Mission Moments: Kilimanjaro
Building something of eternal value
Damson Samson had a vision as he was riding a bus toward Mount Kilimanjaro. He was making his fourth trip of the year to Tanzania to work with guides and porters who are learning how to evangelize on and around Africa’s tallest and most attractive mountain. This trip had been delayed as he celebrated the blessed birth of his second child, a daughter.
“I saw myself building and from nowhere it rained and flash (flooded) all of the structures,” Damson said about his vision. “I was asking myself, ‘What’s this that I saw?’ I was really confused. But I knew it had something to do with the mission.”
Going to work: Damson leaving home in southern Malawi to return to northern Tanzania.
Damson arrived in Moshi after traveling two days from his home in southern Malawi. But he said he “found the brothers busy.” Some were on safari, some simply were not around. He could only communicate with a few of our Kilimanjaro Chapter members in Moshi.
“When I went to Marangu I got the brothers (there) and we had time to pray together,” Damson said. “I was reminded about the vision from which I prayed for a constructive spirit.
“Not far from the (prayer) meeting I noticed that many are just part of it, but not really tied to it.”
How do you teach commitment? How do you build something for God when men are looking for something for themselves?
Damson asked how Bible studies have been going and he was told groups have not been meeting. He met with members in July and since then the trekking and safari seasons have kept some busy. The presidential elections on Sunday, Oct. 25 also served as a distraction. (Climbing For Christ has experienced similar challenges with national elections in Turkey and Nepal this year.)
“I told them not to put down meeting as it continues building them in their faith,” said Damson, who also met with Pastor Winford Mosha in Marangu. Pastor Mosha has served as an advisor to our ministry in Tanzania. “He said they are not patient enough. They always want to see something happening quickly. And they have been expecting more.
“I knew that this was a thorn from the beginning and has put down the chapter even before me.”
Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders with Damson (third from left). They are (left to right): Elison Mosha, Godlisten Mangowi, Damson Samson, Emmanuel Makule, Aman Mambali, Elirehema Minja and Dauson Chonjo.
From the time the Kilimanjaro Chapter was formed in 2008 members were expecting C4C to start a trekking company or employ the Christian guides and porters. They were interested in physical support as much as – or, perhaps, even more so – than spiritual teaching.
“I saw that there is a great need, as Luke 12:15 says, whatever a man possesses can’t be compared with his life,” Damson said.
“And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’” – Luke 12:15 (ESV)
This has prompted Damson to plan on teaching “the basic foundation of our salvation” during the annual evangelism conference to be held again in November. He’ll also instruct “the Romans way [or Road] of evangelism.”
We must pray for the hearts of our Kilimanjaro Chapter members. May they not be full of desire to lay up treasure for them, but be rich toward God.
For these men to be ambassadors for Jesus and willing to share Him with others (non-Christian guides and porters as well as trekkers from around the world) they must first recognize the eternal gift they have received freely from God.
We need US$3,000 for the November conference on evangelism. This will provide transportation for Damson to GO from southern Malawi to northern Tanzania as well as food, transport and a meeting place for 60 members of the Kilimanjaro Chapter.
Damson welcomed a daughter into the world on Sept. 28. He named her after his “American mum,” Climbing For Christ’s Elaine Fallesen.
Damson with Elaine Samson.
While Damson was in Moshi he received a phone call from Pastor Mosha, saying that Mosha’s wife had been hospitalized. Damson was in the Gospel of Luke at the time. He recalled the story of Jesus healing the Centurion’s sick servant in Luke 7. “He asked Jesus not to come to his home, but just to speak a word and the sick will get healed,” Damson said. “That very night I prayed for the healing.”
The next day he visited the hospital to pray with Mosha’s wife. “I told her she will be out by the next day,” he said. “Behold, she was discharged the next day. I thank God for what He has done.”
“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” – Luke 6:48 (ESV)