Ready for Spring Break?

Are you looking forward to spring? Historically our spring break weeks have been full of mission teams. At this time we still have several weeks open as we continue working on the new church building. We do not have anyone scheduled yet for March 2-6, March 23-April 12, and April 20 through the end of May. Want to come? Talk it up in your church. As the weather warms, we look forward to a glorious time in the Lord on the gulf coast this spring.

Trevor Patterson

Trevor Patterson

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your ongoing prayer support as God works incredible things for his glory. Rebuild Lakeshore continues our relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts on the Mississippi gulf coast. While we diligently work out in the community with house construction, debris clean-up, demolition of blighted property, etc, much of our attention turns to the construction of our new church building. This summer should see the finalization of the design drawings with ground breaking soon to follow. Keep up with us as we begin to put together a construction schedule and recruit volunteer teams for the project.

As we shift gears and enter into the next stage of storm recovery, we have lost a valuable member of our team. Jamie Dunbar served well for 6 years. the Lord has led her back to her home state of Wisconsin to be near her family. Her absence has created a void in our work and hearts. While no one could replace Jamie, many of her tasks need to be shuffled to others. I have been praying that God would send us someone to spread the load. I assume God had someone in mind, perhaps from one of our volunteer teams, to come down and lend a hand for a while. I specifically prayed for a young man that I could invest my life into and perhaps serve as somewhat of an intern in the mercy ministry. As God usually does, he answered my prayers in a richer fashion than I would have dreamed and has raised up a young man from within our local community.

Let me introduce you to Trevor Patterson. Trevor was only 14 when Hurricane Katrina decimated our area. Some of our earliest volunteer teams helped rehab his flooded home. Fast forward 6 1/2 years and God has grown Trevor into a strapping young man with a heart for the Lord and a desire to serve. Without going into all the details of his difficult post-Katrina teenage years, suffice it to say the Lord radically saved Trevor and turned his life around. I had the privilege of baptizing Trevor earlier this year.

Trevor jumped into the Rebuild Lakeshore work-flow with both feet a few weeks ago, leading volunteer teams and working hard along side of them. We plan to move him into the little cottage here on the church property so that he can be available to the 24/7 ministry. Would you consider financially supporting Trevor in our new intern program? We’ve worked out a budget of $1000 a month that will cover expenses associated with his position as well as providing him a small stipend for personal needs. The semester of our program will span the 7 months of June-December of 2012. Please download this form to direct your contribution to invest in the life of this young man and the work of the ministry here for God’s glory. As the Lord turns tragedy into triumphant praise to his name, I praise God that he sees fit to use us in the spread of his fame.

Architect Needed

Fellowship Hall Sunday School Floor plan

After nearly 6 years of community relief, recovery, and rebuilding, Lakeshore Baptist Church looks to begin construction of our main church complex. We plan to begin with a Fellowship Hall and Sunday School classroom building and follow that with the attached sanctuary.

The vision of the building grew out of numerous congregational meetings, input from church members, and prayerful considerations on the future of ministry of Lakeshore Baptist Church. We have enlisted the assistance of a local draftsman, Mark Madison, who has done a tremendous job at turning our vision into construction documents.

However…

We have run into one obstacle we need to overcome before obtaining a permit. Because the structure exceeds 5,000 sq ft we need a Mississippi licensed architect or structural engineer to give some input to, approve, and stamp the plans.

In the event we can not find someone in state, I do not know what is involved in obtaining a Mississippi license for those already licensed in another jurisdiction, but if anyone would be willing to go through that process, we would be forever grateful. Please contact me if you would be interested in volunteering your services for this project.

Here are the plans:

Side view

UPDATE: We found someone to stamp the plans… stay tuned for construction details.

The Oil Spill and the Mercy House

Oil Spil Lakeshore Mississippi

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.

The Mercy House

Stucco and Brick

As you can see, the Mercy House looks great! This past week our friends from Central Baptist Church of Corbin KY built back steps to the rear entry landing. Friends from South Jersey mudded and sanded the sheet rock in the lower level. If we can find someone this week to texture the walls, local teenagers will paint the interior walls next weekend.

Next on the list; we need to stucco the main house, lay pavers for the 32 X 16 front entry, and brick the 10 X 10 pump house. I do not have anyone on the volunteer list for the foreseeable future who have listed these skill sets. If you have experience in stucco or brick, please consider making a special trip to Lakeshore to help with this project. Contact us and let us know you can come. We will put you up in the newly built bunkhouse and I’ll personally prepare an authentic Creole / Cajun meal for your crew.

Sponsor the new bunk house

Lakeshore Bunk House - Concept drawing

Yesterday, by faith, Lakeshore Baptist Church voted to construct a permanent bunk house to continue hosting volunteers. We pray that this first step in our master plan will, in part, make our zoning board happy. We hope to keep our existing quarters for a little longer as well. The structure will also ensure that we can continue hosting mission teams for a long time to come.

The building will sleep 38 people in two rooms with adjacent restrooms and showers. Sitting on sturdy pilings 9′ above ground the structure will exceed the new flood plain regulations. Lord willing, we plan to break ground in the next few weeks.

We need your help to finance this project. For $200 you can sponsor one of the 38 beds and have your name installed on a recognition plaque placed in the rooms. For $1,500 a church can sponsor one of the 20 exterior 8′X8′ pilings. A plaque with your church name, city, and state will adorn the respective post. This sponsorship program will not only finance the project, but also serve as a wonderful testimony to God’s provision of brothers and sisters in Christ from across the country who have stood along side of us in the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts to the glory of God.

Download and print this Sponsorship Form (pdf) and send in your contribution or pledge today.

Tents Needed

Yesterday I posted about a man currently living in a tent. Samuel story is not unique. This past Friday we had two families come by the church asking for tents and blankets. I did not catch their full stories, but circumstances have driven them to seek shelter in sub-third world country living conditions. As MEMA begins to pull all cottages from Hancock County in light of the March 31 deadline to close out all government provided temporary housing, we fear more and more families, individuals, and elderly will get pushed out with nowhere else to turn.

We have a few tents packed away from the days we used to sleep in tents here on the church property after the storm. Some of them show signs of wear, but we have been going through them seeing which ones could be used by folks needing shelter.

I know tents do not provide a good solution, but the limited shelter beats sleeping outside exposed to the elements. For many people, these are the only two alternatives. To help with this pressing community need we find ourselves, like the first days after the storm, once again asking for donations of tents, sleeping bags, cots, and blankets. If you would like to help in this way you can ship these items directly to our church property or make financial designated contributions for the cause. You can find our address on the contact page. Thank you so

Land for Sale

Lakeshore Land for Sale

Church Property

If you have been to Lakeshore, you know that we own an awkward shaped piece of property. In the image above, the green area represents the land owned by Lakeshore Baptist Church. The kitchen and distribution center sits on the far left, the metal church building in the middle section near the road, and the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John quonset huts are in the area to the far upper right.

For the past few years we have been praying for an opportunity to acquire the two pieces of land in red and blue. This could square up our property and make the land more useful. We have been talking to the land owner of the property in the lower right corner. Up until now he has been unwilling to part with it. This past week he placed the land up for sale. He is asking $50,000 (or best offer) for the 100′ X 185′ lot. Although the property would serve the ministry well, we do not have the funds to buy the land.

We wanted to share this news with our friends and ask you to join us in prayer as we seek the Lord’s greatest glory in this matter. Perhaps someone may be interested in purchasing the property and donating it to the church as we continue ministering help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ to our community.

Summer Clothes Needed

As temperatures rise on the gulf coast, folks in Lakeshore have been coming by our our church property looking for help with clothing their kids and themselves for the summer. The bare shelves of our distribution center have not been able to keep up with the need. At one time we had to turn away clothing, because of limited storage availability. While I’m a little reluctant to open the flood gates with a clothes request, we do need summer clothing, in good condition, to provide for the families in our community still struggling to get on their feet. We especially can use clothes for men and children, like short pants, blue jeans, short sleeve shirts, T-shirts etc.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, please do not send winter apparel at this time. We do not have space to store clothing during the summer months. We also want to be good stewards of your transportation costs and our dumpster fees, so we would greatly appreciate culling out moldy garments, threadbare pants, and shirts with holes or stains before sending them this way.

Many churches have found clothing drives very successful. Set aside some space to receive donations of clothing in your facilities. Promote the drive in a number of ways. Local newspapers often receive press releases for charitable efforts like this gladly. If you belong to an SBC church, contact your association and ask if they could spread the word to the sister churches in your area. Other denominations should have similar channels of communication. In your announcement, do not forget to point them to the Rebuild Lakeshore web site (rebuildlakeshore.com). Enlist volunteers to sort through the clothes, labeling according to gender and size. Fold clothing and place them in shipping boxes. Make the sorting date a church wide event as you pray for those in Lakeshore benefiting from your generosity. Investigate the most cost effective way to transport the clothing to Lakeshore. You may find someone willing to drive the clothing down more economically than commercial shipping. If you have a team coming this summer, perhaps they could carry the boxes with them. If you do need to mail the packages, you can find our address on our contact page.

On behalf of our community, thank you so much. Know that your donations will help clothe a person in need this summer, for the glory of God. (Matthew 25:31-46)

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.