Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Dear Friends

Grady and Sarah have been a huge blessing in all of our lives and especially on this trip. It is obvious that they have huge hearts for God because it can be seen in everything they do. We are so appreciative of the time and effort they spent planning this trip and their commitment as leaders. Throughout all of our adventures in Bolivia (the good and the not so good), they were constantly uplifting those around them with big smiles and good attitudes. They were willing to do whatever they could to encourage and love on the people of Bolivia. Even with a language barrier, it was easy to see them connect with everyone they met and the joy they brought to those around them. They were never overbearing or controlling like some leaders, but full of love with hearts that were so willing to serve others. We are so thankful to have such godly examples willing to answer the call to declare God's glory among the nations!

- Cassie

Grady and Sarah have demonstrated a clear example of Christ-centered, unified leadership during the past two and a half years of my life.  From understanding the highs and lows of their marriage and their responses to those highs and lows, to seeing them raise three beautiful children in the fear of the Lord, Grady and Sarah have illustrated a relationship and partnership founded upon Christ, focused on Christ and others, and highlighted by servanthood.  This was only exemplified throughout our recent mission trip to Bolivia during which they spent a week away from the comforts of home, the needs of the workplace, and the warm embrace of their children and spent a week seeking to grow in their own faith while also seeking to encourage others to fully embrace God.  For Grady and Sarah, Bolivia 2012 was not so much about seeing what they could gain for themselves as much as it was about seeing how they could spur others on to good works and growing deeper in the Word and their relationship with Christ.  Seeing Grady's intentionality in pointing the group to God's faithfulness and worthiness by highlighting answers to prayer, digging into the Word, and emphasizing praise reports (among many other encouragements) was an incredible blessing.  To have a leader so focused on Christ and intentional toward others was a major blessing!  The intentionality which which Grady facilitated each event and conversation blew my socks off and truly inspired me in my walk. Meanwhile, Sarah's heart for others shined during GO Bolivia 2012 perhaps more than ever before (which is a BIG statement).  To see her immediately come alongside Ana and wrap her arm around Ana was a lovely reflection of God our Comforter who comes alongside us in every high and low.  The same was true in each conversation we had one-on-one or in groups with her, as her desire to understand and focus on what's going on in our lives is remarkable.  For two people who have made a huge impact in my life and are continuing to leave an honoring legacy of Christ with their partnership, words are not enough to express my gratitude -- praise God for you!

- Sean

What can I say about the these two unique people that I am talking about today? The words awesome, fantastic and amazing come to mind, because that sure describes Grady and Sarah. Their leadership, encouragement, and quirkiness is something that only a few are able to express as well as them. These two have been great teachers for me in every aspect of my life and for that I am very grateful. So, thank you Grady and Sarah Peeler, for everything you have done on this Bolivia trip and what you continue to do throughout the years.

- Nick

Sarah, you are so good at building friendships and encouraging people. You ask great questions to learn about people, about culture, about God, and you remember the answers. Plus, you answer questions really well, even if I always asked my “How do you raise your kids?” questions that should have two hour answers after 11 p.m. :) Thanks for taking time to personally invest in each of us by asking questions, listening well, and sharing the wisdom and experience God has given you. Thanks for supporting Grady.

Grady, your leadership and support for each person on the team is so appreciated. You took time to get to know each of us, to remind us of truths from the Word, to support Dana, Pastor Alcidez, David and Anna, and others, not to mention all the pre-trip details, meetings, questions, vaccination information…. Thanks also for keeping the blog updated as a way to communicate back home, but also for us to remember what was happening while it was happening. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to go. My life has been changed.
Plus, I can't leave out that y'all are just so. much. fun. You both are full of humor and laughs. Muchas gracias!

- Suzanne

Grady and Sarah, it was awesome to serve alongside of both of you in Bolivia! I love how God brings people together—how He uses us to teach each other, to encourage each other, and to do His work through us. And I loved getting to know both of you better and seeing the incredible ways God is using you all in our lives!

Grady, I just want to say thanks for your servant leadership. You set aside time—from your job, from your kids, from all that you could have done on vacation—to invest in our lives. Then you modeled what it means to serve with humility—following the example of what we learned in Philippians 2 by looking to help us in our walks with the Lord and encouraging us to go deeper. Thank you for your example of walking with Him—I am so thankful for the brother that you are in Christ!!

And Sarah, thank you, thank you, thank you! I loved getting to talk with you, to hear your perspective as a mother and a friend, and to go through it all together. It was awesome to see your positive spirit even though you got almost no sleep some nights, to join in singing all the children’s songs on the truck, and just to chop trees, walk on balance beams, and serve the Lord together. You were such an encouragement to me!
We appreciate and love you guys, thanks for your examples of walking with and serving Him!!!

- David

Thanks for the encouragement and the growth of seeds Grady and Sarah.
How do you know you truly love the Nations without going to them?  How do you know you want to give your life for them if you haven’t seen them?  How do you know how to minister to them if you haven’t been there or been a part of the culture?  How do you realize God’s calling on your life if you have explored multiple options?
I can answer all of these questions only in light of the Gospel.  I know because I have a God who cares intimately for the hurts of people, he cares about their physical hurts, their emotional hurts, and their need for a Savior.  Since I was in middle school (long after I told my parents I didn’t think I would be a missionary overseas ever), I knew one day I wanted to go to the Nations and serve them as healing hands, ministering to those with cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies in the name of Jesus Christ. For then it was only for the short-term.  The seed for missions was planted.  
Originally, I thought that I was going to Bolivia to evangelize the nations and to tell them of this God they had no clue about.  Yet through the encouragement of Grady and Sarah, I realized that was not our whole goal.  We were to go and encourage missionaries, telling them what great works we could see the Lord doing through them, we were to serve the people we met, by washing dishes and making their loads lighter wherever possible, and when possible share the Gospel with words, through our testimonies, by telling them of our Jesus one-on-one and by praying with them.  Over the course of the trip, I began to realize how I would love to continually go overseas and if at all possible live in a country serving there for the long-term.  The seed for missions grew in Bolivia.
For me, a heart for the Nations had gradually been planted throughout the years.  Calvary Church gave me the opportunity to grow by going to the Nations while Grady and Sarah discipled us while we were there.  They were an amazing encouragement through the entire trip.  The ways that they seek to serve others, share the Gospel with those around us, love each other with supernatural love and be blessings to everyone they meet is truly beautiful!  I have seen character traits of the Father in them and by being their friends, I am forever blessed!
Thank you Grady and Sarah for having a heart that longs to see long-term missionaries go realizing their calling through short-term trips.   Thank you for taking care of this seedling, helping to water and grow her.   Thank you for the constant reminders that God was the star of this trip was not us but Jesus Christ and him alone.  Thank you for leaving your physical family at home for a week, not many people would leave their precious family at home with babysitters to go abroad with a group of 10 college students to serve with them in a foreign country.  Thank you for the reminders that just as we loved and served the Bolivians, we can love and serve Americans too.  They need the same Savior. Because you have Christ at the center of your lives, you encourage and push others to live lives for him as well.  When you meet the Father, I am sure he will say “Well done good and faithful servants!”
- Carolyn

Thank you Grady and Sarah!!!


  1. Crying, crying, crying! I am so blessed to be friends with this AMAZING couple...and this post was such a sweet testimony of their wholehearted, sold-out, completely contagious love for their God! So thankful y'all shared this!!! They are truly an incredible couple!

  2. Wow. You guys are fantastic! I saw the alert email this morning that there was a new blog post and was excited to see what it was about and what new stories we were remembering. How humbling to read this! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this encouragement!