Bogalusa Boasting

I do not exaggerate when I say that thousands and thousands of folks have poured through Lakeshore in the past 10 months. Hundreds of churches have sent teams down our way to stay extended periods of time, and countless others have sent supplies, financial assistance, prayer support, and other forms of aid. I know I’ve only been able to mention a small fraction of those who have helped. Human limitations prevent me from remembering or keeping track of everyone, much less expressing written acknowledgement publicly on my blog. Please do not interpret my shortcomings as lack of gratitude. I do try to thank them in person when here.

I deeply regret not having the time, mental acumen, or energy to profusely thank every single person and group providing assistance and support. Whenever I do mention someone, like Providence Baptist Church in Maryland, Jeff Hill from New Jersey, or the folks from Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral FL, I add a sincere apology to those I do not have opportunity to mention. Even with that apology, I still receive a few comments and emails from those perturbed that I have not taken the time to specifically mention someone in particular. For example Elouise Parker writes:

Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa has done quiet a bit for this group of people from October until now and I have not seen any mention of their helping. Their youth came to you near Christmas and did a fun day for your youth and their brotherhood prepared a meal. They came on a Sunday Afternoon in October with a huge covered trailer and seven other vehicles loaded with items for you. The youth department furnished the hams for the Christmas event and the church furnished lots of other items. I know that these people did not do this for personal glory but for the glory of our Savior but they should have some recognition also, not just those that came from far away. Monica Miller and Brad Triana have done lots for your people also.


I apologize for not yet mentioning Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa, or nearby Izabel Baptist Church, pastor Jeff Mizell, and Clifton Baptist Church, pastor Tony Hicks, and I think at least one or two other churches who have helped from the Bogalusa area. We deeply appreciate all the help they have sent our way. We appreciate the meal the Memorial Baptist Church brotherhood provided. We also appreciate the 100+ other big meals that other churches and groups have prepared in the last 10 months.

I have a list of about 300 churches who helped with Christmas in Lakeshore. I will try to locate it and post their names. Please forgive me for not already doing this. I wish I could write a blog entry for each group and what they did to play their part. I do not even know. We were able to provide Christmas to approximately 1000 families on the gulf coast through these events.

Please also forgive me for not being able to publicly acknowledge the countless people who have sent supplies for our food distribution center. Thousands of people would not have groceries on their FEMA camper tables, or in their tents if it were not for the generous donations from across the country and from those closer to home. Back in October, when the convoy from Bogalusa came, we were receiving 20 or more similar shipments a day. I would have loved to take a picture of every group, and make a blog entry of each one, however, I could not even physically be there myself for every shipment, much less take the time to get to my computer and comment on it. In October, I was still performing funerals for people who died in the storm, trying to help people living in tents get water to keep from dehydrating, traveling two hours away for inter net access to post the little I was able to, and taking 80 phone calls a day. Please understand that my failure to publish recognition for all the assistance does not typify our people’s deep felt gratitude for the help that continues to flood into our storm ravaged community.

Since the storm hit we have been running non stop. I only have time to pause to write about a small fraction of what happens. I deeply regret my human weakness and inability to keep up with everything. For example, just this week we had 11 different groups here working with us building and rehabing at least a dozen homes. Each house deserves a full blog post as does each of the groups that were here. We also still have a few donation deliveries a day. Each one of these deserves mention and recognition as well. I just can not humanly keep up. I’m sorry. Please accept my apology and my heart felt sincere extension of gratitude to the fine folks from Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa for all they have done.


Dear Pastor Don,
You have such an honest and humble heart. When speaking with you last month, you admitted that you never envisioned your initial outreach efforts last Fall would turn into such an amazing outpouring of love. You knew people would come but you never really knew what God had in store. God knew. He knew that he could trust you, His gentle servant, with His Vision for the Lakeshore community. This is not about you; this is not about us; this is about Jesus Christ and bringing the Light of His Hope into people’s lives. God certainly has and will continue to use the aftermath of Katrina to bring Glory to His Precious Name. We were Blessed to be a mere part.
Paula Hamilton
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Joppa, Maryland

Pastor Don-

You owe no apologies. Your job is to minister to the needs of your flock and the community of Lakeshore, and let God keep track of who gets recognized for what.

For my part, I value and appreciate every post you do make, as I know you cannot possibly be blogging for mere recreation. Your time and energy is much too valuable to be spent trying to make a public record of every effort contributed to the restoration of your community.

Continue on, thou good and faithful servant. Our prayers are with you and Lakeshore.

Bro. Don and Lakeshore Baptist, Praise God for whom all blessings come. Plese hear and believe me the blessing was all ours to come and work along beside you. What your church family is doing is impossible except by the strength and power of our mighty God. You really don’t have to thank any of us. What we must all do is thank God and to Him alone give all the glory. “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:9-10 NASV
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58

Pastor Don,
It is such a joy and honor to be part of Rebuilding Lakeshore; we should be thanking you for your gentle spirt that is still long enough to hear His still small voice. And we thank you for your vision, faith and unfailing patience. Embracing 100+ new volunteers each week alone is more than most of us could handle. Your servants heart continues to knit you’ve helped us become one, on fire for His Calling. We go home blessed. I will pray for those who didn’t “get it”!

Pastor Don,
I well know that you have your hands full with the ministry that God has placed you in. We here at Isabel Baptist Church, Bogalusa,LA, are praying for all of you at Lakeshore and we appreciate what you are doing. There will always be things to try and distract you but keep your eyes on Jesus and let the rest fall where it may. Colossians 3:1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
As for as giving, I am reminded of what Jesus taught up on the mount in Matthew 6:1-2 “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”


Y’all are still in my prayers. As an ole Louisianny boy, I know some of your days have been hot and sweaty ones. But your labor is not in vain for God sees the heart and takes our puny efforts and magnifies them. I think what you’ve witnessed bears witness itself to that truth.

God bless