Thursday, March 22, 2007

On the Road Again

I write this from a hotel room in Jacksonville, FL. Came here yesterday to do a talk at a Lenten gathering at a fabulous church here. This Diocese is raising 250K to be matched from a fund with another 250K, all for the rebuilding of our church! I have been now on 4 trips here and preached or talked at 5 or 6 churches. I have really enjoyed their support and prayers and of course this wonderful gift they are raising for us.
I leave tomorrow for Arlington, Virginia to visit two more adopting churches, preaching on Sunday morning, etc. These are two great supporters as well.
The truth is I have been on the road an AWFUL lot since Katrina. Raising money and awareness of our ongoing situation has been very important. But it is so tiresome. I am tired of being gone, sick of airports and air travel, miss my family and have too much work to do back home. But it is necessary. There is no way to ask our folks for any kind of capital campaign to build our church. Insurance from the destroyed property will not even pay half of the 1st building to be constructed (our plan is to build a multi-purpose building that will be worship and fellowship space for us, along with education and nursery) until we can figure out how to build the church proper. We need a lot more money to get this done. Construction costs on the Coast have risen around 80% post storm.
So I hit the road, often. This is it until Easter, then a couple of more trips planned before mid-summer. Everywhere I go I am received so warmly and people are shocked to learn how much more must be done, many assume we are "all back to normal" at the 18 month mark. No, not even close. And the mental health issues, for adults and children, are actually increasing.
Please keep praying for us and please don't forget us.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Looking Up!

Prayer answered on SO many fronts. Thanks be to God!
We have tentative approval of our property purchase and an agreement on price with the property owner! We DID IT! Although the final contract is still in the lawyer's hands, we are there, just need signatures!
I am blown away! This is GOOD NEWS!
Our location is prime for Long Beach.
Last Saturday we had a full day meeting with the architects, and they are now working on the master plan for the site!
We have to raise a bunch more money, but we are on the way!
We have returned to Sunday morning worship. Saturday nights have died off, and we are now doing 2 services on Sunday mornings. Our attendance the last two weeks has been the best since Katrina. Thanks be to God! Again, prayers answered.
Next week is the Bishop's annual visit, and we are again borrowing the Methodist church. We have been wandering all over town, but at least we now know where we are going.
Thanks for all your prayers!!!!!