Conference & Workshop

We are thankful for those who came to the Conference Nov. 2,3 and the Workshop Nov. 5-8.  The groups included missionaries to Thailand, a youth pastor & wife from Florida, counselors from the Carolinas and a variety of believers desiring to grow and be equipped for Christ Centered Discipleship Counseling. We pray God will bless His truth to their lives and use them as ambassadors of the New Covenant.

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Christian Leaders’ Retreat

MainStayGrace Fellowship Int’l just sponsored a retreat for pastoral couples in Pigeon Forge, TN October 1-3. Pastors and their wives had an opportunity to get some rest, a change of scenery, and fellowship with one another. Pastor Dan Riley was host and prayer partner. Cathy Solomon organized the gift bags and arrangements, and John Woodward gave a PowerPoint talk about the importance of Christ-centered, Discipleship Counseling. We pray God’s blessing on the participants and their ministries.

Comfort and Hope

John and Linda Woodward appreciate the many prayers and expressions of sympathy since the home-going of their daughter, Sarah. Media elements from her Memorial Service of September 22nd have been posted here:

Thank you, also, to those who use GFI’s Memorial Fund for tribute giving.

Original Poetry

Where All is Right
By Dennis Newton

There are tears going up tonight,
Up to where all is right.
A cherished one has taken flight,
Up to where all is right.

There are prayers going up tonight,
Up to where all is right.
Sending up love with all our might,
Up to where all is right.

There is a child gone home tonight,
Up to where all is right.
Now dancing in the glow of God’s pure light;
Welcome home our child, where all is right.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

The Blessing of Tears
by Charles Solomon

My heart goes out to you
As you have experienced great loss.
Our hearts are burdened, too;
And we’re thankful you know the cross.

The loss of a child is devastating;
You have sustained a broken heart.
Only the Holy Spirit can comfort
As the eyes with teardrops start.

The Spirit is faithful to ease your pain,
As in the depths of your heart He lives;
Only tears can vent your grief
As the Spirit His comfort gives.

Training Week


GFI_conf_8_18 IMG_2499


We are thankful for those who attended the Exchanged Life Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN August 3,4. The “long distance travel award” goes to our team member, Charles Ambaka from Kenya. The Spirituotherapy Workshop took place August 6-9. The eight participants were excited to go deeper and get training and practice sessions to be equipped for Christ Centered Discipleship Counseling. The next Conference and Workshop are scheduled for November 2-8. All are welcome! See the Events Calendar for details and registration. Photos of summer ministry activities are at the online album here:

Nepal Ministry Trip Report

by Charles Ambaka
Nepal House Meeting

Nepal House Meeting

The Lord granted me the opportunity of doing my fourth Training and Ministry Program in Nepal in February 2018.

I left Kenya on the 21st of February and arrived in Kathmandu  ( Nepal) on the 22nd. I was warmly received by my host with a lot of excitement; they reminded me that they believe that Lord gave me to them as a gift and instrument He is using to bring revival in the Himalayas.
On the 24th I spoke at both the English and Nepali services at Abundant Life Church in Kathmandu.  On 25th February to 2nd of March we had a Training at Abundant Life College. All the Trainees were Professionals in different fields (except one who was a First year Psychology Student at a University in Kathmandu).
The Lord did amazing work in the lives of these Students. A renown Script and Song Writer in Nepal gave his life to Jesus Christ.  A former Hindu Priest and now a Christian had travelled to Kathmandu to see a Heart Specialist because of a long time heart condition. In one of the sessions he testified with tears saying he and his family members knew he was soon going to die from his condition. He had gone to different hospitals but couldn’t get effective treatment. He had been referred to a Doctor in Kathmandu for further attention. He met Dr. Timothy Aryal who invited him to the Leaders Training telling him that he could see the Doctor after the program. He said as I taught it dawned to him that he had a new life in Christ, that it was not a changed life he received but an Exchanged Life. He suddenly realized that pain he had been experiencing for a long time had disappeared. There was so much joy and thanksgiving to the Lord. He plans to invite in his region in my next trip there.
On 3rd of March I spoke again at the Abundant Life Church. On 4th to 10th March, I did a ministry program in Dhapakel a small town in Kathmandu. The Church here was begun in 2015 after the Earthquake. The Believers here have fully embraced the message of the Cross and always would not wait to have me back. One exciting testimony is from a family with four daughters and because of the caste system it was difficult for any of them getting married.  They attended the Exchanged Life Conference that I conducted in 2016., and I later visited and counselled with them. They understood that the Cross broke all the barriers. The good news is that the first born daughter got married recently and the wedding was a confirmation of the radical transformation the message of the Cross brings into individuals and Cultures.
On 11th to 17th March I was in a City called Simara where I conducted a Church Leaders training seminar but also spoke at several church and house services.  I have witnessed the church in this city grow since my first trip here in 2012. They were meeting in a small mud room but now they have their own permanent building. On 17th March the Believers here surprised me with a Birthday celebration. I turned 59 while there, and little did I know they had secretly organized one for me with lots of Nepali Christian music and dance. I have have never felt loved in this way. They said they wished I could settle there with my family.  There was a Pastor who attended the program and travelled from a town called Birgens on the India/Nepal border; He said he learned so much and was willing to host me on my next trip. On 18 March to 1st of April  I was in Dang Valley.
I conducted a Leaders Seminar at a Church in Bag Marua  ( Tiger killer place — It is said one man single handedly killed a tiger and as a result the name of the place.)  One of the Church Leaders that attended the training is Pastor Ner Bahadur Saha. He was the first one to give his life to Jesus Christ in this region. This was at time when Nepal was being ruled by a King who coincidentally was of the Saha tribe like him. Him and His wife were put jail because of this.  I shared a room with him for few days and enjoyed tremendous time of fellowship. He later invited me to minister in his Church at a place called Ghorahi.
Thereafter I was hosted by Pastor Narendra where the training was attended overwhelmingly attended by many Church Leaders in the region.  After the program they requested if we could begin a Training Centre that could also serve as a Resource Centre for the region and beyond. At this point kindly pray for Pastor Milan and his wife,  the Campus Crusade Regional Head and Brother Dilip and his wife.  They first attended the Exchanged Life Training in 2013 during my second visit. They are sold out to the message of the Cross.
On 2nd to 5th April I did a short ministry program in City called Butwal and on the 6th of April I was back in Kathmandu.
I had a whole day Church Leaders training seminar at a Church in a place called Lubu. Leaders from different churches attended.
11th to 15th April, I conducted ministry program in Palung region. It was while I was here that we celebrated the New Year 2075. On a lighter note I sent word home to my family and friends that I was the first man in modern times to preach the Gospel at over one hundred years old! After 15th April I took a deserved rest to prepare myself what turned to be my most difficult and treacherous trip since 2012.
From 23rd April to 27th April  I headed to Dhading in Ganesh Himal region. We were hosted by a Lady Pastor called Somina.
This is the only trip I had company unlike the others where I travelled alone using Public Vehicles. I conducted Seminars at Somjung, Gaira Swanantra and Falate churches. A Nurse called Kalpana gave her life to Jesus Christ. This was between the dates of 24th and 25th April.  On 25th night I had a program at church at a place called Marpa Pokhara and on 26th I had a half day seminar at Jesus Hope Methodist Church at Marpa Tuli. We arrived safe back in Kathmandu on 27th in the evening and headed straight to Dhapakel for my concluding sessions.
I am extremely indebted to the Lord, the family at G.F.I. , my family and close friends in Kenya who made it possible for me to embark on this assignment.
I thank God for safety and divine protection through the various terrain I travelled. The many kilometres I trekked through the jungles, valleys and mountains. The puncture of the motorbike that happened while on a road bordering a National Park with signs on boards of dangers of tigers.  The dealing with the fear of tigers, leopards and snakes. Sleeping in places that I could not have, if my life had note been my life broken at Cross. We shared a room in a place where domesticated buffaloes and goats sleep. The nights I bathed outside in the dark because there are no bathrooms in the countryside. Only to be told that I was exposing myself to danger due to the presence of many cobras in the area.
For the first time I encountered cases of witchcraft when ministering amongst the Tamang sub-tribe of the Mongolians. I prayed and counselled with individuals who the locals believed had been bewitched. I prayed in homes where snakes kept coming and as a result believed it was witchcraft. I know of times I felt like crying and packing my bags because of the many  difficulties I encountered. I remembered Apostle Paul saying, the Love of Christ constrains me!–I encouraged myself by reading his journeys to keep going! Am humbled when I remember some of the areas am treading are the same that Apostle Thomas ministered. The Lord has used my trip this time around to challenge many Believers to walk out of their comfort zones and take the Gospel to the nations. One Christian representing her country in Malaysia as an Ambassador telephoned me just to let me what an inspiration I was. Not mentioning some from the USA, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Senegal, etc.
The Big Question many are asking is, Pastor Charles, when are going to say you have done enough? My answer has always been –and will continue to be– until the whole Himalaya region is impacted with the message of the Cross. Nepal falls in the 10/40 window. It is being said the Church in Nepal in this window is the fastest growing.
Lord thank you for enlisting me amongst Your Foot Soldiers of the Cross! I commit myself to remain steadfastly faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His Worthy Call.

New DVD Album: How to Exchange Your Life

HTEYLFANO_2018_coverHow to Exchange Your Life for a New One by Dr. Phil Jones is an entry-level Bible study intended to reach and assimilate new church members. The booklet is available in the book store here. Grace Fellowship Int’l announces the publication of a new DVD album to accompany this booklet. These videos are about 15 minutes in length:
  • Sessions 1, 2: “Verify Your Salvation” – Dr. Phil Young
  • Sessions 3, 4: “New Life in Christ” – Dr. Dan Riley
  • Sessions 5, 6: “The Spirit-Filled Life & Victory” – Dr. Phil Jones
We pray that many small groups and churches will discover the strategic value of this outreach/initial discipleship kit. The DVD album is on sale for $39.95 at the online store or by calling 865-429-0450. Sample video sessions can be previewed at the How to Exchange Your Life for a New One resource page.

Committed Christian Conference

committedThe annual Committed Christian Conference was held July 1-3, 2018 in Sevierville, Tennessee. It was sponsored by the David Cobb Evangelistic Association.

The speakers were:

  • Preston Nix
  • Diane Nix
  • John Woodward
  • George Bellmany

Praise music sessions were led by recording artist, John Swaim.

The meetings were held in the conference room at Holiday Inn Express, 121 Nascar Dr, Sevierville, TN .

Audio recordings of the messages have been posted at:

Dominican Republic Trip

by John Woodward

April 22-27 Linda and I ministered in the Dominican Republic. We were able to teach an Exchanged Life Conference and DominicanRepublic1Workshop to about 30 missionaries in Juan Dolio (east of Santo Domingo).  The equipping was taught with an interpreter and based at the campus of SCORE International. Participants received copies of Handbook to Happiness (20 in Spanish, 10 in English), the workshop notebook and a CD ROM for ongoing study and ministry. There were also opportunities to minister to some of the missionaries one-to-one. The testimonies and comments indicated that they really appreciated this teaching and equipping experience.

The GFI alumnus there, Erica Jude, gave testimony to the group of how God used the GFI conference and workshop (in Tennessee) in her life, and that she has been using this model at Lily House ever since.   At the conclusion they sang, gathered around us, and prayed. What a blessing.

Thursday afternoon we ministered at Lily House to the residents and staff. Learn more about this holistic redemption and rescue program for women here:

The SCORE house hostess was impacted by this message through hearing Major Ian Thomas over 40 years ago; she said that the conference/workshop explained these truths in a special way and that God applied the message to her life in a deeper way. The SCORE base also has a nine month GAP program for college students. They learn Spanish, D.R. culture, missions and Bible. This group has heard the wheel and line message through Erica, and now the GAP Director (who attended the conference/ workshop ) is using these materials with them too.

We give thanks for a safe and fruitful trip and request prayer for the Lord’s ongoing blessing on these ministries in Dominican Republic! Photos of this trip are at our gallery site:

Nicaragua Trip


from Eric Harbinson in Nicaragua

Hans teaching the pastors

Hans teaching the pastors

WOW–God really does answer prayer! In October we prayed for God to provide specific Counseling and Discipleship resources. And as indicates in Eph 3:20– God answered and provided far more abundantly than resources. He also provided the team that was willing to travel to Nicaragua to teach this initial conference. NOW– the pastors and leaders prayed for their nation and in each other’s churches to be churches that are not limited by culture. They want to be effective to prepare leaders to counsel, reach and teach the people of their communities to change their country for God’s glory.

A special thanks to Grace Fellowship International for providing these materials, to Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church for allowing us to borrow these 3 men and to Mark McKeehan, Matt Paradis and Hans Haun for sharing their hearts for the Lord. They gave everything this week to these pastors and leaders. We are set for next steps– not just to spend a few days and give them a book, but to walk along side them, encourage them, model the material, observe and give them feedback to empower them to change their communities. GOD WILL GET GLORY!