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Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010

Trip Report: Raising the Gospel flag in Africa

By Pastor Carl Jenks

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010 was my first trip with Climbing For Christ. And though I am a non-climber, I can say that we all reached new heights on this adventure.

I first became acquainted with C4C when Gary Fallesen, the ministry’s president, contacted me about a year before our trip. We both live in the Rochester, N.Y. area. He had read an article in our local Christian paper about my involvement in northern Tanzania and, because of his commitment to the same area, he wanted to meet. We had no idea when we first got together what the Lord might have in store for us. But it was a divine connection.

We soon discovered that we were both mountain focused: Gary, physical mountains, “Climbing For Christ,” and me, mountains of culture and influence, “Mountain Takers.” It was the synthesis of our individual “mountain taking” passions that brought us to working together on Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010.

Carl Jenks telling Emanuel E. Kisanga, “The King is in you” (Galatians 2:20). “Do you realize how many times the King goes up Kilimanjaro?” Carl asked guides and porters in the Kilimanjaro Chapter. “Every time you do.”

My primary role on this mission was to help spiritually train the Kilimanjaro guides and porters and to equip them with tools to be able to share their faith with other guides, porters and the climbers they encounter from all over the world. This was accomplished by helping them make “Gospel Flags” — a combination of various colored beads strung on a nylon strand that could be worn on the wrist, around the neck, or carried in a pocket. The beads tell the Gospel story from beginning to end. This tool was simple, tough enough to stand up to the rigors of many ascents and descents of Kili, and everyone ended up liking the way the “flags” looked on them, too!

'Gospel flags' worn differently: a bracelet, left, or a necklace

Our host, Pastor Mosha, paid us the ultimate compliment when he wore his “flag” to worship on Sunday and showed it to the whole church. Now our prayer is that many climbers, guides and porters will see the “flags” on our chapter members and ask to know more.

From Moshi and Marangu, Tanzania, we headed way south to Malawi, the poorest country in Africa, where C4C has been active in some benevolence projects with a pastor and orphanage near the village of Migowi. And though I thought I was along for the ride, I was badly mistaken. Halfway through our time there, our host, Pastor Duncan, had scheduled a pastors and leaders conference, at which our team thought there might be 15-to-30 people. More than 400 men and women from all over the country and even from neighboring Mozambique descended on the Migowi area, hungry for the living waters. Another member of our team, Charlotte Crain, and I had our work cut out for us as Charlotte met with the women and Gary and I with the men. Their thirst for all the Lord had to give left us all empty but rejoicing!

And, yes, fellow climbers for Christ, even I did some climbing/hiking on Mount Mulanje in Malawi. It was a lot of fun, too.

This was my first trip with C4C, but I hope not my last. Thank you, Gary, for inviting me on this adventure!

Carl Jenks is a member of the Western New York Chapter of the Climbing For Christ family. He recently completed a 30-year pastoral career and is now the president of Mountain Takers Inc., a Christ-centered training and coaching service for Christian professionals, which he operates with his wife Susi. To learn more, go to www.mountaintakersinc.com.

Posted Feb. 5, 2010

The Word

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)


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