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Mission: Kilimanjaro 2008

Trip Report — The Beginning of a New Chapter

By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ

“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

The mission field is in their backyard. Jerusalem is where they live – in Marangu and Moshi. Judea and Samaria is where they work – on Mount Kilimanjaro. And the ends of the earth are what come to them by the tens of thousands every year.

One of the great blessings of Mission: Kilimanjaro 2008 was the start of the Kilimanjaro Chapter. Seventy-four guides and porters joined Climbing For Christ, agreeing with our mission statement and committing themselves to serving our One True God.

The Kilimanjaro Chapter is our third chapter outside the United States – joining JEJAK in Indonesia and Climbing For Christ Philippines. It immediately became the largest international chapter.

Jim Doenges and I held two meetings in Tanzania – the first on Feb. 23 in Marangu and the second on March 3 in Moshi. Both were well attended.

 

Marangu meeting

Pastor Winford Mosha speaks to guides and porters at the inaugural Kilimanjaro Chapter meeting on Feb. 23 at his church, Lyasongoro Lutheran in Marangu. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

The Kilimanjaro Chapter began with our meeting Pastor Winford Mosha of Lyasongoro Lutheran Church in Marangu during last year’s Evangelic Expedition. Pastor Mosha became Climbing For Christ’s first Tanzanian member. He also shared in the vision of what God can do with and through the guides and porters of Kilimanjaro.

Pastor Mosha recruited our second local member, Wilson Mosha, a 60-year-old guide who has worked on Kibo for 19 years. A U.S. member, who’d climbed Kilimanjaro last year, recruited the third member – assistant guide Tumaini Mkonyi – opening the door for us in Moshi. Pastor Mosha brought us member No. 4 – Dauson Chonjo, a guide from his congregation and the chairman of the Lyasongoro prayer group.

The prayer group had been lifting our visit for a month before we arrived, praying “about our team, about the plans,” Dauson said.

Dauson will lead this chapter’s first official event – a prayer expedition in April. The goal is to start taking back the mountain in the name of Christ. They will trek up a hill where non-Christians once sacrificed cows and sheep. They will break down altars built by those who worship evil spirits.

 

Praying in Moshi

Gary Fallesen, orange shirt, and Jim Doenges, white T-shirt, pray for the Kilimanjaro Chapter at the end of the March 3 meeting at Kiborilon Assembly of God Church in Moshi, Tanzania. (Photo by Coleman Temba)

Of the estimated 1,000 guides and 4,000 porters working on Kilimanjaro about half are not Christian. Dauson said reaching those who do not believe in Jesus would be difficult because “they have to stop stealing if they accept Christ.”

“As Dauson said, ‘We have a very big work among the guides and porters,’” said Pastor Mosha, who hosted the inaugural chapter meeting at his church and served as our translator at both meetings.

Thirty members came to Climbing For Christ at our Marangu meeting. Frank Sabas, a guide from Moshi who attended worship with his friend Tumaini Mkonyi when Jim and I spoke at Lyasongoro on Feb. 25, became Kilimanjaro Chapter member No. 35. Sabas organized our Moshi meeting, where another 38 members joined.

Guide Coleman Temba, who climbed Kilimanjaro with our team from Feb. 26-March 3, also became a member during our stay. These 74 men are only the beginning.

“We will start with them and they will become missionaries among all the guides and porters,” Pastor Mosha said.

Members of the Kilimanjaro Chapter will recruit other Christian guides and porters to join Climbing For Christ. In turn, Climbing For Christ will equip those guides and porters to do the Lord’s work on and around Africa’s highest mountain.

 

Chapter Goals

Among the things the Kilimanjaro Chapter will do:

  • Members will participate in ongoing Bible studies. They will be “... entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:7-9).
  • Learn to evangelize to the lost and apply what is learned in the mission field with co-workers and trekkers. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect ...” (1 Peter 3:15).
  • Hold prayer meetings and praise celebrations before and after climbs.
  • Organize prayer climbs.
  • Climbing For Christ will send mission teams (prayerfully including pastors) to encourage and edify Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders and members.

Posted March 10, 2008

The Vision

The mission of the newly formed Kilimanjaro Chapter is to make disciples of all guides and porters and to share the love of Christ with the tens of thousands of trekkers who visit Kilimanjaro each year.

 

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