Katrinacus Rex

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


We have moved our initial reporting from here to www.SGHM.org

This blog was originally setup right after the disaster. Now, as a long term urban mission Sovereign Grace Homeland Missions is an ongoing permanent entity to the metro New Orleans area.

Visit us there.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Father Knows Best

All of us have been carrying heavy loads and I have not updated this blog as much as I would like. Please forgive me. In an attempt to catch you up to speed I will be doing my best to post pictures of the volunteers that have come through in the next few weeks.

With only a skeleton admin crew and the grace of God we have been able to help hundreds of families over the past few months. Only a handful of our congregation remain and out of that there are only a few who are able to actually work on a daily basis. Gail continues to balance her roles as church secretary, mom, wife, and interior decorator as her home continues to be rebuilt. Laura has been handling our relief administration and benevolence store full time as well as fielding phone calls and other duties. Michelle has worked hard to help feed volunteers in our home. Ashley fills in at the relief store from time to time, handling database work and phone calls as she’s able. Charles helps with the pastoral duties as well as relief crew organization while continuing his web site development work. And I wear multiple hats while anchoring my focus on study and prayer.

Our three resident men who have relocated to work here have been joined by Tim Kirkpatrick (Danny and Robert’s brother). Tim has just finished his tour of duty in the Marines and will be leaving us soon to head to Bible College. Travis will be leaving next month and we will be receiving John Kirkpatrick (yes, another brother ;) ) in August. We are extremely grateful for their service to the Lord and are thankful to God for all of these men and their commitment to service.

As we’ve received many work crews from various churches around the country and Canada who have come here to put feet to their faith and minister to our community; we now have a bouquet of new friends. Meeting members of our extended eternal family before glory is a joyous time of fellowship, refreshment, and edification.

One thing that I’ve come to see in full Technicolor is the truth of several Scriptures that relate to our experience at Sovereign Grace Fellowship.

Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. Psalm 33:8-10

Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand. Proverbs 19:21

We could never have orchestrated what has
happened to us over the past eight months nor would we have chosen it. Yet, the Lord knows what we need, when we need it, and how we need to receive it. Each trial is yet another platform upon which we have another opportunity to grow and rise to the occasion. In short, life is the context in which our hearts are revealed and sometimes what we see scares the begeebees out of us. But we mustn’t retreat, recoil, or run. We must repent, refocus, and press on for the race will be won if we do not lose heart.

Sometimes solid biblical truths can seem like worn out clichés, but when such a monumental task sits before us in such an incredible context, the overwhelming nature of these times feels like a vise if you forget that His strength is made perfect in our weakness and that His grace is absolutely sufficient for us.

Being taken to school and the woodshed at the same time is when you know that your Father loves you the most (Hebrews 12:6) – a truth that only a new mind can comprehend and even then it stretches the limits of your sensibility.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Three Young Men Relocate to Help

We have been blessed with three young men who were willing to relocate indefinitely to Slidell to help us full time with our relief work here at Sovereign Grace Fellowship. All men are single and have a heart for service and for the Lord's people.

Travis Kingsley (left) is a student at Master's College in biblical counseling who resides in Minnesota. He has worked for the Red Cross and in youth counseling in the Dominican Republic before coming to our church. Travis helps us with counseling and scheduling work crews.

Danny Kirkpatrick (middle) is a talent painter and illustrator who has an extensive background in children's ministry. His love for children and life is contagious and it is a blessing to have him be a part of our missions work.

Robert Kirkpatrick (right) is Danny's brother and has a background in the steel industry as well as landscaping. Robert is a steady and sure worker who is an asset to our team.

Both brothers have helped us with upkeep and maintenance around the church as well as with operational orginization. The Kirkpatricks are from Illinois.

All of the men live at the church in a donated trailer and are supported by donations and a few odd jobs that they manage to pick up. Please pray for these men as they minister to the community along with us in the Gulf coast area.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Worker Crews Highlight
We had two groups from California come in to help us recently with recovery work. Josh Winans, pastor of First Baptist Church of Auburn flew in with his crew of tree destroyers. I thought California was known for their tree 'hugging' not their ability to make a fifty foot pine come crashing to the ground. All of these men were not only a joy to fellowship with but were hearty workers as well. Pastor Josh and myself were given the opportunity by the Lord to witness in prayer to a dying neighbor of mine and a few members of the crew were instrumental in helping to preach to the glory of Christ to a single retired Roman Catholic who has now attended services regularly since they left. God is amazing.

Led by Greg Baird, these faithful stewards spent Thanksgiving week with us. We fed about ten families on Thanksgiving and the FBCM crew were very helpful in making that happen. Not currently having deacons in our church means that we wear multiple hats so having Greg and Jonathan's deacon grace [by fixing our broken mower, readying our property, and having a "getting it done" attitude] was a huge blessing. The entire crew worked well in aiding the Lord's work here in Slidell including laboring to help an elderly couple who have no insurance, one of which suffers from the debilitation of a stroke.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

Saturday, December 24, 2005

From Our Hearts to You on Christmas

May the peace, joy, and love of our God be yours forever and ever.

We at Sovereign Grace Fellowship look forward to worshipping with you in eternity.




Monday, December 12, 2005

West Liberty, Ohio Extends a Warm Invitation

Last week I was in Ohio ministering to Grace Chapel in West Liberty. The saints there under the leadership of Justin Erickson and his elders have become dear to our hearts at Sovereign Grace Fellowship. It was Grace Chapel that showed up not too long ago with a tractor trailer full of supplies - clothes, food, tools, etc. Along with many others who have come to our aid during this unique time, their love and support and prayers have been a sweet balm to our weary souls.

I preached both Sunday services and gave a Katrina releif work update in the evening. Meeting several of the work crew members again who came down to help us in the trenches was a joy. It is so amazing to see how our Lord weaves friendships and orchestrates His foundations of mutual edification, encouragement, and love.

Being with Justin and his wife Janna as they hosted me in their home during my stay in the beginning of winter (we don't get much snow in Louisiana) reminded me of traveling ministers from many decades ago. Providing a home away from home is no easy task and their thoughtfullness and adorable children made the distance of my own home that much shorter.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

3 Months that Seem like 3 Years

It's been three months since the tropical monster Katrina hit our area. It feels like three years.

Since then we've seen incredible things, things that are just too amazing to understand by photo or by print. Those of you who have visited this area and have worked with us here in Slidell and New Orleans know what I mean. The level and intensity and broadness of the destruction that the Lord levied on this area is something you cannot communicate. It has to be witnessed firsthand.

We've seen God answer prayer almost instantaneously; even bringing to us under our feet a domesticated pet rat roaming in the very backyard of a boy who had recently prayed for a replacement to his drowned rat, Debbie. Provision under Providence is a faith builder and the Lord has shown us His sustaining grace each and every day as we labor.

This experience has shown us that for the most part, we play church and live complacently in our communities. Having your hand to the plow and feeling the pain of blisters and the sweat of hard benevolence work is a blessing that cannot be matched. We've met folks that we would never have met in our regular circles; people from all areas of our parish and from all kinds of families and religious backgrounds. We've come along side of them to help them both physically by clearing land and fixing homes and spiritually by bringing the Gospel of Christ to them and through prayer and encouragement.

Hope has become a theme made real. When you bring the Word of God to someone you bring hope. I've taught that, I've preached that, but now I am having the privilege of living it. I've done more evangelism in these three months than I have in the last three years. Driving to the store with a virtually homeless man while his four garbage bags full of stinky clothes are in your car filling it with a smell that you aren't sure will ever come out of your vehicle really stirs up your heart. I find myself right in the book of James not wanting to sit next to the smelly guy but wanting rather to have him stay in the back and be someone else's problem. Then the love of the Spirit that has been poured out into my heart engulfs me and I see myself as him and I am reminded in the newness of my mind that I, but for the grace of God, am just like him - Same humanity, different shell. O’ the mercy of God that He shows us who we are!

I’ve been asked how things are going here in Slidell and in the New Orleans area so let me make a few comments in an attempt to answer those inquiries.

  • You can drive for over 50 miles and not find one person home. Five to ten feet of flood water and high winds destroyed thousands and thousands of residences. They are still destroyed.

  • We had a 75 year old couple show up Thanksgiving evening to our church after we had fed about ten families for dinner. The husband has had a stroke leaving the left side of his body useless and they came to us because they’ve got nowhere to live at present. Housing continues to be a great need as FEMA moves at the pace of snail making mud pies in a bottle of molasses.

  • Not all businesses are open and the ones that are open have truncated hours. Walmart, for example, closes at 7pm. Many job opportunities abound, yet stores are still understaffed.

  • We are adding a 1200 sq foot annex building to our property as a result of the support of a few churches for the purpose of housing offices and a permanent relief center. Next storm season will be here sooner than most have recovered.

  • Currently 60% of our church building is still being used for clothes, food, and supplies.

  • We still need worker teams to come and aid in this long term relief effort.

  • God is still most wonderful amidst the debris.