A Kankanaey porter carrying supplies in his traditional basket (backpack) on the trail to Kibungan on Luzon island, Philippines. (Photo by Ace Concordia)
On June 27, 2007, Adreian “Ace” Concordia of Las Piñas City joined Climbing For Christ. “In my country, the Philippines, it’s very rare I get to climb with fellow Christians,” he wrote in an introductory e-mail. “How I wish there was an organization like yours here.”
Climbing For Christ president Gary Fallesen replied: “You said you wished there was an organization like ours in the Philippines. Well, there is. You are a member of Climbing For Christ living there, so you can start to grow this ministry there. (We have one other Philippine member from Manila, who joined in July 2005.) The mission trip we just completed to Indonesia began two years ago when one person joined. We now have nearly 30 Climbing For Christ members in Jakarta, have started a chapter there, and will be doing annual mission trips to Indonesia. That’s how God works.”
Ace took this invitation to heart and began recruiting new members.
On Oct. 19, 2007, the first meeting of Climbing For Christ Philippines was held at the Starbucks in Filinvest Festival Mall in Alabang Muntinlupa City. Seven people attended. A second meeting was held six days later — again with seven people attending. (Ironically, the first public meeting of Climbing For Christ, held in the United States in 2002, also had seven people in attendance.)
The first mission in the Philippines occurred in 2008. In seven years, 19 missions were completed and membership surpassed 300. There were no missions carried out in 2015.
But 2016’s mission calendar will be kicked off with an expedition to the Philippines in January. Learn more on the Mission: Philippines 2016 page.
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