I confess I've been really bad at sending out an update this spring. Rather than try to make excuses, I will try to spend a bit of time rejoicing in what the Lord has done over the last several months in Lakeshore.
We had a great spring break season with about 10 solid weeks of hosting volunteer teams from around the country. The Lord sent 20 different teams and about 400 people to Lakeshore during that time and in that time we were able to work on finishing the Mercy house, make progress on Pastor Don's house, we've done major clean up on at least two different properties, clean up around the church property, helped a sister church in Waveland get their buildings in order, and did other odds and ends in our community. During one week in March, God really made himself evident as protector as we sent 4 people to the hospital during that week. That is a record for us, one we are not proud of, but at the end of the week everyone ended up being okay.
During the months of April and May I was dealing with several personal issues, one of those was wrestling through the idea of leaving Lakeshore and moving back to Wisconsin. This has not been any easy thing to wrestle with as I've not been ready to leave Lakeshore, but I knew the support I had raised was coming closer to an end. I'm still not a 100% sure of the direction the Lord is leading. I am feeling a little leading more one way than the other now, however. (I am really leaning towards continuing service in Lakeshore) I am still praying for the Lord to be clear with me and what steps I need to take next concerning a move or raising support, Lord willing, I will be sending out an update soon.
We've begun a great summer season, we are already into our fifth week of our summer crews. The Lord is sending about 600 people our way this summer! It's been wonderful so far and we are looking forward to a great month of July. So far this month we've laid out the piling plan for the fellowship hall, brought Pastor Don and Courtney's house very close to completion, worked with a local man hanging drywall in his home and encouraging him, building a couple different ramps for the disabled, and many smaller projects in the community. We've also recently begun working with the Hancock County Beautification Department to help get rid of blighted property. To start we began to demo a house left over from the storm. This is still a huge problem in our community. For example, just in 1 out of 6 wards in the city of Bay St. Louis there are still 168 blighted properties that need clean up.
For a quick update in the life of our church: We continue to see new folks coming to church and we've had a couple families join in membership in the past few months. We are working to finish the plans for the Fellowship Hall, Lord willing, we will begin construction in the next few months. We also celebrated the official opening of the Mercy House, which includes our permanent distribution center. We've been able to use the meeting area in the Mercy House for a couponing seminar, dinner on the grounds, and senior adult luncheons and we look forward to an upcoming coffee shop/open mic night, vacation Bible school, and monthly senior adult luncheons.
I really appreciate the continued prayers and the support of everyone. I'm seeing God doing great things every day. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for me in the coming months and in the life of Lakeshore Baptist Church.
Please continue to pray for:
Direction as to whether I should stay in Lakeshore or move.
I just want to follow what the Lord's will is for me.
Unity in the body of Lakeshore Baptist Church
The Lord would draw more people to Himself through the proclamation of the gospel.
Praise for the grace and strength the Lord has provided to keep me going. Though the work makes me weary, I've been able to think much more clearly, be much more patient, and have been able to carry on each day.