By Gary Fallesen
Founding President, Climbing For Christ
In my mind, in my memory, I hear Pastor Meristaine Tresin speaking to me in English. But he does not speak English. He is a Haitian pastor who speaks Creole. I do not speak Creole. Yet I can hear clearly the words that passed from his lips to my heart.
“I have prayed for two years for God to send help.”
I got Godbumps, knowing Climbing For Christ was the help the Lord chose to send. It was Sunday, June 26, 2005 in the mountain village of Gentilhomme, Haiti. What Pastor Tresin said he needed was a church; a structure better than the roofless, three thatch walls, and dirt floor where we were standing.
The original Gentilhomme church — made of thatch, above — in 2005, and the church in 2013, below. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)
In my journal that day in 2005, I wrote:
“This is what Climbing For Christ is about: a village unreached by missionaries in a mountainous area. These are Haitian hill people, tending to cattle on steep slopes. I pledge to help the pastor and his flock. We have a new mission: send a team to build a church.”
Help was on its way. We returned in April 2006 to put the finishing touches on the church at Gentilhomme. We supported and supplied a school. We delivered medicine, food, sanitation, and clean water — in the name of Jesus and to the glory of God.
In all, there have been 12 short-term mission trips to Haiti. We support a full-time Haitian missionary (Miguel Rubén Guante), and have since the beginning. This mission is a 24/7 operation with four church builds, four schools with four teachers who receive monthly support, a seminary that meets each month to train pastors and church leaders from more than a dozen villages, and on and on.
To God alone be the glory! For HIS answered prayer. For sending HIS ministry of Climbing For Christ.