Mission Moments: Disciple making
Dry lands to fertile mountain soil
The Kingdom of God has been expanded greatly on and around Mount Kilimanjaro. At first, “it was like a dry land where no hope was expected,” Damson Samson recalled. He met brothers in Christ who were going to church, “but not knowing the power of the Word.”
Now there is a disciple-making movement (DMM) occurring near Africa’s rooftop – and elsewhere in the Climbing For Christ world. Lives, communities, and churches have been transformed.
Damson never imagined that God would use him the way He has – far from where he grew up in southern Malawi. He prayed only to have an opportunity to go to college. He prayed for that for seven years, and then – in January 2010 – Climbing For Christ’s first mission team arrived in Malawi. His prayer was answered, and, in March 2014, he was called to serve this ministry in East Africa as one of our indigenous Kingdom workers.
Damson traveled to Tanzania for the first time in August 2014. He has visited the Kilimanjaro area more than two dozen times in eight years. He has learned Swahili, and he has been a brother, a friend, and a teacher to many. He even climbed Africa’s tallest mountain in August 2016 so he could better understand the lives of Kilimanjaro’s guides and porters.
“Glory to God that after a long time of watering, hope was seen,” said Damson, a husband and father of three. “A big number didn’t know who Christ Jesus is, but I introduced Him to them, and they accepted Christ.
“I remember one time we sent them out to share the Gospel (as part of our Kilimanjaro Chapter evangelism training). They did so victoriously as many lives in the streets got saved.
“Family members could not understand the great change brought to their sons. I remember visiting Godlisten Mangowi; the mother cried with a prayer not understanding how it could happen to have her son changed. I have witnessed this life-changing personally. Drunkards quitting, smokers (stopping), as well as womanizers (reformed).
“The volume of Gospel songs was raised higher on the mountain as out of the hearts of these men their mouths are witnessing Christ to clients and fellow (guides and porters).”
Guides and porters in the Kilimanjaro Chapter – and elsewhere – have learned to read and share the Word of God. They have become leaders in their churches.
Dauson Chongo, a guide who joined and has helped lead the Kilimanjaro Chapter since its was formed in 2008, said: “Many could read the Bible, but not be able to understand – like the Ethiopian eunuch (to whom God sent Philip in Acts 8). Now it is another story (for those women). They can read the Bible and get the meaning right away.
“All this is happening through the training we have been having with Climbing For Christ.”
The same experience has occurred in the much-younger Mulanje Massif Chapter in Malawi. The Mulanje chapter was formed in 2016. The goal of both chapters: strengthen spiritual lives so the Gospel can be spread, disciples made, and churches planted.
“Many have come to the Lord (in Malawi),” Damson says, “and currently they are using the tools (C4C has provided) in their churches. Behavior-wise, they are doing pretty good. They are witnessing to clients. Their eyes are open, and they are able to value life.”
Damson said recalled asking John Mollen, a guide and leader of the Mulanje Massif Chapter, how training has helped their lives. “He said, ‘We were more blind in the beginning than even we knew. We could see the mountain, but it had no meaning to us. It was just rocks and trees; clients were just normal people you could meet in life. Through the training we are able to witness the Good News to the clients coming in.’”
John told about one day when he climbed with nine Christian clients. They started with a word of prayer and taking a step forward they started appreciating the creation all around them.
“It was all about Jesus Christ throughout the trip,” John said. “The clients were happy to learn about how Climbing For Christ has done training. These brothers witnessed to me that in their country they can’t see a church; people can only do prayers in their homes.”
This has helped us not take for granted the opportunities we have as believers.
Home-study Bible groups, which we form out of the quarterly trainings we do with chapters in Tanzania and Malawi, have proven to them that they can share with their communities. Churches are growing dramatically.
John’s wife testified that there is “peace at home” because of the lessons being learned by these guides and porters. Currently, they are praying together with their wives and families, and helping one another share the Gospel with other families.