Lakeshore Baptist Church buildings, before and after hurricane Katrina.
Well, that’s one way to do it.
We built hundreds of sheds for Lakeshore residents living in FEMA campers. Each design sort of took on the character of the team building them. These sheds provided much needed storage space for people living in very cramped conditions. Many families use the sheds for their washing machines and dryers as they struggle to live, work, and go to school in housing designed for weekend get-aways. The sheds make life a little more bearable while they begin rebuilding their homes.
Happy New Year from Lakeshore. The busy Christmas holiday season winds down, but activity remains constant. We saw several groups in the month of December (I’ll try to post a list this week.) I guess that today I should spend time reflecting on all that God accomplished this past year and look forward to the next, but both thoughts overwhelm me with gratitude and trepidation. God continues to flood us with his grace in the way of willing volunteers eager to serve and minister to our community in tangible constructive assistance and encouragement.
We plan to bring the new year in with a bang – the bang of hammers and nail guns, that is. We have about 2 dozen active projects still in the air and hope to move several families into their new homes this month. Keep checking the blog for updates.
I receive several emails from those of you interested in houses you worked on while here in Lakeshore. Lord willing, in 2007 I plan to provide more particular news on the progress of individual projects. I suppose that counts as a new years resolution.
I also want to adopt Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions as my own this year, especially in regard to the rebuild Lakeshore ministry God has granted.
Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
read more of Edwards’ resolutions.
We have seen a lot of rain in the last week or so and more heads this way tonight.
When I returned to Lakeshore after the storm and began visiting each of our church members homes, I found the Shiyou’s house in shambles. The storm surge topped the roof, shifted the structure from its foundation, and left it beyond repair. Heavy equipment finished the job and brought the house down to the slab.
The detached car port survived, so we enclosed the walls, ran plumbing for a bathroom and small kitchenette, and turned it into a 400 sq foot apartment. This week a team from South Carolina will pick up where last week’s Pennsylvania team left off and franticly try to make the tiny dwelling place inhabitable by Christmas.
We hope to have the Lizanas in their home by Christmas. An eager volunteer team from South Carolina hit the ground running this morning cleaning windows, hanging blinds, patching sheet rock, paining trim, and tackling several other items on the punch list.
The Lizana home suffered irreparable structural damage from the storm. We had to completely clear the lot and start from the ground up.. A beautiful new home now sits in its place.
Eighty-four year old Mr. George lived in Lakeshore before the storm. His mobile home took in several feet of water but the structure remained intact. He now lives in a cramped FEMA camper on his son’s property in Long Beach. Mr. George desperately wants to return home. Next week we plan to finish gutting and cleaning the trailer and begin the rehab process. If you visit Lakeshore in the next couple of months, you may work on helping Mr. George realize his humble dream.
Nearly half of December has flown by and I have not caught my breath from November yet. We praise God for the following teams who came to work with us last month.
- Sierra First Baptist Church â€“ Alta, CA
- Harvest Community Church â€“ Charlotte, NC
- Heritage Fellowship â€“ TN
- Lima Baptist Temple â€“ Lima, OH
- First Baptist Natchitoches â€“ Natchitoches, LA
- Northgate Baptist Church â€“ Beckley, WV
- First Baptist Church â€“ Altamont, KS
- Briggs Memorial Chapel â€“ Scooba, MS
- Decatur Baptist Church â€“ Decatur, AL
- West Congregational Church – Haverhill, MA
- Chapel on the Hill â€“ Cedar Grove, NJ
- Riverside Fellowship â€“ New Port Ritchie, FL
- First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs â€“ Crystal Springs, MS
- Forest Point Church â€“ Gastonia, NC
- Highlands Fellowship â€“ Abingdon, VA
- Calvary Baptist Churchâ€“ Holland, MI
- Calvary Baptist Church â€“ Carney Point, NJ
- Grace Baptist Church – Cape Coral, FL
- George and Kathy Nelson â€“ Meridian, MS
- Ellison Ridge Baptist Church â€“ Winston, MS
- Trinity Lutheran Church â€“ Joppa, MD
- First Baptist Church of Saltillo â€“ Saltillo, MS
- First Baptist Church of Benton â€“ Benton, AR
- Welchland Baptist Church â€“ Spencer, TN
- Mt. Harmony â€“ Riceville, TN
- Reunion Church â€“ Chicago, IL
Yes, we stay busy!
Another house begins. We poured Mr. Sherman’s slab yesterday, on his wife’s birthday. The new house sits in the same location of the one destroyed by the storm; a home the couple had lived in for 50 years. They showed overwhelming appreciation toward the teams from California and Oregon working the concrete. We pray that God will use the ministry of team after team constructing the house to point this family to the wonder of Christ’s boundless grace.
We stayed so busy the week of Thanksgiving, I did not find the time to report on the wonderful week of hard work in Lakeshore. Check out Jamie’s blog for pictures and news. Eleven teams from nine states worked on several houses, including Ms. Peewee’s home, all culminating in a splendid Thanksgiving Day.
I hate to start mentioning particular names, because whenever I do, I feel the guilt associated with not being able to tell about all the wonderful people who come work with us, but let me highlight a few representatives.
I especially enjoyed seeing my friend Jeff Hill and his crew again from New Jersey. When Jeff arranged his first trip we soon learned that we both planned on attending the Together for the Gospel conference which immediately sparked a friendship.
I always love to see the folks from Grace Baptist Church. Thanksgiving week, Donald Johnson, the Ascol kids, and their crew served long hours in the kitchen. I finally did catch them square dancing in there one evening. We could have raised enough money to build the new church buildings if we would have sold tickets to see Donald doing the dosey-doe.
We also received an immense blessing from Paula Hamilton from Maryland, who I know faithfully reads the blog. Since the storm several individuals from across the country have gone above and beyond with encouragement and support. She stands among that group. Thanks Paula!