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Mission: Haiti 2008

Team Bios

The team: Sarah Brownell, Rochester, N.Y.; Josh Carroll, Denver, Colo.; Elaine Fallesen, Rochester, N.Y.; Gary Fallesen, trip leader, Rochester, N.Y.; Miguel Rubén Guante, missionary to Haiti, Jimani, Dominican Republic; Dr. Steve Quakenbush, Canon City, Colo.; and Pastor Erica Zeiler, Littleton, Colo.

Sarah Brownell


Sarah Brownell

Sarah Brownell dispensing medicine to a schoolgirl in Gentilhomme.

Age: 34 (on Dec. 3). Residence: Cap Haitien, Haiti. Family: married. Occupation:  Catholic Worker, engineer. Church: Spiritus Christi church, Rochester, N.Y.

Favorite Scripture: Been thinking a lot of Elijah. Jeremiah 3:23.

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality Catholic Worker House, Rochester, N.Y., extended community, former live-in worker.  Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, Cap Haitien, Haiti, co-founder, project co-coordinator, treasurer. Haiti Outreach: Pwoje Espwa, Borgne Haiti, volunteer engineer, as part of Spiritus Christ Church. Anti-war organizing, peace and justice activism in the U.S. Also participated in Climbing For Christ's Mission: Haiti (December 2007).

What are you looking forward to most while on this mission? Being with the peeps, simplicity.

What’s your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Group reflection and prayer.

Joshua Carroll


Josh Carroll

Josh Carroll at 3,940 meters on Capitol Peak in Colorado.

Age: 25. Residence: Denver, Colo. Family: Single. Occupation: Engineer. Fort Carson, Colo. Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facilities. Church/community of faith: Fellowship Community Church, Parker, Colo.

Favorite Scripture: Psalm 31, Galatians 6:17, 1 John 3:17.

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: Tijuana Mexico, Wilderness Fellowship, Brainard Lake 2008.

What are you looking forward to most while on this mission? Having my heart broken. I am comfortable in my life and that comfort brings some inherent stagnation in my stewardship of the Gospel. I look forward to God getting me back off the bench, and back into the game. I'm also looking forward to serving alongside a lifelong friend, Steve, and encouraging each other throughout this mission.

What’s your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? I am honored to be a part of a group that recognizes the enormity of needs that exist “off the beaten path.” I have long felt that our culture today has lost sight of the glory God reveals in the mountains. “The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness!” (Psalm 72:3).

Elaine Fallesen


Elaine Fallesen

Elaine Fallesen during a training hike on Blue Mountain in New York's Adirondacks.

Age: 52. Residence: Hilton, N.Y. Family: Married and mother of two children — Jesse Dane, 19, and Hayley Hope, 14. Occupation: Marketing Communications associate for Preferred Care health insurance company. Church/community of faith: Hope Lutheran Church, Greece, N.Y.

Favorite Scripture: For my first mission trip abroad, it's Habakkuk 3:19 — “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” I'm not an expert climber, so I really need those deer feet.

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: Senior High youth counselor at Hope Church, creative team member for worship planning, Climbing For Christ vice president. Have served with our senior high youth on mission trips to Washington, D.C., New York City and Toronto, Canada. Serve with Flower City Work Camp youth outreach to let the city of Rochester, N.Y. see Jesus.

What are you looking forward to most while on this mission? I'm anxious to meet and work alongside the villagers who I feel I already know through my husband Gary's four previous C4C mission trips to Gentilhomme. I look forward to finally shaking hands with our missionary Miguel Guante and getting to know his family. I'm excited to be working side-by-side with a physician's assistant, a pastor, and two engineers. I'm hoping that I can teach the students of the Malasi and Gentilhomme schools how to sing “One, two three, Jesus love me” in English, plus a Christmas carol or two. And I look forward to what they can teach me.  Most of all, I can't wait to hug Gilbert (if he will let me), a boy from Gentilhomme who almost died from a broken leg that rotted for a month, but whose life God saved through the support of Climbing For Christ and our members. [See Saving Gilbert.] We believe the Lord has great plans for Gilbert.

What's your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? The unique mission niche that C4C fills, reaching out with the Good News in the highest, most remote places of the world.

Gary Fallesen


Gary Fallesen

Gary Fallesen with Gilbert in Haiti in December 2007. (Photo by Derek Fullerton)

Age: 49. Residence: Hilton, N.Y. Family: Married with two children. Occupation: Missionary. Church/community of faith: Hope Lutheran Church, Greece, N.Y.

Favorite Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”)

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: This will be my fifth trip to Haiti since God first took us to Gentilhomme in 2005. Additionally, I have participated in Evangelic Expeditions to China, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

What are you looking forward to most while on this mission? Finally having an opportunity to take medical assistance to the people of Gentilhomme. But knowing, first and foremost, their ultimate need rests in knowing, fearing, and following the Great Physician — the only One who can heal the ills of this troubled nation and people.

What’s your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Reaching those who otherwise would not be reached in mountainous areas with the message of salvation.

Miguel Rubén Guante


Miguel Guante

Miguel Guante working on seminary planning in Gentilhomme during Mission: Haiti (December 2007).

Age: 46. Residence: Jimani, Dominican Republic. Family: Married to Kenia (“Ketly”) and father of four children — Samuel, Martha, Jeffrey, and Rosa Maria. Occupation: Missionary. Church/community of faith: Climbing For Christ Church of Jimani.

CLICK HERE for the profile “Meet the Missionary.”

Steve Quakenbush

Age: 56. Residence: Canon City, Colo. Family: Barbara, wife; three children — Brandon, 29; Brooke, 26, and Laura, 24 — and three grandchildren. Occupation: Physician Assistant. Church/community of faith: First United Methodist Church, Canon City, Colorado.

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: Romania orphanage mission, India medical clinic work in remote village 2007, and member of missions committee at First United Methodist.

What are you looking forward to most while on this mission? Having the opportunity to bring the love of Jesus to brothers and sisters in Haiti.

What's your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Climbing for Christ brings the love of Jesus to those  where others will not or cannot go.

Erica Zeiler


Erica Zeiler

Erica Zeiler, center, making balloon animals for schoolchildren in Gentilhomme during Mission: Haiti 2007.

Age: Turning 29 on mission. Residence: Littleton, Colo. Personal: Single. Occupation: Associate Pastor of Youth and Community at South Suburban Christian Church in Littleton, Colo. Church/community of faith: South Suburban Christian Church.

Favorite Scripture: Lamentations 3:22-23 (“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”).

Ministries, missions, or evangelism involved in: Volunteer and paid youth ministry since 1996, including camps, mission trips, backpacking trips, retreats, weekly outreach services, discipleship, leading ministry teams, administration. Mission trips to Aguas Caleintes, Mexico (1998); Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Lame Deer, Mont. (2002-present); working with several agencies in downtown Denver (2001-present); Mission: Haiti (December 2007) and Mission: Nepal 2008 with C4C.

What’s your favorite thing about Climbing For Christ? Their heart for unreached people in hard-to-get-to places, as well as their willingness to make the personal sacrifices necessary to reach those people.

Posted Nov. 26, 2008

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