Blessings to Our Members
“What an awesome blessing running into not only a Christian brother, but a Climbing For Christ brother on a 14er outing.” – Derek Fullerton, Colorado Springs resident and Climbing For Christ board member
Grays Peak (photographed by Gene Porter from Torreys Peak)
Derek Fullerton was hiking 14,270-foot Grays Peak and 14,267-foot Torreys Peak in the Front Range when he ran into fellow Climbing For Christ member Gene Porter of Roeland Park, Kansas on Aug. 27. The two men had never met before.
Porter, who was spending a week of solo climbing in Colorado, says he will “stop to chat with anyone on a mountain who appears interested in a conversation, and I typically end each conversation by saying, ‘blessings to you.’
“Often they response is ‘you, too’ or ‘thank you.’ Sometimes there is no response at all because the person doesn’t know what to say. The response is not really relevant, though, because the giving of the blessing does not depend in any way on the response. What’s important is giving it away.”
But when Gene blessed Derek, the Climbing For Christ board member asked, “Are you a Christian?”
“It is always an uplifting encounter when that is the response,” Gene says. “Finding another believer in the expanse of the mountains, when it is so easy to feel alone and small, is a great comfort. God never leaves us alone, but the physical appearance of another believer provides tangible evidence that He is present. It provides reassurance for those times when your faith in the unseen power of God may be weak or needs a boost.”
It was a divine appointment for Gene and Derek.
“It was a sweet time,” Derek says. “I felt like I've known him for years.”
Gene agrees, saying, “To connect, not just as fellow Christians, but to discover that both of us were familiar with and connected to Climbing For Christ, well, that was just an added bonus.”
Gene Porter, left, concentrating on taking a photograph of him and his smiling fellow Climbing For Christ member Derek Fullerton.
One of the blessings of Climbing For Christ is having brothers and sisters in 40 countries (including members in 44 states in the United States). An encounter with our fellow members often feels like a reunion of saints, even if it is a first-time meeting. Our shared passion for Jesus and love of the mountains God created brings us together for uplifting moments of fellowship. It is one of the unwritten benefits of being a Climbing For Christ member.
We rejoice in the divine appointments our Father has set for us and look forward to meeting one another and singing His praises. If not here, then on the streets of gold lining our heavenly home.
— Gary Fallesen
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Posted Sept. 1, 2008
Torreys Peak (photographed by Gene Porter from Grays Peak) in the early morning light.