People found, property lost

We praise God that we have now heard from most all of our church members. I have not been able to talk with everyone personally, but through word of mouth almost everyone is accounted for. Please pray for us as we continue to contact every single person. Some evacuated far from the storms path, others left the lowest areas but still endured treacherous weather. Some huddled in attics and others swam to safety in the midst of the storm. Only God’s miraculous intervention spared their lives. We know of several in our community, not in our immediate church membership, who did lose their lives.

I believe that every last church member’s home has been destroyed. The wind and water rushed in, moving some homes across roads, gutting others, caving in roofs, and flattening others completely. I will post pictures soon.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

You can Help.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and encouraging words you all have sent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We still do not have any word on exactly how high the water rose in our house. If you have seen the news coverage pictures of New Orleans, it doesn’t look good. We will not be able to get into New Orleans for a good while. For now we are staying at my parents house in Baton Rouge. We have not decided where we will go from here. Many have asked if they can help financially. We can receive funds via Paypal.

or snail mail:

Pastor Don A Elbourne Jr
1451 Great Oak
Baton Rouge,LA 70810

We covet your prayers most of all. I still have not heard from most of our church members. Reports coming out of the Lakeshore/Waveland/Bay St. Louis area say that Katrina left nothing standing.

Hurricane Katrina

I am alive. My wife and two kids are alive. My family survived Hurricane Katrina. Still numb from the devastation around us, I can’t help but praise God for the safety of my family and the assurance that God’s providence works all things together for our good and his glory.

We live in New Orleans, or I should say we used to live in New Orleans. We still do not know about our house. We assume its underwater and perhaps a complete loss. We evacuated to my parent’s house in Baton Rouge. We may not be able to return for weeks or even months. Its hard to watch our city fill with water like a bathtub and try to decide where to go from here. Our hope rests in the firm foundation of our sovereign God who holds us in his right hand. This morning I think of John Newton’s words, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”

I still have not heard anything from any of our church members from Lakeshore Baptist Church. Most of them live very close to the water. I know most of them evacuated.

For those not familiar with the gulf coast, Lakeshore sits about half way between New Orleans LA and Gulport. MS, just outside Waveland/Bay St. Louis. Our church is only about a mile from the gulf, in a very low lying area. As soon as the roads open I want to get in and assess the damage. I will be very surprised if any of our church buildings still stand at all.

Now that I have internet access I will post updates as I find out more information. I just wanted to post this to let everyone know that we are safe. Please pray for us as we pick up the pieces, rebuild, and move forward to the glory of God.