Thursday, January 22, 2009

Learning to Pray

When Lagniappe began, we had no idea what to do or where to begin...and our prayers were born out of deep need and desperation rather than piety. Today, having become more "self-sufficient" and organized, we often forget to pray. We forget the one who brings every volunteer, who sends every penny, who holds this place in the palm of His hand and directs the winds and waves. Well, He is reminding us, and drawing us back to Himself. Please pray for our staff today. Many difficult decisions are being made in the next few days that will greatly affect our next few months. We need money for houses, and the anticipated grants are coming later than we expected. Please pray 1) that God would teach us to trust. 2) That God would make it clear what our next steps should be. 3) That God would comfort those who are still without homes (many of whom are our clients). 4) That God would provide the money to build these houses-and provide it quickly. 5) PRAISE Him for His provision, and His promise that "He knows the plans He has for us...plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Go, Send, or Disobey

This is a famous quote by John Piper regarding missions. It sounds harsh, but Biblically, Piper argues that the Christian is either called to GO to the mission field, or help SEND others to the field...neither is more spiritual than the other, but to do neither is disobedience to God's call. Many who read this blog are "senders." You support LPC financially; you support us in your prayers. You encourage us from far away in the ministry that God has called us to in Bay Saint Louis. FYI: Just because you send, does NOT mean you are not doing (or called to do) missionary and ministry work in your own community either! All that being said, we are thankful for the senders. We could not be here without your investment in the Kingdom. God uses you mightily in ways you cannot even imagine. However, it is exciting for us when senders become "Goers." (I know it's not a word, just give it to me). This week we have members of Lynne and John Sabin's church, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, MS. This church has supported and encouraged John and Lynne--both financially and through prayer. But this week they CAME! They are here-doing the work that they have heard so much about these last 2 years. We are thankful for their partnership, thankful for their service, and thankful that some can go, some can send, and some have the privilege of doing both!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Therefore ENCOURAGE one another and build one another up, just as you are doing...

Some days in Bay St. Louis, no matter how beautiful the weather or how "productive" the day may seem...we become weary. The task is too big. We do not have enough to give. Yesterday was one of those days. I walked through the main building thinking "I hate this town that takes so long to recover. I hate the systems that do not work; I hate the corruption that has harmed so many. I am weary, and what is worse, I do not feel the love for Bay St. Louis or her people that I am called to feel." I decided to go for a drive and deliver popsicles-get out of the office, bring some encouragement to the volunteers, and maybe remind myself of what we are doing. Instead, I was the one encouraged. God brought me a 5th time volunteer--a faithful friend and encourager of Lagniappe. He began, out of the blue, to tell me about God's work in His church back home. God is raising up missionaries. He is using Lagniappe as a spring board for His church to consider acts of mercy in their neighborhoods across the United States. "You cannot even know the way God is using this church to draw others into His mission of redemption and restoration," he said. "Please know that our church prays faithfully for you all in the is all we can do." There is a Biblical mandate for encouragement because God designed us to need Him, and to need each other. Yesterday I was reminded of God's faithfulness, of His sovereign work throughout this country (and the world), and of His graciousness in using Lagniappe. I was pointed back to the cross, and drew encouragement from the words and prayers of my brother in Christ. I went to encourage the volunteers with popsicles, and I left encouraged myself by the prayers and words of those I went to serve.