Canadian Ministry

Groups of Comfort and Peace
Rob and Dottie in Canada

Grace and Peace to you from God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and comfort. God’s comfort abounds and produces patient endurance and hope. This is a summary of the first seven verses of 2 Corinthians 2. This passage says the grace of God abounds. In my experience, every kind of fear and problem abounds without God’s comfort. People also seek comfort in their own ways.

This fall in Canada I have set my focus on forming more groups that invite people to share how they have been comforted by God. I also write materials to facilitate these groups.

The grace and peace of God are wonderful. We should seek opportunity for people to share how this comfort becomes real in their life. Hope, trust and relationships abound when time is set aside for this.

Pray for us that our ministry of grace and peace abounds in Canada. This comes with a prayer for opportunity in your community to share the same.

Rob Clogg
GRACE FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL
Field Associate: Vancouver, Canada
Ministry Partner: City Axis Leadership Society
Tel: (604) 445-7789
robclogg@gmail.com

 

New Staff Member: Don Steve

                                    John W. & Don S.

God is calling my wife, Leis, and myself on an exciting adventure and a very urgent mission. We have just moved from Toms River, New Jersey to the Pigeon Forge/ Knoxville, Tennessee area. The move is to answer God’s call, through the ministry of Grace Fellowship International, to respond to one of the enemy’s greatest tools of bondage, destruction, and death in our society today—substance addiction.

The need

According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 24 million Americans over the age of 12 used drugs in the month prior to the NIDA survey. Of those 24 million users, 19.6 million were considered to have a substance abuse problem. Addiction can start as early as the age of 8, especially in families were multi-generational drug use is present. Last year over 166,000 deaths occurred due to drug and alcohol abuse (NIDA statistics). The scope and intensity of the death and destruction grows each year. God’s call is to respond with the liberating, healing, life-giving power of the Cross and to move against this dark bondage with the same Spirit-filled truths that have brought freedom, wholeness, and light to many through GFI for decades.

Testimony

God has been preparing me for this ministry since I came to know Christ as a teenager in 1979. I was not reared in a Christian home and was severely depressed my senior year in high school, the year before I met Christ. After placing my faith in Christ as my Savior my depression lifted. Four years later, while attending college, the depression returned (even as a believer) with greater intensity than ever before. I spent nearly two years with severe depression. I was counseled, medicated, and hospitalized twice during that two-year span. Nothing was helping. The medical experts were advising me to undergo Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT), a common treatment for severe, persistent depression at the time. During my depression, I used to wander through a Christian bookstore near my home for the slight relief the atmosphere gave me. During one of my trips, I saw a book, out of place and facing me on the shelf, entitled Handbook to Happiness. I did not intend to make a purchase; but, God had other plans. God used Dr. Solomon’s book to set me free. Due to the providence of God and the ministry of Dr. Charles Solomon, I found a much more effective treatment than ECT. Dr. Solomon’s Spirituotherapy® was far more effective treatment than ECT because the feeble attempts of man to produce wholeness and freedom are nothing compared to God’s glorious work through Jesus Christ. Praise God, I have been free from depression for thirty-five years.

God continued to prepare me for ministering to those in bondage through those thirty-five depression free years. God led me through relational brokenness, loss, and personal strongholds. All the growth and healing I experienced stemmed from the relevancy of the finished work of Christ to the believer who simply lives by grace through faith. This is essential to Spirituotherapy®. It is the foundation upon which I continue to grow and live victoriously and the foundation upon which I gain an experiential knowledge of Christ.

In 2006, I completed the advanced training curriculum of the Association of Exchanged Life Ministries at Grace Ministries (AELM) in Manassas, VA. Later that year, I was invited on staff of Grace Ministries as a Discipleship Counselor. I completed a master’s degree in Biblical counseling from Luther Rice University in 2013. The counseling department at Luther Rice features and promotes the Exchanged Life model of Biblical counseling pioneered by Dr. Solomon. I have been counseling men and women through ministries associated with AELM for the past 12 years. In addition, I have had two tenures as a pastor in both Virginia and in New Jersey. My wife and I moved from Virginia to New Jersey in 2013 to pastor Grace Christian Church in Freehold, NJ.

My wife, Leis, also completed advanced training in discipleship counseling at Grace Ministries in Manassas. She has a background in, and a passion for, addiction recovery having worked at a county run women’s recovery center in Virginia. God used her mightily in this secular setting after she also completed her Exchanged Life discipleship training at Grace Ministries. Since then, Leis has worked as a counselor at an AELM office and has been a staff counselor at Grace Christian Church.

While living in New Jersey, I was introduced to America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy by Joe and Cherri Freeman, GFI field staff who live near America’s Keswick. Cherri’s great grandfather founded the Colony of Mercy in 1897. Yes, the date is correct. The Colony of Mercy is the oldest addiction recovery ministry in the United States. I was hired as a counseling chaplain at the Colony of Mercy in 2015. I had no idea that God would use my time at The Colony of Mercy to redirect my life calling and ministry passion from the pastorate to addiction recovery ministry. I still love to teach, preach, and share God’s Word; but working with those in addiction, and training others to work with those in addiction, is a new-found passion. It is fascinating to watch the Spirit of God move in the life of those who know, through the addiction struggle, that they need wholesale life change, to watch Him illumine truth, and to watch Jesus bring a freeing faith in the midst of hopelessness! We at GFI intend to watch God do just that by the power of God and the truths that His cross established! I am excited and richly blessed to be taking a position as Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at GFI. I never imagined that I would someday join the ministry that God used to so dramatically set me free from depression in 1983.

Mission

Our mission for GFI Addiction Recovery Ministries is to teach, equip, and train individuals, ministries, and churches that are ministering to those in addiction recovery. In addition to the GFI Recovery Coach Certification track, we are developing opportunities for on-going, consistent training and support for individuals, churches, and ministries ministering to those struggling with addiction. Our vision is to teach and train utilizing the Biblically sound, Cross-focused theology that Spirituotherapy embodies. We also want to enrich those who minister to others by teaching personal helping, coaching, and counseling skills. We want to offer on-going support through critical phases of growth in the ministry process through the use of tele-conferencing technology. An additional goal, accomplished through providing on-going support, is to help identify, teach, and train leaders within the ministries we help who can then train others. Our mission will always be to build upon the rich legacy of ministering to hurting people and the theological veracity that GFI has already established. I can’t think of a better ministry to respond to the plight of addiction and bondage than Grace Fellowship International.

Pray with us. We cannot do this without you! Personally, I am praying for those that God will now call to be part of our ministry team. The only way we can accomplish this mission is together as a ministry body. We need prayer warriors! Leis and I need personal ministry supporters who will engage in this spiritual battle with us and provide the necessary personal funds. We will win by His grace. We will bring light into the darkness of addiction and we will do it together!

-Don Steve

Glimpses: Nov.-Dec. Issue

 

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We just mailed about 4,000 copies of the Fall issue of GFI’s newsletter, Glimpses of Grace. Our thanks to the additional help from volunteers Ron, Chris, Jane, Jeff, Julie, John and William! If you would like a PDF copy to view, download and share, please visit the Newsletter page.

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: jbwoodward.wordpress.com/editor/sarah

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: gfiworld.shutterfly.com/pictures/2810

Nepal Ministry Trip Report

SUMMARY OF EXCHANGED LIFE TRAINING AND MINISTRY IN NEPAL
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:
https://dceaonline.wordpress.com