In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated our gulf coast community in Hancock County Mississippi. With five years of relief, recovery, and rebuilding, many still struggle to get back on their feet. Now, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has left even the most sure footed on slippery ground. Many fear that the long term economic effects of the oil spill could prove more damaging than Katrina for our area.
Here on the gulf coast our entire culture and economy is tied to the water. Commercial, charter, and leisure fisherman; ancillary businesses like, ice houses, bait shops, and fueling stations, boat repair, seafood restaurants, tourism, and on and on. The anxiety level runs high, and folks fear their way of life will never be the same.
After Katrina, most on the Mississippi gulf coast immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work in the rebuilding of their homes and community. The oil spill brings a completely different dynamic. The nature of this disaster leaves most people helpless without any hope of concrete action towards recovery. As one local resident put it, “its one thing to loose your house. You can rebuild that. But when your source of lively hood is gone, what do you do? I feel helpless.”
In the wake of hurricane Katrina, Lakeshore Baptist Church launched a massive mercy ministry. To date, we have hosted literally hundreds of volunteer mission teams involved with storm clean-up, rebuilding, and relief efforts of various sorts.
Now, with the oil spill challenge, we have a strong desire to continue ministering to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of local residence. This commitment will require a sustained effort and prolonged partnerships.
In an effort to minister to the long term needs of our community we have begun building a facility, affectionally known as “The Mercy House.” This permanent structure will replace the aging makeshift collection of storage sheds and quonset huts our ministry has been operating out of for the last 5 years as we continue providing food, clothing, household items, and encouragement to those in need.
Located just one mile from the beach on our major road leading to the waters edge, the Mercy House will serve as a community hub of hope providing a wide range of services
Currently we touch the lives of approximately 300 families a month through our food distribution and other benevolence ministries. The Mercy House will allow us to expand the ministry with regular educational opportunities, like our recent “How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget” seminar, encouragement events, and other resources aimed to aid families going through difficulty and uncertainty.
To help build this new facility send your tax deductible donation to:
Lakeshore Baptist church
PO Box 293
Lakeshore MS 39558
(make sure to put “Mercy House” in the memo line)
Thank you so much for being a part of the work God continues to accomplish on the gulf coast to the praise of his name.