Monday, March 31, 2008

The Progress of Restoration

Out at the Pillars, on Ruby St., a group of thirteen from Redeemer URC, in Indiana, is hard at work. They're bolting the deck to the house, which is no easy feat, considering the height of the house! They hope to get to the siding and roofing this week. This is an ambitious group! Thanks so much, y'all! The "Twins", our two sisters on W. Newton, are nearly complete! Last week's volunteers finished up the painting and flooring, and today appliances are being delivered! It seems that very shortly, these two houses will become home to some truly grateful residents. This house is currently having its interior done, the drywall is spackled and is now being sanded in preparation for paint. The Meadow St. Team is currently tooling up for a plumbing and electrical inspection, as well as cleaning up and preparing for drywall, and is currently composed of a coalition of western North Carolina Presbyterian churches, including Covenant Presbyterian Church out of Hendersonville, Trinity Presbyterian out of Ashville and other churches from Burnsville. They dedicate their time to the great need they see here in the bay, and heard of Lagniappe from an email post to the Eldars of the respective churches. Posted by: Cassie Phillips and Guru DragonFire, Americorps NCCC*

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Catching up!

Last week Lagniappe was covered in Orange, between Auburn and UT students, and two houses are now standing where a week ago there were only 2 foundations. Here are some pictures-reminding ourselves and those who read this that God is indeedfaithfully at work here! Auburn Students framing the Jensen house. UT students at the Hanback site. Little did we know that Ms. Hanback's family are HUGE UT fans...they loved all things orange!! Here is the very first board on the Hanback house....and the whole truss process from ground up! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you put up a truss! Thanks Auburn and UT!!!! Ya'll are amazing, come on back!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lagniappe Landscapes, Part II

Above are a few more pictures of the recent landscape projects completed by the ladies who attended our women's conference. To the left is an example of the many pots that were put together for the porches of the Lagnaippe homes, and to the right is a photo of the completed landscape at the home of Suzanne Howell . Funds for these projects were donated by Garden Clubs from all over Mississippi, as well as plant materials and pots brought and donated by the ladies of Covenant Pres. in Nashville. Thanks, ya'll!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lagniappe featured on Washinton Times Front Page

Katrina help rare in campaign talks By Christina Bellantoni March 20, 2008 NEW ORLEANS — Gulf Coast recovery efforts are the forgotten political story. The government's ineptitude in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is a good red meat applause line for the Democratic presidential hopefuls, but the residents still sifting through broken lives in Mississippi and Louisiana stopped waiting for help from politicians long ago. "We struggle for a voice. I'm not sure if anybody else is listening, and it may take a Katrina in their neighborhood for them to listen," said Jean Larroux, a Presbyterian pastor and Bay St. Louis, Miss. native who returned home two years ago to work to restore the community. "Let Katrina hit Kennebunkport," he said. "I imagine that we wouldn't have to pray a whole lot about [getting them help]. I'm really not bitter. I'm just opinionated." As Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama campaign across the country, they consistently decry the "outrage" of millions without health care or the "unfunded mandate" of No Child Left Behind law, but rarely mention Katrina. They made some fleeting references to the storm while campaigning in Mississippi this month. "They're basically talking about the economy right now and the war but I haven't heard anybody say anything about the efforts as far as the Gulf South, other than when they came here and spoke," said John Kevin Garner, 39, who is helping his father rebuild their home in the city's Lower Ninth Ward. "They worry about Iraq so much, but don't worry about the people." While most said a new president would be an improvement over President Bush, Gulf Coast residents The Washington Times met from Biloxi, Miss., to New Orleans said they hear little from Mrs. Clinton, of New York, and Mr. Obama, of Illinois. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin agreed. "I think they are, I won't say afraid, but a little hesitant to tackle the issues" that still confront the city "and the lack of preparedness to deal with future natural disasters," he told The Times last week in Washington. "The candidates are a little hesitant about fully embracing our dilemma. I would like to hear more about what they would do to bring about the full recovery of our infrastructure, which is in deplorable shape." Link to the entire story

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesdays by Cammie

Many of you team leaders know that you talk to me, interact, email and email and email, call me to set up trips-but what you may not know is that I am a mom that works from home and I love talking with you, emailing details, and making final head counts for your trips at Lagniappe! Our favorite day is coming to Lagniappe on Tuesday mornings for staff meetings and other meetings. We are first greeted by Keri. Keri is the awesome woman at the front desk that manages phone calls, requests, and is a generally wonderful lady to run things. She makes us understand how precious people are and we love her attitude! We are also greeted by Sarah Pigford. Sarah is hot and fresh from Mississippi College, my alma mater, and is so ready to help assist Carol, or anyone, with daily tasks. She is doing a fabulous internship with us and we are so glad she is here! She is a Social Work major and is a blessing to our staff. Next, we usually run into Curt Moore, the assistant pastor. Curt doesn't really work at LPC. We just let him think he does. Just kidding. He is usually present, working on sermons, home visits, making time to talk with staff, or returning phone calls. He is also instrumental in recruiting our summer interns. He is very sweet with Kate, and his wife Kelly is especially a favorite of Kate's, since Kate usually sits in her lap during the meetings. Kelly and Curt are a vital part of the ministry and they balance each other wonderfully. May God bless Kelly. Next when I walk into the office, I usually see Richard Warner. Richard usually has a money question for me. He is very organized and his skills are such an asset to Lagniappe. We would be in a mess if we didn't have Richard to manage our data! He is usually moseying around, checking on the food supply or making sure the mail has arrived. Richard is so great and we are glad he is ever present in the office! Our next beautiful face is Carol. Carol is one of our social workers. She has such a heart for the people of Bay St Louis/Waveland. Carol is one of those people that you just could listen to for hours, because her stories are well told. We are glad Carol is here with us to bring new friends to Lagniappe, as well as help us reach out to all of the folks in our county. Carol is quite fashionable and she is just great to be with. Sarah Denton is in her little office at Lagniappe. She is so awesome at following up with yall, meeting your needs, coming to tell you about Lagniappe, and is generally a wonderful encourager and fun to work with. Sarah is very organized and we are so glad she is part of the family. Sarah is beautiful and a very, very hard worker. After a couple of hours sharing ideas, facts, numbers, we all head back to our offices/cubicles/etc to work. I get to go home with baby Kate and I love hearing from my team leaders. You have all been so great to work with and have been very patient and organized. Thank you for your work, and keep bringing great teams to Lagniappe so that you can meet all of our wonderful staff, many of which are not pictured in this post!!!!

Update from the Frontier

The Twins near general completion with volunteer assistance from "The Cross", a Greek Christian Ministry group from the University of Tennessee. This Fraternity/Sorority organization spends part of their bi-annual trip of 50-60 members to Lagniappe completing the painting, floor caulking and other assorted finishing as well as hanging doors. The Cross seeks unity in the body of Christ, to work how he worked and love as he loved. Jesus sought out the most devastated places and so do they, helping the cities of Bay Saint Louis and Waveland work to restoration. Nearly overnight, walls and a roof have risen at 522 Meadowlane, thanks to the dedication of our Nebraska volunteers. For many of these students, this is their first time working with Lagniappe, but they work with such assuredness that one would never guess. They volunteer often in Nebraska 'in all sorts of capacities', and now they're adding construction experts to the list. They're ready to begin roofing, and the house looks better every hour! The house on Hudson Street, belonging to Bridgette Vincent, is coming along beautifully. Lagniappe agreed to help Ms. Vincent after she spent all her money on building materials and contractor costs, only to have the contractor take the pay without completing the work. Out at 'Andrew's Pillars' on Ruby Street, there is now a base for the eventual house on top of the concrete pillars, built by the hands of many volunteers. updated by Cassie Phillips & Guru Dragonfire, AmeriCorps *NCCC

Monday, March 17, 2008

Restoration Update

Court Street is where the old City Hall was located prior to the storm. It was an "important throroughfare" according to Camille Tate, who is part of the Main Street Project and working to revitalize the downtown area. A group from Knoxville, TN is working inside and out to give the street a bit of a facelift, which will hopefully encourage businesses to return. The group was washing windows, mowing lawns, whacking weeds, and sweeping out the building- all resulting in a much noticeable difference. Groups from Auburn University and University of Nebraska are working hard this week on a home for Renee Jensen, the daughter of the Bay St. Louis "Bread Man," Al Jensen. Although some of these volunteers have construction experience, many do not, and this is their first time in The Bay. They are currently putting up the framework for the house. Another group from Knoxville, TN is hard at work repainting a house for the elderly parents of Mr. and Mrs. Martin, who live in Bay St. Louis and want to bring Mrs. Martin's parents closer. Lagniappe has agreed to help prepare the house by painting the outside. A third group from Knoxville, TN is assisting in the painting and trim (including mudding) of 2 houses on W. Newton St. affectionally referred to as "The Twins".

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I am not...I am

"I am not what I ought to be; I am not what I would like to be; I am not what I hope to be. But I am not what I once was, and by the grace of God, I am what I am." John Newton

When the Sun Shines It Will Shine All the Clearer

Frodo Baggins: I can't do this Sam.Sam Gamgee: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Romans 8:18- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Posted by Picasa
Above are some photos taken of RUF students from the University of South Carolina as they help pour concrete for one of Lagniappe's new foundations. This endeavor requires people to hold the hose from the ground, and people to hold the hose in an arc so that concrete goes into the block. It requires people placing hurricane strapping into concrete, using trowels to scrape excess concrete from the top, screwing wood things (I work in the office) into the hurricane strapping to secure something to something else...........all of which these guys learned to do. When looking at the photos be sure to note the importance of "management" (in the aviators with 7 up), and the appropriate foot wear as sported by two other students. Be sure to also note that, in the event your tools do not fit in an ordinary tool belt, you can stick them in a regular belt just as effectively and stylishly. Finally, note the "water-front" view this property has (you might have to look closely). Oh, and last but not least, it was a good thing one girl was holding up the walk boards as I passed over them or I would have been in trouble :) Thanks RUF USC!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lagniappe Homes Get Landscaped!

Thanks to donations from Garden Clubs across Mississippi, and volunteers from Faith Pres., Brookhaven, MS. and the recent Women's Conference at Lagniappe, several of our Lagniappe homeowners recently had their homes landscaped! Several others had beautiful pots planted for their porches, all thanks to the generosity of garden clubbers who heeded our call for donations, and volunteers who came to serve!
Above are photos of the Kyle Foster and Suzanne Howell homes. Photos include the preparation work completed by Faith Pres. of Brookhaven (Eileen Ebbers, Sheilia Boutwell, Danny Phillips, Pat Davey, Mike Proctor & Terry Reed) and snapshots of the ladies who attended the women's conference who actually installed the landscapes (ladies from all over!). The ladies of Covenant Pres., Nashville, were instrumental in organizing the installation and the designs for the pots, so a GREAT BIG THANK YOU goes out to all who worked so hard to make this possible! As part of the restoration of the Gulf Coast, we want to see every aspect of life restored, including landscapes!