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Articles by Gary Fallesen

Mission Moments: Malawi

Housing project a sweet dream for Malawi widows By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ No more nightmares for smiling Malita Seven, right, with Climbing For Christ’s Damson Samson. Malita Seven suffered from bad dreams. But since workers began to repair her house as part of Climbing For Christ’s work with widows in southern Malawi, she said, “there is a great change.” The 75-year-old told Damson Samson, our Malawi-based kingdom worker to East Africa, that this ministry is “like an ark where God told Noah to make it so many can ... Read more »

Photo of the Week: Nepal

Photo of the Week: NepalThe newly built church at Simikot. (Photo by Pastor Harka) Christ, our cornerstone By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ “What is this church building constructed from?” I asked our Nepali brothers and sisters in Christ as they sat on the ground inside what was then an unfinished structure. The correct answer: stones. “What is our foundation as a church body?” I asked. Answer: God. “God tells the prophet Isaiah (in Isaiah 28:16), ‘I am the One who has laid as a foundation … a stone, a tested stone, a precious cor... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Dancing for the houses Story by Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Photos by Damson Samson, C4C missionary to East Africa Even as their new houses are being built, the widows blessed beyond their imaginations feel like dancing. Sometimes they literally do so. “Some, they feel like just flying in the air, not understanding how the house has come to them,” said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s kingdom worker in East Africa. Damson continues to be pleasantly surprised by their reactions even as he has now seen the completion of 25 houses in our... Read more »

Mission: Nepal 2016 (Part 2) Trip Report

The seed of the church By Gary Fallesen, Climbing For Christ founding president A word of encouragement when you are behind the enemy’s line can go a long way. Be it in an email or a text or a message passed along during a satellite phone call. Knowing you are being prayed for and followed through daily Dispatches is a tremendous blessing. Positive feedback after a trip can also provide affirmation. It’s great hearing from Climbing For Christ members and supporters who have taken the mission to heart. Jan Hartung, a member from C4C’s hometown of Rochester, NY, USA, ... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Tears of joy for food in Malawi By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Giving praise for maize. (Photos by Damson Samson) If you are building houses on the Rock, you would be wise to remember these words: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matthew 25:35). As Damson Samson, our Kingdom worker in East Africa, traveled by foot from village to village checking on houses we are building for widows in southern Malawi [see “More ‘miracle’ houses in Malawi”], he observed “many of these widows are not eatin... Read more »

Dispatches: Nepal 2016 (Sept.)

Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 2 Saturday, Sept. 17-Friday, Sept. 30 By Gary Fallesen Climbing For Christ Friday, Sept. 30 The mountain-side village of Takla, right, under heavy clouds earlier this week. (Photos by Gary Fallesen) We all carry different memories home from a trip like this one. For me, the encounter with Dankse, the grieving father in Takla, will remain etched on my heart [see Sunday, Sept. 25 and Monday, Sept. 26]. As we returned to our respective homes today (Brandy and Matthew to western Canada and Jesse and me to Western New York) I was praying for Dankse and how the ... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Giving thanks for housing the forgotten widows By Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ   Fages Chipesu confessed to feeling as if she was a dog. “Nobody wanted me,” said the widow from Ngoma village in impoverished southern Malawi. “I am very thankful for this house. Really thanks (to) C4C for such a gift. Since I (moved) into my new house thieves came to take my tent, which was my house then. But now I am covered (by a roof). I thank God for that.” Fages is one of seven widows to have a new house thanks to a partnership between Climbing For... Read more »

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016 Trip Report

Feeding needs and hungering souls Story and photos by Gary Fallesen President, Climbing For Christ Turning his eyes up to the mountains: Damson Samson looks up to summit of Kilimanjaro on second morning of trek. Four days later, he stood at Africa’s highest point. In the beginning was the Question, and the Question was with us. Every time a Climbing For Christ team met the guides and porters who were part of the Kilimanjaro Chapter, we were asked: “When are you going to start a trekking company here?” Those who joined the Kilimanjaro Chapter – ... Read more »

DISPATCHES: Tanzania 2016

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016 By Gary Fallesen Climbing For Christ CLICK HERE to read the Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016 Trip Report: Feeding needs and hungering souls Wednesday, Aug. 31 Damson, second from right, with the rest of our team and guides (left to right) Saidi, Jim, Yusuf, Gary and Joe on top of Barranco Wall (about 14,000 feet). Our team was at the Mweka Huts on Kilimanjaro, the last of six camps during our seven-day trek, doing daily devotionals together. We were on our way down from the mountaintop. The lesson from a new study written by Climbing For Christ ... Read more »

Mission Moments: Kilimanjaro

Living to tell the tale of Jesus By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Gary tied into a rope for the first time on Mount Rainier in 1996. (Photo by Kevin Flynn) I was introduced to mountaineering by my friend Kevin Flynn in August 1996. I had written about his climbs on Denali and Aconcagua as a sports writer for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, asking the common question: “Why do you climb?” When I became the outdoor writer at the paper, I decided I wanted to find out what climbing was all about. I asked to go on a tri... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Building miracle houses: ‘we can’t do without Him’ Story by Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Photos and reporting by Damson Samson, C4C missionary to East Africa Damson with smiling Emily as workers build her a house. Emily Patisi cannot close her mouth. “She always smiles,” said Damson Samson, our missionary to East Africa. “She is happy to see the miracle house.” She has not had a home since devastating floods took hundreds of lives and destroyed property for hundreds of thousands in January 2015. Patisi&rs... Read more »

Mission Moments: Nepal

On these rocks we will build His church The monsoon season followed by the harvest of crops delayed work on the church building in Simikot in Nepal’s Far West district of Humla. But materials have been purchased and all the timber and rocks are ready to be made into a house of worship in a place where once no church existed. It is the prayerful hope of Climbing For Christ workers that the church will be completed in August and dedicated to the Lord by our Mission: Nepal team in September.   Working the land to grow a church in Humla.   “They are hurrying... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Homes, sweet homes Story by Gary Fallesen, founding president Climbing For Christ Photos by Damson Samson, C4C’s missionary to East Africa The expressions on their faces and the language of their bodies have changed dramatically in the months since our Mission: Malawi team first met the many widows Damson Samson adopted. Our missionary to East Africa continues to serve these once-broken, despairing people – so far providing 10 of them with proper housing as an extension of our Project 1:27 call to “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). ... Read more »

PRAY ON!

A letter to the church from Climbing For Christ Lt. Gen. (retired) William Boykin. Tony McAuliffe was the acting division commander of the 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, Belgium during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. McAuliffe found himself surrounded and outnumbered by German troops, whose commander sent a message proposing annihilation or surrender. McAuliffe sent back his answer to this ultimatum: “NUTS!” Gen. William G. Boykin, a former Delta Force commander who was involved in the 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt and the infamous Black H... Read more »

Mission Moments: Nepal

Church alive and growing in Nepal’s Mid-West Story by Gary Fallesen / photos by Megh Gurung   Crowding in to hear the Word of God. The monsoon season could not keep brother Megh from his appointed rounds in Rolpa, the Mid-West district we were intending to visit during Mission: Nepal 2016 (Part 1) in April. Megh and his wife Bhim were sent to visit the church we helped build and the many offshoots of that healthy body in Korchabang. “Having heavy rains everywhere, along the way (the route) was disturbed by landslides and the (road was) washed away,” Me... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Seeing and walking with God in His creation Damson Samson heads for the hills in southern Malawi. In his 33 years of walking the earth, Damson Samson never had experienced anything like “evangelism week” on Malawi’s Mulanje Massif in June. Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa has taught many lessons and led many studies in the first two years he has ministered with us. But to speak about God’s creation, discuss sin, teach about teamwork, provide Bibles to and also pray with guides and porters while trekking was unlike anything he had done before.... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 28

Day 28: Blessed are the persecuted By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:10 (ESV) When flesh is put to words, no matter how well-intentioned those words might be (and nothing can have better intentions than the Beatitudes), they take on real meaning. They are brought to life. For most reading “blessed are those who are persecuted,” there may be a disconnect. Unless you are one of the 200 million Christians livin... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 27

Day 27: “Night of Power” – dreams and visions By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   The blind Kurd who in his dream saw us coming to visit in 2015. (Photo by Gary Fallesen, Mission: Ararat 2015) The blind man, whom we have visited each of the past three missions to Mount Ararat, knew we’d be coming. He had a dream about it. In the dream, I knocked on his door and held photos in my hand. We were earlier than he expected when we arrived at his house in eastern Turkey on June 9, 2015. In previous years, we’d visited at the ... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 26

Day 26: Entering rooms in the House of Islam —Philippines By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   The God of the Bible has an eternal promise for all who are living on the many islands of the Philippines. (Photo by Arlene Bolante, Mission: Philippines 2011) God allows us to choose. He has given us free will. We can decide, as Joshua did, “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Or we can go our own way. We cannot force God on people. But He has made it clear, “choose life, that you and your offspring may ... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 24

Day 24: Counting the cost By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Trekking into Indonesia. (Photo by Rendy Bayutrilaksono) The Middle Eastern man sitting in front of me had tears in his eyes as he shared what he had lost. He had surrendered everything of value — in a worldly sense. He had given up his wife, children, parents, and family; his home and job; and his place in a Muslim culture and society. But his tears were not for the loss, but for what he counted gain. He had Jesus. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” ... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 21

Day 21: The honor/shame culture, part 3 — For His purpose By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Honored to “feast” with Muslim friends in eastern Turkey. (Photo by Gary Fallesen, Mission: Ararat 2014) The Open Doors ministry prayer calendar for Ramadan says today: “Many secret believers are forced to take part in Ramadan rituals. Pray for opportunities for them to share their faith.” Muslim-background believers may continue to go to the mosque and participate in daily Islamic life after converting to Christianity. It cou... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 20

Day 20: Entering rooms in the House of Islam —Indonesia By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Sunda women thresh rice in West Java. The Sunda are the 10th-largest unreached Muslim people group in the world, numbering more than 37 million. (Photo by Rendy Bayutrilaksono, Mission: Indonesia 2007) Pastor Rebekka Zakaria and two lay assistants were imprisoned in 2005 for two years in West Java for teaching Sunday school, violating Indonesia’s 2002 Child Protection Act forbidding missionaries to preach to children. During Zakaria’s trial pr... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 19

Day 19: Muslim extremists — praying for our enemies By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Our Nigerian brother in Christ and another pastor were abducted last Friday by Fulani herdsmen, who demanded a ransom of ten million Naira (about US$30,000). Many in our network of ministries bowed their hearts and fell to their knees on behalf of these two men. C4C Canada coordinator Brandy Fisher felt the need to ask her church family to stand and pray for this crisis on Sunday morning. After worship a man approached Brandy. “He was sweating he was so n... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 17

Day 17: The honor/shame culture, part 2 — Who I am By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Harran, Turkey near the border of Syria. (Photo by Gary Fallesen, Mission: Ararat 2015) Roland Muller wrote of having served among Arabs for 20 years when he was sharing with a fellow missionary about his struggles communicating the Gospel with Muslims. “His offhand comment completely changed my world: ‘That’s because Arabs live in a shame-based culture.’” It was the first time Muller had heard the term “shame-based culture.” As ... Read more »

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 14

Day 14: Entering rooms in the House of Islam – East Africa By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Delivering sleeping mats and food during Mission: Malawi 2016 in March. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) When southern Malawi flooded in January 2015 Muslims flocked to help those affected by troubling water. Many Christians converted to Islam after receiving help from these Muslims, said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa. “In Malawi, many Muslims are observing Ramadan (in 2016) and their population is growing more t... Read more »
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