Clean-up Continues

Clean-up

Hurricane Katrina hit over 5 1/2 years ago and our community still suffers with reminders of devastation littering the landscape. Last week an energetic team of volunteers attacked a neighboring abandoned property and collected this pile of debris.

Up until recently, most of the clean-up work assignments have come from local folks requesting our assistance. We would like to begin a more pro-active campaign by tracking down the owners of debris strewn properties and offer to do a final sweep.

This project will focus on a few different reasons for the remaining debris including properties of people who have moved out of the area, properties of elderly, the handicap, or people otherwise unable to do the clean-up themselves, and those who have been so psychologically and emotionally scarred by the disaster that they find it difficult to grasp onto the hope of a better day.

Many Hancock County families moved away after the storm and have been unable to return to clean their property. FEMA and the Corp of Engineers may have bulldozed what remained of their home for the bulk of the debris removal, but that sweep didn’t catch everything. The folks now live far away and for various reasons have been unable to return to the area. We would like to go in with volunteers and beautify their property, if not for them, for the folks still living in the area faced with reminders of devastation on a daily basis.

We also have those in the community for one reason or another unable to do the work themselves or have been so overwhelmed by the task, they have all but have given up. We want to minister help and hope to these people by offering a team of energetic Christians to lend a neighborly hand as the gospel takes root in our community.

Pray for Lakeshore Baptist Church as we enter into this phase of the recovery. Collecting names and securing permission will require sensitivity to the needs around us as we continue to infuse our mercy ministry with evangelistic opportunities for the glory of God.

We have a big summer planned, but we still have several open dates on the calendar, so feel free to give us a call and plan your summer mission trip asap. We could use more able hands and willing hearts for this and other ongoing projects for the spread of Christ’s fame on the gulf coast.. If you can’t make it yourself, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the cause so that this work can continue. This incredible ministry that God has seen fit to bless us with, relies on your generous gifts. I can not thank you enough for your continued support.

Biblical Counseling

Lakeshore Baptist Church, on the gulf coast of Mississippi, recently hosted an Introduction to Biblical Counseling Seminar led by Pastor Darrell Gustafson and his wife Janet. Seven students participated in the week long training session and received an overview of the biblically based Nouthetic counseling method.

We minister in a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina, swamped by the BP oil spill, and hit hard by the nation-wide economic recession. As we minister in an environment of hopelessness and despair, Lakeshore Baptist Church desires to continue providing help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ to our storm ravaged community and to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ as we seek the spread of his fame across the gulf coast. To that end, we jumped at the chance to extend our counseling skills with the training offered by the Gustafsons of the Grace Covenant Counseling Center in Gilbert AZ.

In the week long crash course, we were encouraged to follow the biblical mandate to all believers to trust in the sufficiency of scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit as we “council one another with all wisdom.” We learned how to help those in need by first listening for a person’s “presentation problem,” then how to dig deeper to determine particular sinful actions and attitudes that require biblical, measurable and practical repentance and change. We dealt with issues such as anger, depression, fear, worry, and sexual sins.

We want to thank the Gustafsons for sharing their ministry with us and allowing us to glean from their expertise and experience. We stand confident the training we received will enhance our ability to minister to believers and unbelievers as they deal with various difficulties, sinful patterns of behavior, and take concrete steps toward biblical repentance and change. We pray that God will glorify himself on the gulf coast as he continues to bring all things under subjection to Christ for the praise of his name.

Mercy for Japan

A Prayer:

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.

O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.

And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.

Have you not encouraged us in this? Have we not heard a hundred times in your Word the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience? Do you not a thousand times withhold your judgments, leading your rebellious world toward repentance? Yes, Lord. For your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts.

Grant, O God, that the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved.

May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures’ pain. You did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for us all.

In Jesus you tasted loss. In Jesus you shared the overwhelming flood of our sorrows and suffering. In Jesus you are a sympathetic Priest in the midst of our pain.

Deal tenderly now, Father, with this fragile people. Woo them. Win them. Save them.

And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.

O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face.

In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen.

by John Piper

Spring Forward

Spring Break 2011

For the last couple of weeks Lakeshore saw several teams of college students and church groups celebrating spring break by pushing projects forward on our church property. Among other things they cleared an adjacent lot of remaining storm debris, laid a beautiful sidewalk leading to the Mercy House, tore down the rotting office pump shed, re-painted the shower trailer, hung siding on my new home, built raised beds for our new garden, gave the upper level of the Mercy House its final coat of interior paint, and so much more.

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break 2011