GRACE III 2017 (6/29/17)

Written by Teddie on June 29th, 2017

Where has this week gone?  It is shortly after 3:00AM and the majority (23) of the team just left GRACE Mountain headed for the airport in Guatemala City.  From there they will board either an American Airlines plane headed to Miami, FL or a Delta plane headed to Atlanta.  The remaining folks (all Thelma Baptist) will leave GRACE Mountain at 7:30AM and will board the early afternoon Delta flight.  (I sure appreciate Pastor BJ Parson getting up to pray over these team members who left for the earlier flights.  What can I say?)

Wednesday was basically a perfect ending to a really good week of ministry.  The team once again fed the students at the My Special Treasure School.  I do not know what the meal consisted of but I know it was good and well received.  A shout out goes to Coach Eric Collier and the Theodore High School varsity football team as they personally gave the money to make these meals possible.  Thank you Coach Collier and players.

Also, the Friendship VBS along with a couple of generous donations provided three months (July, August, September) rent for this school.  What a blessing!

The team drove back to the village and dedicated the twenty four houses.  There was one salvation decision which is obviously the highlight of the trip – praise the Lord.  That is why we do what we do!

An early supper at Pizza Hut was followed by a team share time which lasted about two hours.  Those times can be so special and this one was just that – special.  The highlight was Makenzie Conn serenading Soy with a somewhat Southern Gospel song.  Brought tears to his eyes!

So, we are thankful to God for all He has done.  Thankful to Ethelsville Baptist Church, Thelma Baptist Church, and Durant Chapel Baptist Church for partnering with Friendship Baptist.  We arrived as a team and left as a family – only God!

One final thought – rumor has it that a new pancake house “could” soon be opening in the greater Grand Bay Area.  ”Pancakes by Sanna” will be the name and the slogan will be “our pancakes really ‘stick’ to you!”

Thank you for praying.  Thank you for checking on these fine folks!


GRACE III 2017 (6/28/17)

Written by Teddie on June 28th, 2017

The team got though Tuesday without any injuries, incidents, et cetera.  Hooray!

The ladies of this team cooked and served hundreds of pancakes to the students at the My Special Treasure School.  It was a good morning for the students and our team.   Lisa & Deidra have coordinated this part of ministry and are doing a great job.

The men left GRACE Mountain at 5:30AM in order to get an early start on the house building.  Those fourteen men were joined by some of the ladies around noon.   What a great day!  All twenty four houses have now been built as they put the d sides/tops on six existing frames, built four houses from scratch and poured concrete in thirteen houses – all by 5:00PM.  The Lord blessed once again in regard to the weather as there was only one small shower around 3:30PM.  Otherwise, it was a perfect day.

Today the team will once again feed the students and then go dedicate the houses.

Thanks for praying!


GRACE III 2017 (6/27/17)

Written by Teddie on June 27th, 2017

I am aware that there has not been a blog for the past two mornings.  Rebekah Rankin & Bailee Simmons had asked to be the guest bloggers but they failed to follow through.   Those Wetumpka girls!

Monday began very unexpectedly early.  One of the men, Kenny Lingle, went downstairs around 4:00AM to make coffee.  Little did he know that the entire bottom floor (living area and kitchen) had been flooded during the night due to holding tank malfunction.  He slipped and hit the back of his head on the concrete stairs which left him with a bleeding gash.  He literally crawled up the stairs and into the hallway to call for help.  It took around an hour for the team to get the water swept, mopped, carried out in buckets, et cetera out of the house.  What an unusual start to the day!

Phillip & Claire Turner took care of Kenny’s cut which included giving him a partial haircut and cleaning the wound.  Kirk Lightfield and Phillip then took Kenny to a local doctor as soon as they opened at 7:30AM and he received six stitches.  Just for the record, Phillip was impressed with the place and the doctor.  Said he would go there himself or take Claire there without hesitation.

The Lord gave the team another good weather day and they worked really hard.  Here is where they stand – eight houses completely finished, three more have received the concrete, three more have the tin in place and are ready for the concrete, six more have been framed up and are ready for tin.  So, these twelve need to be finished and four more need to be built today.

The team began the day by going to My Special Treasure School to feed those students.  Coach Eric Collier and his Theodore High School football team members personally gave the money to make this happen.  More on this school later.

The men are leaving early today, the women will feed the students again and will then join the men.  Pray for this team as they try to finish really strong today.

Thanks for praying.  Thanks for checking on this team.


GRACE III 2017 (6/24/17)

Written by Teddie on June 24th, 2017

Wow, what a difference a day makes!  The team was up and ready and rolling down the mountain at 5:30AM today arriving in the village where they are building around 6:50AM.  They hit the ground running and did a great job all day long.  The rain never came which allowed them to work until 3:00PM.  They would have worked longer but the whistle sounded and they loaded up.  A tired but happy group!

Eight houses have now received concrete and are finished with the exception of hanging the doors and windows.  Five others have been framed up and are ready for the metal.  Why did the teams not go ahead and attach the metal?  That is a great question.  I defer to Coach Eric Collier!

Eight of the team members stayed on GRACE Mountain and helped at the feeding center.  I have not gotten an “official” report but all indications are they had a blast.

The devotion for today was an evening devotion and Pastor Jordan Lollar, Ethelsville Baptist Church, brought a really good message from the Word.  (One of the best messages on tithing I have ever heard!).  I appreciate Pastor Jordan and his sweet wife, Lana, who is leading our musical worship this week.  What a fine young couple!

The team’s Sunday will begin at 6:30AM in the upper room with a message from the Word by Jeff Holifield.  Then church, baptismal service and Antigua.

Keep praying for this team!  Blessings!


GRACE III 2017 (6/24/17)

Written by Teddie on June 24th, 2017

Wow, what a first day for this team!  They drove about one hour West (or straight per one of the team members) and then were introduced to a very impoverished village.  They hit the ground running but were very soon joined by the rains.

Four teams began working on building houses.  The rains kept coming and the mud continued to build.  Then the thunder and lightning came and the executive decision was made to immediately halt building and head back to the mission house.  So, the wet and very muddy team members loaded up and came back to GRACE Mountain arriving around 4:30PM.

One house will finished yesterday and the other three were close to being finished.  This village is at an elevation of over 7,300 feet.  The house building sites are spread out so the navigation was pretty tough especially considering the wet ground conditions.

The team will leave the mission house at 5:30AM today heading back to the village.  Eight of them will stay on GRACE Mountain and help with the feeding center.  The building crew will stay in the village as long as the weather (no lightning) allows.  The rain is not a factor unless it becomes torrential but the lightning is a major factor.

There was one injury yesterday.  One of the team members suffered a cut hand because of a barbed wire fence.  Dr. Phillip Turner with an assist from his wife, Claire, handled that situation in the field.  The patient was a trooper and kept working.

Thanks for praying for this team.  Please continue.  More updates to follow.  Blessings!


GRACE III 2017 (6/23)

Written by Teddie on June 23rd, 2017

Good morning from Guatemala!  Thirty five folks arrived in Guatemala yesterday afternoon and made their way to GRACE Mountain.  Those folks flew in from Atlanta, Birmingham, Mobile and Pensacola.  They represent two states, Alabama and Florida, and one foreign country – Mississippi.

As soon as they arrived on the mountain, they headed off the mountain to go eat lunch/supper and to handle banking business.  They came back to the mountain for a meeting and by 7:15PM all was done and everyone began to settle in for the night.  All of them had left their respective homes around 2:00AM so they were some tired folks.  Tired but happy!

Today begins as usual for one of our GRACE Ministries teams with devotion at 7:00AM and then it will be off to build houses and/or help at the feeding center.

Thank you for checking on this team.  Thank you for the prayer support.  Updates to follow.  Blessings!


GRACE II 2017 (2/9/17)

Written by Teddie on February 9th, 2017

Thirty of the team members just headed down GRACE mountain heading for the Guatemala City airport.  Two others left late yesterday afternoon to spend some time in the northern part of Guatemala while four others have remained for a few days in Antigua.

The medical/dental folks were down in number yesterday but had a good day.  Since Laurie King is not here I do not have the final numbers.  I do know they had a good week all in all and we give God the glory.

The building team dedicated all twenty houses.  They saw one profession of faith in those dedications and had a sweet time with the pastor, elders and deacons of the local church.

Pastor Terry’s surgery that was scheduled for this morning has been delayed.  They need to do another procedure first.  Most likely, his surgeries, elbow & shoulder, will take place later today.  He certainly needs our prayer support!

Once again, thank you for praying for this team.  Let’s pray them safely home!  Blessings!


GRACE II 2017 (2/8/17)

Written by Teddie on February 8th, 2017

Pastor Terry Rainey had surgery on his knee yesterday.  I am told it went well.  Tomorrow, 2/9/17, he is scheduled to have surgery on his shoulder and also on his elbow.  Keep praying for Pastor Terry.

The medical team saw over two hundred patients yesterday.  They also did a food/clothes distribution.  It was a good day for them.

The construction team has been small in number this entire trip but they have been amazing.  All twenty houses are completely finished.  The major difference in this GRACE team and the first GRACE team can be summed up in two words – rocks and distance!  The first team was just as amazing but had very difficult building conditions and spent ten hours more on the road.  (Plus, the Paul on this team actually works!  Just saying!)

Today will see another medical clinic and house dedications.  Pray that these things go well.  Blessings!


GRACE II 2017 (2/7/17)

Written by Teddie on February 7th, 2017

The most pressing thing on the collective mind of this team is Pastor Terry Rainey and his condition.  Here is the latest as of 2:20AM on 2/7:  Pastor Terry was set for surgery all day yesterday.  The final word was that surgery would begin between midnight and 2:00AM today.  However, a couple of trauma emergencies bumped him from the list.  He had been NPO the entire time he has been in the Florida hospital.  So, they gave him something to eat and drink and immediately put him back as NPO.  The thought is that he will go into surgery at some point this morning.  He continues to have much pain so they are trying new medicines to hopefully control it.  Keep praying for Pastor Terry and know that I will not be able to update his situation until some time tonight.

The team had a really good Monday.  As a matter of fact, the medical/dental team and the building team both arrived back at the mission house around 7:15PM last night.  I do not know how many patients the medical/dental folks saw but do know they had a really good day.  I am very thankful for the medical folks on this trip.

The building team had a good day.  As it stands now, thirteen houses are completely finished.  Two others are ready for the concrete and one double wide just basically needs the roof metal and it will be ready.  The remaining three houses will be built today.  The building conditions have been favorable.  This building team has been small in number ranging from twelve to fifteen each day.  The houses are not situated close together as in literally miles apart in some situations.  So, each change of location requires a truck.

Both Laura & Kaley wanted me to announce their impending engagements!  I am happy to oblige!  So, now you know!  Save the date for December ’17 and June ’18.

Thank you for praying for this team.  Keep praying for Pastor Terry.  Thank you for checking on this team.  Blessings!



GRACE II 2017 (2/6/17)

Written by Teddie on February 6th, 2017

The Lord is good!  Pastor Terry Rainey left the hospital in Antigua via ambulance around 4:30PM yesterday afternoon and then left Guatemala City via a medical jet just before 7:00PM.  By midnight, he was in the hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Laurie King traveled with him and will be there for a few days.  Pastor Terry’s daughter, Shannon, will fly from Greenville, SC to Ft. Lauderdale this morning.  Her Aunt Libby (Miss Cookie’s sister) will fly with her.  We do not know when the two surgeries will take place but are praying they will happen really quickly.

Let me say a word about the insurance company, International Medical Group.  On the initial call to the insurance company, we were connected to a lady who handles the request and then coordinates everything from if the patient is deemed in need of a medical jet, to where the patient will go, et cetera.  That lady’s name was Barb.  Folks, Barb and I became good friends through the night on Saturday and almost all day Sunday.  Could not have asked for a kinder, more caring person than Barb.  She was genuinely concerned about Pastor Terry and did the very best she could to get him back to the States.  I told her early yesterday morning that she got an “A+” from me just for her kindness and compassion.  Refreshing in today’s world!

Yes, Pastor Rainey was in a great pain the entire time especially with his knee.  He was very relieved to be heading to the hospital in the US.  Pray that the surgeries will take place quickly and then he can get back home to South Carolina.

Meanwhile, the team had a usual Sunday.  Tom Compagner led the morning devotional.  The team prayed for Pastor Terry.  They then enjoyed a nice day in Antigua and attended the church service.  At least one person was saved.  Some folks then enjoyed time with their sponsored child and the rest just spent great fellowship time at the mission house while sorting pills and getting ready for today’s medical.

So, the prayer is that today will be a day lived to the glory of God.  Pray for this team!