Mission Moments: Kilimanjaro
Growing disciples to work on the mountain
By Gary Fallesen
Founding president, Climbing For Christ
There are fertile fields around Mount Kilimanjaro. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Damson Samson emerged from the fifth house after a day of home visits among our Kilimanjaro Chapter members in April with eyes wide open. “I realized how important this trip is,” said our missionary to East Africa, who lives in southern Malawi but is sent periodically by C4C to visit the area around Mount Kilimanjaro in northeastern Tanzania. We are working with guides and porters there to equip them so they may evangelize among co-workers and trekkers on the mountain.
“We (taught the) people and left,” Damson said about our Mission: Kilimanjaro 2015 visit in March. “That (teaching on evangelism) was good, but they need more of our care spiritually because they are not yet established in their faith.
“It is like planting the seed without watering it – how do you expect it to grow? Only those who are strong in their faith can share Christ without being ashamed.”
Discipleship is crucial. Jesus told us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). Both Jesus and the missionary Paul spoke about showing people how to follow the Way. We are to offer ourselves as a model for others to imitate (2 Thessalonians 3:9).
Many cultures learn from seeing, from observation. There is an erroneous assumption on our part that the saved will read their Bibles and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. The church must walk with new or spiritually young believers.
Mission: Kilimanjaro 2014, Part 2, which was carried out in November of last year, was an evangelism conference where Damson and C4C spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley taught about three dozen guides and porters how to reach out and witness to others. Damson, Jordan and I returned to Tanzania in March on Mission: Kilimanjaro 2015 to follow up on the conference and learn about the results from the December-to-March climbing season. We determined that Damson needed to spend more time with those receiving instruction. He returned to Moshi and Marangu April 21-May 1.
“It was very encouraging to see how people are organized (into Bible study groups) and how much more they love God,” Damson reported. “United we stand, divided we fall. The way they are united tells us more about their heart.
“These brothers, they really needed this time – it is more helpful to their spiritual growth.”
He spoke of meeting with 10 brothers in Marangu for a time of prayer, sharing the Word, and discussing what the Bible was telling them. “It was a good move to have them in these kinds of groups,” Damson said.
As he went about his visits, discipling the found, Damson also kept divine appointments with those in need of a Savior.
In Moshi, he visited the home of a Muslim friend and prayed with the man. “He said nobody has ever come to share such kind words and prayers with him,” Damson recounted. He also shared John 3:16 with another Muslim family. “They were very appreciative to have heard the Word. I am looking forward to seeing this family come to church one day as I continue to visit them.”
Damson led one man to the Lord at a bus stand in Mbeya – on his travels between Malawi and Tanzania. “He offered his life to Christ and (pledged) to stop drinking and smoking,” Damson said. “He thanked God that I was available, and I want to thank (C4C) that you sent me for this soul and others as well.”
Damson will return to disciple Kilimanjaro Chapter members in early June, if funding is available. We are praying for the needed US$1,500 to cover each of these important trips.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” – Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
Support the work being done on and around Mount Kilimanjaro. Our vision is to equip guides and porters to share the Gospel with co-workers and with tens of thousands of trekkers who visit Tanzania each year. You can help by sending a gift to Climbing For Christ, c/o Mission: Kilimanjaro, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. Or CLICK HERE and give online via PayPal, and send an email to info@ClimbingForChrist.org to earmark your online donation for Mission: Kilimanjaro.
Note – Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016 will be held in August of next year. A team will be sent to work with Damson among the guides and porters and also to climb Kilimanjaro. Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org to request a mission application.
In Canada, donations also are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to The Great Commission Foundation, and on the memo line add Climbing For Christ CANADA (Mission: Kilimanjaro). Mail your support to: The Great Commission Foundation, #3 – 1335 Trans Canada Way SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 1J1. Or give online at http://tgcfcanada.org/donate. Mark your contribution: “Climbing For Christ CANADA (Mission: Kilimanjaro).”