbor”), but “How may I show the love of Christ?” (“To whom am I a neighbor?” Lk. 10:25- 37).

(2) The example of his ministry

“The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister…” (Mt. 20:28). The compassion of Christ fills his ministry, but is nowhere more evident than on the cross. He ministers not merely in healing the sick and washing the disciples’ feet, but in giving his life a ransom for many. Having loved his own in the world, he loved them to the end (Jn. 13:1). Christ fills his church with manifold gifts of the Spirit to minister his compassion in word and deed (I Pet. 4:11).

(3) The bond of his body

Jesus binds his body, the church, not only to one another, but to himself. That union appears in the ministry of mercy. The service that we bring to the least of his brethren is service to Christ himself (Mt. 25:40).

(4) The thrust of his mission

Jesus sent out his disciples to heal the sick and to proclaim the kingdom of God (Lk. 10:9). As the church fulfills the Great Commission it continues to show Christ’s compassion in a needy world. The ministry of the Apostle Paul on the island of Malta demonstrates the concern of the apostle to show the mercy of Christ as he bore witness in a missionary situation (Acts 28:8,9).

e. Christ’s Spirit conveys his compassion
At the heart of the ministry of compassion is the love of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit equip us for ministry, but our motivation springs from the love of God poured out in our hearts, as we are drawn to love him who first loved us (Rom. 5:5; 1 Jn. 4:19).

Read the full position paper: Biblical Guide to Mercy Ministry

Prefab House

Prefab House

Our generous friends from the Piedmont Okefenokee Baptist Association of southeast Georgia donated a Scotbilt prefab house for a local single mother with children who lost their home in the storm. Our volunteers from Ohio and Pennsylvania worked hard, all day, banding the piers to create a firm foundation for the house and a giant crane hoisted the house into place this afternoon. The house now sits safely on its eight foot perch.

Prefab House

Prefab House

Prefab House

Prefab House

ARBCA in Lakeshore

ARBCA in Lakeshore

God graced us with an incredible week of ministry, hard work, fellowship, and encouragement. A camp site full of God glorifying, Christ centered, spirit led, grace driven, well organized, hard working, believers dedicated themselves to pushing forward almost every one of our majored ongoing projects. I don’t have time to give a full summery of the weeks events, but please check out the ARBCA in Lakeshoreblog for details, reports, and loads of pictures.