MONDAY, 1/31/22

Bro. Jerry sent me an update stating that the highlight of our Sunday was seeing one person make a public profession of faith in one of our morning services.  Praise the Lord.  He also wrote that we have decent attendance in our morning services and a good attendance in our evening service.  Bill Kendrick shared that the number in the study of Romans was very good.  Thank you to all who were faithful to attend.  All glory to God!

There have been a couple of deaths to folks related to members of the Friendship family.  Jamie Coffman’s mother passed on Saturday.  Angie Bentley’s cousin passed yesterday.  Pray for these families.

Our Sunday in Guatemala began with the church service followed by a medical clinic on GRACE Mountain, lunch, a food distribution in El Tejar, and then another much smaller medical clinic following the evening service at Iglesia JET.

Last night marked the first time in the history of Iglesia JET that an evening service took place as a regular part of the schedule.  Pastor Adan is wanting to reach those folks who have to work on Sundays meaning they cannot attend the morning service.  The church is actively seeking ways to grow.  Good stuff!

It was an uneventful day with grandma and that is a good thing!

One young boy came to me following the morning service and shared that it was his birthday.  I congratulated him and then he began to shed tears as his sponsor was not here to celebrate with him.  I consoled him and all was well.  Just saying!  (Also, LOL!)

I pray that you will have a great Monday with Jesus.

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SUNDAY, 1/30/22

Regular schedule on our campus today – morning and evening.  Pray for Bro. Jerry as he preaches in my absence.  Attend the services, please.  The 8:00AM service will be live streamed with no password needed.

Word came to me this morning that Jamie Coffman’s mother passed away yesterday.  She lived in the northern part of Alabama.  Pray for Jamie and family during this time.

I also learned this morning that Pastor Roy Crouch’s grandfather has passed from this life.  Roy was raised by his grandparents so this is extra tough on him.  Pray for Pastor Roy and his family.

Ben Thomas has written a nice article about a varsity basketball player at UMS.  You can find it on al.com.  Ben writes good stuff!

Well, it was a most different Saturday on GRACE Mountain.  The day began with a morning devotion time which lasted almost an hour.  Small number (obviously) but a really good time in the Word.

It was raining a little bit before sunrise yesterday.  Not a problem as this is dry season and we would not be affected by the wet stuff even though we were going to build houses.  Wrong!  It basically was cold, windy and wet all day.  As a matter of fact, the rain got hard enough around 3:00PM that we called it a day.  Four houses were built to the point of being ready to receive the concrete.

Side note – Grandma Cristina was on Soy’s team.  There was an older lady there who did not have any teeth.  So, being the giver she is, grandma took her teeth out and offered them to the lady.  Dr. John had to explain to Cristina that it simply does not work that say.  Bless her!

The Sergeant told me as I was leaving yesterday morning that she would be inviting some folks to join us for supper (she calls it dinner which is so Scripturally wrong).  When 7:00PM rolled around there were around forty (40) guests who joined our team of four!  A great time was had by all!

After supper, Dr. John performed surgery in the downstairs living area of the mission house.  He surgically removed a thumbnail from one of our teachers at Colegio JET.  She squirmed during the four deadening shots but all is well that ends well.

I pray that you will have a great Sunday with Jesus.



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SATURDAY, 1/29/22

Good Saturday morning from GRACE Mountain.  I pray that you and yours are doing great!  Still living by the “no news is good news” theory as things relate to home.

Eddie Albritton sent me a message yesterday saying that two or three folks have volunteered to help him with the basketball leagues today.  I am most grateful!  You may be thinking, “I do not know enough about basketball to help!”  Folks, if an Ole Miss fan can help. . . .    Just saying!  Thank you to those who are helping with this ministry today.

Regular schedule on our campus tomorrow morning and evening.  Worship at 8:00AM; 10:30AM and 6:00PM.  Sunday School at 9:15AM.  Study on Romans at 4:45PM.  Kid’s Bible club at 5:00PM.  Children’s choir at 6:00PM.

Bro. Jerry Hovel will be preaching in my absence tomorrow.  It just seems natural that some folks think, “I do not have to go to church because the pastor is out of town.”  That is correct!  You do not “have” to church but rather you “get” to go to church!  What a privilege we enjoy as Americans.  Plus, if your reason for attending church is because of the pastor, then you need to ask God to do a work in your heart!  So, Friendship family, please be faithful to attend the services at Friendship tomorrow!  The 8:00AM service will be live streamed with no password required.  That is how I will get to be involved with the service.

I learned yesterday of the passing of Pastor Q.T. Curtis.  He was a great pastor, preacher, friend to so many.  I first met him and heard him preach when I was around twelve years old as he came to preach revival services at my home church in Neel, Alabama.  He did an awesome job of pastoring Sage Avenue Baptist Church for many years.  Pastor Q.T. was just short of ninety-eight years old.  Pray for the Curtis family as the visitation and celebration of life service will take place today.

Yesterday was a good day on GRACE Mountain.  You may be thinking “who came from Michigan?”  Dr. John Nicely who is a physician in the ER at Holland, Michigan hospital.  Dr. John’s two sons, Sam and Jacob.  Sam is a senior in high school and Jacob is a freshman.  Cristina Fuglseth who is retired from the medical field.  I “think” Cristina is around ninety-seven years old? She acts much younger.  I just call her grandma.  It really does not matter what you call her as her hearing is about shot!  So, what is your excuse for not coming on a GRACE Ministries trip?

Anyway, Dr. John & Grandma Cristina are seeing the students at Colegio JET this week and organizing a data base on each student.  They saw more than sixty folks yesterday.  They were assisted by Sam & Jacob.  The only problem was that “grandma” would ask each patient, “how are you?”  They would reply, “fine and you?”  Well, she then proceeded to tell them which meant a fifteen minute speech per patient!  Oh my!

Meanwhile, the Sergeant was at full force!  She knocked (putting it mildly) on my door at 4:00AM reminding me of the need to be on the school campus by 5:00AM.  Folks, it is a two minute walk!  So, a great team of workers showed up and finished another section of the parking lot.  Over the past two days, we mixed (with a mixer) and poured the equivalent of fifty-four houses that we build.

Today, we all head out to build houses.  Our biggest challenge will be keeping up with grandma as in “where did she wander off to now?”

My friend, Dr. Jack Bailey, blogs daily and stated this week that he only has thirty to sixty readers.  Man, what would I give to have such a following?  I often wonder what it would be like to reach that fifteen readers plateau?  Please know that I am happy to have the thirteen readers but I guess we all get greedy from time to time.

I pray that you will have a great Saturday with Jesus.

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FRIDAY, 1/28/22

Good morning from GRACE Mountain.

I have always been told that “no news is good news” so all on the home front seems to be good.  I have not even heard of any new cases of the virus within the Friendship family.  That, too, is good news!

Pray for revival!  Pray big!  Pray fervently.  Pray without ceasing.  Pray!

I was in hopes that Eddie A would send me a message sharing that he has been overrun with volunteers for basketball.  Has not happened.  Still time for it to become a reality!

The guys working on the Colegio JET parking lot started at 6:00AM yesterday morning and worked until almost 2:00PM when a shortage of materials forced them to stop.  I joined them at 6:30AM which goes against my grain.  Why was I late?  Because I have always wanted to be like Joey Switzer!  Anyway, about half to the area needing to receive concrete is now done.  Hopefully, the other half will be finished today.

I though the Sergeant would be happy with yesterday’s progress.  Wrong!  She has now ordered that we begin work at 5:00AM today!  Hello, it is still dark at 5:00AM.  You talk about a slave driver!

The four team members from Michigan arrived safe and sound around 7:45PM last night.  They were tired as they left Grand Rapids at 6:30AM yesterday.  Longer than normal layover in Dallas.  I am glad they are here!  Thanks to Pastor Adan for making the airport run.

I pray that you will have a great Friday with Jesus.


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THURSDAY, 1/27/22

Good Thursday morning from GRACE Mountain.

Sonny Bates got good news from the doctor regarding the scan yesterday.  He “may” have to undergo another round of radiation but that is a very viable option considering what it could have been.  Sonny & Jeanette are giving God the glory!  Keep praying!

I am told that we had a good evening in Bible study last night and that Bro. Jerry did a good job teaching.  I want to encourage the members of the Friendship family to be faithful in their church attendance.

I have mentioned the need for folks to help Eddie Albritton with our basketball ministry this Saturday, 1/29, and then every night next week.  I sure hope folks are contacting Eddie to let him know of their willingness to help as I have heard from no one.   Folks, let’s end this season strong!

Pray for revival.  Evangelist Danny Long will be with us the dates of Sunday, February 13, through Wednesday, February 16.  YAM!  (What is YAM?  Contact Elizabeth Westbrook for the details!)

The regulations have changed regarding the entry requirements into Guatemala.  This impacts a lot of people.  Therefore, I need to know exactly who is going to take part in our June 16 – 23, 2022 GRACE Ministries trip?  Please send me an email at pastor@friendshipfamily.net by no later than February 20.  As it stands now, a person must be fully vaccinated before they can enter Guatemala.  No exceptions.

There are four folks from Michigan scheduled to arrive on GRACE Mountain tonight.  Four, is that all?  It is.  However it is a good four and they will be doing medical at Colegio JET.  We will also build ten or so houses over these next two weeks.

My great nephew, Grayson Glenn, has been recognized as the Bryant-Jordan scholar athlete for Region Fifteen.  That is a really big accomplishment.  Grayson got his brain from his mama, Jamie.  How do I know?  Because she has no brain so someone got it!  Congratulations, Grayson!  (His resume will now read – “Bryant-Jordan scholar athlete award; mentioned on THE blog!”)

My dentist friend, Dr. Ashley Holladay, has taken a new position in Huntsville, Alabama.  Ashley is a sweetheart and has been to Guatemala like one million times.  Congratulations, Dr. Ashley.

I had an uneventful day of traveling yesterday until I rode with Deidra from the airport – oh my!  It gets worse as last night I shared my plans for today with Deidra.  She looked at me and sternly said, “you are doing concrete tomorrow and the work begins at 6:00AM!  The guys are planning on you helping them all day!”  What?  Do I look like hired help?  So, guess what I am doing today?  The sergeant lives!

The good news is that I had two young girls who were thrilled to see me as they had plans to spend the night with their poppie!  So, they went to bed with smiles on their faces after indulging on popcorn and milk – are you kidding me!

My top secret, inside source tells me that Bama is not finished in the portal.  Just FYI.

One final thing, Todd Stork has not helped me at all with the covid testing and such.  Katie Tillman has been the one helping me!  Just saying!  LOL!

I pray that you will have a great Thursday with Jesus.


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WEDNESDAY, 1/26/22

This entry will be short and sweet as I am about to board a plane heading to Atlanta and eventually to Guatemala City.  Again, I am most thankful to Todd Stork for handling all of the testing stuff.

Regular schedule on our campus today – morning and evening.

Sonny & Jeanette will drive over to New Orleans today in order for Sonny to have the scan done.  Pray that all goes well.

Thank you to those who responded to my request for those who have battled the virus.  I have heard some pretty high numbers but the reality is that we presently have three or four members of the Friendship family presently battling the virus.  We are just under one hundred folks who have battled the virus since March of 2020.  We are thankful for God’s blessings.

Congratulations to the number one ranked Auburn Tigers basketball team.  Yes, they struggled in the win last night but a win is a win!  Bama continues to struggle.

If all goes as scheduled, Deidra will get me from the airport in Guatemala City around 1:30PM today.

Bro. Jerry, Bro. Abel and our deacons stand ready, willing and able to minister in any way needed during my absence.  I appreciate these men.

Still looking for folks to help Eddie A with the basketball leagues this Saturday and all of next week.

Pray for revival!

I pray that you will have a great Wednesday with Jesus.

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TUESDAY, 1/25/22

Good Tuesday morning from a balmy (46 degrees) and wet Grand Bay, Alabama.

Sonny & Jeanette Bates will travel to New Orleans tomorrow in order for Sonny to have a scan.  Pray for safety in travel and for a clear picture for the doctors to make decisions moving forward.

Debbie Hyatt is on the mend but keep praying!

Pray for revival!  Sunday, 2/13, through Wednesday, 2/16.  Evangelist Danny Long.  Sunday services at 10:30AM & 5:00PM.  Weeknight services at 6:30PM.  Pray for revival!  YAM!

We still have folks within the Friendship family who are battling covid.  I am trying to keep a list of those within the Friendship family who have tested positive (no self diagnosis).  If you (members/attenders of the Friendship family) have tested positive within the past month, please send me an email at pastor@friendshipfamily.net.  Do this even if you think I already know.

A call for help!  Eddie Albritton leads our basketball ministry.  He is not one to ask for help.  I went to the gym last night and Eddie was running the entire gig solo.  There are games this Saturday, 1/29, and then every night (minus Wednesday) the week of 1/31.  We need some folks to give Eddie some help.  Game officials, clock operators, et cetera.  Please contact Eddie if you will help.  Important!

The Spring soccer leagues will begin soon.  Sign up is taking place each Saturday in February.  Bro. Abel leads this ministry.  Contact him for more information or to sign up.

Lord willing, I will board a plane heading to Guatemala early tomorrow morning.  I received a negative covid test yesterday morning.  I am very grateful to Todd Stork for his help in getting me a test.  Todd is one of the absolute kindest persons I have ever known.  I could not ask for anyone to be nicer and more helpful to me than Todd Stork!  What a blessing!  Thank you, Todd!

On the other hand, Katie Tillman. . . .  (Remember she is Diane Brinkman Howard’s daughter!  Enough said!)

I pray that you will have a great Tuesday with Jesus!

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MONDAY, 1/24/22

Happy fourth birthday to our youngest grandchild, Jayden.  As a family, we celebrated Jayden’s special day yesterday afternoon.  We love Jayden and pray that he will become a champion for Christ!

We had a pretty good day in our services yesterday.  Good attendance in our first service, fair attendance in our second service and a pretty strong attendance in our evening service.  The Bible study on Romans was well attended too.

Sonny Bates will be going to New Orleans on Wednesday for a scan.  This is supposedly the latest and greatest of this particular scan so pray it gives the medical professionals a clear look at what is taking place in Sonny’s body.  Needless to say, his hip replacement surgery scheduled for 2/1 has been delayed.  Pray for Bro. Sonny.

We continue to have folks within the Friendship family battling the virus.  None serious at this point.  Keep praying!

Basketball games tonight beginning at 5:30PM.  Pray for this ministry.

“Lord, send a revival and let it begin in me!”  Join me in praying for revival.  Evangelist Danny Long will be with us the dates of Sunday, 2/13, through Wednesday, 2/16.  Pray for revival!  Remember, YAM!

I pray that you will have a great Monday with Jesus.

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THURSDAY, 1/20/22

Sorry for no entry yesterday.  Some days there just is not much to write about.  And some days life can be a little hectic.  Not making excuses.

We had pretty good attendance in our morning service yesterday but our evening service attendance was poor.  I am very grateful for those who attended but I am confused as to why so many folks missed?  We were missing leaders, young adults and senior adults.  I sure hope it was just an abnormal night!

Pastor Horace Vinson passed from this life this past Monday.  Pastor Horace was eighty-six years old.  He is the founding pastor of the Grand Bay Community Church.  The visitation and celebration of life service will take place today at the Holder-Wells Funeral Home in Moss Point.  Pray for the Vinson family as they walk through this valley.

We continue to have members of the Friendship family battling the virus.  Thankfully, none seem to be serious and there are no hospitalizations.  Praise the Lord!

We are on a regular schedule this Sunday, 1/23.  The study on the Book of Romans will begin at 4:45PM in the auditorium.  Everyone invited to attend this study which will be facilitated by Bill Kendrick.

A ladies Bible study will begin on Thursday, February 3, at the home of Edna Pearl Morgan.  Sheila Booker will facilitate this study which will begin at 10:00AM.  They will be doing a Tony Evans study on the book of Esther.

Our basketball leagues continue play this Saturday, 1/22, with a starting time of 9:00AM.  Eddie Albritton leads this ministry and does a really good job.

Revival services Sunday, 2/13, through Wednesday, 2/16, with Evangelist Danny Long preaching.  Pray.  Attend.  Bring others with you.

I have not watched them play even one second but I am impressed with the Auburn basketball team.  Honestly, they should be ranked number one at this point.  One person voted them number nine in this week’s poll – are you serious!  Alabama finally won a game last night but they are struggling.

I am like Pastor Jack Bailey in that I love rainy days like today.  Good stuff!

I pray that you will have a great Thursday with Jesus.



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