Climbing For Christ


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Gary Fallesen

Happy 13th birthday, Climbing For Christ

Gary with his then-15-year-old son, Jesse, on the summit of Caribbean highpoint Pico Duarte (10,164 feet/3,098 meters) during Mission: Dominican Republic/Haiti 2005.

By Gary Fallesen
Founding president, Climbing For Christ

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14 (NIV)

Thirteen years ago, Climbing For Christ was incorporated. It was divinely orchestrated. A pro-bono blessing.

The late Wayne Harris, a Rochester, NY attorney whom I had interviewed and written stories about while I was a journalist at the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, sent me a CHRISTmas card in 2003. I thought it odd at the time because he’d never sent a card before. Further, he included a business card that offered legal advice if it was ever needed.

I put the card in my wallet because, hey, you never know when you might need a lawyer. Three days later, I realized I needed one THEN! I called to ask if his firm did 501(c)(3)s. Of course they did. He invited me to come to his office, where I shared how God had started Climbing For Christ through me and it seemed we needed non-profit status. Say no more. Mr. Harris’s firm did $10,000 worth of work for free.

Climbing For Christ’s official birth date was April 20, 2004. The following year, we began doing missions.

Mr. Harris has graduated from this life. Each of us will depart someday. The Word tells us, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall” (1 Peter 1:24, NIV).

Tomorrow is not promised to us. What will we do with today?

Levi Lusko, a pastor, author and speaker from Montana, was talking recently about being aware of the need that is around us. “What’s happening in the people we walk by?” he said. “These are living souls; they are going to live forever somewhere. God put us to intersect with them for just a moment, maybe just a moment we’ll never get back. What are we doing with that little brief exchange? Are we doing anything we can to impart a little bit of life?”

There is a growing sense of urgency at Climbing For Christ. Our 90th short-term trip starts next week (Mission: Nepal 2017, Part 1) and we have ongoing ministry in numerous countries. We are working along with countless brothers and sisters in Christ at finishing the task.

In mountain climbing, the summit is only a halfway point. You still need to come back down the mountain. But in missions, the summit (reaching the lost) is the end point. “We do not have to come back,” brother Nik Ripken implores in The Insanity of Obedience, “we simply have to go!”

We must GO! We have been called. God has cleared the way (as He did with our incorporation as a non-profit in 2004), and He continues to do so today. None of us knows how many todays we may have, never mind the tomorrows.


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