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Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010

Team Bios

Climbing For Christ's third short-term Mission: Kilimanjaro consists of Charlotte Crain, Gary Fallesen, Pastor Carl Jenks, Pastor Winford Mosha, Pastor Duncan Nyozani, Allan Persons, and scores of Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters.

Meet the team members:

Charlotte Crain   

Charlotte on her way to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2006.

Age: 53. Residence: Gig Harbor, Wash. Family Divorced with one grown son. Occupation: Director, Pre-Sales Engineering, SAS Institute. Church: Chapel Hill Presbyterian, Gig  Harbor.

How long have you climbed? Since 1993. Type of climbing you do: Technical non lead, Alpine scrambling. Highlight of climbing career: Kilimanjaro in December 2006.

How long have you been a Christian? Since age 7. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Las Amigas ministry at my church. We regularly mentor our young grade-school girls, once a month doing things as a group after school, then also spending time helping them to read or whatever they need. Sometimes just pick them up and do something special just because.  Monthly financial support for Kevin Larrett and his family, serving Campus Crusade for Christ, Office of the President; Portland Rescue Mission, a Christian organization that rehabilitates the down and out, giving them skills to reenter the work force and reunite them with their families; and the Ravi Zacharias Ministries, serving the intellectual community.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Isaiah 41:13 and Psalm 141:3. It is a promise for me and anyone that God is always there and will take my right hand and lead me along, holding me close to Himself giving strength and encouragement whenever I call upon Him. He also gives me strength to watch what I say and how I say it to people. Poor communication can be a huge stumbling block.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: There are so many. Perhaps the time when I met my Christian brothers on Mount Kilimanjaro and after the trip they invited me to their humble home and sang their songs after dinner in their dark, very small and crowded living room with a candle because there was no electricity. It was a blessing to feel so comfortable and that Christ was the common bond.

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It affirms to me that going off the beaten path and living out of the ordinary can be a ministry to Christ. I used to think when I was climbing on Sundays that maybe it was wrong and that I should be in church. Of course, I should have realized that I was and am where I am for a reason and to allow God to work through me while I can enjoy one of the things I love the most in God’s outside creation.

Gary Fallesen

Gary sharing a devotional on the mountain during Mission: Kilimanjaro 2007. (Photo by Shawn Dowd)

Age: 50. Residence: Rochester, N.Y. Family: Married to Elaine for 27 years, and father of Jesse (20) and Hayley (15). Occupation: Founding president of Climbing For Christ. Church: Hope Lutheran in Greece, N.Y.

How long have you climbed? Since 1996. Type of climbing you do: Mostly hiking/trekking and mountaineering. A little bouldering. Highlight of climbing career: A highlight was the summit of Kilimanjaro in 1998. It was while training for that Kibo climb that God put this ministry on my heart.

How long have you been a Christian? Since 1983. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Acts 1:8 — being His witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Also, serving on a worship creative team at our family's home church.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): For this Evangelic Expedition, it would be Isaiah 30:18, specifically, “Blessed are all who wait for him!” That's because we were three hours from leaving for the airport in March 2009 for the scheduled Mission: Kilimanjaro 2009 when a traveling companion called to say, “God told me not to go.” It was all very last minute and very confusing, but we are convinced it was God's plan. We cancelled Mission: Kilimanjaro 2009. Climbing For Christ board member Ace Concordia reached me from the Philippines and in his encouragement told me to listen to John Waller's song, While I'm Waiting. Of the song, Waller has said: “The important thing to remember while we’re waiting on God is to not just wait but to actively wait. Serve, worship and be faithful with what you have, where you are ... even while you wait.” Amen. As Waller sings, “I am waiting on You, Lord, and I am peaceful.” We have had peace and watched expectantly as He brought together this trip. He will bless.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: As part of Mission: Kilimanjaro 2007 we were delivering gear to the secular Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project in Moshi when the program manager there asked if we would like to meet a Lutheran pastor in Marangu. We said, “Yes!” A meeting was arranged with Pastor Winford Mosha. When we went to his church, he told us how God had moved him to work with Christian guides and porters on Kilimanjaro. Everything he was saying was what God had put on my heart. When he finished explaining this to me, he asked what was our desire. I told him, “What you said!” A partnership was forged. Pastor Mosha became the spiritual advisor to our Kilimanjaro Chapter when we started organizing the guides and porters in 2009.

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It is a constant reminder of how God weaves us together to do His work.

Pastor Carl Jenks

Carl preaching at a conference in Morogoro, Tanzania in July 2009.

Age: 61. Residence: Rochester, N.Y. Family: Married 39 years to Susan E. Jenks; two grown children, Stephen and Rachel. Occupation: Apostle and Entrepreneur Equipper, coach. Church: New Hope Community in North Chili, N.Y.

How long have you climbed? 60 years or so. Type of climbing you do: Stairs. In and out of bed. Highlight of climbing career: Mount Marcy at age 16.

How long have you been a Christian? 38 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Apostolic in the marketplace, institutional church and the nations.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Ephesians 6:10 — “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” My life verse.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: Aug. 16, 2002, Kampala, Uganda — The Lord downloaded the revelation of the truth and power of Colossians 1:27. My life has never been the same since.

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? An opportunity to meet and interact with another part of God's family and to help equip and strengthen the church in the nations.

Rev. Winford Joseph Mosha

Pastor Mosha in a classroom at his church's school. (Photo by Miguel Samper)

Age: 59 years. Residence: Marangu, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (East Africa). Family: Married, with three children. Occupation: Church pastor. Church: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Northern Diocese.

How long have you climbed? Three years now. Type of climbing you do: Small mountain climb, day-trip to first station of Kilimanjaro Marangu route. Highlight of climbing career: Climbing is not my career.

How long have you been a Christian? Since I was baptized June 11, 1950. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Deliverance ministry and care for Orphans

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Jeremiah 32:27. This verse gives me courage in doing things which others think impossible, but with God they are possible. I have learned this in our Deliverance Ministry in church.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: On 25 October 2009 was my wonderful God Moment in my life. I was driving my small Escudo car to a prayer meeting. On the way something very strange happened. My car was forced to go off the road. I felt as if the car was overturning. I was at 60 kph speed. I shouted “JESUS help me” twice. Suddenly, the car stopped across facing the road. No damage happened to me or the car. It was really my God moment.

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It means climbing small and high mountains and praying. Also C4C, helps people who are less privileged.

Duncan Nyozani

Pastor Duncan with children at Searchlight Orphan Care.

Age: 33 years. Residence: Migowi, Malawi. Family: Married to Maggie, have four children. Three are boys and one girl (named Isaac, Mike, Brian and Emma). Occupation: Pastor. Church: Searchlight Ministries.

How long have you climbed? For nine years. Type of climbing you do: Trekking and mountaineering. Highlight of climbing career: Mount Mulanje in 2002.

How long have you been a Christian? I have been a Christian since 1999. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Always pastor of our local church and I do evangelism in different places.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV).
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: The time I went to attend a convention in  Nairobi, Kenya in 2002. God prophesied on me in a very powerful way.

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It reminds me of what Jesus was doing; He liked to climb and pray. We need to reach the unreached people with the Gospel of Christ.

Allan Persons 

Allan in the Maroon Bells in Colorado in 2008.

Age: 25. Residence: Eagan, Minn. Family: Single. Occupation: Meteorologist. Church: City Hill, Eden Prairie, Minn.

How long have you climbed? 9 years. Type of climbing you do: Backpacking/Basic Mountaineering. Highlight of climbing career: Summiting La Plata Peak (14,336 feet) in Colorado. My 10th Fourteener summited. A year earlier (2008) a friend and I had gotten to about 13,500 feet and been met with blizzard-like conditions. Underdressed for the occasion, we were forced to head down due to potential frostbite. Returning in 2009, we summited in just over three hours to clear skies and a snow-capped mountain!

How long have you been a Christian? 16 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Camp Victory, AWANA, Climbing for Christ.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Colossians 3:23 — “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men.” It reminds me every day who I serve and who I live for.  If I may be having a bad day or just don’t feel motivated, this verse reminds me to work at it to the best of my ability because it is God who I am working for. 

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: In 2007 a few friends and I were attempting to summit Mount of the Holy Cross (14,005 feet). My brother and I were first to the top, but only to see a storm quickly tracking towards us from the south. As I got on my radio to tell the others to head back down, small hail pellets began to hit the peak. We made haste down the mountain and shortly thereafter lightning began to strike the peak. I began to feel static build up on my head and screeching noises in my ear. Then a pop and a few sparks came off my cap. I hadn’t been struck, but I realized this was a very serious situation. I hadn’t feared for my life more than that moment and with a couple thousand feet yet to treeline, I thought our chances of getting off the mountain safely were slim. Getting as low to the ground as we could, to avoid being the tallest object, I began to pray that the Lord would get us down safely. We began to move quickly down the mountain again, ducking periodically as static continued to build on our heads. A half-hour later we arrived safely at treeline. I had no doubt Lord saved us from what could have been a deadly situation! 

What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? I love to hike and climb mountains. In some ways it is like breathing for me, but I’ve always wanted to use that desire to serve God.  Climbing For Christ allows me to do both. Glorify Him and use those desires God gave me to serve Him!

Posted Nov. 16, 2009/Updated Dec. 26, 2009

The Word

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers...”
— Ephesians 4:11 (NIV)


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