Friday, March 30, 2007

What's in store for me?

I returned to MS last night after a great week seeing family and friends in Wisconsin and getting some very much needed rest. It was great to be there, but I am glad to be back.

And here's that update I've been's a bit long...letting me know I should update the folks supporting and praying for me more we go...

The month of March is about to wrap up, concluding my ninth month here at Lakeshore Baptist Church. Things are moving along and volunteers continue to flow into the area. In fact, the last two weeks alone we have hosted roughly 270 volunteers. Progress is being made. It seems slow but when I sit back at the end of the week and realize how many big and small things were accomplished it is pretty amazing.

Recently, Mrs. Lambert was able to move into her trailer. We have been working on her trailer for several months and finally were able to get every thing finished inside and put a porch on the front. She is very happy and excited to finally be out of the cramped FEMA camper and into her own place.

There are a few other homes that don’t lack much before getting in. But what I’ve realized it’s the small things that take the longest. But Lord willing we’ll be getting some other folks in their homes before too long.

Right now we have about 25 major projects that we are sending volunteers out to work on and other miscellaneous projects that we hear about through the distribution center and from people stopping in at the church office. Some of the projects include framing, hanging/finishing sheetrock, painting, plumbing, electrical, finish carpentry, flooring, debris clean up and burning, yard clean up, and basically anything else you can think of involving rebuilding homes.

The distribution center here on the church property is still seeing well over 1,000 people a week and continues to be one of the only distribution centers around. We remain open Wednesday through Saturday from 9-3. Ms. Lynn, Ms. Bea and the other ladies continue to work tirelessly to keep the distribution center open and well stocked.

I have been blessed by my time here in Lakeshore and have enjoyed meeting thousands of volunteers and many of the people in the community. This semester I have also been given the opportunity to take a class at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where I have been taking Systematic Theology. I have made it through the first half of the semester and have really enjoyed that class and the opportunity to increase my knowledge and understanding of some specific doctrines. I look forward to the rest of the semester.

Last fall I began leading two women’s Bible studies, we just wrapped up the study “Pursuing God” by Jim Elliff and are praying and talking about where to go next. I have been very encouraged by the women who were coming to the studies and their enthusiasm to grow in knowledge and discipline and to grow in their relationship with their creator.

I appreciate everyone who has prayed for me and supported me the past nine months. It’s really been encouraging to me to know there are folks praying for me and this has sustained me when I have a rough day or am overly tired. I ask for and covet your prayers for the following months as I continue with school and serving here at the church.

I have been giving a lot of thought to what is to follow this semester. After praying for the Lord’s direction, He has answered my prayers and I believe it’s the Lord’s will for me to continue serving here in Lakeshore. So, I have made a commitment to stay at the church until June of 2008. I will continue to serve in the same way that I serve now: answering phones, arranging trips for volunteers, planning sleeping arrangements, assisting with lining up teams at jobs sites, and all the other little random things that I’m asked to do.

I look forward to the upcoming year and all that the Lord has in store for the Lakeshore community. I covet your prayers as I continue to serve here in Lakeshore not only for myself, but for Lakeshore Baptist Church and the rebuilding ministry.

For me:
Multiplied rest/sleep
Diligence with my time in the word and in prayer
Flexibility, which helps with patience and stress
An accountability partner

For the church:
For Pastor Don as he shepherds the flock
For the church members to grow in their relationship with the Lord as they face difficulties, joys, and in all circumstances

For rebuilding ministry:
The Lord would continue to draw people to the Gulf Coast
The Lord would change the hearts of people whose homes we are working in.
For the staff and full time volunteers (Pastor Don, JoEll, James)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

From rainy Wisconsin...

Okay, so I'll make this post quick in hopes of getting a longer update out later this week.

I have been blessed to be in my home state of Wisconsin this past week getting a lot of rest and having a lot of fun with my best friend from college. I left Mississippi last Thursday afternoon after turning my paper in at class.

Though I am in northern Wisconsin, it worked out that I was able to go and visit my family in Platteville and worship with my home church family. It has been a great week of encouragement and spending time in the word. I have had the opportunity to join my friend Katie for a few of the Bible studies she is part of. It was great being a part of these studies and the encouragement I received from seeing other young ladies that are excited about the word of God, enjoy digging into the Word, and spending time discussing and struggling through passages of scripture and the doctrines of our faith has spurred me on to continue pressing on in my studies of scripture.

I'll fly back to Mississippi tomorrow, hopefully well rested and ready to hit the ground running. For more up to date posts on what has been and is going on in Lakeshore check out the Rebuild Lakeshore website.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

pudding break reflections

While I stop for a pudding break, I was thinking about the amount of volunteers that have come in just today. This morning there was a small group of guys here from Northern Mississippi, at lunch time there was really no volunteers, and tonight before I go to bed there will be somewhere around 125 volunteers and by morning an expected 170. It's been exciting to see this place fill up within just a few hours, knowing that the amount of work they will begin in the morning will be pretty significant.

Alright pudding break is over...but here are a few pictures from this weekend of Harmony Baptist Church helping pour concrete into the walls of a home.

Friday, March 16, 2007

randomness among the chaos of my mind

Since my paper hasn't begun to write itself,
I'll make things short...

- One paper down, one to go.-
-One week to go before NOBTS spring break-
-The ladies Bible studies have completed their books,
we're praying for direction for coming months-
-One busy, yet productive week has gone by,
with 100 volunteers and several homes worked at-
-170 volunteers will arrive Sunday and Monday,
working on about 14 differnt projects beginning Monday morning-
-Systematic Theology class is going well,
this week we're looking at God's providence-
-this week's most relevant blog post, at least to relevant to me,
is found at the solo feminity blog-
So with that I'm off to bed for the night.

One last piece of randomness...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This is odd...

Okay so this is a bit random and I know I said I was going to work on papers, but it is not everyday you see a pair of giant feet sitting on the side of the road. Especially a pair of feet that is for sale.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Writer's Block

The next few weeks here around Lakeshore look busy and Lord willing we'll be getting much accomplished. However, due to the amount of work here at the church I am going to need to take pretty much every other free moment during the days and evenings to work on a couple of papers for my Systematic Theology class. The Lord has given me the opportunity to take this class and I want to be a good steward of the time that I do have to learn all that I can in this class and apply that to writing my papers. So all that to say, if there is a lull around my blog that's the reason. Lord willing I will be posting a few pictures here and there over the next couple of weeks. And when I finish with the papers (or if the due date comes first) I plan to give a little bit of a personal update. But that will have to wait until I have a little extra time to write.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

As I consider the words of the hymn Hallelujah! What a Savior I cannot help but rejoice in the Son of God. Who came to this earth and was obedient unto death, though despised and forsaken by men. Then bearing my sin he died upon the cross, pardoning me. And only because of His great mercy will I not face the wrath of God, which I rightly deserve for my sins against the Holy God.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Philip Bliss

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, Who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! Can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Full force ahead

After some unforseen delays, work at Mr. Shermans continued this week. A group from Mt. Harmony Baptist Church in Riceville, TN and ladies from Women at the Well worked at getting the sheeting on the roof.

The Mt. Harmony group was one of several groups that served in Lakeshore this week, in fact this week 95 people worked at 14 or more different homes in the community. Praise God, He continues to turn people's hearts to the Gulf Coast and that folks can continue to go into the community and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pslam 127:1-2
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.