A ‘vote of thanks’ from Tanzania
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
“If you swallow the whole banana, you get problems in your stomach. You have to chew.” – Proverb by Kilimanjaro Chapter member Dauson Chongo
Porters carrying gear out of Karanga Camp at 13,500 feet on Mount Kilimanjaro.
During Mission: Kilimanjaro 2015 in March we agreed that East African missionary Damson Samson needed to spend more time with Kilimanjaro Chapter members. We could not expect guides and porters to learn how to evangelize and employ their teachings on Mount Kilimanjaro with only a few days of instruction.
We sent him back to Tanzania in late April and again earlier this month – despite having some challenges with funding the trip.
“I am very excited to let you know that the Lord answered your prayer for the trip to Tanzania and I am the testimony of this event,” Damson said, calling it a “wonderful trip.”
After returning to his home in southern Malawi, Damson filed a report under the heading: “Vote of thanks from the Kilimanjaro Chapter.”
This was Damson’s fifth trip in 11 months to the villages of Marangu and Moshi on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. He reported that he was able to meet with 20 members of the Kilimanjaro Chapter, which was first established in 2008 with the goal of equipping the saints who serve on Africa’s tallest mountain.
Damson Samson leads Kilimanjaro guides and porters in praise, above, and prayer.
“They passed a great thanks for allowing me to go because a lot was learnt despite it being the (start of the) high season,” Damson said. “Personally, I enjoyed being part and parcel for this trip. I was very much blessed with their response in every area of our discussion and Bible study.”
Damson is helping to disciple Kilimanjaro Chapter members through a Bible study program that one member, named Emanuel, said has “really raised (the group’s) faith and we are able to share with other people.” He spoke about holding a nightly study in his neighborhood and the opportunity to meet once a week with four Muslim friends.
“I was very much blessed to have all the groups clapping their hands for the Bible study program,” Damson said. “Their appreciation moved me to have a meeting for the new Bible study approach” for a group that included six new members.
More than US$1,500 is needed to send Damson on a three-day, multiple buses ride (both ways), and cover accommodations and food. But not just for him. It also paid for a meeting hall, food, and bus fare for members to get from multiple locations to a central gathering point.
Damson is teaching members how to chew and properly digest what they are learning. Our prayer is, over time, these lessons will be translated into successful outreach on the mountain among Kilimanjaro co-workers and trekkers.
We hope to send Damson back to Tanzania in September after the July-August “high season” and then he’ll host our second annual evangelism workshop in November before the December-March “high season.”