Sunday, May 28, 2006

Kicked out Again.

Again, all of my possessions are in my car. Again, I have to move out of where I have been staying. Again, I have to find the next place to occupy. Jean's family has moved down to the Bay and thus the house that was once the office and full of us guys working late into the night as above and who knows who else will not calm down but stay consistent with those causing the rucus. A bunk house is being converted into a residency for the interns and myself but will not be done until late next week or so. Thus, I am living out of my car again for the fifth or sixth time. However, yesterday I took my first showerer in our new facility. This may have been one of the most peace filled shower or moment I have had in awhile. On top of the fact it was a warm shower and I was very dirty and tired it was a shower in our new facility which a month ago still had a flooded Mercedes sitting in the bathroom and a ton of debris piled evreywhere. It is amazing how far we have come, it is amazing how much has been accomplished, it is amazing how big God is. A week of straight debris clean-up with a skidsteer, long, long hours by Dickie and Skeet and the Pinebelt construction boys, Karen our office manager driving forklift to pick houses while Tom the intern on his first day and Jean ran between the bunk houses throwing the blocks out of the way, four days straight of squeezing beneath the bunkhouses to bolt them back together, driving bunkhouses down the road, riping out toilets and water heaters from Morrell to use in our facility, going through paper work and all the permitting necessary to do all of this, and so much more is all that has go on in the past month since we got this property. All this while volunteers helped out in the process, stayed with us, and worked in the community. I need pictures of all this, I will try to put a process down but still it is hard to convey all that has happened and still needs to happen. Back to this shower, it is all coming together and as the saying goes here at Lagniappe their are no heroes in Bay St. Louis except Jesus, because there is no way that any of this could have happened without Him smiling on us. Our building will come together, I may find a place to live for more than one month at a time, the community will be helped through us, and God will have is way and advance is kingdom regardless of us broken not OK folks attempting to serve Him here in Bay St. Louis.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Is anyone out there?

As I sit in my house in Louisville, for one final Saturday, one final weekend and I enjoy the A/C unit's power I noticed that we haven't updated the blog in several days. That could mean one of two things...Either we packed it up and left, or we've been so busy on the ground in Bay St. Louis that we haven't had time to blog. I can't sum it all up here, there are so many things going on, but I will say this, the office has been moved to a "temporary" office, on site, and the internet is up there, but I'm pretty sure there isn't any A/C in that office. There wasn't any friday when I left at 5:45 PM. Jean's house was in good shape for the pending move from Memphis, the grass mowed, the porch tidyed, the house scoured by the interns ready for the Larroux family. The Chapmans are preparing to make a trip down one last time... in a moving van. We are planning on closing on our house here by the end of the week and will hopefully be down there Thursday night or Friday AM. Note to interns: please help us unpack!!! We could probably get it all done in a couple of hours no problem. June first is so close, we are scrambling to get the property ready, and the bunkhouses finished out. We have teams from all over that are working to get those ready for occupancy. I've seen them all, but haven't met them all. I didn't even get to take any photos except for this one of Jackson Larroux who had a fun night on Thursday, and arrived home at4:15 AM via a squad car. Things are very busy right now, we are catching up, and we will be returning all those phone calls that need to be made. Jean had over 20 voice mails the other day. Just makes me sick thinking about it, not that he has 20 people that tried to call, but calling and having that many conversations is a lot of talking. Please be patient with all of us. Kimberly Allen (new intern) is helping return calls for some of the staff. It is little things like that, that make a big difference. Ok well, I'm about to go to the pool and catch up on being "daddy" this weekend. Keep LPC in your prayers. If you are going to be around Louisville, MS this week, let me know you can help me pack and load a truck. ;)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What a Great Group

What a great team. Led by Mellisa Deeken, these guys came all the way from Pennsylvania to help out. They helped move everything that Morrell gave us. Trip after trip and they smiled and were excited the entire time. They also gutted a gas station convenience store for a lady who lost everything; home and business. Several of the team stayed behind to help Bob Neal roof homes in Biloxi. I invited them, in an attempt to recruit more interns, to stay for the summer. Dave Rice took me up on the offer and is arriving next week to help for the summer. Thank you Jesus. There is more work but the labor is grande. Everyone is tired. Interns are arriving daily. Training is taking place. Teams are coming and helping us get our facility up and running. The groups with us this week; Arden PCA from Ashville area, Calvary Reformed in Virginia, and a Rotary group from Spruce Pine, NC. More teams are arriving and by Saturday we will have over 100 people. Please pray.

Monday, May 22, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

2 of the 3 Steel Magnolias...Thanks Yall....

Friday, May 19, 2006

You wouldn't believe it unless you saw it first hand

We have so much going on today. It's been a wild week at Lagniappe, I'm going to shoot a 360 degree video of what's going on so you get a sense of things. By the way, if you are anywhere near south MS and you don't have plans for tomorrow (or even if you do), I'll make some for you. Get down here, don't call, put on some work clothes and show up. Directions are on the web site. Conrad can work about 10 people and Jordan can use another 5 or so easily. We have some on-site doing plumbing, too... There is just a lot to be done. By the way, that is Jean in the photo, what he's doing on a lift truck I have no idea, but apparently there's so much to do that yes, even he has to help. ;)

Thursday, May 18, 2006


A friend sent me a verse, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." --Colossians 3:1-4. As we put out facility together and get ready to house teams much of the work is focused on very practical needs. Yet, all of this is not for earthly things but for His Glory and to draw people to Him. We have been blessed down here in our ministry in a very practical way, God has provided many physical needs such as money, personnel, trucks, supplies, the right timing of accomplishing what we need accomplished, and much more but all of this is to bring glory to Him and draw the people of Bay St. Louis and Waveland to Him. Pray that peoples lives will be drawn and given over to Him.

Leaving Today ***

Lois and Tom Armour are leaving today to return to Bay St Louis and help with the shed building. Their grand daughter, Lindsey, collected crayfish for the next team party!
this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

  Hello everybody, I'm Tom Hart, not Jordan, making a special guest post on the blog. Today, I was the first Lagniappe intern to arrive at the Gulf, and what a day it was. When I woke up this morning my plans were as follows: make the six hour drive from Georgia to Bay St. Louis, get moved in and cozy in my new abode, and maybe take a nap. The only thing I was right about was the six hour drive. When I pulled into the parking lot at Lagniappe, Andy greeted me with, "Hey Tom, park your car over there in get in the truck." Seven hours later I was exhausted, filthy, and satisfied by a full day's work. It's hard for me to believe that less than two weeks ago I was taking a history final. This summer is gonna rock. Top 5 occurances of my first day in Mississippi: 5. I haven't gotten this dirty since my seventh grade birthday party. 4. I got to fed delicious Cincinnati chili thanks to Miss Karen. 3. I drove the Skid Steer. 2. I watched Jean Larroux swing like Tarzan on a chain hanging from heavy machinery 1. I spent seven hours of quality time with Jordy! Posted by Picasa

Intern or Soup Nazi?

Welcome Eric Remington, summer intern. Eric arrives Sunday to spend a little time in the Bay...or is he a fugative from justice. He will join Tom Hart, Emily Schmidt,Austin Dupree, Kimberly Allen, and Christy Shores this next week for intern training. They will be oriented to Lagnaippe, the Bay, and team leadership. Who knows we may put Eric in charge of the cafeteria food line. What's that? "No soup for you."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Just a quick update

Since many of you don't know exactly what's going on down here I'll try and give you a quick glimpse in to life at Lagniappe. I got back here tonight around 10:15 PM and this is what I found. Karen (our new office manager) was still working on stuff. She actually asked me if I wanted to do the new database stuff tonight that we needed or if we could put it off to the morning. Yeah, crazy I know. But that's how the work is here. So very much to do. Jean was passed out on his bed, still in his "street clothes". Must have been tired. Ralph Lord was here because he drove a generator that we need for the building over to us from Atlanta. He'll leave first thing in the morning before I even wake up. Jordy still has energy, and we caught up on things on the front porch. Conrad is meeting me in the morning to go to my "new" house to check on the home inspection. We still need a couple of things urgently. One of those is a travel trailer for Karen to stay in with her daughter. If you know someone that doesn't use theirs much, call me, my number is on the web site under contact information. We need this ASAP for her. I added a link to the right for "prayer partners." We have about 85 people signed up to pray for us, tell your friends, lets get some more before the week is up. We need your prayers more than any money. You can also pray for money for the work down here. The "fund a day" or "fund an hour" page will be up by the end of the week for online donations. It's my goal to give every one an easy way to give. In the PCA alone, there are 300,000 members. If we only had 10% of those give a mere $10 dollars, so much could be accomplished. It's late and at the risk of sounding like a infomercial, I'll leave it there, but do remember that no gift is too small, and that the widows mite was blessed by God more than the large gifts of the others. Lastly, we are working on networks of organizations that have resources to give material donations. The HANDS network from Jackson called today with a truckload of paint to be given to us to distribute. There are others out there like that, ready and willing to give, if you know of any please let me know. (662) 803-3282.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Jordy takes a much needed break...Goofing off... What a guy, what a clown.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Welcome Interns- Christy and Emily


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jordy Moves a Bunkhouse!

You have to click this is video of Jordan "Jordy" Sikkema moving one of our bunkhouses! He is the man!

You might think we are crazy...

Talking to Cammie tonight she mentioned Jeans audio blog from earlier today. I clicked play and heard these words "today is wednesday..." He really didn't know what day it is. That's just a snap shot of how hard he and Jordy are working down here... Below you'll see how hard Jordy slept earlier this week after moving a house. It didn't bother him at all that Jean's trophies were overlooking his mattress on the floor. That is tired. We are all tired. I'm feeling much better after yesterdays massive headache. Thanks to those of you who prayed, it left shortly after I sent the prayer request email (and took some meds that Jean gave me.) Things are changing so fast at the property it's amazing to watch every day. Dickie, Giles, Skeet and "whats-his-name" were are putting in a hard day today. Missy and Conrad got back today and missy whipped up some fine cooking for supper and fed the crew and Jean, Jordy and myself. I'm headed back to Louisville tomorrow to see my sweet family, they have been so supportive while I've been down here today. We should close on both houses in the next 2-3 weeks. We can't wait to get down here full time. Thanks for all the help of folks this week. Dean, Bruce, Sam and so many others have given so much effort to getting us ready to go. Keep us in your prayers. Lots of travel by staff this weekend. Jean goes to Kosi (that hard-to-spell town in central ms) then on to Memphis,I will head to Louisville first thing in the morning, Jordy has some plans to go somewhere and we all are taking a much needed Mothers Day Break. Posted by Picasa
this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, May 08, 2006

They Call Me the Breeze, I Keep Rolling Down the Road...

  So who knew the job description of a two-week team leader for MTW would include picking up and moving houses. Thats Lagniappe for ya. So over the last few days I have been part of picking up and moving our bunkhouses. These bunkhouses break into 12 by 40 ft sections which then have to be driven down the road. Thanks to Bill Conway our house mover we have moved 2 totat bunkhouses. That is 2 trips per bunkhouse and thus we have a total of 12 trips to make due to the 6 bunkhouses we must move. So far I have driven 3 of the 4 trips and successfully I might add, successful but slow. Hopefully we will be done soon, these 14 hour days are getting rough. Moral of the story is, come down here for the summer and stay in these bunkhouses because all of this work is so our teams could have a roof and air conditioning, I wanted to put you in tents. Good thing for ya'll Jean is looking out for ya. Special thanks to Bruce and Drew for all their tremendous help and putting in long days while down from Pennsylvania and taking time off from work to do so. Posted by Picasa

Welcome Interns

Austin Tom
These are five of the ten interns who will be serving at Lagniappe this summer. They will provide service in the following areas:
The Pastoral Intern's responsibility is on the relational side of the ministry, behind the building projects. Ideally, these interns would accompany teams, perhaps guide them to the work sites, but once there, would visit with the families or individuals involved. The intern's role will be vital as he/she will be the face of the mercy ministry of Lagniappe Church. We need the intern to visit with the individuals, hear their stories, note their current needs, evaluate their ability to support themselves financially, and note where they are spiritually and feel the freedom to discuss their faith. As teams continue to work, the intern will rotate around families, and most-importantly, we'll have the intern do follow-ups with families we've already helped.
The Work Site Intern's will be involved with the day-to-day on-site work, leading, teaching, supervising, and working with teams in the area of sheet-rocking, roofing, or shed building. There is a real need for individuals who either know how to roof or sheetrock or who are handy and can learn to assemble sheds (You will also be trained). The interns will also be responsible for accessing needs and scheduling work for their specific team for the week.
The Administrative/Maintenance Interns will be Andy Chapman's support as he does the business side and administrative work for Lagniappe Church. This role could include anything from data entry, finances, web updating, etc
The Lagniappe Facility Interns will rotate around the varying needs of the church site. This could include but is not limited to recruiting volunteers to work in the kitchens, do cleanup around the bunk houses, organize activities for young children that cannot to the work sites.
We are grateful to God for providing Lagniappe with a quality team of young adults who desire to "Particiapte in the Restoration" in the Bay and Waveland. Please pray for them as they complete finals and prepare to begin serving with us at the end of this month.

You have new Picture Mail!

50 sheds of hope being delivered to the new facility

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This One Goes Out to the Teams I Left Behind...

One of the great blessings of this job is meeting and seeing all of the teams coming down to serve. It is also the hard part of the job of seeing the teams go and leave. These past two weeks has been hard because we have been in the process of getting our new property ready. We have not been able to connect or have as much contact with the teams as we all have been pulled in so many directions. So to all the teams that have come and gone recently, to all those who all we did was tell you what to do in the morning and then we left you behind to find out later what you accomplished after you left, thank you so much. We have have made so much progress because of you and we have still been able to work in the community because of ya'll. We appreciate you and love you for coming down here to help with what the Lord is doing. Ya'll make it happen even when we are not around. Come back again so we can get to know you once everything settles in by June 1. It won't settle down but hopefully we will settle in.

You have new Picture Mail!

Building the trailer to move the bunkhouses...amazing

Saturday, May 06, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

You have new Picture Mail!

Congratulations to Spencer & Danielle Critchfield! Just Married in Memphis!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Katrina First, Then the Chicken and the Egg

Melody Meredith Spencer and Ann Ann Ann and Mark Yesterday night we knew we had 7 folks coming in from Holy Cross out of Vicksburg, MS. As we are contemplating about where to work this team and what we needed to get done Jean comes back from being out to dinner with this team. Meredith, pictured above and pastor of the church, was the youth director that brought Jean to Christ. Turns out that this church already had plans. Melody, pictured with the camera had connected with a family while being down here shortly after the storm. The family is Ann and Bob and their son Mark. Mark has down syndrome. Before the storm Mark and his parents had 50 chickens which they cared for and then sold their eggs at the local farmers market. Holy Cross, the church Meredith pastors and Melody is a member of, decided to come down and build chicken coops and bring down chickens to get this family back on its feet. They are giving this family back their income along with something that brought joy to their lives before the storm. The saying around Lagniappe church talking about God's provisions is that "Lord, we know that you own the cattle on a thousand hills, and that You will provide." Well, apparently He owns chickens also to help provide. Holy Cross brought down 6 chickens or so along with 30 chicks. Mark already had eggs at the end of today and before long he aught to have back his operation of 50 chickens in no time. Not only on top of all this fun it turns out this is the mother of a family that we had already helped due to Curt working with her son-in-law through Hospice. The Lord lets us here at Lagniappe be part of some of His most fun plans. I know this was a long blog with many pictures but it was just such a fun day seeing all of this take place. Please check out the website for more pictures and if you are ever in Bay St. Louis on a Wednesday, look for Mark at the Farmers Market down on Coleman Avenue and buy some eggs. The question of what came first, the chicken or the egg, well, either way this family has bit of their pre-Katrina life back and a great testimony of what Christ can do through His Children.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sleep, can we really do that?

I want to thank Miskelly Furniture for their gift of 90 mattresses. For the people that had to sleep on the floor last night, this truck that came in today driven by the folks at Peterbilt was a welcome sight. We can't do what we are doing without your help! If you see these folks running around Jackson, MS tell them thanks!Thanks guys!!!

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up His bright designs And works His sovereign will. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower. Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain. William Cowper 1731-1800


Tomorrow, we may get to answer the question of what came first, the chicken or the egg. I have dibs on the blog for the happenings of tomorrow and thank you to Holy Cross Church for allowing us to be a part of this amazing project. Please check back tomorrow night as this may be one of the best stories that we get to be a part of down here. God is so good.

So Much Happening

So many things happening. This is one of them. The fine folks at Pine Belt Construction company (Bill Allbritton from Brookhaven, MS) are working on getting us in the building by June 1st. Thanks guys. Coming later, a photo of the man from Peterbuilt trucks, that connected Miskellys furniture and the Lagnippe crowd. Thanks Barry.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Trucks, trailers, showers, AC, bunkhouse...and the kitchen sink.

Just to keep everyone up-to-date since we have all been so busy lately here is a quick idea of what is going on here. It is a quick idea first because so much has happened this week, second because I don't know if I can grasp completely all that is happening, and third as one of my friends will tell you I summarize everything. The story begins in New Orleans Saturday night while out to dinner with a worker from Morrell. We find out that Morrell, the organization that houses our volunteers and many others, may be closing down. Turns out they have to be gone in two weeks. Out of meeting with Morrell, we have recieved their kitchen, 5 bunkhouses, a trailer, a truck load of chicken, a forklift, AC units, shower stalls, and that is all I can think of at 1 am but the list is long. The contractors to work on our property began today, Sunday we will be moving our bunkhouses over, we are working on getting temporary electricity set up along with finalizing plans and clearing permits with the city for all of our work. We just got our work truck in and purchased the needed trailers that we will need. All this is corresponding with our time table to have our property up and running by June 1st and in reality actually making that goal feasible and cheaper. However, through this we may have the resources to pick up the slack for Morrell and house more people than we planned. God's providence is so apparent down here it is laughable, you have to stand in awe. Pray for Jean with all of the decision making that goes along with all of this. Pray for Andy as he has to sort out all of the financial ends of this. Pray for Conrad as his knowledge is vital to all of this to happen. Pray that we all will continue to jump in completely rather than wade in and let God guide and provide for us. Did I mention we got our truck, I believe I did, not going to lie pretty excited about the F-350 quad cab we finally got. Its the small things that make life great, actually the truck is not small in any way and it will be extremely useful but it is still fun. On top of this we still got some teams working.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Much work needed

I was struck at how easily I've become accustomed to the damage and carnage of the coast since I first came down. I was looking over some photos that I took in late march (7 months post-Katrina). This was one of the ones that stuck with me. This house over near the beach was a landmark property. I think the van in the forground has seen better days as well. There are literally hundreds (probably thousands) of these properties still in this state in the Bay St. Louis area. Posted by Picasa

Here's what people are saying....

This was an e-mail we received from one of our teams...(it's from Nettie, she's the lady with the hammer) Curt, We had a great time with your gang at lagniappe, do you have an email for jordan?..he was great...and i want to tell him. so glad i got to meet you.....and was excited to see arklie today.....keep me posted...b/c i hope we can come back soon...we had a terrific experience. Nettie Byrd, First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City, MS Posted by Picasa

The Men of Valencia!

Thanks to the men from Valencial Presbyterian Church who were with us last week doing electrical work for families here on the Coast. It goes without saying, but electricians are in High demand. Many families are just 'waiting' for someone to come and do electrical- thanks guys you are an answer to many prayers! Posted by Picasa