After the storm hit, we erected two Quonset huts on our church property. You can see a picture from October 22, 2005. At that time we had no other choice than to clear a spot the best we could and lay them out on a dead plot of grass in the middle of our cemetery. Since then we have established a camp site around them where literally thousands of volunteers have come to stay, work, and minister to our storm ravaged community. We have used the huts for church services, sleeping volunteers, a makeshift office, storing donations, sorting contributions, basing the Christmas gift operations, housing the distribution center and all sorts of other things.
After 28 months of continual rugged use, the floors have begun to give way. Over the past few weeks volunteers built, and painted new floor sections. Last week we removed the old floor out of the one on the right and replaced it with the new floor. this time we were able to set the hut on concrete blocks to keep it out of the moisture. Lord willing, this set up will suffice for the foreseeable future. In the next few weeks we plan to do the same with the hut on the left.
I first posted a picture of Vic Geauthreaux on October 21 2005, over 2 months after the storm. He was still living in a tent where his house used to sit. Since that time Vic and Tammy relocated a few miles inland to rebuild their new home. We started framing the the Geauthreaux house this past summer and I posted pictures of the roof going up. Volunteers have wired the house, ran the plumbing, hung insulation and sheet rock and the house is really coming together. This past week a team installed the siding. Lord willing we will soon texture the walls, paint, and be ready for flooring.
Several people have email me this week asking if everything remains OK in Lakeshore. I haven’t updated the web site in a couple of weeks, leading some folks to assume that means that work has hit a stand still. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been so busy that I have not had time to make it to my computer very often. This week we have about 150 volunteers here working in about 25 different houses and here at the church property. Lord willing, I will try to catch up soon with pictures and updates of some of the continuing projects.
Ironically, we have no one scheduled for the first part of next week. After having so many people here in January and February, we will have dozens of jobs half-done with the need of further work. We desperately need teams to make plans to come, move things forward, bring some of the homes to completion, and begin several more. If you can plan a mission trip, please contact us to make plans to come help rebuild Lakeshore to the glory of God.
We began 2008 with a wealth of volunteers from across the country. Through these overwhelmingly generous folks God accomplished hundreds of times more work than I could ever report on. This past month we hosted the following teams in Lakeshore:
No, we didn’t build this house in Lakeshore – but I do like it. On our way back from preaching in Alabama last week, we stopped by the Rural Studio. This is what happens when rednecks go to art school. The design-build architecture lab of Auburn University, Inspired by the acclaimed Samuel Mockbee, seeks to promote socially responsible, rurally contextual, and innovatively creative design. Often quirky, the architecture draws from the cultural milieu of the rural South. I particularly love their experimentation with reclaimed and repurposed materials.
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ This is the most important thing because nothing else matters. In doing so, an architect will act on a foundation of decency which can be built upon. Go above and beyond the call of a ‘smoothly functioning conscience'; help those who aren’t likely to help you in return, and do so even if nobody is watching!
– Samuel Mockbee
Check out the Rural Studio web site. For more pictures, video, and articles see the great piece in Speaking of Faith – Architecture of Decency. Read a few good informative articles – “Samuel Mockbee: A Life’s Work” in The Architectural Record, “Samuel Mockbee: Southern Genius” in Architecture Weekly, and “The New Rural Studio” in ARCHITECT Magazine.. I also have a couple of Rural Studio books on my Amazon wishlist.