Tuesday, October 30, 2007


A big Lagniappe THANKS to our kitchen crew! Eillen Ebbers, Linda and Don Ainsworth, and Becky Tynes (L-R). They came from Faith Presbyterian in Brookhaven, MS. in response to a call from Lynne Sabin and have been with us since Monday. We appreciate their healthy, yummy meals and thoughtfulness in preparing their menues. Y'll come back anytime, now! PLEASE!
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Monday, October 29, 2007

We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us About

"We are the people there isn't any doubt. We are the people they still can't figure out. We are the people who love to sing "Twist and Shout"(Shake it up, Baby now). We are the people our parents warned us about."
Driving to the Bay this morning I was listening to a little Jimmy Buffett which caused me to reflect about the truths stated in these lyrics. I remember years ago being warned by my parents not to go in the woods behind our house because, "There are people back there who take drugs and will try to give you some." Funny, many years later I was experimenting with drugs in those same woods (It was 1977 and I had no desire to give my drugs away). My parent's desire was a good one, they believed, like most of us, that avoidance promotes abstanance (and safety). I guess that's somewhat true but desire can't be changed or renewed by applying externs of behavior. It's a temporary fix and if it does promote abstanance it does nothing to deal with the motives of the heart. The emptiness that cries for relief can come only from the fullness of God exposing my need and satisfying my longings with His love. Thankfully Jesus does just that. The gospel reveals my need, reminding me that it's true, "We are the people our parents warned us about." At the same time the gospel assures me that "We are the people our Father warned us about," and for that reason sent the Son to make me His own. Known and loved? Now that's the combination for change from the inside out.

Monday Night Festivities

Bathroom Detail
Katrine can't seem to get away from those rubber gloves. Kat is transformed from a mild-mannered surgical nurse (and wife of Arklie Hooten) in Tennessee to a super-hero bathroom cleaner. Kat is actually the team leader for Memorial Presbyterian Church from Elizabethton, TN. They arrived Saturday and began working on four projects today.
Cards These ladies are from Faith Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven, MS. They are with us for several days to help in the kitchen. The food is amazing. Thanks ya'll. Chris is from Memorial Pres. and enjoying being "fleesed" by the ladies. (No. They are not really gambling).I just thought this looked kind of festive. Here's to Martha Stuart with a twist of Lagniappe thrown in.


I took these pictures on the flowers right outside the Lagniappe doors. If you visit us this week you will likely be greeted by these beautiful, swarming orange butterflies! Yes, the monarchs are migrating south and we have flocks of them! Thanks to Dan Reynolds and Kim Larroux we have incredible flowers that attract these beautiful creatures...fall is descending even on coastal Mississippi, and it's beautiful! Yet another reason I'm falling in love...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Falling in love

I figured that might be a good start to follow Curt's LHarmony update. No....this blog will have nothing to do with my love life. You'll have to ask me personally if those details are important to you. I am talking about falling in love with this place...the coast, Bay St. Louis, New Orleans. Two years ago I would have told you I could happily die having never been to New Orleans, and hopefully I would die in a mountain house tucked somewhere in Colorado. I have not given up on the mountains; do not get me wrong, but I have begun to develop a strange love for this little coastal town, and the giant city of New Orleans that I never imagined possible. Last night my dad flew into New Orleans and took me on a date...yes a date. I'm 22 and go on dates with my dad, and I love them! He flew in on Friday afternoon and we walked all over the unique city of New Orleans, listening to great music and eating an incredible dinner-New Orleans does sea food right. The sights and sounds of New Orleans are hard to describe, and I will keep this blog short because you have some long ones below....but picture this: 8:30 am on Saturday: The sky is incredibly blue, and the air is very cool and crisp. A very sleepy New Orleans is waking up from a celebratory Friday night, and dad and I have walked to Cafe DuMond for some benets and coffee before I take him back to the airport. The carriages are lining up on the square, and people is Tulane sweatshirts are talking excitedly about the upcoming game. There are significantly fewer people than the night before. As my dad and I peruse the paper--sipping cafe-au-le and brushing powdered sugar off our shirts--a man stands just outside the rail and begins a trumpet solo....the doxology. Without a picture and sountrack it is difficult to convey the beauty of the combination : the cool fall weather, the perfectly blue sky, the smells of coffee and stale beer, the sound of distant excitement...all punctuated in a perfect moment with the lone sound of a trumpet solo--beautiful and ironic, playing the doxology. I think I'm beginning to fall in love

Friday, October 26, 2007

Two Engagements in One Week and the Birth of LHarmony!

Congratulations to the soon to be wed couples, The Gambell's and The Moore's. What an honor to be hosting their group this week and to have their engagements take place with us. Now I really feel like we are the Love Boat. Sarah, I think we can start promoting this to single's groups. Jean, this is another Sundance Film Festival idea. We can start our own dating service, LHarmony.

My Friday at LPC

5:20 AM - Jump out of bed in terrified response to my roommate's alarm clock. It's definitely Friday. 5:55 - Arrive at the Mockingbird Cafe where I find Barbara and a distressing lack of coffee. Richard -the usual suspect in coffee making- is at LPC cooking breakfast for the 150 Habitaters who are beginning their last day of the Habitat Blitz Build. 6:00 - Curt shows up just in time to brew up some beans. 6:05 - Cup of coffee #1. 6:10 - Friday AM Bible Study begins (Whoops - late! Jean is OBVIOUSLY not here... 7:00 - It's off to LPC to start the workday; but first a distraction - the sun is rising over the Bay. It's absolutely amazing how beautiful this place can be...even with all the devastation...

7:30 - Arrive at LPC; meander through breakfast, a life-planning chat with roommate Keri, and a quickly forgotten discussion of tonight's dinner (for which I'm responsible to set out...hmmmm).

8:00 - Workday officially begins as I gear into Case Manager mode. First up is the Davis family. The Davis' house sustained major damage during Katrina - the roof was completely blown off, and an entire wall knocked out; the house was flooded and everything inside ruined. Two years later, the roof and walls are repaired, but the house is only a shell; the family is still living in a FEMA trailer and has been unable to recover on their own despite their hard work. Today, I'm putting the finishing touches on their American Red Cross Grant application which will provide them with the building materials needed to complete the house. Incoming volunteers alert! Your work orders will soon address this situation!!

9:50 - Head out the door for a home visit in Waveland. Here I meet an elderly lady who lost her entire house during the storm, lost her husband this past February and one of her sons in April. We spend time talking about her experience during and since Katrina, go over her finances, and discuss her future plans. Another volunteer organization in Hancock County has agreed to provide the labor to dry-in her house, but she will be out of funds before it is finished despite the modest floorplans. I take down her info and make plans to research grants for which she may qualify.

11:00 - Swing by an LPC jobsite and notice that it is glaringly deserted! Case Manager switches gears into Detective and the hunt is on!

11:10 - This Detective is GOOD!!! In no time at all, she sweeps in and identifies the defectors! Jordan and Andrew are discovered elbow-deep in the Habitat Blitz!! (and I have THIS photo to prove it!!!)

Detective quickly turns into Prosecuting Attorney, who is just as quickly defeated by Defense Attorney, Andrew Thompson, who wins the day with a somewhat familiar quotation: "'Lagniappe Presbyterian Church exists on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to PARTICIPATE in the restoration of creation'...that means we work alongside other relief organizations!!!!" BOOM and the gavel falls. Ok, fine, they can work with Habitat for the day. However, when the case is revisited, I'm holding THIS GUY (above) thoroughly responsible!!! Dan Reynolds: Habitat Construction Manager, long-time LPC tenant, and co-conspirator to LPC staff theft! Case closed.

11:30 - It's back to The Ranch to complete paperwork on my new case, catch up with missed calls, and shoot out a couple e-mails.

12:30 - Lunch break.

1:15 - Lowe's - perhaps not every girl's best friend, but I'm ready! Armed with the F-350 Flatbed, a 16 ft trailer, and a Salvation Army Grant voucher, I'm off to pick up 243 pieces of Hardiplank siding, 2 rolls of housewrap, and Texas Beige tile.

2:00 - Fly back to LPC for a Diaconal Committee Meeting with just the tile in tow and a PROMISE that the order will be ready when I get back to Lowe's.

2:30 - Back to Lowe's where I am impressed by the Fork-Lift people and their loading prowess.

3:30 ish (I'm starting to lose it...) - Cup of coffee #2 and phone call from Andrew requesting a medicine cabinet at one of our new home builds. They must have finished that railing at Habitat...

3:50 - I arrive at Azucena Medrano's house in time to witness this sight:

"NO! NO! THIS WAY! THIS WAY!!!!!!!" The house looks great and is almost ready for the Certificate of Occupancy!

4:30 - Back in the office. Memorial Pres is arriving from TN tomorrow night, and Jordan has given me a list of work orders to prepare. I set to work.

5:15 - I'm Houseparent tonight which means get the chicken in the oven 'cause we got a hundred and fifty starving Habitaters headed this way!!!!!

7:30 - We're good and into dinner so here's me back in the office with the brilliant idea of starting a "Day in the Life of" blog. NEVER TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!

9:00 - Ok, that's it! Everyone's fed, the kitchen's clean, there's a sweet din of laughter in the main hall...I am outta here!!!

Blog addendum: 9:06 PM - tech phone call to Andrew who is still out at the Medrano house messing around with the plumbing because, quote, "When I leave tonight, this house will be ready to be inspected for a C.O. (aka a certificate of occupancy, aka. she can move in!!!)." All in a day's work, folks, all in a day's work. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A visit with Ryn in Williamsburg and My new Grandson, Nathan

I enjoyed an all too brief visit with Ryn, a former Lagniappe intern and often returning volunteer, on September 28, 2007. I enjoyed meeting the William and Mary RUF campus minister over a cup of Starbucks. Ryn then gave me a tour of the ancient campus of William and Mary. I enjoyed the lovely fall weather and the beauty of the campus. Thanks, Ryn, for taking time to make my brief visit a highlight of my Virginia trip. The reason for my trip to Midlothian, VA was the birth of my grandson, Nathan Christopher Barrick. Here is a close up of this dear covenant child. I miss him and his brother and am thankful for the time spent with them.

How Do You Define ECLECTIC?

Webster defines eclectic as, "selecting or choosing from various sources." Eclectic for Bay St. Louis and Lagniappe is something along the lines of the title of a Tom Wolfe novel, specifically, "The Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test." What do you get when you combine 150+ volunteers from one of America's largest churches, Willow Creek Chicago, Habitat for Humanity staff, 7 Recipient families of the Habitat blitz build, Most of the Staff from LPC, The parish hall of Our Lady of the Gulf (overlooking the Bay), A catered BBQ dinner from BB's, and a concert by the urban troubadour Mo Leverett of New Orleans? We call it God's daily Lagniappe (a little something extra). Mo drove over from NOLA to cerenade the group, directing our worship to the Father who delights to reveal Himself to His needy children. If you want to hear music and lyrics that fill your heart with the promises of God amidst the storms of life then check out this CD, "Of Orphans and Kings." Youthful groupies, Ruth and Sarah, with Mo. A local production of the Musical Cat's will begin in Biloxi. Ruth is auditioning and takes every oportunnity to reherse for anyone who will watch. Some say she over acts but I don't think that's true. She's just really into character. A special thank you from one of the Habitat homeowners. The not-so-youthful groupies, Kenley, Richard, Barb, Kelly, and Sarah. When the music began they pulled out their lighters and began shouting "Freebird." No one was hurt in the ensuing melee though bewildered Chicagoans were concerned when Richard began dancing in circles chanting, "I missed Woodstock. This is my Woodstock...My BayStock."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calvary Reformed Prays for the Bay

While visiting friends in Newport News and Hampton, VA several weeks ago, it was exciting to see that churches actually DO Pray for the Bay, as evidenced by the newsletter posted on the bulletin board at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church in Hampton, VA. Calvary has been on two missions trips, supports Lagniappe with financial support and prayers. For this is are very thankful. I've often wondered if anyone really does read our newsletters. Now I know! Thanks, Calvary for your continued interest in the work God has enabled Lagniappe to participate in here in Bay St. Louis and Waveland. - Barbara (posted by Ruth)
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sorority girls?

Yes....that's a sorority girl with a screw-gun! Last weekend, three kappa delta girls from Furman university challenged the sorority girl stereotype. They gave up a lot of fun opportunities afforded college students for fall break, and chose instead to come volunteer in Mississippi. They screwed screws, hung cabnatry, installed kitchen appliances and a toilet... and they had fun doing it! They got to enjoy a little local flavor too. They spent their first night eating dinner with Mrs. Inez Pope who cooks dinner at her house for the Lagniappe staff once a week. Then they got to experience "Mocktoberfest," the Mockingbird's version of an Octoberfest-complete with German music, German costumes, bratwersts, and beer. Of course, as they are my sorority sisters and friends from Furman, I am maybe a little biased...but even non-sorority folks appreciated their work and attitude! Thanks for coming girls, and enjoy your new found power tool skills. oh yeah, and come on back :)

Jailbird of the Week

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Punch Lists and Pre-inspection Tasks.

Cox: Install Baffles, rehook up sink vent, handrail cap, hand rail at end of porch, plumbing, water, and electrical hook ups, move pump electrical from temp pole to house, finish hardi plank. Givens: install switch, closet light, triple switch cover, single switch cover in bedroom and bathroom, XL outlet cover in living room to cover drywall, TV cable plate in bedroom, thresholds, bathroom light, hot water heater, hot water heater drain, toilet, vanity and vanity light, find range hood cord, hook up grinder pump to electrical box, hook up plumbing, and install well. Howell: Fix washer drain, hook up exhaust fan, hook in water heater lines, frame in attic access, dryer vent into house, drain HVAC, wire for sewage grinder, wire for water pump Russo: wire for sewage grinder, hook up exhaust fan, wire for pump, install brackets/bracing to pass framing inspection Anne Jordan: well its long...before we can pass inspections to hang sheetrock. Medrano: hook up grinder electrical and pump electrical, install countertops and kitchen sink, call for Certificate of Occupancy, move Azucena in. Eddie Perez: strap, hook up electrical and plumbing, call for Certificate of Occupancy, move Eddie in. Here are some of the urgent tasks that lay infront of Clyde, Andrew, and Kenley in which we are very close to moving people in or moving quickly on to the next step in which alot more work can take place once we cross this threshold. This does not include Sprouses needed hand rails and stairs and all the work to do at Gillium's. So, if you can handle this work one, come down and work for a week, two come down and live here, we need some help. Pray that the Lord will provide Lagniappe with the volunteers that can handle this work and full-time help to help us supervise this work.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays...Are Incredible!

The end of a long day.
Looking at the weather forecast yesterday I wondered how God would reveal Himself today. The forecast was for heavy rain Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. With 150+ people from Willow Creek Church(Chicago) prepared for a 7 house blitz build how would it play out? Well, it rained and it rained and it rained. It's still raining as I type. The teams went out in the rain at 7a.m. and worked all day in the rain. They didn't stop. They didn't complain. They didn't tire. When they pulled into LPC around 5:30 pm they were wet but content. One report after another came in how their demonstration of the gospel moved the hearts of residents. One resident living down the street from the homes came down to the construction site. A Habitat representative was fearful as the man approached, thinking the worst, that he was going to blast her for the obstruction of traffic on the street. Instead he walked up to her and just wept. I don't know what the dialogue was after that but I can only imagine. This is how the Father redeems the storms, turning possible tragedy (having 150 volunteers sitting all day in our facility) into a demonstration of unimaginable love. You can't wrap your mind around that kind of display. It is a sermon preached without words, moving the heart in a profound way, directing devotion to the Father of Glory who delights to weave beauty out of sorrow and hope out of despair. Even my heart was moved by this demonstration of love, pushing through in such despairing conditions. They were merely reflecting on a smaller scale the greatest demonstration of love, the most profound sermon preached without words, the Incarnate God suffering an dieing to make us His own. "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8 ).
Some continued to work, taking donated plastic utinsels from their wrappers. A dull but important job. Thanks. A small group in an informal gathering, getting to know one another by answering some of the "table talk" questions we provide. "If you could be a dog what kind would you be?" Several of the Habitat staff. Worn out but still managing a big smile. These guys worked for months to get materials and foundations in order for this project to take place.

Dress Code and a Full House

Holly sports the casual but still cool and dressed up Andrew goes warm but not so casual Ruth shows her colors Keri is a wuss So we catch her not looking However, the best part of Sunday was a full house thanks to the Habitat volunteers from Willow Creek here for the week blitz build of seven houses. Unfortunately the weather has been rough but still they have stayed on schedule. Please thank the Lord for bringing volunteers to the Bay and pray for their safety as the weather pounds and is predicted to continue to pound their efforts. But please come and forget the Sunday best but remember those rain jackets, that is far more important to the staff and the residents here in Bay Saint Louis. We rather you be dry and busy for the week and just here no matter what on Sunday.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wayland to Waveland: 5 days folks, 5 days

Day 1: We have stacks of woods Day 5: We have a house For Real

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mission to Mississippi

Mission to Mississippi is building 8 homes by February 1st in the Waveland, Mississippi. Lagniappe Staffer, Ryan Kalberkamp has been prepping and doing all the groundwork for this project. This week 30 framers from Massachusetts have come down and been going great guns! This framing work was started on Tuesday, October 16th- yes, you read that right, Tuesday (as in 2 days ago) the 16th. (NOTE: I can only get the video to work in Firefox, sorry- see note below)

Camera Image

This is a live camera feed on the 4 lots that shows the progress in real time. The camera rotates on the 4 lots every 30 seconds. See if you can spot Ryan Kalberkamp!

NOTE: You may have to install the ActiveX control to view the live video!

P.S. for some reason I cannot get this to display in Explorer, so if you are using explorer and frustrated goto- www.WaylandtoWaveland.org and link directly to the "Mission to Mississippi" website and see the cams there. If you are a computer guru and can help me, lemme know!

Up on the Big Top

Once again, a find day in the Bay and –Ladies and Gentlemen – the circus is in town! Please direct your view skyward where you will behold the daring, the limber, the fearsome kids of Covenant College – looking somewhat like a flock of seagulls – perching, hopping, and scurrying nimbly over the incredible heights of the Russo Roof!!! Believe you me, this is NOT for the faint of heart! I repeat, even the ascent – as I go up to join the Fearsome – is NOT for the faint of heart! Whoops! Note to self: DO NOT LOOK DOWN!!! I reach the peak and all is amazing, all is fantastic, all is how it should be when shingling a roof! GO TEAM!!! GO JORDAN!!! Oh, excuse me – forgot to introduce you – that’s Jordan to the left: Ringmaster, Chainsaw Juggler, Hot-Dog Eating Man of Muscle! Roof View to the Left: On the eighth day, God created college students, I’m just not quite sure what happened to these two…maybe it’s the thin air up here on the peaks…warped ‘em or something… Roof View to the Right: A scream goes up, and it is a near tragic day in the history of Lagniappe as the Talented, the Tight-Rope-Walking Bug-Eating Man of the Mind – Andrew Thompson – is found fighting for his very life!!!! The struggle is long and hard and finally comes to an end when Jordan, who frequents Dagobah in his spare time, utilizes his powers to lower Andrew back down to the ground. (Side note: I was so stunned by this sequence of events, that I totally forgot about the camera and missed the whole thing. Jordan, however, obliged me with my own little demonstration as shown below.) Yoda would be proud!!! Once again on the ground, Andrew shows no signs of his near-catastrophic end and is found here calmly discussing the pros and cons of chopping off one’s fingers. YOU GO GIRL!!!
And here it is – one final look at the row of seagulls. It’s been a fine day!
P.S. Sparky says hi – “HI!!!”