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Gary Fallesen

Trip Report: Kilimanjaro 2019

Dauson Chonjo, second from right, among guides and porters answering questions asked by Damson Samson, left. (Photo by Elaine Fallesen)

‘I have something to do on the mountain’

By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ

Dauson Chonjo was there for the start of Climbing For Christ’s Kilimanjaro Chapter. Our brother from Marangu, Tanzania was one of 13 guides and 12 porters who attended our inaugural meeting at Lyasongoro Lutheran Church on Feb. 23, 2008.

He listened intently as we told the group that Mount Kilimanjaro was their Judea from Acts 1:8 because they worked in a mission field alongside non-Christian guides and porters. They were called to witness to their co-workers. But they also had the ends of the earth coming to climb with them – tens of thousands of lost trekkers seeking a summit.

“When we joined with Climbing For Christ, my ideas, my brain was changed,” Dauson testified last week in Himo, Tanzania during our quarterly training. “I knew ‘Now I have something to do on the mountain.’ Some years before I was preaching, but not much. When I joined with Climbing For Christ, I knew this was very special, which we need to do.”

We had a lot to learn before we could start equipping brothers like Dauson to be witnesses on Africa’s tallest and most popular mountain. We met to teach guides and porters each year from 2010-13. But annual get-togethers weren’t enough.

We concluded that we needed a regular presence and an ambassador to represent the ministry.

When Damson Samson from neighboring Malawi finished college, through which we’d supported him, he accepted the call to serve as Climbing For Christ’s Kingdom worker in East Africa in March 2014. His first trip to Tanzania occurred that August during Mission: Kilimanjaro 2014.

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2019 was Damson’s 22nd visit.

Damson told leaders of the Kilimanjaro Chapter during a Dec. 2 prayer hike on Sango Mountain that “this might have positive results to their lives since I have been visiting them.”

Lives have been changed miraculously.

Students of Christ in DMD class, above, using text produced by The Timothy Initiative. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)

Fadhil Hilonga said before he joined Climbing For Christ “my life was a waste. But after joining Climbing For Christ and receiving Jesus, my faith has grown me up. I’m married with one child now. Before joining Climbing For Christ, I didn’t have any idea how to have a good life. I thank God for this teaching.”

Ahman Minja thanked God that since he joined Climbing For Christ “I have seen God fighting for me in many areas, mostly in my family.” He discusses the Bible lessons he learns at chapter meetings and “I see them (members of his family) growing. I thank God that my kids can now recite some Bible verses. Even neighbors are in the group when I am sharing.”

Elyason Mosha, a porter, called himself “a student in Christ. Reading the Word and praying for people on the mountain, some porters received the message. They reach a point where they say they want to join with us. They ask me, ‘Where do you get this kind of knowledge?’ This kind of teaching is very nice.”

Elyason continues to ask God to open hearts to make other disciples – or students – of God.

These men were among 28 graduates of our first Timothy Initiative (TTI) class. They finished that study in December 2018 and began a two-year disciples-making-disciples training in March. A second TTI class is scheduled to graduate in March 2020.

“We have seen the greatness of God,” Dauson said about the growth of the Kilimanjaro Chapter. “We are improving mentally, physically and spiritually.”

Dauson shared about “preaching to some Muslims. We plant some seeds. God is going to make the seeds grow. I have to keep praying for them.

“I am very happy. We are reaching different nations – Americans, Canadians, South Africans. Different religions. Different occupations – professors, doctors, engineers. In total, I can say more than 200 clients (have heard about Jesus). More than 40 have come to me and asked more questions.”

We have been blessed to equip brothers like Dauson with a boldness to answer those questions and to be prepared for divine appointments – on and off the mountain. 

The Word

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV)

Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders

Elected during training from Dec. 1-11:

Officers – Dauson Chonjo, Marangu, chairperson; John Mollen, Moshi, vice chair; Jonas Minja, Marangu, secretary; Baraka Lembawe, Moshi, vice secretary; Asheri Tibu Mark, Marangu, treasurer.

At-large members – Gregory Nyange, Kilema; Godloves Kowero, Marangu; Fadhill Ally, Moshi; Gift Mbuya, Moshi; Elia Yona, Marangu; Aman Minja, Marangu; Elinami Moshi, Marangu.


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