Friday, January 26, 2007

Homecoming Week at Lagniappe

Computer people, lookout, for "the times, they are a-changin'!"
Staff-house, take oneStaff-house, take two! Re-vamping the kitchen.
As a teammate prayed, "Thank the Lord - one year later we're still here!"

Bradford Home Dedication

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight." So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." - Joshua 4:1-7 "May this house be a memorial to what God has done"

The Bradford Family

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Twelve Stones

Sunday's sermon was on the Isrealites crossing the Jordan River into the promise land. The trick was that the priests had to step into flowing water before it would part, which is very much what happened here at Lagniappe. Once they got into the water on faith the water would stop and the nation could walk over on dryland. Immediately God commanded Joshua to set up a memorial of stones because the nation would forget. They would forget the who of the whole deal, they would forget that God is who is doing it all. So rather than setting up stones I wanted to list twelve of the events or blessings that I don't want to forget that remind me that God is doing it. Here in no paticular order is my attempt. 12. The amount of teams that come and keep coming, especially the return folks that can't get enough of what God is doing down here. 11. Assembling a staff of close 15 to 20 people crazy enough to come down and do this type of work. 10. Running into the Winslows the day we needed HVAC work and getting the work done that day and the next. Winslow now does all our HVAC work, comes to church, and is a friend. 9. Participating, the fact that part of our mission statement is to participate and to be able to work alongside of all sorts of other organizations and volunteers who are down here because of Christ's love working and being a part of the resident's lives. 8. Clyde and Conrad, it is amazing how many other groups that do not have professional contractors to guide, answer questions, direct, and do good work. Other organizations come to us for technical support all the time and we have two incredible builders who work with us. 7. The messiness of it all, working with a staff of 15 of all who are highly motivated and not the easiest to get along with always, jobs that don't go completely right, families that are difficult, teams that are difficult, grants that don't go as planned, it is never easy or clean, this is a daily reminder that God is doing the work and using as Jean always says crooked sticks to strike straight blows and condescending to use us in His plan. It is a great example of grace to keep funtioning as a community and love each other with all that goes on. 6. Countless, countless blessings to get us through the day, concrete arriving when we shouldn't have been able to fit into the schedule, bunkhouses getting done by teams that show up late at night to sleep in them, teams that show up can lay carpet the day carpet gets delivered, jobs that pop up that fit a teams exact skill the day a job doesn't go as planned, new shoes from a team after mine were destroyed while unloading a trailer of rotten chicken due to engine failure, etc. etc. etc. 5. You know who you are. 4. Our trucks and trailers. After a donnor tells us to call back after we have our theology straight after asking for used trucks we recieved a donation to buy what we needed rather than the "left overs" after a 15 minute conversation on the phone, God is bigger than left overs. As Curt always encourages, God has blessed this ministry to much not do something incredible. 3. The fact that my Lowe's card always works, I get to spend and spend at Lowe's to get families back in their homes and keep teams busy. 2. Dick and Maggie, Kenley and Sarah, Dr. Tom and Lois, Doug and Becky; couples that keep coming back either to volunteer in the community, be relieable contractors for Bay Saint Louis residents, encourage and keep in contact, fill in the cracks where needed, and trouble shoot and finish up the small stuff that needs to be done on our jobs to keep us functioning. 1. Prayer, this may be cliche and the Sunday school answer but having a team stop me during the middle of the day to pray when they are waiting on me to get materials or job assignments or have folks remind you that there are people outside of the Bay whose name I don't even know praying for us is humbling and a great encouragment. Prayer is very powerful and God has blessed us by showing us the power of it. I set out to write twelve so I will stop here but the list goes on. I pray that Lagniappe will always be a place where it is too evident that we need to pile up stones. Not because I want God to keep blessing this place but because God always blesses and I do not want to be one of the nine leapers that does not return to say thanks. God continues to amaze and lead us through Rivers on dry ground, just as He has always done and will continue to do, here but also in my personal walk.

Friday, January 12, 2007