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Articles by Gary Fallesen

Mission Moments: Malawi

Preparing to bring the crippled to heaven’s feast By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Mulanje Massif Chapter members on April 7. (Photos by Damson Samson) The Mulanje Massif Chapter’s first evangelism training began with the acknowledgement that all of those invited to the workshop first accepted their place in the kingdom. Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s Malawi-based missionary to East Africa, taught 24 guides and porters about Jesus. “We had a call to those who are willing to welcome Him and all 24 came to Him,”... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Rejoicing for a roof over their heads By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ As soon as Damson Samson received word that funding was coming from Canada for his proposed widows roofing project he ran out to share the good news. “I went to the village to let them know how much God has done,” said Damson, Climbing For Christ’s Malawi-based missionary to East Africa. “The woman in the field was very excited,” Damson said about the widow in the photo above. “She said she has been trying to bring back her fallen house. She contended ... Read more »

Dispatches: Nepal 2016 (April)

Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 1 By Gary Fallesen Climbing For Christ Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 Leanne, Elaine and I made the long journey back to our homes in Rochester, NY, USA. Leanne, left, and Elaine with the children at the SARA Children’s Home on Thursday, April 14. Before leaving Kathmandu, I spent time with brothers Tej and Megh, our Nepali ministry partners, discussing the work that will go on the next few months leading up to Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 2 in September. We are praying for that work and the future of ministry in Nepal. “Your kingdom... Read more »

Mission Moments: Nepal

Preparing to GO! Updates from the Himalayas By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ The church at Korchabang. (Photos by Gary Fallesen) The pastor was once a Maoist leader. His part of the country was a stronghold for Maoist rebels during Nepal’s civil war from 1996 to 2006. Much has changed. The church led by Pastor Dalsur, who came to Christ in 2010, has grown to about 135 believers. Climbing For Christ funded the 2012 building of their house of worship, perched on a mountainside in Nepal’s Mid-West district. The church at Korchabang is one of the most... Read more »

Mission Moments: Celebrating Easter

Happy Resurrection Sunday By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ   Haseeb’s mother, Surryia, shares the words of Jesus from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”), as Save Pakistan teaches families working in a brick factory about the Resurrection. (Photos by Save Pakistan) It’s the greatest four-day weekend of the year. Every year. From Thursday night, when we remember our foot-washing, servant Savior; to Good Friday, when He died on a cross for everyone (even those who... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Still hungering in southern Malawi By Gary Fallesen Founding president, Climbing For Christ   Carry out: Food provided for the hungry. (Photo by Duncan Nyozani) Mission: Malawi 2016 did not end when our team boarded a flight out of Blantyre on the afternoon of Saturday, March 12. If anything, our short-term mission to southern Malawi was only the beginning. In the days after our departure more food was delivered to those on the brink of famine. “We have this week spent MK1,000,000 (nearly US$1,500) for food for church members at Kambona, where we have over 500 p... Read more »

HIStory: Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro summit ridge, 1998. Roots on the rooftop of Africa By Gary Fallesen Founding president, Climbing For Christ Kilimanjaro holds a special place in the formation and growth of Climbing For Christ. As I was training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 1998, God spoke to me and told me to start a Christian climbing organization. From that encounter on a road outside of Rochester, NY, USA, Climbing For Christ was eventually born. In the original “Mission: Vision,” written in June 2004, Kilimanjaro was identified as a “model mission,” where we could se... Read more »

Photo of the Week: Malawi

Photo of the Week: Malawi  Food delivery. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) “Being part of the food distributions and watching such joy and relief; hope filling the desperate eyes of these brave and hurting people was an absolute highlight,” said Michele Annibal, a Climbing For Christ board member from Philadelphia, PA, USA and a participant in Mission: Malawi 2016. “They celebrated more about some kilograms of maize than some Americans would celebrate a free car. It underscored for me just how hungry they are, how every day is a struggle, and yet they persist in hope and praise God for what lit... Read more »

Mission: Malawi 2016 Trip Report

Hungry bodies and hopeful souls Story and photos by Gary Fallesen Climbing For Christ The little girl knelt in the dirt and scooped up the two handfuls of maize kernels that had dropped out of a small hole in the sacks being distributed to mothers at the clinic. She painstakingly collected the kernels and held them tightly in her skirt. She knew how precious each kernel of food was, Mission: Malawi veteran Michele Annibal observed. The thought of such incredible need, such agonizing despair, coupled with the realism that outside the Majority World – in the so-called developed ... Read more »

Dispatches: Malawi 2016

Mission: Malawi 2016 By Gary Fallesen Climbing For Christ CLICK HERE for our Trip Report: “Hungry bodies and hopeful souls.” Sunday, March 13 One of the widows we met in hot-and-humid southern Malawi spoke about wrestling with anger amidst her plight. We felt anger, too, as we returned to the land of plenty from the majority world, where need is a constant companion. We talked about it throughout a mission in which we were blessed to serve as Jesus’ hands and feet. (“You put your feet on and go,” brother Damson, our missionary in East and south... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Tears of the poor By Gary Fallesen, Climbing For Christ’s founding president Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa, began meeting with the many widows in his home village in southern Malawi at the beginning of the year. Every Sunday he will pray for them and try to encourage them. Malawi is badly in need of encouragement during these difficult days of drought and food shortages. On a recent Sunday, Damson shared with the many in attendance, “It’s my prayer for you not to die before you have accepted Jesus Christ.” He witnessed... Read more »

Photo of the Week: Malawi

Photo of the Week: MalawiMaize stunted by the lack of rain in Malawi. (Photo by Duncan Nyozani) As we were preparing to GO on Mission: Malawi 2016, we were alerted that this Southern African nation is on the brink of famine. “The problem is very serious,” said Pastor Duncan Nyozani, a Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner who (among other things) oversees the orphanage C4C supports. “We planted, but the rains are not coming. All the crops are drying right now. People are starving. Please remember us in your prayers. Food prices are very expensive … some kids are eating thi... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Starvation threatens Malawi By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Maize stunted by the lack of rain in Malawi. (Photo by Duncan Nyozani) As we are preparing to GO on Mission: Malawi 2016 in just 10 days, we have been alerted that the African nation is on the brink of famine. Most of Southern Africa – including Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Madagascar – has been plagued by drought. “The problem is very serious,” said Pastor Duncan Nyozani, a Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner who (among other things) oversees the orph... Read more »

Mission Moments: Nepal

Baptizing them in the Name Megh speaking in the church at Korchabang. (Photos provided by Megh Gurung) An NPR story (“Why Nepal has one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian populations”) talks about the growing church in Nepal. From no Christians in 1951, when Christianity was illegal, and just 458 in 1961 to nearly 102,000 by 2001 and more than 375,000 by 2011, and the latter number might be an underestimate. Climbing For Christ has witnessed this growth first-hand and we continue to praise God for those He is calling His own.   Megh, right, b... Read more »

Mission Moments: Peru

Comfort for Jaime Jaime Servat, left, praying with a young girl on Mission: Peru 2014. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) Climbing For Christ’s Peruvian missionary, Jaime Servat, received terrible news that his ex-wife and his estranged son both died in 2015. “I was informed through an old friend that they were taken with lung cancer and a heart attack,” a grieving Jaime informed us. His son, Oswaldo, died in July at the age of 27. Oswaldo’s mother had died in May. She was 53. Jaime had not seen either in several years, despite efforts to reconcile with family members.... Read more »

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016

Damson Samson lives in southern Malawi, but most of his work for Climbing For Christ is done in northeastern Tanzania. He became Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa in March 2014 and has been sent to the Kilimanjaro area seven times from mid-2014 through 2015. Damson is looking forward to Mission: Kilimanjaro 2016, which will occur in August. A Climbing For Christ team will join Damson in teaching and encouraging guides and porters who are part of the Kilimanjaro Chapter (formed in 2008). Team members also will climb Kilimanjaro. This will be our ninth Kilimanjaro expediti... Read more »

Mission: Nepal 2016

Megh Gurung visited his home village in Nepal to start the New Year. He has been back to Phulkharka in the mountains of the Dhading district several times since the devastating earthquake in April 2015, delivering aid provided through relief funding from Climbing For Christ. On the latest trip he encountered his former neighbor, a witch doctor who – angered when Megh and his wife, Bhim, converted to Christianity many years ago – “forced persecution on us.” Once, Bhim was physically taken from her home and dragged through the streets. But Megh and Bhim forgave their e... Read more »

Mission Moments: Malawi

Men at work in Malawi on a new women’s clinic. (Photo by Duncan Nyozani) New clinic under construction in Malawi The last we saw the Mothers & Babies Centre that Pastor Duncan Nyozani proposed building in southern Malawi, he was standing, somewhat forlorn, in front of an unfinished building (photo above). He’d been left hanging when funds promised by a North American pastor hadn’t come through. “There is only one hospital in our district of Phalombe,” Duncan said. “We do not have a district hospital, but we have a Catholic hospital at Holy Fam... Read more »

Mission: Malawi 2016

Blessed to be a blessing By Gary Fallesen Founding president, Climbing For Christ Sometime in the last couple years I took to signing emails to ministry partners and workers, “Be blessed to be a blessing.” It’s not original. It’s older than Father Abraham. In Genesis 12, the LORD said to Abram (before He changed his name to Abraham), “I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Blessed to be a blessing. Damson Samson, our Malawi-based missionary to East Africa, gets that. CHRISTmas 2015, Damson said, “I felt ... Read more »

Mission Moments: Nigeria

Putting down stakes in the Koma Hills Land purchased for C4C mission base By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ The tribal chief of the Koma people where Climbing For Christ has ministered in northeastern Nigeria since 2011 wondered when the mission might return to the Atlantika Mountains. “I told him that by God’s grace, they will visit the Koma people in November this year,” said Pastor Chris Joseph, a long-time Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner in Nigeria. “The hamlet head was highly elated at this news.” Pas... Read more »

Dispatches: Philippines 2016

By Gary Fallesen Founding president, Climbing For Christ CLICK HERE to read Ace Concordia’s Trip Report, “Take five.” Thursday, Jan. 21 Gary and Ace at an overlook on the trail to Tacadang. Ace talks a lot about relationships and this trip centered on that topic. It was about reestablishing relationships strained by time and distance – both between Ace and me, C4C Philippines and Tacadang, and those He created but who have either been far from Him or did not yet know about Him in the mountains of Kibungan. At the end of the day, God is all about relat... Read more »

Mission: Peru 2016

God will put people in your path for a purpose. Take a little girl named Alisson in a little village called Chalhua in the Peruvian Andes. We met Alisson on Mission: Peru 2011. She befriended our team and stole the hearts of team members. Jaime Servat, our missionary to Peru, has become a surrogate father of sorts to Alisson. Her real father was an alcoholic who killed himself years ago. Every time Jaime visits Chalhua he delivers gifts to Alisson, prays with her, teaches her, and helps care for her family. Alisson’s story in 2011 broke our hearts. Her mother, Taina, who suffere... Read more »

Mission: Ararat 2016

ISTANBUL (The New York Times, Jan. 1, 2016) — A major Turkish military operation to eradicate Kurdish militants in Turkey’s restive southeast has turned dozens of urban districts into bloody battlefields, displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians and shattering hopes of reviving peace as an old war reaches its deadliest level in two decades. Over the past week, Turkish tanks and artillery have pounded Kurdish targets across several southeast cities, killing at least 200 militants and more than 150 civilians, according to human rights groups and local officials. Their desc... Read more »

Project 8:36

“Pakistani law forbids slavery, yet at least 200,000 Pakistanis work in deep mud pits to make bricks in slave-like conditions,” Frontier Ventures reported in October 2015. “From before sunrise to sunset, earning about $3.50, tiny 6-year-olds and wrinkled grandparents work to pay off family debts. It always starts with debt, and when the poor can’t pay it, an owner steps in to pay the debt in return for labor. As the debt is paid, costs are added by the owner until the debt becomes unpayable. If the family member moves to another kiln, the debt follows them. If a parent ... Read more »

Mission Moments: Peru

A witness to God’s promises Jaime Servat, Climbing For Christ’s missionary to Peru, began December as a victim of a pickpocket, who stole his cell phone as he was traveling to the village of Chalhua in the Cordillera Blanca mountains. He also began the month as a witness to the promise of God in a rainbow over the church at Chalhua. “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” – 2 Pe... Read more »
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