Planting, watering, and God-given growth
By Jordan Rowley
C4C spiritual coordinator
Even prior to departing for Tanzania on Nov. 10, the Lord instilled in me a humbling sense that I would be tasting fruit from work that had taken place long before my involvement. Indeed the fruit was sweet, as the planting and watering has been divinely directed since 1998 – when God first placed the vision of Climbing For Christ upon the heart of its founding president, Gary Fallesen.
“We took our first mission team to Kilimanjaro in 2007. During that trip, God intersected the paths of Gary and Pastor Winford Mosha of Marangu. He had given both men the same idea: outreach to guides and porters working on the 19,341-foot (5,895-meter) mountain. A partnership was formed.” – Introduction to Dispatches from this (C4C’s seventh) mission to Tanzania
Since that God-ordained meeting in 2007, evangelism training has taken place among many of the Kilimanjaro guides and porters in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. C4C’s God-breathed desire has been to equip these followers of Christ to become effective fishers of men among their mostly unsaved clients from all over the globe, as well their fellow guides and porters – roughly half of whom are Muslim.
The route to the summit during C4C’s Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011.
We give God all of the glory for this beautiful story He has written. The groundwork has been laid and the foundation has been set – on Christ the Chief Cornerstone, of course. Years of patient planting and watering have taken place and God alone has given the increase (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
) as we now see a new chapter unfolding.
Not only did we hold a multi-day evangelism conference, but we did so with our newly established missionary to East Africa, Damson Samson. Damson, a passionate brother from Malawi, has his own HIStory with C4C, which includes assisting in C4C’s orphanage outreach in his home nation, as well as his college studies being completely paid for through the ministry. Damson and I coordinated the conference with a great deal of assistance from several C4C Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders. Naturally, our theme was based on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 4:19
, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.
The men God used to put together the conference: (left to right) Tumaini, Frank, Damson, Jordan, Dauson and Harold.
Before the conference began, Damson, a number of the Chapter leaders and I spent a day climbing up the nearby Sango Hill and praying for God’s blessing over every detail of the conference. It was an incredibly powerful time. Unity was one of the major prayer points for our time together. “One heart, one soul, one goal” was Damson’s plea, based on Acts 4:32
. He shared a soccer analogy with the leaders, referring to the fact the when a striker scores, the goalie and even those on the sideline of the scoring team rejoice. In other words, it doesn’t matter who scores as long as the goal is made, and for our purposes it didn’t matter who spoke as long as God was speaking!
Trekking down from Sango Hill after our prayer time.
Two days later, as the conference began, Damson opened our time together by encouraging the 30 guides and porters in attendance to pray, “make me a fisher of men, and a climber for Christ.” During the conference I shared some foundational messages describing exactly:
- What the Gospel is;
- The Great Commission;
- Using our words and works as a witness for Christ;
- Essential preparations for sharing the Good News.
We discussed the incredible urgency we should have to be a part of pulling others off the path to hell and leading them to Jesus. The men were also equipped with Biblical answers for situations they might face while evangelizing – like encountering Muslims and followers of other major religions, ministering to the brokenhearted and giving answers to common excuses for not accepting Christ.
Several of the guides and porters spoke to the group as well. Every word was powerful and not only filled with passion, but they instilled passion and excitement into the listeners. This is especially true of Damson, who preached several times during the conference. He spoke poignantly about what it means to drop your nets and follow Jesus.
At the end of our time together, I was incredibly encouraged by the words of a climbing company owner, Frank Sabas, who said: “What we have learned, we are now ready to do.”
Another C4C member and Kilimanjaro guide, Fadhili, shared how exited he was to return home and share the Good News with friends and family. Before we all parted ways, certificates were handed out and joyfully received by everyone who had attended the two-day conference. I believe everyone was blessed and better equipped as a result of our time together.
Brother Damson preaching with passion.
The fishers of men with their conference certificates.
It was beautiful to behold so many brothers coming together in such unity for one simple yet critical goal: proclaiming the Gospel to the lost.
This was truly an answer to our prayer on Sango Hill. In fact, this was an answer to prayers that were lifted months and even years earlier.
There is a great excitement for all the Lord has yet in store for C4C’s Kilimanjaro Chapter. All of the guides and porters, along with Damson and I, seemed to sense that this is the beginning of something new. For that we give God all the praise and glory – truly He alone gives the increase!
In March 2015 – after the upcoming climbing season – we plan to meet again with Chapter members. Our hope is there will many stories of our beloved brothers in Christ preaching Jesus on Mount Kilimanjaro and beyond.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7