2016 Grider WOD

May 2nd, 2016

This upcoming Saturday, on May 7, 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm we will be having our 3rd annual Grider Hero WOD, held at Southern Pines Cross Fit in Southern Pines, NC (105 E Connecticut Ave.). Come in from 10am-2pm to partake in the workout and raise money for Aaron Grider Foundation (AGF). Don’t do crossfit? No problem, come in for Southern Pines Brewing beer, wings, C. Cups cupcakes, silent auction items and more! Registration is $40, which includes a t-shirt. T-shirts available just for purchase as well. Look forward to seeing you on Saturday for a great workout supporting a great cause!

Grider Hero WOD


For Time:

30 Row Calories

9 Muscle Ups

18 Single Leg Squats

80 Double Unders

9 Muscle Ups

18 Single Leg Squats

10 Snatch 95#/65#

Time stops at top of 10th Snatch and then without dropping the bar:

1 Set Max Effort Overhead Squats 95#/65#.  If bar is dropped from overhead the workout is over.

Number of Overhead Squats is deducted from total time in seconds.

Mate (Partner)

30 Row Calories

9 Pull Ups

18 Squats 95#/65#

80 Double Unders or Singles

9 Pull Ups

18 Squats 95#/65#

10 Snatch 95#/65#

Time Stops

AMRAP Overhead Squats 95#/65#

Number of Overhead Squats is deducted from total time in seconds.


2016 AGF Short-term Missions Trip

February 16th, 2016

Dear potential AGF short-term missions-trip participants,

Aaron Grider Foundation. Hope Endures. (AGF), in partnership with Casas por Cristo has an incredible and unique opportunity for you to be part of building a house for a family in Acuña, Mexico. The dates of the trip are Monday, June 13-Sunday, June 19, 2016. When we arrive, we will meet an excited family that owns an empty plot of land. When we leave less than one week later, this family will have the keys to their new home in hand. “While meeting the physical needs of the families, it is our prayer that our work allows local pastors the opportunity to better meet the spiritual needs of their communities. We will work as servants for their ministries” (Casas por Cristo website).

I have had the privilege of building 10 houses in Mexico with this wonderful organization. I can’t speak highly enough of their mission, staff, expertise, their compassion for the people of Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic and their heart for helping spread the gospel of Christ. We will have a Casas staff person with us the entire time, one that is familiar with Acuña, the people, and is an expert builder who will facilitate the process.

The cost per individual is $425, which, as you will see below, primarily goes toward purchasing the building materials for the house. As a group working with Casas por Cristo, we are responsible for paying for the house and building it. Our recommendation is that you get your community involved as well – friends, family, congregation – and ask for their support in helping raise money for your portion of the materials. Remember that gifts made to AGF are tax-deductible.

We also ask that you cover your travel expenses to either San Antonio or Del Rio, Texas. If you are flying, it is easiest to fly into San Antonio. We can give you recommendations and guidelines on this as the date approaches. We do not want money to be a hindrance to your participation; therefore, scholarships are available! Please contact Brittany at brittany@aarongriderfoundation.org for more information.

We hope you are able to join us! Below is some additional information that will cover logistics in more detail. Please don’t hesitate to contact Brittany with any more questions you may have.


Questions and Answers

Who can participate?

Anyone! All ages may participate. If you are a surviving family member and/or one who has a heart for surviving families and the military community, we would love to have you join us. No building experience is necessary! We are looking for a team of 14-20 individuals to build a three-room house.

I’d like to have some more information on Acuña, Mexico…

Please visit this link to watch a video and read more information on Acuña, Mexico — http://www.casasporcristo.org/#/locations/acua-mxico

What exactly is included in the $425?

The $425 primarily pays for the cost of the house-building materials. The house itself costs $6,500. So we are paying for the house AND building it! AGF will be covering many of the other costs associated with the trip, including rental van for transportation from San Antonio and Del Rio, Texas to Acuña, Mexico, as well as hotel, food/water, and insurance.

If I raise more than $425, where will the extra money go?

As a group, we will buy gifts for the family to give as house-warming presents. Any extra money that you raise will go towards purchasing these gifts for our family.

What is the schedule for the entire trip?

Monday, June 13: Team arrives in San Antonio; van leaving airport around 4:30PM CST. We will be staying at a hotel in Del Rio, TX this evening.

Tuesday, June 14: Cross the Mexican border and begin building

Tuesday, June 14-Friday, June 17: Building house

Saturday, June 18: Visit orphanage; stay back in San Antonio this evening

Sunday, June 19: Depart for home

What documentation will I need to travel in and out of Mexico?

First and foremost, you will need an up-to-date passport or passport card. Please begin the process of applying for one now if you do not have one or it is expired. You will need a valid passport to cross into Mexico and then enter back into the US once we are finished with our build.

I want to go! What do I do now?

Please send a $100 deposit to Aaron Grider Foundation. You can write a check (checks made out to “AGF”) or go online and hit the “donate” button.

Finally, please visit the Casas por Cristo website at www.casasporcristo.org for more specifics on Acuña, outline of general schedule, and frequently asked questions. Again, do not hesitate to contact Brittany if you have more questions or would like to speak about the trip in more detail.

We look forward to hearing from you as you consider joining us on this wonderful missions opportunity.

Hope Endures.



September 15th, 2015

I began crying as our eyes met. She opened her heart and shared her story to a group of strangers standing in the sweltering Mexican sun. She stood outside of her one room apartment, humble and vulnerable, weak and poor; she showed us the abundance of giving out of nothing. We marveled at her faith and saw a glimpse of the Kingdom – a kingdom that includes this unknown place and unknown woman. The widow’s mite was no longer just a story in the Bible; it was a reality we were witnessing before our eyes.

I recently had the privilege of helping lead a short-term missions team in Acuña, Mexico. We worked with an organization called Casas por Cristo, and built a house for the Betancourt family in just under four days. On the morning of the house dedication, a small group of us went to the house of a woman who started a feeding program in her neighborhood. We picked her up in our white 15-passenger van, drove her to the supermercado, walked the aisles with her as she picked up hot dogs, buns, tomatoes, and onions. She knew we had come to help her shop and pay for the groceries, and asked how much she could get. I told her to get all that she wanted and shop extravagantly. Her extravagance was mere modesty, but she was pleased and very thankful. We drove her back to her apartment and left her with her daughter-in-law to cook and prepare the meal for the 30 or 40 kids that would shortly be walking through her door. The five of us drove back to the worksite to pick up the rest of the group before returning to the apartment to help serve the food and hang out with the kids. We brought balloons, soccer balls and willing hands ready to assist and play.

Yolanda was her name, a name unknown to most of Acuña, and a name certainly unknown to the world, yet a name that is precious and known by the One who created her. Yolanda’s backyard was a collage of brightly colored hand prints and names. The kids were singing “Father Abraham”; voices of those who live in poverty, innocent voices that sing sweet praise, voices that proclaim prosperity in the midst of scarcity. Their voices bounced off the cement walls and echoed in the chambers of our hearts.

On Yolanda’s front door was a sign that said, “My confidence is in the Lord.” The Israelites, while slaves in Egypt, smothered the blood of a spotless lamb on their door so that the angel of death might pass over. And Deuteronomy says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart…You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (6:4-5,9). Yolanda’s faith is also proclaimed on her doorpost, and as you walk into her house and smell the feast that is being prepared and hear the joyful voices singing, you witness a faith that is not just being announced – you witness a faith that is obediently being lived.

Indeed the Lord’s command is written on her heart.

Obedience in the Lord is not drudgery. Obedience is love made manifest. Obedience is joy exposed. Obedience does not count the cost but seeks the promised reward. Obedience wells up and overflows from the realization that one is covered in the righteousness of Christ, saved by grace and not of her own doing so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Obedience bows down to freedom in reverence and lives in reckless abandon to the One who set her free. Obedience is being His workmanship, “…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Obedience is living into who we were created to be and what we were created to do.

The Lord has given us commands, to love him above all else and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus goes on to say that “on these two commandments depend all the Law and Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). If one abides in the Lord, they will be about the things of the Lord; loving the Lord’s holiness, righteousness and grace, and serving others as fellow image bearers of the Loving, Holy and Righteous One. In the giving of such commands, the Lord is not seeking to constrain His people or bear on them wearisome burdens. In giving them, He is revealing His character and His desire for those who belong to Him. Obedience then is living in humble submission to the pleasures of God; the things that delight Him and reveal Him. An obedient life is living in the beauty of the eternal.

There stood Yolanda, small in stature but grand in presence. With her worn hands, hands whose wrinkles testify to her persevering and generous spirit, she told us her story. It is not a story of ease, but of change, sickness, hope and desire. She moved to Acuña for reasons unknown to me, battling cancer, and when she arrived she had this fervent yearning to do something. She said she was retired and had nothing to do. She didn’t want to sit around, comfortable in complacency. She couldn’t stand the thought of doing nothing, especially when everything had been done for her by her Lord. Time is not to be wasted, she said, it is meant to be shared and given away. And so she found a need right in her backyard and she went to work meeting that need. She told us she sells homemade flower arrangements and piñatas to make enough money to buy the food to serve to the neighborhood kids. And she takes public transportation to and from the market to purchase the food. Her obedience is not convenient, but transcendent love requires inconvenient obedience.

All that flowed from Yolanda’s mouth were words of praise and gratitude, recounting the many ways she has been blessed. Blessed in the midst of cancer, blessed in cancer’s disappearance, blessed in her simple surroundings, blessed serving the least of these. She is the most ordinary of women, and she is the most extraordinary of servants. Having nothing, yet possessing everything (2 Cor. 6:10).

Yolanda embraced me tightly, tears in her eyes and in mine, and as she peered through the gateway of my eyes into into the depths of my soul, she said over and over again, “God is good, He is so very good.” As a sister in Christ, she knew and felt my unspoken suffering and met me in it. Within her grasp, how could I not look back into her eyes and declare that indeed the Lord is good. In the life and example of such a saint I was encouraged beyond measure. Yolanda, through her devotion, tenderness, and unwavering obedience pointed us all towards the unchanging One who even now in meekness meets the bent reed yet does not break it and in power parts the raging sea.


This article is written by Executive Director, Brittany Grider, and is taken from her blog “rugged hope: stories from the wilderness”. If you would like to read more, please visit ruggedhope.com.



AGF Builds with Habitat: Building for Veterans, Building for Community

September 15th, 2015

In May, and more recently in July, AGF brought volunteers on three different days to work with Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills. Our volunteers consisted of surviving family members, active duty soldiers and chaplains, military family members and church members. AGF is about stories – diverse stories that are ultimately a part of a great story. To see the coming together of various stories all serving a common purpose is a powerful testament of what it looks like to care for those in need.

Two of the five houses that Habitat is currently building in Aberdeen, NC are for veterans of the US military. The two veteran’s houses were completely funded by the Home Depot Foundation, and the project began when over 100 employees of Home Depot came to break ground and begin building in early May. It has been a great privilege to work on these houses as they come together beautifully and will soon be completed.

As dual citizens of an earthly and eternal kingdom, we are called to serve our brothers and sisters in need, not out of obligation but out of gratitude. In the simple work of our hands and the giving of our time, it is our prayer, that the true gift of grace be seen.

Thanks to all those who have already come and volunteered with AGF and Habitat, and we look forward to serving alongside even more willing hearts and willing hands.


Serving in Acuña: Building, Blessed, Changed

September 15th, 2015

The week of June 21, AGF took its second short-term missions trip, traveling to Acuña, Mexico with a group of 20 to build a 3-room house with Casas por Cristo for a family of six. The team worked hard, played hard, ate hard, fellowshipped hard and slept hard. It was an incredible week full of gratitude and joy. As we stepped out of our comfort zones, eyes were opened, lives were changed, and unity was found amidst diversity.

Once we all safely arrived in Del Rio Texas, we crossed the border into Mexico early the next morning. We arrived and began leveling the site, framing the foundation, and digging, all in preparation for the cement truck. We then began framing the walls, which we would put up the next day. Day two of building involved putting up and securing the walls, as well as getting the roof framed and put up. We also covered the framed walls with blackboard and chicken wire. Day three included shingling the roof, insulation, stucco and dry wall. By the end of Day three there was a really nice looking and well built house. Day four consisted of touch up, clean up, electricity check and other small projects here and there to finish up. This day also included a trip to Yolanda’s house, a local woman who serves food to around 30 neighborhood kids every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Out of the nothing Yolanda has, she gives everything because of the grace she has been given. She serves her Savior and she serves her neighbor, and she does it with a joyful and grateful heart.

Day four ended with the dedication of the house to the Betancourt family and the handing over of the keys. The dedication was filled with prayer, powerful words and lots and lots of tears; tears of gratitude and joy. This family now has a safe, strong and comfortable home to live in.

Throughout the course of the week we experienced incredible hospitality from the Betancourt family, the Casas por Cristo staff, the pastor, family and members of the church we stayed at as well as all the folks we met in Mexico. Over and over again, we found them giving out of their “nothing”. It’s hard to find the words to adequately express such a powerful time with our group and our brothers and sisters in Mexico. Though borders separate us, community extends past borders, and I was reminded of that once again.

I asked one of the surviving families that came with us to describe their experience. Watching those who have given so much, who have given everything, continue to give even more is a powerful witness to grace – grace that transcends understanding. Please read their about their experience below:

On October 15, 2008 my life was forever changed.  My husband SGM Jerry D. Patton, and father of my four boys was killed in a parachute training accident.  It has been a long road these past few years.  I have struggled to find my new self, new life and healthy ways to cope with this traumatic loss and change. I’ve attended a few widow get away weekends with various organizations; leaving me with a few new friendships and a fun time for a weekend, but I needed something more, something that lasted; something with more meaning and value.  My heart was searching for a way I could serve, and serve with others next to me that experienced some of the same challenges I had gone through. I also knew I needed to strengthen my relationship with God, and to do this I needed to surround myself and boys with people that valued life, had godly values and wanted to make a difference toward others and this world. 

I had met Brittany Grider at a widow conference early on in our husbands’ deaths. We were both pretty frazzled and didn’t have a lot to say to one another. We were both trying to muddle through the weekend; still in shock. I could sense right away that Brittany was an amazing, strong, godly lady. We lost touch for awhile, but God graciously brought us back together a few years later. We met up and she shared about AGF, its vision and purpose. Thank you God!!!  Just what my boys and I needed, perfect timing!!!!  I signed up for the Acuña, Mexico trip to help build a home for a family in need.  I was so excited!!  It felt right and good. It would teach my boys some building skills they have missed out on, not having a father here to teach them the proper way to hammer, drill and cut wood. It would show us poverty in a way we have never seen it. It would help us remember to never take our home and cars and comfy beds for granted. It was hard work, but we saw the finished product and saw the love and tears and thankfulness in the family’s hearts when we presented them their new home. We were finally able to work side by side with godly people, and also people who had suffered a traumatic loss of a loved one in the military. I finally made some friends that seemed to have a deeper purpose of life, people who learned and grew from grief and pain. The build with AGF was the first big step my boys and I made in our walk with God and the most meaningful work we have done yet!!! It was a way to serve God while honoring our fallen heroes. I thought about my late husband Jerry, every day while I helped build this home in Mexico and how proud he is of us and our hard work. We were finally honoring him in the right way; by serving others. I also thought of Aaron Grider and the ultimate sacrifice he made. I thanked Aaron for choosing a godly wife Brittany. Through Aaron’s loss, Brittany’s pain, and their godly values, AGF was started. It’s bitter sweet. Thank you Aaron and Brittany. My life and boys lives are forever changed by our service with AGF and the opportunities you are providing for us to give back. God Bless!!!!  – Molly