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Evangelic Expeditions

Denali Dispatches
  Team Bios
  Trip Planner
Final Report
'We who are many form one body'
Big Mountain, Bigger Need
First Ascent of Denali 

Helping Hands

Reporting daily from the mission field via satellite phone is an expensive proposition. But we feel it is important to include our family, friends, prayer warriors, and the general public in the work He is doing with and through us. In this way, people can share in these God experiences. We welcome you on this mission trip. If, in some way, you feel this ministry has blessed you, would you consider sending us a donation to pay for the satellite-phone minutes?

Mail a check to Climbing For Christ, Inc. at P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, N.Y. 14616.


Mission: Denali 2007

Team Bios

Charleton Churchill

Age: 32. Residence: Jackson, Calif. Family: Married to Kelly; with two children — Janae Faith (4 years old on June 20) and Ashlyn Grace (1 year on June 28). Occupation: High school and junior high pastor. Church: Calvary Chapel Amador, Pine Grove, Calif.

Most memorable mountain experience? Climbing Mount Rainier. What are you looking forward to most on Denali? Honestly, the summit! And all the gorgeous views of the world. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? The purpose and philosophy.

Favorite Scripture: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” — 2 Corinthians 15:58.

Jim Doenges

Age: 47. Residence: Littleton, Colo. Family: Married to Teresa. Occupation: Minister of Outreach for Climbing For Christ. Church: South Suburban Christian Church in Littleton, Colo.

Most memorable mountain experience? Accepting Jesus as my Savior and Lord on Mount Hood is most memorable, followed by a spring blizzard with my wife on James Peak in Colorado, and summiting Denali in 1990. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Sharing the truth and love of Christ outside our team, making new friends among our team, and once again being blown away and humbled by the mountain scenery He crafted. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? As a staff person, it’s the opportunity to match needs and opportunities with how I’ve been called, gifted, and equipped.

Favorite Scripture: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8.

Johnathan Esper

Age: 24. Residence: Long Lake, N.Y. Family: Single. Occupation: Freelance photographer. Church: I am a child of God and part of His Church, the body of believers around the world.

Most memorable mountain experience? Spending 10 months traveling and hiking around New Zealand this past year. I don’t have one specific mountain memory that stands out. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? I am equally excited about three things: ministry opportunities in a unique setting, photographing in a place where you don’t see many pro photographers, and going on my first big-mountain, long-term, expedition-style trip. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? It has a unique mission and provides opportunities for people like us to combine our love of Jesus and climbing.

Favorite Scripture: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” — Proverbs 3:6.

Tim Hall

Age: 18 (turning 19 on the expedition). Residence: Boulder, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: Student at Fort Lewis College. Engineering/Physics major with math and chemistry minors. Ride for the Fort Lewis Cycling Team. Also work for Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries full-time and tree trim. Church: Grace Church in Durango, Colo. and EV Free Church in Laramie, Wyo.

What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Experiencing the Lord in a fresh way and getting to altitude. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? They are a very experienced and loving group, super organized and helpful. Men and women of God.

Favorite Scripture: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” — Philippians 2:3.

Tom Melancon

Age: 52. Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo. Family: Married to Angela; two children — Nate, 23 years old, and Lydia, 20. Occupation: College professor in science and engineering, seven-plus years; engineering technician, three years; Air Force officer, 17 years. Church: New Life Church, non-denominational.

Most memorable mountain experience? A trip to the Crestones last summer because the fellowship was so good and the mountains so beautiful. We climbed the Peak and then did the traverse to the Needle. Another very memorable trip was leading “All Mixed Up” in Rocky Mountain National Park. This was my second lead on ice and we were in over our heads, but I was confidant and strong and led the whole thing without fear. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Good fellowship in an adventure atmosphere. We will not make it unless we function as a team. I hope we have sweet fellowship with God; bless, encourage, and love one another; and stand clear and firm for Christ. And I hope we make the summit. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? I am not sure yet. You all do not mince words about Jesus.

Favorite Scripture: “… all the things which are written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. … Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” — Luke 24:44, 46-47.

Kevin Sellers 

Age: 35. Residence: Douglas, Alaska. Family: Married to Shana; three children — Savana, 12; Ethan, 4, and Annika, almost 2. Occupation: Seasonal laborer (Christmas trees, apples, ski resorts, salmon canneries, English tutor) and Alaska ferries steward and deckhand. Church: Juneau Christian Center (non-denominational).

Most memorable mountain experience? Death of friend on Mount Rainier on July 12, 1996. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? I look forward to the crux and all the time on the mountain.

Favorite Scripture: “Judge not, that you may not be judged, for with what judgment you are judging, you will be judged.” — Matthew 7:1-2.

Nick Stevens

Age: 22. Residence: Loveland, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: Student at Colorado State University Majoring in Economics. Church: Resurrection Fellowship.

Most memorable mountain experience? Rainier when I did it with my sister. It was a chance for us to get to spend time together and with God in His creation. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? God, spending time with the Creator in His creation, letting Him speak to me and whisper His secrets in my ear. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? It provides an opportunity for climbers to come together and teach each other about God and His creation.

Favorite Scripture: “Then Job replied to the LORD: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.'” — Job 42:1-6.

Lygon Stevens

Age: 19. Residence: Loveland, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: Music student at University of Northern Colorado with outdoor education minor. Also teach piano. Church: Resurrection Fellowship.

Most memorable mountain experience? Mount Rainier last spring or the Devil’s Backbone a month ago. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Being there. Smelling the air, feeling the rhythm of climbing, looking out and seeing only mountains as far as the eye can see and meeting with the One who tramples them under His feet. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Its realness or its heart. (They’re kind of one and the same.) It knows its purpose and works to achieve it humbly and within the will of God.

Favorite Scripture: “When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble.   He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One!” — Habakkuk 3:6.

John Straubinger

Age: 22. Residence: Lakewood, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: I am currently a senior in mechanical engineering at Northern Arizona University. Minor in photography. Church: In Flagstaff, Vintage Christian Fellowship. In Colorado, I go to The Next Level church

Most memorable mountain experience? A backpacking trip I did in junior high in the mountains near Buena Vista. What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Simply climbing. I love exploring new places and am excited to be able to do it with the fellowship of other believers. Hopefully, I’ll also get to see a gnarly avalanche. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? The increasing network of climbers who all share the same interests.

Favorite Scripture: Exodus chapter 4, when God asks Moses, “What’s in your hand?” This helps me to remember that I can do all things through Christ if I have faith and look for the tools that God has given me. This chapter helps me to look at Moses as an ordinary man who was able to accomplish great things through faith.

Nathan Straubinger

Age: 24. Residence: Lakewood, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: Western State College graduate. Church: Bear Valley Church, South Fellowship, and Trinity Baptist.

Most memorable mountain experience? Guiding two clients up Mount Shavano, climbing Hallet with Climbing For Christ guys, (and climbing) Greys and Torries with friends  What are you looking forward to most while on the mountain? Taking time to listen to God. Favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Its outreach ministries.

Favorite Scripture: “I lift my eyes up unto the mountains; where does my help come from?” — Psalm 121:1.

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