Trinity Baptist Report

The great folks from
Trinity Baptist Church of Mentor Ohio offer the above slide show and the following report from their recent trip to Lakeshore:

Hello everyone,

As many of you know, our youth group takes a trip every spring break to a small community of Lakeshore, Ms. We stay at a church, Lakeshore Baptist, that has been coordinating rebuilding efforts ever since Hurricane Katrina. The church is one mile north of the Gulf of Mexico and the church property was hit by a surge of water that was 40′ deep. Obviously every building was destroyed. The church holds services in a metal quonset hut and all the volunteers sleep in quonset huts made of heavy canvas. Volunteers come from all over the country to help. If you go to rebuildlakeshore.com, you will see listings every month and be amazed at how many churches send servants and how they come from all over the United States.

Trinity Baptist (our church) has been to the area five times. We were there last month, the week before Easter. The same week there was a group from New York and a group from Michigan. There were close to 150 people there that week. From Trinity we had 31 youth and 12 adults. We drove four 15-passenger vans. It is about a 19 hour trip with several stops.

The slide show is a compilation of pictures taken during the week we were there. The music that accompanies the slide show is meaningful because it was written by one of the youth on the trip. Another of the youth wrote and performed the music and added the vocals.

In the slide show you will see:

John – his home was destroyed and his insurance would not cover it so he and his wife and baby lived with his parents. The house we were working in is one that John was able to buy out of foreclosure. It had been damaged by flooding. Earlier volunteers had helped gut the house and cleanse it. While we were there we installed insulation, moved some leftover lumber and unloaded the drywall. There came a point in time where we couldn’t keep everyone busy. The kids really want to contribute while they are there, so we try hard to always have work for them. Since we didn’t, they volunteered to walk around the neighborhood, knock on doors and pray with folks – don’t ever let anyone tell you that youth today are no good. God is still in control and there will always be a remnant of believers to carry on his work.

Dry Walling – several in our group did a tremendous amount of dry walling. The family had lost their home and were living in a trailer provided by MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.) The trailer was to be removed shortly so it was imperative to finish the home. When the kids who will live in the house saw how much work had been accomplished, they were very excited.

Landscaping – This home has been moved back into, but needed some finishing touches. Several in our group painted, cleaned and landscaped. The owner was very grateful.

Miss B – Miss B is the wife of James who is one of the members of Lakeshore who devotes full time to coordinating building efforts for those we serve. Their home was completely destroyed. They initially built a garage and lived in that until they were able to recently complete their home. One afternoon several of us went to James’ and Miss B’s house to finish a deck. Miss B shared with the kids the trauma of going through the storm and losing their home and how she never lost faith in God. Miss B. has a handicapped sister and she refused to leave town without her sister. They finally made arrangements and were able to leave before the major damage hit. Recently Miss B. had a heart attack and while recovering in the hospital she was on oxygen. Something went wrong and did damage to her eye. She had very poor eyesight in her other eye so she was nearly blind and unable to see “yet God is good” she kept on saying. She has had some surgery and we found out later in the week that her original bad eye was gaining sight. One of the young ladies in our group had us all gather around Miss B and prayed for her.

Shay Dahl – We had helped Mr. Dahl last year. He has many animals on his property, some which he owned before the hurricane and several that he has rescued and cared for. The kids wanted to go see Shay (and his animals) so we stopped in to see him after stopping at Walmart to buy some dog food.

When the teens went into Walmart, the greeter asked them if they were volunteers and she shook each ones’ hand and started crying after thanking them for coming to help restore their community.

When 43 people go into a Pizza Hut all at once it’s kind of noticeable and possibly annoying to the other customers. It didn’t take long though for the patrons to figure out that we were from out of state and had come to help. Some people near my table asked where we were from and where we were staying. They were very thankful and told me that it means so much to them that people are still coming to help out after so much time has passed.

This year was the first year that we were at Lakeshore on a Sunday and we were blessed to worship with the members of the church. This is a small community of believers, only 25 or 30, which makes it even more incredible to see how God has used this as an assembly point for thousands of people from all over the country to come and volunteer.

Although there is much work to be done, Pastor Don does not want anyone working on Sunday. As a result, we were able to go to New Orleans in the afternoon. It is less than an hour away. We also went to the beach on Wed. evening for a bonfire and on Thursday morning for a time of worship. I was able to capture some nice moon photos as well as some good sunrise photos.

It is amazing to stand on the beach and take in the beauty of the water lapping up against the shore and the moon and sun reflecting on the water…then to remember that it was this same body of water that wrought destruction on the Gulf just a few years ago.

Please pray for Pastor Don and his team and also pray for the people who are serving God at Lakeshore and in other places.

Randy Horst

Planning and Zoning Board – Update

Lakeshore Baptist Church Site Plan

This past Thursday evening, May 21, we went before the Hancock County Planning and Zoning Board with two site plans for proposed buildings on our church property and to request and extension for our temporary structures while construction continues.

1. The Lakeshore Mercy House

The first site plan presented to the board showed our next building we plan to construct. Affectionately referred to as “The Mercy House,” this building will serve our ongoing and expanding mercy ministry. We already have a thriving ministry to our community through providing food, clothing, household items and other tangible help to those in need. We want to expand this ministry to also include things like financial management seminars, drug and alcohol addiction intervention and mitigation, biblical counseling, and other things.

The 2080 square foot building will need to sit approximately 11 feet off the ground in compliance with the new flood zone regulations. This construction allows for the inclosure of the bottom section to be used for storage of the items distributed through the ministry. The main level will include a small kitchenette, restroom, closet space, and one large multipurpose room. The building will be located across the street from the church at the corner of Lakeshore Road and Third Street.

The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved our site plan for the Mercy House. Lord willing, we will obtain a permit next week and begin setting the pilings the first week in June. If you would like to contribute financially to this project, you can send donations to Lakeshore Baptist Church PO Box 293 Lakeshore MS 39558 designated for “The Lakeshore Mercy House.”

2. The Main Church Complex

The second site plan presented to the Planning and Zoning Board showed the layout of our main church property. I praise the Lord for architect Jeff Escott, of Livermore CA, who took my crude drawings and turned them into an impressive color rendering. See: Lakeshore Baptist Church Site Plan (pdf)

For those familiar with our property, you can see our existing office on the far right. We plan to remove the metal building currently being used for our worship space and replace it with a parking lot. The fellowship hall will sit in front of the current “distribution center” housed in the two quonset huts. Removing the huts will allow us to reclaim our existing cemetery. The main church building, including the sanctuary will run along Second Street, in place of our camp kitchen.

The board also unanimously approved this plan. We will now move forward will all the particulars of designing these buildings. They too will need to sit approximately 11 feet off the ground. I envision inclosing the bottom sections so that the structures look more like two story buildings rather than structures awkwardly sitting atop stilts. Connecting the two buildings on the upper level will provide easy access between the two.

Please pray for us as we hammer out the details of these buildings. As many of you reading this know, after the storm we opted not to rebuild immediately, instead turning our attention to the needs of our community. As we ministered help an hope in the name of Jesus Christ, we focused our efforts on placing others before ourselves. At the same time we wanted to wait for the appropriate time where we could devote the attention, forethought, prayer and planning that we believe that God’s building design deserves. Keep up with us as these exciting plans develop.

3. Our Temporary Structures

Earlier this week we were refused a place on the docket to request an extension of our permit for the temporary structures on our church property. If you recall, in the January meeting the board gave us until May 31 to remove all temporary structures. Since then we have begun building a bunk house and have the above site plan ready to move forward for our other facilities. In the meantime, we need to keep our temporary buildings while we construct our permanent ones.

A quick conference with the Planning and Zoning Commission lawyer produced a legal mechanism where she allowed us to request the extension in the meeting. (Praise the Lord for Attorney Rachel Perniciaro.) The board voted 3-2 against us, but this ruling opened the door to an appeal to the Board of Supervisors. We have 10 days to make this appeal and have already begun the ground work. We pray these actions will give us enough breathing room to not miss a beat in the ongoing relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts to the glory of God.

Mr. Larry Moves In

Mr. Larry Moves In

Mr. Larry Moves In

Mr. Larry Moves In

Mr. Larry’s home has been almost ready for a few months. We finally got the last few details ironed out and he has obtained his “Certificate of Occupancy.” He and his grand-son, Thomas, are so grateful. They wanted me to extend a big thank-you to the hundreds of volunteers who worked on their home – from the ARBCA guys who fought the monster mud hole setting the pilings last January, to the folks from FBC Gafney SC who helped them move in last week, and everyone in-between.

Mercy Ministry – Carson, Keller, and Piper

In this video, Don Carson, Tim Keller and John Piper discuss the potential disparity between mercy ministry and proclamation ministry. In other words, how do you keep compassion from sweeping away evangelism?

They hit the nail on the head when they insist that the safeguard rests in the clear proclamation of the gospel, not the pulling back from mercy ministry. We must hold fast to the reality of sin as offence to God, Christ’s substitutionary atonement for sinners, and justification by grace alone.

Keller is dead on when he makes a distinction between mercy ministry, which floes out as a necessary implication of the gospel, and the “social gospel” that collapses the gospel into nothing more than “we are going to make the world a better place.”

Piper, noting the reality of eternal separation from God in hell for those who reject Christ, quotes from their church’s statement which reads, “we exist to relieve all suffering, especially eternal suffering.” I love that. He says, “If i succeeded totally in alleviating all poverty in this age and didn’t solve the eternal problem I would prove, in the end, to be absolutely unloving and un-Christ-like.”

As I’ve said before here in Lakeshore,

“As we provide help and hope to hurting people through hundreds of projects, let us never stray away from the shadow of the cross. If we rebuild someone‚Äôs home, reroof their house, wire the electrical, hang sheet rock, lay down flooring, paint the walls with fresh color, add trim, install the air conditioning, and all it takes to move a family from tents and campers into a beautifully renovated house and shut our mouths concerning Christ our supreme treasure, what have we done? We must accompany our benevolent actions with explanations of hope. Let us do more than provide folks a comfortable home to go to hell from.”

from Disaster Relief Evangelism - Don A. Elbourne Jr.

I am greatly encouraged by the ministries of Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper and praise God for their clarity in this short video. May their words serve us well in Lakeshore.