I need to take a breath today and thank everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of support we have received over the last two weeks. If you have been following my blog you know that Katrina hit Lakeshore Baptist Church hard. She took our church buildings, all our church member’s homes, and just about everything else in our community.
My Dad and brother traveled with me on my first trip down to Lakeshore to assess the damage. As we left Baton Rouge Healing Place Church loaded my Dad’s SUV with food, water, and relief supplies to distribute in Lakeshore. They also deployed a full trailer of food to the area. My sister Kristin and her husband, Ron Reynolds, work with the Healing Place’s eXcursion ministry.
Sometimes our pianist JoEll teases me about the doctrinal debates I engage in on the internet. We had to laugh this time because not only do those discussions serve the immediate purpose of standing for “the faith once delivered to the saints,” this time it served to hook us up with much needed gasoline, food, and supplies. I met Nathan White through my critique of Johnny Hunt’s SBC Pastor’s Conference sermon. Nathan brought our need before his pastor, Dave Stephenson. Greg London and Beau (sorry I didn’t catch your last name Beau) came down from Grace Bible Church near Atlanta with a F-250 loaded down with a 55 gallon drum of gas and a full load of miscellaneous supplies, including an ice chest full of lunch meat. After a week of green beans and fruit cocktail I brought them from Healing Place, a mayonnaise and turkey sandwich tasted like heaven.
Sawgrass Fellowship from Sunrise FL, sent 2 church vans and a whole Uhaul truck full of supplies, including 7 generators. Their worship leader, Steve Mullins, found us through this blog. I can’t thank God enough for these energetic folks who hit the ground running with vigor and encouragement. Pastor Jan Deans has promised a long term commitment and partnership with us and plans to return to our area in November.
As I type this, David Shormann of Houston is on rout to drop off lights, fans, dog food, and other supplies. He plans to drop these supplies off at one of the only buildings left standing in our community. One of our church members, John Richard, road out the storm in his house. Miraculously God spared the structural integrity of the house with John and his brother Cooper in it. I’ll save John’s full story for another post.
Gil Shivers, also from the Houston area in conjunction with a church in Weatherford, Texas, sent supplies to our area. Last I heard, they were heading toward Gulfview Elementary School. What a blessing.
I would be amiss if I did not mention the help I’ve received from my friend, Evangelist Tim Lee. He as already sent us $5,500 and has initiated a fund to help us rebuild our church facilities. God has used Bro. Tim in the past to richly encourage us and he does so once again in this time of need.
We have also received several financial gifts via paypal and checks through my parents address in Baton Rouge. Please forgive me for not listing them all this morning. The overwhelming outpouring of support has been such a blessing. We will continue to face steep financial needs as our church family seeks to minister to each other and our community. Gifts to the following address will be used to sup lament our church income as our entire congregation lost their homes. It will be a while before our church tithes and offerings provide self-sufficient income for our exploding ministry needs.
Lakeshore Baptist Church
1451 Great Oak Drive
Baton Rouge,LA 70810
BTW, I apologize to those who have emailed or called me and I have not had time to get back to you. If you have offered to help in a particular way, I am in the process of coordinating our efforts so we can best use the generous and welcome offers we have received.
Most of all we appreciate your continued prayers. We know that our sovereign God still governs and controls all things, from the killer winds and 25-30 foot tidal surge that swept our community into the gulf, to the flood of generous loving support from our brothers and sisters in Christ from across the country. We now know first hand what William Cowper meant when he penned the words,
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.