Mission: Peru 2011
TEAM MEMBERS: Gary Fallesen, Hilton, N.Y., USA; Jesse Fallesen, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Edwin Milla, Huaraz, Peru; Jordan Rowley, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Justin Rowley, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Jaime Servat, Huaraz, Peru.
Gary Fallesen, right, sharing about the full armor of God during worship at the church at Dapcha while on Mission: Nepal 2011 in January. (Photo by Alyssa Kaelin)
Age: 51. Residence: Hilton, NY, USA. Nationality: American. Family: Married to Elaine, and father of Jesse, 21 (bio below), and Hayley, 16. Occupation: Founding president of Climbing For Christ. Church: Hope Lutheran in Greece, NY. Missions with C4C: This will be my 24th Evangelic Expedition.
How long have you climbed? Since 1996. Type of climbing you do: Mostly hiking/trekking and mountaineering. Highlight of climbing career: Going from a mountaineer (of sorts) to a missionary — by the grace and power of God.
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, especially the latter.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Matthew 24:14 has been on my heart lately. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Now brother Justin Rowley has mentioned it in his team biography. See below. May we be used to help in the return of Jesus.
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: The only other time I went to South America was in 2001 to climb 22,841-foot Aconcagua. The climb of the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere had been mostly uneventful the first seven days. We were on the Falso de Polaskas Route, an ascent alongside the massive Polish Glacier. But as we moved gear up to Camp 2 at 19,350 feet, I experienced a period of hypoxia (that is, a feeling of confusion and lethargy caused by oxygen deficiency). Then, the following day, I was struck with a bout of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. After a day of this unpleasantness, I began showing symptoms of cerebral edema — or swelling of the brain. Cerebral edema is deadly. It is treated by descending as quickly as possible, an action that relieves the swelling. We descended in the middle of the night, along a route through scree and pentitentes that is difficult to follow even during the day, let alone in the pitch dark of night. My two climbing partners were gravely concerned. But as I down-climbed, I felt a peace that transcends human understanding. I had no fear of dying. I was content in spite of my condition. As we descended a song by Christian artist Tommy Walker called Never Gonna Stop played over and over in my head. It goes: “A thousand years from now, before your throne of grace and power, I'll be praising you, praising you.” Amen.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? An opportunity to go to the ends of the earth and fulfill Scripture: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand” (Isaiah 52:15 and Romans 15:21).
Jesse Fallesen bouldering in Joshua Tree, Calif. in 2009. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Age: 21. Residence: Rochester, NY, USA. Nationality: American. Family: Single. Occupation: Patient transport at Strong Memorial Hospital and busser/bar-backer at Monroe's Restaurant. Church: Hope Lutheran in Greece, NY. Missions with C4C: Fifth. Each of the previous four were first trips to a place (Mexico and the Dominican Republic/Haiti in 2005, Tanzania in 2007, and China in 2009).
How long have you climbed? Since I was about 9 or 10. Type of climbing you do: Mountaineering, bouldering/ rock climbing. Highlight of climbing career: Attempting Mount Kilimanjaro in 2007. I made it to 15,000+ feet, had altitude sickness and could not go further. But still a great experience in Africa.
How long have you been a Christian? Whole life. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Evangelic expeditions.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Psalm 121:1-2. It was my confirmation verse and it means a lot to me. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: Meeting Pastor Tresin in Gentilhome, Haiti, on C4C's first mission there. Hearing that he had been praying for God to send help to the village. Standing there, with my dad and Jonathan Esper, I had a feeling this was going to be something big. Nine trips and much work later, there is an amazing church building in the village. What used to be a few grass walls and no roof is now a beautiful structure for the village and many others to worship in.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It is something that I have seen grow from a small group of people meeting to an ever-expanding, legit international ministry. Not just any ministry, though; it was started by my very own father. God has been using him in amazing ways his whole life — as a writer for the newspaper in Rochester and now he uses his writing skills on newsletters, magazines and this very detailed C4C Web site. I believe God choose my father because of his great ambition and work ethic. He combined something he loves doing, which is climbing, with missionary work, which is also something he loves. Combine those and you get Climbing For Christ.
Edwin Milla, far right with hands outstretched, praying for new believers.
Age: 37. Residence: Huaraz, Peru. Nationality: Peruvian. Family: Married. Occupation: Mountain guide. How long have you climbed? 14 years. Type of climbing you do: Rock climbing, ice climbing, mixed climbing.
How long have you been a Christian? 6 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: praise ministry.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Juan 3:16. God promises us eternal life.
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: Reading His word.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? Help people to be saved.
Jordan Rowley, right, sharing on the backpacker guitar in the church at Gentilhomme during Mission: Haiti 2011 in February. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Age: 26. Residence: Rochester, NY, USA. Nationality: American. Family: The Lord has truly blessed me beyond measure with my precious family. I have a wonderful wife named Michelle, a 3-year-old daughter named Abby, and twin 1-year-old daughters named Grace and Sarah. Occupation: I have the awesome privilege of serving the Lord as the Spiritual Coordinator with Climbing For Christ! Church: Living Water Christian Fellowship in Irondequoit, NY. Missions with C4C: Third. Both previous trips were to Haiti (in 2009 and earlier this year).
How long have you climbed? I have always enjoyed spending time in the outdoors. Only in the past few years, however, have I taken it more seriously — especially with the realization that there are those living in remote mountain areas who have yet to hear the Gospel. Type of climbing you do: Whatever it takes to get to where God leads.
Highlight of climbing career: I’ve had many highlights throughout the past few years. One of the most recent was on my return trip to Haiti. On my first trip in 2009, we brought a backpacker guitar with us and I was blessed to lead and teach many of the kids in a few worship songs during school. We sang one song in particular so many times I know I’ll never forget the words (although I never completely learned all of them in Creole). The song was “I am a friend of God” or “Mwen se zanmi Bondye.” Upon returning to the same villages on the 2011 trip, many of the same children recognized me and the guitar and immediately started singing the song! I was blown away. It was such a blessing to hear that those words had been on my precious little brothers and sisters lips (and I pray hearts) since 2009. That fact alone changed the way I ministered on that trip and I pray all of my future trips. I learned that even on a short-term trip you can make a lasting impact, and to be a good steward of every second the Lord gives me with any of His children.
How long have you been a Christian? I have been a Christian for about 10 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: I’m grateful to have my sweet family as the first ministry the Lord has given me. I’m also blessed to be able to minister through my job as Spiritual Coordinator at Climbing For Christ.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Right now, Colossians 1:10 which says “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” I love this verse because I long to please my God, to walk worthy of Him, to bear Him fruit ... and simply know my Lord more and more!
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: Every moment is a God moment.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? I think Climbing For Christ is an awesome ministry! I’m so blessed to be a part of it. To me, Climbing For Christ is as big as fulfilling the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting world, and as simple as showing the love of Jesus to a someone living right next door. I’m excited to be involved in this ministry and I look forward to seeing all that Lord is going to continue to do through it. I believe that the Lord has many more great things that He wills to do through Climbing For Christ. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Justin Rowley on Mount Rainier.
Age: 31. Residence: Rochester, NY, USA. Nationality: American. Family: Happily married to my wife Jaime for 2½ years. Occupation: Hydroelectric operator. Church: Living Water Christian Fellowship in Irondequoit, NY. Missions with C4C: First.
How long have you climbed? Nine years on and off. Type of climbing you do: Light mountaineering.
How long have you been a Christian? Ten years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Trying to live in a manner that draws others to Christ. I am seeking the Lord for other ways I might serve in the church.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Psalm 23 is my all-time favorite. John 3:16 is a favorite, too, because that’s what it’s all about.
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? It is an honor to be a part of Matthew 24:14 (“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”).
Jaime Jesus Servat
Jamie Servat with a human backpack in Minashupa Village in Cotacachi Otavalo, Ecuador in October 2010.
Age: 50. Residence: Huaraz, Ancash, Peru. Nationality: Peruvian. Family: In divorce unfortunately. I have one son. Occupation: Missionary to South America. Missions with C4C: Officially, this is the first (although he is a full-time missionary).
How long have you climbed? I climbed hearts since 1994 and I climbed the earth and rock mountains for seven years. Type of climbing you do: My type of climbing is hiking or trekking to the earth and rock mountains.
Highlight of climbing career: On a long hike — during seven hours, going up to 5,000 meters and getting over three mountains — to reach a village and to evangelize farmers in August 2006 in Caraz province, Ancash, Peru.
How long have you been a Christian? Thirty-four years, but as a soldier really 17 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Evangelism, teacher (kids, youth and family), missions (urban-rural ), and as a chaplain or co-pastor advisor.
Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Matthew 28:19-20 — because the voice of God is so wonderful to obey and go to carry His precious Word to others who do not know and need to be saved and filled to Eternal Live wherever they are.
Special “God moment” you'd like to share: On Dec. 19, 1987, when my son was born he could die. But God touched my heart and crying to Him I promised if my son is healed then I will serve Him until I return to His presence one day. And one day after that my son was healed. Praise God! Well, now I am in obedience. His Name be honored and glorified always!!!
What does Climbing For Christ mean to you? C4C is the answer of my prayer for long time to serve Him with passion for Jesus Christ and compassion for souls like this blessed international ministry is doing to glorify His Name, wherever they are called and to deliver His love’s message the Good News in the high mountains of the world.
Posted April 19, 2011