Mission: Kilimanjaro 2017
Hatching a dream for those working on the mountain
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Damson Samson was traveling to Tanzania for the 10th time since becoming Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa in 2014. He was GO-ing again in late November 2016 to teach guides and porters in our Kilimanjaro Chapter about evangelism. But Damson didn’t have a lesson and he didn’t want to lay an egg.
lay an egg: Figurative expression, meaning “For someone to do something bad or poorly; to perform poorly.”
He was eager to be delivering Swahili-language Bibles and 225 chickens to start a special project for those being trained to share Jesus on Mount Kilimanjaro.
But he also wanted “something special to share” when he met the guides and porters for two days. As Damson prayed – and was covered by our prayers – at the start of this mission, he found himself dreaming:
“I was with a friend who took me to his shop. Arriving there, I wondered seeing young girls who were on display, welcoming men so they can lay with them. This was a sex shop.
“My heart was beating so hard and (I was) really upset with their situation. Nobody seemed to have hope of one day coming out of the house. It was like they will be there throughout their life for they were sold to this man who was doing business with them. They had no choice in their life; they were slaves to this man.
After this dream, Damson said he “asked God what was it all about. What is He trying to teach me? I saw it as He said to me, ‘Do you know the power of redemption?’ I was reminded that these girls only needed one man to redeem them so they can go home free people. I was reminded how many people are slaves and they are not able to heal themselves from their weakness.”
“Then I asked this friend if he could allow me to redeem three of these (women) so they could go home free. He asked which ones. Then I said, ‘the little ones’ because it is too hard for them to work in this industry. The girls had been working in slavery because their parents were poor and they had to sell them for their food. I was in tears feeling sorry for them, wondering how people can enslave each other.”
He used this dream to teach “The power of redemption” to 46 participants in the Kilimanjaro Chapter training. “We had six people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior,” Damson said.
Those working on Kilimanjaro also reported that “over 200 people were reached (with the Gospel during the July-August 2016 climbing season) – among them 58 were clients,” he said. “I was happy to hear such good news.
“I thank heaven for the trip; it was prosperous and the mission was achieved,” Damson said after returning home to southern Malawi in mid-December 2016.
Bibles and chickens
Kilimanjaro guides and porters with new Bibles at chapter training in December 2016. (Photos by Damson Samson)
Bibles and chickens were purchased as part of an effort to build up the men who labor on Kilimanjaro. See “Feeding needs and hungering souls”, the trip report from Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016.
“After the training, I introduced the good news (about the chicken project) to them,” Damson said. “They were very excited and smiled throughout.”
Nine chickens each were given to 25 long-time members of the Kilimanjaro Chapter. These chickens are to be used for eggs, meat, to sell, and also to reproduce more chickens. The goal is to make this chicken project self-sustaining and supplement the meager incomes guides and porters earn on Kilimanjaro.
Pastor Mosha, right in black, shares with the men.
Pastor Winford Mosha, the chapter’s spiritual advisor and a brother who has been associated with our work in Tanzania since the inaugural Mission: Kilimanjaro 2007, met with the men to explain “you have been blessed with these chickens.” He told them the Parable of the Talents. He encouraged them to “be fruitful” with this blessing.
The men were encouraged to involve their wives and families in the care of the chickens. Damson and chapter leader Dauson Chonjo then visited each of the men’s homes to see how they were keeping the chickens, and heard their thoughts on the project:
Vitalis Mulaki, who works on Kilimanjaro as a porter, said he has struggled to pay his children’s secondary school fees. “But now things will really change,” he said. Raising and selling chickens will help provide for his family. Plus, he said, the manure will be helpful to use “as fertilizer for my vegetable garden.”
Jonas Minja, a cook on the mountain, thanked God for the chicken project and said he is praying for Climbing For Christ and all the members contributing to this ongoing program.
Vitalis Mulaki and his wife, above, and Jonas Minja, below, were overjoyed to receive chickens.
Damson suggested the need for $150 a month for food and medication for the chickens. Another $2,500 will be used to expand the project in March, when another Kilimanjaro Chapter training is held. We scheduled Damson to GO to Tanzania four times in 2017, including during the short-term Mission: Kilimanjaro 2017.
Mission: Kilimanjaro 2017 will be held from Nov. 25-Dec. 4. This will be our 10th expedition to Tanzania in 11 years.
Asheri Marko’s family.
Asheri Marko, a porter, hopes to raise enough chickens to buy a motorbike and “use it to transport people to make more money for my family.” He also said “eggs will give us something good and healthy for our families.”
In this case, laying an egg is a good thing.