Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010
Trip Report: Not everyone gets into the pool
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
Pastor Carl Jenks of Rochester, N.Y. was teaching more than 400 pastors and church leaders halfway around the world in southeastern Malawi. His lesson was about hearing the voice of God, and obeying. He shared the story of Jesus at the pool of Bethesda, found in John 5.
“Jesus healed one man at the pool of Bethesda, not all the people,” Carl taught. “Why? His Father told Him to go to that one man. Listen and obey!”
We were walking examples of this lesson as we traveled through Tanzania and Malawi, Africa on Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010. Listening and obeying the Father as He directed us to different places and people.
God took us to one man here and another man there in Malawi:
A 27-year-old man, Damson Samson (above), who was working with orphans and waiting on the Lord for seven years to go to university to learn to be a pastor.
A 19-year-old, Welles Mishon (above), working as a guide on the Mulanje Massif with two years of secondary school still to complete but no money to pay for his education.
God told us to help these men. We are paying for their educations — to the glory of our Father.
The Lord also led us to a classroom of children we’d known about and helped from afar, buying food so they could eat and providing US$8,250 to dig a well that provides them (and others) with clean drinking water. [See “Quenching the thirst of His children.”]
Now we stood in front of the children and sat with them and had an opportunity to teach them about our God, the Creator who made them and everything else and who sent His Son to die for all of our sins. God gave us 15 orphans to help.
But what of the others? What about the 25 orphans who had to be returned to relatives (grandparents and aunts and uncles) when Pastor Duncan Nyozani of Searchlight Ministries in rural Kambona, Malawi ran out of funding? He told us to wait; it is not yet their time. God’s people must also hear and respond to make more happen.
Pastor Duncan in front of the orphanage near the Mchese Mountains
The cost to care for the 15 orphans is US$450 per month. To provide for all 40 orphans, we would need an additional US$750 per month. Plus, we would need to build additional bathing rooms, toilets and urinals, estimated to cost US$6,800.
God says we are not ready to build or bring back the other orphans. Unless He is speaking to you, telling you to help these poor children in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The work in Malawi is part of Project 1:27, an endeavor the Lord put on our hearts in 2009. It focuses on the orphans, whom God clearly tells us we are to care for (James 1:27).
Along the way to Malawi, God took us first to Tanzania to revisit our brothers and sisters in Christ. This was Climbing For Christ’s third mission in four years to the Mount Kilimanjaro area. We met with our old friend, Pastor Winford Mosha, who is the spiritual advisor to our Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters. We met with 39 Climbing For Christ members there and taught them about evangelism.
CLICK HERE to read Pastor Carl Jenks’ trip report, “Raising the Gospel flag in Africa.”
God showed us in recent years that the church can make powerful in-roads among the Muslim community (accounting for about half of the guides and porters on Kili) and the tens of thousands of “lost” trekkers who come to Africa’s tallest mountain every year by equipping and encouraging those Christ followers who are working on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. This is what we have begun to do, and will continue to do in 2011 when another team is sent. [E-mail info@ClimbingForChrist.org if you are interested in participating in Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011.]
There were other teaching and preaching opportunities in the Kilimanjaro area, as God continually has a way of opening unexpected doors when you are abiding in Him and following His lead.
Allan Persons, a Climbing For Christ member from Eagan, Minn., climbed 19,340-foot Kilimanjaro with a Muslim guide and porters — all friends of the Climbing For Christ family whom we yearn to see come to know Jesus as their Savior. Allan had a chance to witness to these dear men. [See “Unfamiliar heights.”]
Charlotte Crain, a Climbing For Christ member from Gig Harbor, Wash. who climbed Kilimanjaro in December 2006 and has helped a C4C guide and his sister go to school, was again moved by the Spirit to support a young woman she met at our Kilimanjaro Chapter training. This was a prelude to what God would have us do in Malawi.
He showed us who we were to help as a ministry:
Children named (front row, left to right) Zinenani, Lucy, Ephraim, Jacquiline, Mphatso, (second row, left to right) Dafter, Maganizo, Charles, Dorphy, Kondwani, (third row, left to right) Junio, Chikondi, Phiri, Dayson, and Idesi.
Their teacher, Damson, who overflows with the love of Christ, whether in a classroom with the children or leading worship from a keyboard.
A guide on Mulanje named Welles.
We have committed to pray for and support these Project 1:27 participants. And to wait on the Lord to see if He will tell us there are others in Malawi waiting to get into the pool. If we hear Him saying, “go” to them, we will obey.
Posted Feb. 5, 2010