Saturday, December 20, 2008

RUF Blitz Build Photos

Please click on the photo above and you will be taken to an online web album. From there you may download any of the pictures for personal or professional use. You may sell them or give them away. They make great stocking stuffers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 5: 2:30 pm

Thank you for your prayers...5 days, lots of rain, no injuries, and two houses later...the week is over! Both houses look incredible. Check out the slideshow on the website for more pictures of the week; I will be uploading them over the next few days. These college students did an incredible job-working through rain and mud, learning new skills, and encouraging each other and the staff! I have been amazed by their enthusiasm and rejoice that, 3 years after Hurricane Katrina, there are mission minded students interested in bringing restoration to a hurting area. Thanks to them for their time, their hard work, and their great attitudes!! Thanks to Bobby and Troy Lane (2nd house pictured) for frying up some delicious turkey for the crews this afternoon! Thank you to the staff (both of Lagniappe and Habitat) for the hard work and many hours they put into these projects. And finally, we thank the Father for all of the above along with safety, energy, and even the desire to serve.

Monday, December 15, 2008

8am-12pm, Day 1 of the College Blitz

These photos were taken between 9-11:00 am this morning. Check out the website tonight to see pictures of the afternoon! The volunteers and construction staff are cruising and both houses are moving incredibly fast. So far the rain is holding but you can see the ominous clouds in the back-ground.

College Blitz Build Underway!

As I sit at my computer, 6 students from the University of North Carolina are cleaning the kitchen, and 30 more college students have driven off in green vans and Honda accords to the Lagniappe work site! This week Lagniappe is partnering with Habitat for Humanity, and 2 houses will be dried in (that means framed, sheeted, sided, painted, and roofed) by Friday. The students come from North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. Many just finished their finals on Saturday and drove down on Sunday. It is a tremendous sacrifice of time and money on their part, and we are thankful for their participation in the ongoing work! Please keep them and the staff of both Lagniappe and Habitat in your prayers this week. We will be updating the blog daily and hopefully will have some pictures of the progress by this afternoon!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Didn't Vote

This was writtten by a friend of Jean, Grant Scarborough, who works at an inner city medical clinic that he co-founded in Augusta, GA. It is profound. Occasionally I get inspired to write and this happens to be one of those days. I woke up early to vote for our next president. This is important. Four years of leadership that has the capability of changing our cities, neighborhoods, and even our very lives. Today was the day I made a difference. Standing in line with my diet coke can and granola bar in hand, I waited. One hour I waited. Then my time came, I thought. But they could not find my name. They found my wife's name. I informed them that I lived with my wife. I even told them she was pregnant, I thought that gave me credibility. Still, no name. They called downtown and I was not listed there either. I walked away dejected. I couldn't even get an "I voted" sticker. I asked for the sticker and the sweet lady said, "did you vote?" well – you know – I just kept walking. What a wasted hour, well not completely wasted. For over an hour I talked with a lady who was trying to start an inner city medical clinic in a nearby community. Her eyes lit up as we talked, "I've heard about you," she said. We exchanged phone numbers all the while talking with the next guy about his desire to start a once monthly dinner for the homeless. Then my two new Methodist friends used my wifes favorite word "providential." They smiled as they used this word while I stared in disbelief – or maybe old fashion confusion. Yes, by the time I reached the clinic I was a providentially dejected voter without even a sticker or an opportunity to change the world. I would even say that this is the curse of my mother, but she might read this one day. All I can do now is pout and see patients. I am good at one of those and not so good at the other and I will let the reader decide. My first patient was a middle aged man from rural South Carolina. He showed up with his CAT scan report in his hand. I read the results before I even saw him – "a destructive invasive neoplastic lesion" obvious cancer that even a good "pouter" can interpret. The CAT scan was performed over a month ago (the words destructive and invasive came back to mind). Where have you been? Seemed like an obvious question. In unbelief I heard a story of rejection. He has been to four different hospitals that refused to help since he had no medical insurance, 2 were even state hospitals. No one was willing to give him chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. I yelled quietly, "What in the heck is wrong with this place?" This guy created in God's image can die and no one cared. Breathe, exhale and keep going. Patient 2 – A kind inner city man with just your basic medical problems of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. He says everything is fine except…then he points to his head. "I don't trust nobody doctor." He tells a tale of sitting in his chair all night long and looking out his blinds every time he hears a noise. He stands alone at the bus stop. He walks alone and turns around if anyone is behind him to make sure he is not being followed. He is big and intimidating but has become imprisoned mentally. His wife passed away over 20 years ago and his son is in Iraq. "I don't trust nobody doctor," he repeats again and again. We pray for his tormented paranoid mind that has imprisoned him. After prayer, the man gets ready to leave and then nervously speaks "Doctor…. one more thing…" I don't have time for 'one more thing.' "There was an old lady out front who couldn't pay her co-pay. What's going to happen to her?" I inform him that people have to pay a little bit to be seen. It teaches them responsibility or something. "Well she said she could pay in a couple of weeks, but I don't know how she will be able to – Do you mind….. I mean …..Can I pay her co-pay?" I have never seen a borderline paranoid schizophrenic reach out and care for a stranger like this man. I walked back in a closed exam room and wept. Is a president really going to change the world or will it be you and me and my paranoid friend. Has Christ not called us to this time and place to build His Kingdom and love His people? Are we going to change the world in the ballot box and then go home and wait for it to happen? We are his ambassadors, to build his kingdom, love a neighbor, serve the poor, and die to self. That sounds great, but now what? My nurse is having a yard sale, why don't you come? In fact, she has gathered a couple of friends to help, because economics tells you the more stuff at a yard sale, the more you make. And she wants to make lots of money. The yard sale is for Calvin – a quadriplegic, that comes to our clinic. He was recently hospitalized because Medicaid does not give him enough gauzes and supplies for all his wounds and his bed is not ideal for his thin quadriplegic body. My nurse was thinking about writing Calvin's name in for the presidential election, because if he became president he would have better supplies. Instead, she decided to raise the money through a yard sale. She is "wasting" one entire day so a new friend can have gauzes, wraps, and lotion to stay a few more days out of the hospital. Talk about changing the world! She has started with loving her new friend through a yard sale, more than I have done in a long time. It is Election Day and I did not vote; but if I could, I would vote for you, the reader. We need you to walk outside and love those around you for the sake of Christ. Go, serve, build, and die unto the glory of Christ. Have a yard sale, pay for someone who cannot afford his bill, care for someone dying of cancer - - can you see the world beginning to change?