Thursday, January 12, 2006

George W. in Bay St. Louis

What a strange day...I spent the morning with Curt Moore and Doug Mallow (Both Mission to the World guys) and we were scouting Bay St. Louis for potential sites and places to house mission teams, feed mission teams, bathe mission teams- basically EVERYTHING for groups coming to the bay- stay tuned for the answer to those prayers- UN-BE-LEIVABLE!!! At any rate, when we met up with some folks from the morrell foundation ( they informed us that just about 1/2 a mile from where the camp was set up George W. Bush would be flying in to Bay St. Louis/Waveland! I don't know if words can describe the feeling of being 1/2 mile from where Marine 1- the President's helicpoter lands, but lets just say there were 3 Blackhawk helicopters, Coast Guard boats in the water, more State Troopers than you could count, the Governor of Mississippi and ME! Here's a telling contrast and it says something about the people here- all of the workers took a break to watch the motorcade complete with M-16 toting FBI guys hanging off of the black suburbans, etc... and after watching Dubya speed by at 40mph we walked into the large tent area and ate some soup that the Red Cross had made- all in a Post-Katrina day's work- the Leader of the Free world and refugee soup- WOW! Okay- here's the part better than DUBYA- we drove around the Bay looking for showers, housing, etc.. and I told the guys that we should drive out to Waveland to see this 'tent city' for volunteers which I'd heard of- it is called Camp Hope (as I said run and funded by the Morrell Foundation). Let me try to summarize the blessing of this place- it is a $500,000 tent city with beds for 300 presently, 3 hot meals per day, free washer and dryer facilities, hot showers, toilets, sinks, parking, work orders and it only costs a $10 donation per person/per day. They do not allow anyone to stay there who is working for pay so it's only volunteers. There are Presbyterians, Humanitarians, Unitarians, Octagenarians, Jews, Agnostics, Mormons- you name it- all camped out at Camp Hope just simply helping folks- it is profound and amazing. Reservations can be made for groups and they do all the cooking for you- when you get back to camp dinner is served- it is really unbelievable! We will be able to host large groups of people through this venue. Oh, almost forgot they have an internet cafe so that people can keep up with family & friends! It gets better- Conrad Velasco and Jake Earle are based out of Camp Hope. Who are Conrad and Jake? They are the idea men behind "Sheds for Jesus". What is "Sheds for Jesus"? It is a ministry to the people of the coast allowing minimally skilled labor to come to the coast build sheds, take the sheds to needy families, spend time with the families, share the shed and the hope of the Gospel and love people. The sheds are unreal- the teams write notes, prayers, phone numbers, etc. in the inside and several teams have had follow-up contact with families who have received a shed. It gets BETTER!- Conrad and Jake want to work with the PCA mission groups and particularly with Lagniappe Church to use the sheds as a way to open doors for evangelism and then connect the families to the church plant. Conrad and I prayed together today and it is humbling to meet someone like him who has left his home and family to come build sheds and love the people of the Coast. Jake is supposed to tag team with Conrad next week and give him some R&R. I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds for the church. The Kingdom is on the move! Narnia is beginning to thaw!!!!

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