Gary Fallesen in a Tibetan home on the north side of the Himalayas in 2010.
Age: 51. Residence: Hilton, N.Y., USA. Family: Married to Elaine for 28 years, and father of Jesse, 21, and Hayley, 16. Occupation: Founding president of Climbing For Christ. Church: Hope Lutheran in Greece, N.Y. Missions with C4C: This will be my 21st Evangelic Expedition (first to Nepal).
How long have you climbed? Since 1996. Type of climbing you do: Mostly hiking/trekking and mountaineering. Highlight of climbing career: When it comes to Nepal it would be (so far) writing the book Mt. Everest: Confession of an Amateur Peak Bagger with my original climbing partner, Kevin Flynn. Kevin climbed Everest and after spending six months working on the book with him, I felt as if I'd been clipped into his rope. I was his prayer warrior while he was in Nepal (twice). God used Kevin to bring me into mountaineering, which, of course, led to this ministry.
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, where I got my first taste of ministry leadership as drama director from 1996-2005.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Habakkuk 3:19. “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” While training for this trip, I was trail running after sundown in a park near my home in Western New York. A whitetail deer ran across the trail in front of me and, seemingly without any effort, bounded up a hill. It stopped and looked back at me and I thought of this verse (as well as 2 Samuel 22:34 and Psalm 18:33). I wished I could have feet like a deer, but I am thankful He enables me to tread the heights.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? Being a conquistador of the useful.
Allysa with a baby goat in Dapcha, Nepal.
Age: 25. Residence: Laramie, Wy., USA. Family: Single. Church: ROCK Tribe (house church), Laramie. Missions with C4C: First. (Alyssa was in Nepal with another ministry and was led by the Spirit to stay longer to serve with this team.)
How long have you climbed? Predominately the last six year. Type of climbing you do: Mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine. Highlight of climbing career: Any time spent in the Wind River Range in Wyoming or on snow and ice is a good time! Some peaks that bring back the most memories include Grand Teton (Upper Exum), Gannett, Mount Helen (couloir ascent) in Wyoming, and Half Dome (Yosemite, Calif.).
How long have you been a Christian? I grew up as a Christian, but recommitted my life to Him in 2000 and have been walking steadily with Him since then. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: I have worked as a seasonal instructor at Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries (SROM in Wyoming), leading people to the knowledge of Jesus through the outdoors for the last four years. I also enjoy serving in various ways overseas.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Philippians 2:1-11 and Psalm 97:1-6. I like these passages because I think they fully portray a few of the many characteristics of god that I am actively trying to imitate in my life and that show the irrefutable power of God.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? Combining two passions of mine: Christ and climbing. What could be better? It is a great ministry for the body of believers to meet other climbers, get involved in missions, and stay connected to what God is doing through the outdoors.
Pastor Tej Rokka