Saturday, November 24, 2007

Learning Quickly

The past couple of weeks have flown by. We've had several teams here from multiple states (Georgia, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Kansas) and it's been a great growing experience for me. These past few weeks I've been a bit more involved with taking teams to the jobs sites and instructing them on what to do. Honestly, at first I was a bit out of my element, but as time has gone on it's gotten easier to instruct and answer questions. The teams these past couple of weeks have been very gracious as I learn what tools are what and what they do, as I figure out how to get materials to them, and as I tell them what I need done in areas that I thought I knew nothing about but am learning very quickly (electrical work for example). Thankfully they've know what they are doing and have been able to explain the way things work and why we need to do things a certain way.
This week I am pretty excited. A team from Arkansas is working at Ms. Gillum's house. They are working on installing light fixtures, toilets, sinks, tub, ceiling fans, water heater, and touching up paint. It is looking more and more like a home, not just a house. Lord willing we will be able to get all the cabinets in the next week or two and get the electricity turned on, and move Ms. Gillum in.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The October-November blur

I'm a sitting here tonight, on Liz's last night with us for a while, wondering where October and most of November have gone. We've had many volunteer team coming and going these past couple months and a lot of progress has been made on the homes we've been working on.

He's just a glimpse of what's been happening.

  • Ms. Gillum's house is getting closer and closer for her to move in. We are waiting on her kitchen cabinets to come in, but most the rest of the house is complete...with a few exceptions.
  • Mr. George's trailer is getting very close. We've sent a team in to hook up the kitchen sink this weekend. Now the main thing that remains is a couple of doors and his furniture, which Lord willing we'll be getting in the near future.
  • The Moran's house is nearly all sheetrocked and she was going to have some relatives finish that and do the mudding and sanding.
  • Ms. Diane's house is insulated and Lord willing we will be starting to sheetrock this week.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Green's posts have been set for the porch, which should be started this week.
  • We've had a team break up two slabs to prep the site where we plan to start another 2 homes.
It is strange when it hits me, which happens multiple times a week, that this community was completely destroyed. There was not one home that wasn't affected by the storm. I don't know of any house in Lakeshore that didn't take on at least a few feet of water, most place taking on somewhere between 5-15. Some places got 20 to 40 feet of water. I still cannot imagine. But I am grateful the volunteers continue to come into Lakeshore and minister to this community.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Appreciation is due

Pastor Appreciation month has gone by and I've not been able to express to my pastors how much I appreciate them and their ministry to the flock. Pastor Jeff in Platteville, WI and Pastor Don here in Lakeshore, MS are great men of God who hold fast to the truth and faithfully preach it each week. I know there are hours of preparation for the sermon that come out in the sermons, but otherwise goes unnoticed and for this preparation I am eternally grateful as I sit under their preaching and hear the Word of God.

Not only do they bring God's Word each Sunday and throughout the week, they spend many hours taking care of other needs, counseling people, encouraging people, hospital visits, discipling people...the list could go on and on. They also have their own families who they lead, protect, encourage, discipline, love, and guide in Truth.

While I am grateful for my pastors, I also appreciate my pastors wives. I am convinced that as pastors are much appreciated and sometimes recognized, often the women who are by their side, who support their husbands, and do much more around the church than is really realized are neglected in appreciation and praise.

Both Felicia and Courtney have been extremely encouraging and helpful in my growth as a believer and into a young woman. They've been the ones I can go to all the time, in any situation. They are there when I have questions about life and scripture. And for the Church...They do much more around the church than most church members and have devoted many hours to meeting the needs of the church body in cooperation with their husbands.

They have both been great examples for me by being godly women who love their husbands and children. As I look forward to being a wife and mother one day, Lord willing, I've been blessed to have several examples of women, like Felicia and Courtney, to learn from. Not only do these women serve the church, they serve their family continuously. - from preparing meals, making sure the kids have everything for school, running kids from place to place, doing the normal house cleaning/laundry/dishes, supporting their husbands, and many other daily activities. I praise God for my pastors wives and what they do for the Church and what great encouragement they have been to me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Redneck moments

I was thinking I should start a series for moments that might be labeled "Redneck"....We could have pages and pages of posts on all those moments that we have around here. But today Liz and I had our own special moment....

So Liz and I were driving around today helping teams get from site to site and picking up a few materials. After making a purchase from Home Depot she and I figured out how to get 16 feet of baseboards to fit into the van. While we were doing that the side door to the van apparently decided that it wasn't going to cooperate with us and when Liz went to open the door it basically fell off.

Well, Liz and I worked together and got the door back on, so we thought. We got the trim in the van and started down the road. We turned off from the Hwy to a side road and that's when the door decided to come off again, as we were driving. I will say it didn't totally fall off, but was definitely something that needed attention. We made it to our destination with the door half falling off and discovered the problem.

We needed a bolt or something similar to put it back on it's track and keep it there. Were searched the van and the house we were at, finding no bolt. So we reverted to our redneck ways...let's just find something we can jam up in there and call it good. We were searched for something to fit, finding a lone carpenter pencil, random shims, scrap wire, and scrap trim. The lone carpenter pencil proved to be a perfect fit. So we jammed that pencil through the bolt hole and were able to secure the door to it's track, continued down the road, finished our errands, and arrived safely with door and all at the church.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

framing, sheet rock, flexibility

It's been a great week at Lakeshore Baptist church. We've had a crew from Georgia working on framing the Landry home this week. Lord willing they will have the first floor done and a crew can come in Sunday right behind them and get started on the second floor.
We've also had a group of sheet rock guys from Illinois, who were incredibly flexible with us this week as we had them doing odd jobs, picking up sheet rock from Home Depot, and sheet rocking the Moran's home.

Its great to see things happening and moving forward around here. I am looking forward to the rest of this fall.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

If the Lord wills

Today something happened that helped me to see just another reason why I am here in Lakeshore and why I love it so much. To give a little background...There is a couple in the community who has three boys. Like most in the area, they are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to get enough money to build a home. After the storm they received very little money, but with living expenses and several medical issues that money depleted very quickly. The family is very anxious to get out of the FEMA trailer and into a home.

Because they are living paycheck to paycheck they would buy a few boards as they could afford them and the husband was doing the work himself. They came to Lakeshore Baptist asking for help and we really wanted to help them, but with their limited income and a grant we are typically able to get it still was going to be way short.

So Pastor Don kept thinking about ways to be able to help them. Through a series of events we were able to find out that another organization had come back to the coast and was helping get materials to build homes. We quickly caught up with them and proceeded to find out if that organization could help this family.

Pastor Don and I were able to go today and tell the woman that we were going to be able to help and if everything works out right a framing crew would be in this weekend to begin framing the home. Things are seeming to fall together as today progressed...If the Lord wills, we will have a team over at their home next week.

One of the greatest things about telling her that we were going to be able to help was to see her smile. Something I had not really ever seen her do before. She's been hit with some difficult situations and seems to have lost hope. I pray these teams that go there from now on would be a light and an encouragement to this family.