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Articles by Gary Fallesen

Bibles for Nepal

Brad Stine comedy show 'Put a Climbing Helmet On!' raises funds By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ “People who are holding fundraisers are trying to raise funds,” comedian Brad Stine said, candidly stating the obvious during one of his many serious moments at our “Put a Climbing Helmet On!” fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 6. “(You're thinking) 'Oh, you're just trying to make me feel guilty.' If you feel guilty, you probably are. We as Christians call it 'conviction.'” The Holy Spirit impressed upon an audience of more than 400 people the ne... Read more »

Trip Report: Divine meetings in Koma Hills

We waited for seven hours, shaded by a large tree from the 100-degree heat, until the village chief arrived. This is Africa: Permission is needed from tribal leaders to visit their land. Their approval opens doors to evangelism. When the chief arrived, he said: “I met you on the road.” We glanced at each other, not recognizing the chief or what he was talking about. Maybe we were still in a jet-lagged fog from four days of travel — two by air, two by road — from North America to northeastern Nigeria. Then we realized he was the man riding by motorbike in the op... Read more »

Tuesday, Dec. 13

By the grace of God the North American team members have returned safely to the States. Read more »

Monday, Dec. 12

The supposed one-hour drive to the airport in Port Harcourt was in its second hour and we were stuck in gridlock like I have never seen in visits to 30 countries. The sun was blotted out by the uncontrolled emissions spewing from idling vehicles parked six lanes across on a six-lane road. That's right, the vehicles going in our direction had spread out and overtaken the oncoming lanes. The air in our AC-less car was brutally hot and burning our eyes and lungs. That's when our vehicle stalled. Things were growing desperate as we prayed harder and harder. Chris went from vehicle to vehicle as... Read more »

Sunday, Dec. 11

"We are missing you already." This was first said before 3 1/2 hours of worship had even ended at Chris' church. There was an outpouring of love from our brothers and sisters in Christ on our last full day in Nigeria. I was blessed to be asked to preach, and shared a message on love — based mostly on 1 John 4. I asked the church of about 80 adults and children, "Who are you willing to die for?" I spoke about missions and how we are called to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-4). I encouraged the church to show the God of love (1 John 4:16) to the world. We then played the Jars of Cl... Read more »

Saturday, Dec. 10

We enjoyed a wonderful time of worship this evening after an outstanding day of teaching at the leadership and missions conference at Chris' Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre in Port Harcourt. Mike teaching on leadership. The team did an excellent job of sharing many things that God put on our hearts with 55 adults and at least half as many children. These lessons included Mike's conference teaching on Gospel-centered leadership. His instruction focused on how the cross is the essence of the Gospel; anything else misses the target. This led into my sharing that those who do not know can... Read more »
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Friday, Dec. 9

We kicked off this weekend's first anniversary celebration at Chris' Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre tonight with an evening of praise and worship. I was blessed to set foot in the Wonderland Chapel, as Chris calls his church in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is a church that God used Climbing For Christ to rescue, which is what we are celebrating this weekend. Worshipping at Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre. We told stories of our mission to Koma Hills and then spoke to the standing-room-only crowd of about 65, including a full worship band in a room measuring 30-by-25 feet. Bra... Read more »

Thursday, Dec. 8

Pastor Chris Joseph speaking at the day-long conference. We taught about effective leadership and missions at a one-day conference put on by Chris in his hometown of Gboko in Benue state. Pastor Sam Gar from the local Christian Association of Nigeria opened the meeting at Gboko Christian Centre saying that he believed God would speak through their three North American guests. That was our prayer as we shared about being called to go (Gary), the six Biblical principles of effective leadership (Mike), and how to raise women as frontline leaders (Brandy). We returned to the church for an ev... Read more »

Wednesday, Dec. 7

We left the distinct beauty of the Koma Hills to return to the land of police checks and extortion. The chief of Tantille saw us off at daybreak. We prayed for him and for the work that has begun here and then made the three-hour drive in a compact car down the very dusty 90-mile dirt road to Yola. From there we proceeded for eight more hours to Gboko in Benue state, where we are speaking Thursday at a one-day conference on leadership and missions hosted by Chris' ministry. Before leaving the Koma Hills we were introduced Tuesday evening to a man who practices black magic. The chief arrange... Read more »

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Meet our new brother in Christ — Waneke. We hiked up 1,300 vertical feet in 100-degree heat that is apparently common during the dry season in the Koma Hills. We reached the village of Wagi. All of the villagers were out farming, but we found a boy to send for the village chief. Waneke arrived and we sat with him under the shade of a tree. We learned a little about him and his village. There is a church there, but Waneke does not attend. “His father made him a traditional head. He cannot be Christian,” said Lazarus, who served as our translator in the Wagi dialect (many vi... Read more »

Monday, Dec. 5

We trekked downhill from Wiwp and through several other villages in the Koma Hills with temperatures of 105F in the sun. We needed to return to Tantille after our water filter broke as we obviously need drinking water in this blistering heat. We know this is part of God's plan because the chief of Tantille came for a long visit after our return. We learned many things about the 16 villages he governs. He invited us to send a full-time missionary here to minister to the 4,000+ living up in the mountains. We were welcomed back to the Christian church and school at the entry to the hills. Chri... Read more »

Sunday, Dec. 4

We hiked for five hours into the Koma Hills searing heat that dehydrated our bodies and challenged our resolve. We were accompanied by Moses, the 18-year-old son of the chief in Tantile, and 17-year-old Lazarus on our trek to Wiwp (pronounced “weep”) where we attended a funeral for a 98-year-old man who was the oldest person in the village. We were told the dead man was a “traditional man,” which explained the music, pipe-smoking women, dancing by women wearing leaf skirts, and throwing of gifts (nuts, water and chewing gum) at the wrapped corpse carried overhead during... Read more »

Saturday, Dec. 3

We arrived safely at the Koma Hills after another 2 ½-hour drive over 90 miles on dirt roads in a very small vehicle. We now are waiting for one of the tribal leaders or a local pastor, or both, to show up so that we can be greeted into the area. Hopefully the tribal leader will do that so that we are free to wander about and do our business, or do God's business, as we like to say. (Late Saturday) After about a seven-hour wait, a tribal chief returned to his home. We spoke with him and he granted us permission to go into the hills, which we will be doing at first light on Sunday.&n... Read more »

Friday, Dec. 2

We sped across the Christian south into northeastern Nigeria, driving for about 17 hours from Port Harcourt to Yola. This is our jump-off point for going into the bush to trek toward the remote Koma Hills people. "I feel like, if there was a speed limit we'd be going double it," Mike commented as our hired driver careened through one village. TIA (This Is Africa), too: crazy, long drives on roads (mostly paved) pocked with vehicle-eating potholes and littered with police checks. "Yola is like traveling to – I don't know what to describe," said Chris, although we can think of a f... Read more »

Thursday, Dec. 1

Rochester, NY to New York City to Paris, France to Lagos, Nigeria to Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Twenty-six hours of flying. And that's the easy part. We were met at the airport by a series of bribery seeking officials and finally Chris Joseph and eight or 10 other pastors. We drove in a sort of mini-motorcade for an hour on dark, bumpy and congested roads to reach our motel for the night. Chris' lovely wife delivered us a traditional Nigerian meal as a greeting. Welcome to Nigeria. Read more »

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Time to GO! Read more »

Tuesday, Nov.29

The team prepared for Nigeria by viewing Louie Giglio's teaching “God's Passion for God's Glory” on DVD and then watching a DVD from Open Doors ministry about persecution in Nigeria. We followed that with a study on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), reading Scripture about God's defensive and offensive provision found in the “full armor of God.” We completed the team building with a study prepared by Jordan Rowley on folk religions. And then closed with a time of prayer. Not long after this we received bad news: Jordan was again denied a visa to go. That means Br... Read more »

Monday, Nov. 28

The team came together in Rochester, NY, USA to prepare for the journey ahead. Good news awaited as Jordan Rowley, who didn't get his visa, might yet be able to go. With the help of Climbing For Christ member Melissa Waheibi in New York City, we are applying again at Nigeria's General Consulate on Tuesday. Read more »

Sunday, Nov. 27

Preparations for this Evangelic Expedition may not have gone exactly as we would like (one team member did not get a visa to make the trip), but God is in control. We prepare to GO in His name and to His glory, knowing we must put on the full armor of God, so that we can take a stand against the devil’s schemes (see Ephesians 6:11-13). The spiritual warfare has been intense — an indication that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. As our team prepares to come together we share our prayers for the weeks ahead. Brandy Everts: “My main prayer for Missi... Read more »

Preaching the Gospel to all creation

Haseeb Masih speaks at a Pakistan Independence Day prayer servic “Independence Day is celebrated in Pakistan on 14 August each year. It commemorates the partition of India into two parts: India (mainly Hindu) and Pakistan (mainly Muslim), which was itself divided into two wings — East Pakistan and West Pakistan. “Save Pakistan Ministries arranged an Independence Day celebration with church congregations, where we have invited Muslim leaders also to come and join us.” Haseeb Masih, a Climbing For Christ member from Pakistan who wrote those words, has boldly wi... Read more »

Kurds and the Way

Kurds and the Way By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Shopping for a Turkish rug seemed to be taking longer than weaving one. I grew impatient. Then God once again showed me my foolishness. He turned what seemed like a “vacationary” experience into a missionary moment. Quicker than you can say “kilim” (a type of weave) the conversation turned from carpets to Christ. We were blessed with an opportunity to share why we were in eastern Turkey, climbing Mount Ararat, and Who we were representing. A Kurdish boy working on Mount Ararat. (Photo by Gary Fall... Read more »

Kurds and the Way

Shopping for a Turkish rug seemed to be taking longer than weaving one. I grew impatient. Then God once again showed me my foolishness. He turned what seemed like a “vacationary” experience into a missionary moment. Quicker than you can say “kilim” (a type of weave) the conversation turned from carpets to Christ. We were blessed with an opportunity to share why we were in eastern Turkey, climbing Mount Ararat, and Who we were representing. A Kurdish boy working on Mount Ararat. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) The shop owner was Kurdish. We’d been with Kurds fo... Read more »

Healed and freed from suffering

Sumitra Pariyar, left, with C4C member Alyssa Kaelin outside the Pariyar's home in Dapcha, Nepal. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her s... Read more »

Setting a record

Trip Report: A Light for Les-eng (Mission: Philippines 2011) By Ace Concordia C4C Philippines coordinator “That doesn’t look good.” This is what I told Chris Estacio as I looked at his heavily swollen right ankle. He had twisted it while climbing to our target destination Les-eng in Kibungan Benguet province. Despite knowing he would have to walk on it to get back home, Chris had a smile on his face. “Kaya ko yan, sir” (“I can do it, sir”) was his positive response to my worried look. The C4C mission team was two days away from our exit point ... Read more »

Saturday, June 25

The lesson for this month's seminary — held again in Thoman and attended by only 16 pastors and church leaders — was “What does it mean to become a Christian?” Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante taught about God's call to us, and how we receive it and respond to it. “Those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified,” Miguel quoted Romans 8:30(b).  Pastors working in a group on questions about God's call. Attendance was low, in part, because it is the rainy season and many farms are in need of extra help. The pastors were ... Read more »
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