Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders on Sango Mountain, fasting and praying during disciples-making-disciples training in June. (Photos by Damson Samson)
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Dozens of Mount Kilimanjaro guides and porters have been – and continue to be – discipled by Climbing For Christ. Damson Samson, our missionary to Tanzania, says he has not only been moved by the participation of about 85 Kilimanjaro Chapter members on each of his quarterly visits, “but I am moved with the changes I have seen in their lives.”
George Fred Minja, a changed man.
George Fred Minja accepted Jesus during our chapter training in March. “He confessed a great change in his life as time before he used to be drinking beer, smoking, but all is gone, to His glory,” Damson explained after our June training. “He further said even at his house there was no peace for they used to be fighting; now that is the story of the past through what God has done in the training we had. He is able to bring the home together for Bible study, which is a new thing that Climbing For Christ has brought to their family.”
We rejoice at this news – and other such testimonies from the many lives impacted by our ongoing ministry to those who work on Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest and most popular peak. The goal of this ministry from the start was to build up a body of believers who could be used by the Lord to witness to co-workers and tens of thousands of tourists who visit annually.
Damson then cautioned our brothers, many of whom are infant believers, saying we must “be watchful in the Lord” so “maggots (may not) enter the fruit just to spoil” what God is doing. Fasting and prayer are an important part of chapter training. Before each of the three days of teaching of first-year participants, there was a day of fasting and prayer.
On one such day, Damson focused on Jesus appearing to His disciples after the resurrection. He read: “And they said to one another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32, KJV).
“I told them we need this at all times – we should feel this kind of burn for His Word,” Damson said. “Then we went into prayer, that we may be granted the grace under His words and have our eyes open to see Him. I then led them in a worship song as we stood up holding hands. In no time the Spirit of God took over (and) many were on their knees with tears like rivers. I went around to pray for every one of the 16 members (fasting and praying).”
Jonus Minja said he felt like he was being sent out for mission as Damson laid hands on him. Others confessed sin and struggles in their lives. “The seed Climbing For Christ has planted here shall live long and bring forth more yields to His glory,” Damson declared.
Damson praying for brothers, above, and first-year students from Marangu area, below.
Damson then met with 29 guides and porters on the first day and 22 on the second day of The Timothy Initiative (TTI) training in Marangu. This was the second of five training sessions, held between June 8 and 24. The third is scheduled for September, the fourth in December, and the fifth will be held during Mission: Kilimanjaro 2020 in February.
Graduates of last year’s TTI training taught our first-year students about “Church Planting & The Books of Acts” from resources provided by The Timothy Initiative.
In Moshi a few days later, Damson met with 22 students. Between chapter gatherings, he’d been to worship, visited members participating in the chapter’s chicken project, fasted and prayed on Sango Mountain, and then saw seven new members come to Christ.
Family blessed by chicken project, above, and new believers with Bibles, below.
Damson was in Matthew 2:13, where an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him to take the baby Jesus and Mary and flee from the deadly threat of Herod to Egypt. “I asked the team (chapter leaders) what could be the consequences if Jesus could have died at that young stage. They said this could have denied us salvation.
“I told them that we need to be responsible to God for the needs of people. Our responsibility is to hear God because we could be helping the salvation of billions of people God has trusted us for. Then we prayed for Climbing For Christ and the activities taking place around the world.”
When all the training with the first-year students was complete, Damson turned his attention to those who graduated from the TTI study last year. These second-year students are in our Disciples Making Disciples program. At this second-quarter gathering, they learned about the “Assurance of Salvation” and “Understanding Prayer & Daily Devotions.”
Damson took 16 students through a spiritual screening.
“I saw the Spirit of God moving and a mighty wind in the lives (of these men),” Damson declared. “Rivers of tears down their cheeks. Deliverance from strongholds and various (evil) spirits.”
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