Monday, May 31, 2010
Community can be difficult. It's kind of like a family relationship. You have to work hard, sometimes have some tough conversations, can be a little awkward at times but when it comes right down to it these are the same people that we would rather spend our free time with. These are the people who we know and love and who know and love us. This is the type of community that I want to share with others around me. Community all the time. That is what we are about and sometimes community can be just about having some fun! Memorial Day weekend we hosted a block party at our house. It is something that we have been wanting to do for a long time but as you know we often busy ourselves with things that can prevent us from just having a good time. We had a ton of fun as we continued to invite people into our community as Jesus taught His disciples at the house of Levi. We had a water slide for the kids, volleyball, tether ball, corn hole, a large tent and lots of food. It was a great opportunity to spend some good quality time with those we love as well as meet some new friends and build some new found relationships.
Its that time of year again when kids around the country are out of school, vacationers are going here and there and everyone's schedules are frazzled. Here in New Orleans it is similar yet with a different feeling of future uncertainty. There are many here with concern about the oil spill and what the future holds for their way life, their work and their families. The Gathering has been working alongside several other local churches to find a way to serve those in need, struggling with fear, depression and uncertainty. This summer we may be able to help specifically with our counseling department and with kids camp. Please keep these families in prayer as we seek Gods will and direction on how to be His hands and feet.
Summer plans for the Gathering Place. Hey speaking of vacations, what about taking a vacation with a purpose? What would be better than coming to the Big Easy, see some history, enjoy some foreign culture and participate in taking part in what God is doing here. This summer we will be priming and painting the interior walls, installing HVAC duct work, aligning our sprinkler system to fit the architectural plans, installing toilets, sinks, windows, doors, and flooring. We have a lot on the list needing to be done and if you feel that tug in your heart to help with any of these give us a shout. We would love to celebrate your vacation with a purpose with you.
As written last week, we continue to see God move in many ways. We just purchased a ton of HVAC equipment (see the pics) from a local church at a fraction of the cost. We also have a new friend who is willing to draw our fire suppression system plans. This will save The Gathering thousands of dollars!!
The Gathering already at use: last week we held our first unity prayer night at the Gathering Place. It was a great night to have many people from the community and several different local churches participate.
Outside the Gathering Place, we have just finished putting up a set of steps for a friend Chris that we have been ministering to for a few months now. He has been waiting to get out of his FEMA trailer and his house was completed except for steps leading to the raised house. The inspectors could not sign off on a permit until this was done. Our friend Chris just broke his foot as well, so getting in and out of the house was almost impossible. It was a great project and took a couple of days. Two other guys from our community helped me with this project. I have to admit they did most of the work but I was blessed to learn a lot.
Thanks again to everyone who has participated in what God is doing here in St. Bernard and for your support.
Be a blessing,
Monday, May 24, 2010
As many of you know we have been in the process of building what we call the Gathering Place. It has been a long journey for us with many lessons from God along the way. We have learned that for much of our lives we have been taught to depend on ourselves, our initiative, our knowledge, our determination. We were taught that if we put a plan together and work our plan with hard work it will come together and we would be successful. We have learned that these concepts are actually foreign to the scriptures. We have learned that the best laid plans and the hardest work may get you somewhere but it may not be where God wants you. After several years here in New Orleans we have learned a pretty valuable lesson. A lesson of trust and dependence. We have learned about Gods timing, even though we still don't understand it, we know it's not the same as ours. In this course of time we have seen many things happen with the Gathering Place. We have seen many faces and we have been blessed by thousands of people who have all been willing and and had a desire to serve with us here. We have now come to the point in construction that we are in the finishing stages and we could not have done it without the help of all of you who have been such a blessing. WE wish to thank all of you greatly for we appreciate everything you have done. We will be updating our blogspot weekly with new updates and pictures for all of you interested in the completion of the GP and our ministry. Thank you all again.
We are currently working on:
- finishing drywall
- stucco on the front wall (you can see in picture of building)
- Painting begins June 14