Gary & Susan profile

TITLE: Founder & CEO

MISSION:To love the least, last, and lost in Nias Indonesia with the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. And to inspire as many as will visit us in this tropical paradise or view our videos.

WHERE WE SERVE: Nias Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia

EXPERIENCE: 40 years combined

WHAT WE OFFER: Trips, talks, acts of compassion

HOW WE ARE FUNDED: Through our beach lodge and charitable donations

LANGUAGES WE SPEAK: English, Bahasa Indonesia, Manado

Gary Galbraith preaching


Gary was born and raised in Southern California where he developed a love for the ocean. That love has led him to surf the epic waves of Indonesia with over 50 trips under his belt. But his his love for surfing pales in comparison for his love for God. This combination of surfing and serving has been a match made in heaven for Gary. He is an ordanied pastor with over thirty years of ministry experience, and has been used by God to inspire and equip thousands from all over the world, to follow Christ. With a unique gift of exhortation, this dynamic communicator  has the ability to capture the attention of an audience and challenge them to move deeper into God’s fullness for their lives. He is a graduate of Hope International University.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: Surfing, reading, yoga, movies, treking

FAVORITE FOODS: Sushi, enchiladas, pizza

FAVORITE MOVIE: Pirates of the Caribean curse of the black pearl

FAVORITE BAND: The Cure, Hillsong,


Susan was born in Jakarta Indonesia where she was raised until the age of 5. The family then moved to the city of Manado in North Sulawesi. There Susan graduated high school and obtained her nursing certificate. While dating Gary, she moved to Nias Island where she pioneered the ministry that we now enjoy. Susan is our head translator and prayer warrior! Gary and Susan have a blendid family with 3 children and two grandchildren.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: Traveling, singing, movies, music, beach



FAVORITE BAND: Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hillsong

“Paradise with a purpose”


The name Grace Wave is direived from John 1:16 (CEB) “From his (Christ) fullness we have all received grace upon grace

Grace is the unearned, unmerited, undeserved, unqualified love God has for us. It is what makes the gospel good news. It is what make Christianity different than any other religion. It is the heart of God for all humanity. Once you realize that God loves you, not because you are so good, but because He is so good, then you will begin to operate from a totally different place. You will stop working for God’s love and acceptance and start working from God’s love and acceptance. That paradigm shift changes everything. Living out a response to God’s love is the highest level of motivation. The highest level of living. For the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV). 

Wave come from the last part of John 1:16 that says we have received grace upon grace. That means God’s love never stops coming toward us. Just like the waves of the ocean that never stop coming onshore. God is consistent. He is the only thing in all of life that does not change. His love for you is the one constant you can count on!

Now is the time to ride the grace wave and see where it will take you!












Grace Wave is the non-profit ministry of Gary and Susan Galbraith. It was founded in 2011 with the vision of creating paradise with a purpose in Nias Island Indonesia. We specialize in hosting people at our beach lodge and offering them the adventure of a lifetime while ministering to the local community. Everyone loves a “win win” situation, where both parties  mutually benefit from one another. That is what our program “Paradise with a Purpose” is all about. We offer our guests the experience of a lifetime on the island paradise of Nias, while fulfilling the greater purpose of impacting lives. Most of the population is living in substandard conditions, challenged with the basic necessities of life.  This means we have an open door to show love and make a lasting difference. To that end, we match your time, talent, and treasures with the needs of the local people. We have worked with doctors, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, contractors, beauticians, teachers, police officers, housewives, students, church groups, and more. All these have experienced the reward of loving without agenda.  Come touch someone else’s life, and discover that it is your life that will be touched.  Plan your visit today!

Here are some links that will provide you with indepth information about Nias history and customs:

The culture


The history


The surf


The climate


The activities

  Founder:  Gary Galbraith

  Duties: Oversee all aspecs of the ministry and business.   of Grace Wave.

  More: For more go to the about page and click Gary and Susan.

CEO:  Susan Hosang Galbraith

Duties: Coordinator, treasurer, social media, video production, translator, and a million other things!

More: For more go to the about page and click Gary and Susan.

  Manager: Iwan “Jacob” Dakhi

  Duties: Booking speaking engagements,           overseeing orphanage ministry, selecting and facilitating Power of One projects, logistics, and purchasing.

  Experience: Jacob was born in the nearby village of Lagundri. He has experience in  physical therapy with handicapped children, dental cleaning, event coordination, hotel security, and surfing lessons.

Personality: Jacob is a fun loving person with lots of kindness in his heart. He loves lifting up other in any way he can. A true friend who will always have your back!

Likes: Jacob’s favorite food is fish curry. He enjoys the music of Jason Mraz. His favorite movie is Fast and Furious. His favorte scripture is Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”

Family: Jacob and his wife Mimi have two children, son King David and daughter Nuwella.

Operations: Mimi Bali

Duties: Guide, teaching english, purchasing, cooking, logistics, cleaning.

Experience: Mimi has served as a tour guide, physical therapy for handicap children, English teacher.

Personality: Aside from having the coolest name ever, Mimi Bali was born in the nearby village of Orahili Fau. She has a awesome sense of humor, loves to help people, is open and honest, and always stright to the point.

Likes: Her favorite food is grilled chicken & fish. She likes listening to the music of James Blunt, Adele, Hillsong, and Indo pop. Her favorite movie is “God is not dead”. Her favorite scripture is 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”

Family: Mimi and her husband Jacob have two children, son King David, and daughter Nuwella.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the language in Indonesia?

The language is called Bahasa Indonesia which literally means “the Indonesian language”. A good/free way to get familiar some basic words and phrases is at Nias also has its own local dialect called Li Niha. But most people understand Indonesian and many at Sorake beach also speak English.

What is the currency in Indonesia?

The currency is in Rupiah. The rate is usually about 13,000 Rupiah to 1 USD. You can check the current conversion rate for your country at  The best time to exchange you money is at the airport in Jakarta or Medan. You will usually have plenty of layover time so you can take care of it exchanging money quickly and easily there. The rates at the airport are pretty competitive. The further you get from these major cities, the worse the exchange rate gets. Yes you can always exchange money in Nias but rate is not as strong.

How do you get to Nias?

The airport in Nias is in the city of Gunung Sitoli (GNS). Nias can be accessed a couple of different ways.

From Medan: The simplest is by flying to the international airport in Medan called Kualanamu (KNO). You can reach Kualanamu from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, or just about anywhere. From Medan there are multiple flights to and from Nias everyday.

From Jakarta: There is a direct flight now from Jakarta to Nias on Garuda Airlines. The cost is about $75 USD and currently runs on Sun, Mon, Tue, Thur, and Sat.

Once you get to the airport in Nias, you will be greeted by a Grace Wave staff member or one of our drivers holding up a Grace Wave sign so you will never have to worry about your transition. Then you will make a two and a half hour drive to the south end of the Island whre our beach lodge is located.

Is it safe in Nias?

Yes! There are millions of tourists every year in Bali, and thousands in Nias. Tourism is a major part of the economy, so foriegners are treated well. Of course there are some bad apples just like everywhere in the world, but by and large the people are warm and friendly and glad to have you enjoying their island and helping boost the economy. Surfing had been the main source of economy in Sorake, so that means they are used to seeing tourists and connecting with them.

Is there malaria in Nias?

Nias had practiced malaria irradication for many years now. That does not mean it does not exist, but it does mean that the cases found here are very rare. We are not aware of anyone here who has malaria. Our staff does not take any anti malaria medication. We sometimes sleep with a mesquito net but that is about all. Mainly because even though they are not malaria carrying, they can still be annoying. But they only really come out at night so you can put on longer pants and a long sleeve shirt and your will be fine. Some guests prefer to take the added precaution of malaria medicine. Always check the travel health notices at

Do i need travel/health insurance?

It is always a good idea to protect yourself in case of a travel or medical emergency. You can get good inexpensive coverage for both through Faith Ventures.

What activities are there to do?

Grace Wave specializes in offering activites for every type of traveler. Wether you want to serve your brains out, surf your brains out, or simply chill and enjoy a good book while listening to the waves roll onshore, we’ve got your back. Some of the activites include:

Fun activities

  • Surfing
  • Trekking
  • Watefall hike
  • Snorkeling
  • Boat ride
  • Tour of the traditional King’s village (stone jumping)
  • Shopping in Teluk Dalam
  • Tide pools
  • Trip to nearby Asu island
  • Island drive
  • Fishing

Ministry activities

  • Church services
  • Outdoor revivals
  • Indoor revivals
  • Visiting the orphanage
  • Taking the orphanage kids on a field trip
  • Swimming and physical therapy with handicap children
  • Hospital visitation
  • Jail visitation
  • School ministry
  • Power of One projects
  • Construction projects
  • Cosmetic ministry with the girls

What should I pack?

Some key things to remember are of course your passport, plane ticket, personal medication, and spending money. But aside from these, here are some items that a key to our climate and activities: Sun glasses, sun screen, close for church or formal type events (long pants and a button down shirt for guys, a dress and shirt that covers well for girls), camera, hat, sandals, lots of shorts and t-shirts, swin gear, and whatever activities you are into. Surfers should bring a board for fun waves and one for big waves, wax, a good leg rope, and a rash gurad.

What is the best season to visit Nias?

The lodge is operational all year. Our staff is made of locals who are born and raised here, so they are consistently running the lodge and the ministry projects. The surf season is April-October. Gary and Susan are usually in Nias March-November.

What does a trip cost?

It depends on where you are coming from and what the flight costs are at the time. Once you get to Nias, the costs are relatively inexpensive. We offer a paket that includes accomodation and three meals a day for about $40 USD per day per person. Most of our team trips from California cost just under $2,800 USD for a 12 day trip. Here is an example of a 12 day team trip from California and the estimated costs:

  • International flight ($1,000)
  • Domestic flight ($100 x 2 = $200)
  • Baggage fees if over weight ($50)
  • Travel to and from the Nias airport ($40)
  • Accomodation and food ($480)
  • Shared transportation ($200)

Do all your guests to ministry?

No. Some guests are on vacation and want to spend their time getting some much needed relaxation and fun. Some come to Nias to surf as much as they can before returning to home and work. We don’t push our ministry on our guests. If they want to help the people of Nias, that’s great. If they just want to be on holiday, that’s great too. Simply by choosing Grace Wave for your accomdation and meals is indirectly helping the people of Nias. So all is good!

What does a typical trip schedule look like?

We taylor each group to match their time frame, skill sets, and desires. In that sense, there is no such thing as a “typical” trip. However, we do try to include cartain elements that we have found over the years make for an excellent experience. A schedule could look like this:

  • Sunrise free time
  • Breakfast (8:30)
  • Devotional (9:00)
  • Ministry (9:30-12:30)
  • Lunch (12:30-14:00)
  • Ministry (14:00-17:00)
  • Free time (17:00-19:00)
  • Dinner (19:00-20:00)
  • Debrief (20:00-21:00)
  • Free time (21:00-you crash)

More questions?

If you have any questions that we did not answer, feel free to contact us and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. Thank you for choosing Grace Wave as your ministry and vacation host!


Keep looking up,

Gary & Susan