Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav and Year Three

It's the 3rd anniversary of Katrina. Intentionally we are not doing anything special today, church wise. Good thing, as the level of anxiety down here right now is off the charts. As Gustav churns away almost 1100 miles south, we all anxiously watch the projected path and intensity. Two days ago we were square in the center of the "cone of uncertainty", and despite being constantly told that it was way too early to project an exact path, something about being on that middle line drove people over the edge.
Which is really ok. Preparations are on going. Folks are, I think, much more ready this time. Evacuation plans, gassing up, etc. done way ahead of the usual pace.
Today the center line of the path is west of us, but we certainly are still in the midst of the projection. But seeing that line move, it calms people down some. It shouldn't, but it does.
We know better. From Ivan and Katrina, from storms of all the past years, we KNOW that once it gets in the gulf, it really could go anywhere. The tracking will narrow it down in time, but by the time that happens, it's too late to do all the things we are finishing today. I am glad we are paying attention. I am not glad about the frayed nerves, the relived trauma, the rawness of this event, on the 3rd anniversary of "that" one.
Last year I posted THIS on the anniversary date. This year I was hoping to let it slip by as we prepare for the ground breaking of our new building in a week. But Gustav changed all that. Once again we are reminded of the cost of living here, a cost not just in having to go through all this, but also an even greater cost, I think, in stress and fear. This reminder, even if we do not take a big hit, will send some more people to other locations, leaving the coast behind forever.
I pray this storm shrinks and is a non event. Forecasts claim otherwise. I am grateful for all the prayers and support. Today and yesterday I have heard from many, many people across the country who are concerned for us, and it reminds me yet again of how we are all connected. The body of Christ is stronger than any storm, and I am so appreciative of those parts of the body that continue to hold us up when we need it. God bless you all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ground Breaking

Friends - we will have an official ground breaking - with at least one bishop and other dignataries, on September 6th at 10:00 am! If you are in the area, please join us for this exciting event - we will feed you a picnic lunch. I hope you will celebrate with our people this milestone.
Thanks for your continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It's time to DIG!!!

My friends, I am so very pleased and excited to announce - we are ready to GO on our new building. We have permits in hand from the city and site work will begin THIS WEEK! Our contractor has ordered materials and we will approve final plans this Thursday (7th).
I cannot even tell you what this means to me and to our people. When I received the news that the permits were ready to be issued, I wept. This milestone was so long in coming. What a witness to the resilience of our people, and the incredible help we have received.
Speaking of help, we are still hoping for those who can give a little to help make this building a reality. If you go to our SITE, you can donate online. Please think about it and pray about it. We are very excited about our future in Long Beach, and as the 3rd anniversary of Katrina bears down on us, we are ever more committed to being a viable presence in our community.
On a personal note, just got back from vacation and catching up in the office and on the road. Made plans for two fund raising trips (Chicago and San Francisco - if you are in those areas PLEASE let me know). And my son entered high school today - another milestone.
Soon to come - pictures from the construction site....