A Typical Day

Six months after the storm we still see no end to the clean-up and recovery efforts. I must admit my human frailty. At times we feel the strong temptation to buckle under the overwhelming burden. This morning I walked through a freshly gutted house that suffered 11+ feet of water. The gravity and scope of the destruction hit me again. As I type this, I look out of my camper window to a devastated landscape of downed trees and scattered debris. Only God’s merciful outpouring of sustaining grace upholds us and drives us forward to His glory.

Through the recovery efforts we see God’s strong hand of providence at work. He continues to send us hundreds of volunteer teams from across the country. This week Lakeshore Baptist Church hosts over 100 hard working individuals busy rehabbing homes, running our distribution center, working on the church property, and ministering to our community.

For example, today alone we have teams working in nine houses as we try to help the community get out of cramped campers and back into their homes. Today they are out there, laying flooring, installing cabinets, painting walls, rewiring, and framing doors. They are also gutting and mucking out two houses getting ready for rehab.

In between answering the phone, directing volunteers to the next task, meeting folks bringing in donations, finding a place to store 80 donated windows, and other things, JoEll and I line up the locations for teams to work tomorrow. In the last couple of weeks we have made major rehab progress in over two dozen homes and have active plans for several more.

In addition to the houses, we have a team from California running our portable saw mill. We use downed trees from the storm to rebuild. We have built over 100 6X8 storage sheds for families in our community living in small FEMA issued campers. The lumber from our mill has studded up the walls in our temporary metal building on the church property, built one home from the ground up, and provided material for countless other projects.

Today, on the church property, we have a team building more bunk houses to sleep more volunteers. Our camp kitchen, that feeds 100+ workers 3 meals a day, looks like a bee hive of activity. One team works on the sewage line, another builds shelves in the expanded pantry, another team installs ceiling fans under the tarp roof, all while the cook team prepares the evening meal.

On the other end of our property, a team strings out the dimensions of a new office building. We built one small room in our temporary building for an office, but our cell phones can’t penetrate through the metal, nor did we anticipate the space required to run the massive efforts God has led us to undertake. We now attempt to work in my camper. Three of us; Greg London, (our project coordinator), JoEll (our new administrative assistant), and I trip over each other as we try to work out of the same small place that I sleep at night.

The distribution center, here on the property, still sees 100-300 people a day. The donations of non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and household items still pour in and flow through our center. Whenever we begin to run low, God graciously puts it in the heart of a church somewhere across the country to send more goods our way. We see God using this very tangible ministry to meet daily physical needs and spread contagious hope throughout our community.

Everyday God orchestrates a cacophony of graces over the sound of pounding hammers, buzzing saws, beeping fork-lifts, and grinding big equipment mixed with the tears and laughter of Christian volunteers ministering to storm ravaged locals. Please continue to pray for Lakeshore Baptist Church as we see God impacting our community for His glory.


What an honor it was to meet you recently, and how we look forward to bringing teams down again. Thank you for taking the time to describe a ‘typical day’ in a very untypical place – untypical both for the ravages it has experienced and for the power of the presence of God there. We continue to pray for you and the church there.

Thank you for sharing a glimps into one of your days walk. You are in our daily prayers; truly God is sustaining each of you to glorify Him. Your faith is moving many in California and around the nation. We continue to be amazed at continual flow of volunteers outporing their hearts. You may never see the full impact of this mission until we meet in Heaven but be certain it is a living mission field. Blessing to you Pastor Don and all of your new and old family.
We will see you in May.
Mark and Marlyn Brokenshire
Yorba Linda, CA

Thanks for the update Pastor Don. I am glad that the work continues… we have been snowed in here in Minnesota. We have gotten about 15 inches and it still falls as I type this. But after all the digging and trenching there last week the snow doesn’t feel so heavy : )

Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to join with you in the work. May God continue to bless you… I believe that He will!

It was a great honor to be on location last week. Our group is already making plans to be there again soon. By the way, I was one of the first to sleep in the new bunk house that we built. Each room sleeps two and has air and a sink. Bring a matress when you come as bunks are sleeping platforms. Sorry we could only build four rooms. Thanks Don and Greg for inviting us as it has changed our lives.
David Self

Pastor Don,
The story of the hope and power of God revealed through the people of Lakeshore Baptist is being spread all over the world. Since the day I met Courtney in October, a day does not go by that I do not have the opportunity to share the Light that is being manifested in what is being described by the workd as hopeless disaster. Your story gives great hope to people who may have more in possesions but a lot less in the power and hope of our living God.

Looking forward to worshipping our Lord with the people of God at Lakeshore Baptist on May May 21, God willing!

Grace to you,

Tehachapi, CA