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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Wednesday, March 20) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Riziki, our cook, came to visit after breakfast to see if the porridge, mango, eggs, toast and drinks were to our liking. Riziki has cooked for trekkers for eight years; he first worked with us in 2007. He is an excellent cook, serving up ginger soup, and chicken with rice and fried sweet bananas for one of our dinners. He also made us lunch for the trail on Day 3 on Kilimanjaro. We set out from Shira Camp after a night of rain and hiked in rain and then snow up above 14,000 feet. After ascending ...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Tuesday, March 19) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Saidi, left, and Mohamed during a rest stop on the trail. Saidi and Mohamed led us out of the Machame Hut and directly uphill for about 1,200 vertical feet to start Day 2 on Kilimanjaro. We trekked another 3.5 miles, gaining nearly 3,000 feet before dropping down to Shira Camp at 12,630 feet (3,850 meters). We were on the trail for about five hours and reached camp just before the rain began. Saidi, 42, who helped guide us in 2007 and befriended my son Jesse, is guiding for only the seventh time ...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Monday, March 18) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Mohamed, our assistant guide and another friend on Kilimanjaro, led us uphill from the Machame Gate. It’s ALL uphill from here, starting at 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) and ascending to 19,340 feet (5,895 meters). We climbed nearly 4,000 feet (about 1,200 meters) in about 3 ½ miles (which means steep terrain) on Day 1. It took about five hours and most of the hike was in the rain. Mohamed. Mohamed set the pace: pole pole (slowly slowly in Swahili). He has been doing this for 26 years, si...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Sunday, March 17) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ “And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” - Luke 22:43 (ESV) I shared during worship an email I received yesterday about a house pastor in China who'd been arrested and beaten. The pastor testified that he was prepared for the incident by the visit of an angel. “Angels appear to give us strength,” he wrote. “And so all the time I was being taken to the police station in a cramped van, I was repeating the words of the angel to me, 'I will help y...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Saturday, March 16) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ More than 50 guides and porters showed up for evangelistic training at Pastor Mosha's old church in Marangu. It was our best turnout in several years. In the end, after many disruptions and interruptions, starts and stops, comings and goings, and changing translators, one man stood to say "asante" (thanks). He was one of about 30 still in the room after 3 1/2 hours. They'd listened to me explain why God sent us here: to equip the guides and porters to do year-round what we can only give two weeks -...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Friday, March 15) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ We landed at Kilimanjaro airport at 3:15 a.m. local time and were reunited with old friend Yusuf, our guide on the mountain. It was after 5:30 a.m. by the time we got into our room in Moshi, completing the usual 30-plus hours of travel from North America to Africa. After a few hours of sleep we spent some time with Yusuf and then were transported by Pastor Mosha to his home outside Marangu. We looked at our future missionary-to-Tanzania's possible rooms, attached to Pastor Mosha's home, and the vehic...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Thursday, March 14) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ To paraphrase the words of my boyhood hero, legendary American novelist Kurt Vonnegut: In the air I am beautiful. As we fly – or even as we wait from one airport to the next – there is a great anticipation. Of where we are GO-ing, of who we will meet, of the things God will have for us to do with Him. “It is the LORD who goes before you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8). He has prepared – and is preparing – the way for us to GO. We are in the air and airports this day, headin...
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DISPATCHES: Kilimanjaro (Wednesday, March 13) By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Today is GO day! “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.’” (Mark 16:15, ESV). Surprisingly, only three of us answered the call to go again to Tanzania. I am joined on our fifth Mission: Kilimanjaro team by Joshua Cook of Colorado Springs, CO and Michael Heitland of Fargo, ND. Both have been this way before, declaring, as Isaiah did, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Joshua served on Mission: Haiti 20...
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About the mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania near the border of Kenya, about 330 kilometers (205 miles) south of the equator. Kilimanjaro is a massif that measures 60 kilometers (37 miles) by 40 kilometers (25 miles). It consists of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo (5,895 meters/19,340 feet), Mawanzi (5,149 meters/16,893 feet), and Shira (3,962 meters/12,999 feet). Due to its proximity to the equator and the Indian Ocean and because of its height, Kilimanjaro features five ecological zones: lower slopes, montane forest zone, heath and moorland zone, alpine desert zone, and arctic ...
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Date: March 13-27. Length of trip: 14 days. Team size: 4-6 members. Purpose: To continue working with indigenous members of the Kilimanjaro Chapter, teaching evangelism. Survey possibility of planting a full-time missionary in Marangu (one of the gateways to Kilimanjaro) to carry on the work done by short-term teams.  Climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route. Cost: Estimated at US$2,500 plus airfare. The price includes ground transport, accommodations, food, and trekking cost. Does not include airfare. To apply: E-mail info@ClimbingForChrist.org to request a mission application.
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As Elaine Fallesen taught the orphans at Far & Wide Children’s Home in Kambona, Malawi a series of Bible lessons she asked them several questions. The children answered without hesitation. What is the Bible? “The Word of God,” one of the children answered after several hands shot up. What is a parable? “A story that’s told to make a point.” What is a disciple? “One who repents.” “Someone who acts like Jesus.” “Someone who serves others and follows the Lord.” What is a miracle? “Something that is not p...
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The team has returned to the United States, landing in New York City at 1 p.m. local time. Everyone is headed to thier respective homes this evening to finish a 17-day Evangelic Expedition. We shared our last team devotional this morning in Amsterdam. It was called “Homeward Bound.” We have encouraged each participant to share with others what they have seen and experienced in the hope of continuing to raise awareness and support (both prayer and financial) for the work that will continue a half a world away in Tanzania and Malawi, Africa. “...Go home to your friends, a...
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We began our final day in Africa reflecting on the mission with a personal devotional called, “What's in a name?” This was based on 2 Timothy 2:19 and the fact that our heavenly Father knows our name. “You have learned many names on this trip,” I told our team, and we mentioned several of them from our time in Tanzania and several others from Malawi. “May each of them follow you home.” The team was challenged: “What are you going to do with this name ... with this person?” We discussed the many faces of Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011 and the ...
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Randy took an early-morning prayer walk around the Searchlight Ministry grounds, where we've been staying since Thursday. Along the way he encountered several of the orphans, who were up with the sun and wearing and playing with the gifts we delivered. Damson, who helps care for the orphans, told us they would not go to bed Sunday night because they were so excited. Damson again assisted us with the children when we did our third and final day of Bible school teaching. Elaine taught about the Good Samaritan and our team turned drama troupe and acted out the Luke 10 parable, much to the deli...
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We are exhausted with joy after an incredible day of worship and then giving to the orphans we are visiting in Malawi. Our desire at the start of the day was to encourage the church at Migowi and God blessed us in our time with nearly 200 worshipers. We had two church “meetings” (what they call a service) — one for 2½ hours in the morning and another, after a lunch break, for two hours in the afternoon. I introduced each member of the team and they spoke briefly, sharing how they were blessed to be here. Before preaching, I asked worship leader Damson to sing my ...
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Elaine taught the children about miracles and focused on Jesus feeding the 5,000 (John 6) during our second day of Bible teaching with the Malawi orphans. The team distributed toast pieces to represent the loaves and swedish fish to each of the more than 70 students in class. This came after we discussed compassion and Jesus caring for the multitudes in our morning team devotional. There was much singing and praying with the children at Far & Wide in Migowi. We are praying for their hearts as there is a good deal of darkness in the area. Witchcraft is practiced by many people here. I...
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The long drive into a rainy night on what turned out to be another 24-hour travel day Thursday was made worthwhile when we walked into the Far & Wide Children's Home classroom to song and joy-filled smiles from our Project 1:27 Malawi orphans. Damson Samson, who we have been sending to Bible college in Lilongwe, had 60 children greet us. He then translated for us as we spoke to and taught the children. Fifteen of the 60 are full-time residents at Far & Wide and supported by Climbing For Christ, while the others attend the school. Seven of the 15 orphans are sponsored by members and ...
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A big travel day, starting out from Moshi, Tanzania at 4 a.m. and touching down at Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; and Lilongwe, Malawi. It included a plane change and delay due to a mechanical problem and concluded with a long drive nearly the length of Malawi on a rainy night. The team is extremely tired but excited about seeing the orphans at Far & Wide Children’s Home.
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A big travel day, starting out from Moshi, Tanzania at 4 a.m. and touching down at Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; and Lilongwe, Malawi. It included a plane change and delay due to a mechanical problem and concluded with a long drive nearly the length of Malawi on a rainy night. The team is extremely tired but excited about seeing the orphans at Far & Wide Children’s Home.
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Kilimanjaro on Tuesday as our team was walking away from the mountain. We descended off Mount Kilimanjaro, hiking out the last 11 or so miles and coming down another 6,000 vertical feet to the Marangu Gate. It went from the 30s at Hrombo Hut when we awoke before sunrise to the 80s as we exited via the rain forest this afternoon. During our 6 1/2-hour trek out we saw monkeys eating and playing in the trees. It was another blessed day in His creation. Pastor Mosha, his wife, and an evangelist from his church met our team at the gate. They welcomed us and congratulated everyone on an excell...
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