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Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011

The Word

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...”
— 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Expedition

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011


Dates: March 7-23, 2011

Purpose: To continue working with Kilimanjaro Chapter members. Climb Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route, which provides views into Kenya and offers the best campsite on the mountain (Mawenzi Tarn Hut). Visit Project 1:27 Malawi orphans and minister to children there. Also, hiking on Mulanje Massif.

Cost: $5,430, includes airfare (roundtrip from JFK for North American team members); Tanzania visa, Kilimanjaro climb and tips, hotel, transfers and meals; and Malawi expenses.

Payment schedule:

  • $500 deposit – due after being accepted to mission team.
  • Airfare – due before Dec. 1, 2010.
  • Balance due before Jan. 1, 2011.
Learn more: E-mail info@ClimbingForChrist.org to more information on this Evangelic Expedition or to request a mission application. 

HIStory

Kilimanjaro holds a special place in the formation and growth of Climbing For Christ. As Gary Fallesen was training to climb Kilimanjaro in 1998, God spoke to him and told him to start a Christian climbing organization. From that meeting on a road, Climbing For Christ was eventually born. In the ori...
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Kilimanjaro, as seen from Moshi, Tanzania. (Photo by Shawn Dowd) Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique. Area: 945,000 square kilometers (slightly larger than twice the size of California). Terrain: Plains along the coast; central plateau; highlands in ...
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Gary Fallesen

Nationality: American of Danish descent. Occupation: Missionary. Missions with C4C: Dominican Republic 2005; Haiti 2006, 2007 (twice), 2008, 2009 (twice), 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; Indonesia 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019; Kilimanjaro 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; Malawi 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018; Mexico 2005; Morocco 2013, 2015 and 2017; Nepal 2011, 2012 (twice), 2013, 2014 (twice), 2015 (twice), 2016 (twice), 2017 (twice), 2018 and 2019; Nigeria 2011; Peru 2011, 2014 and 2017; Philippines 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016; “Possibl... Read more »

Elaine Fallesen

Elaine Fallesen and a widow enjoying the moment in rural Malawi after taking a grand tour of her new home, one of more than three dozen homes for forgotten widows rebuilt through Climbing For Christ in 2017. Nationality: USA. Occupation: Women's and Family Ministry/Communications Director, Climbing For Christ. Missions with C4C: Haiti 2008 and 2009; Kilimanjaro 2011, Malawi 2014, 2016 and 2017; Nepal 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019; and Turkey 2014, 2015 and 2019. How long have you climbed? Since the early ’90s when our kids were small and we began discovering as a family the beau... Read more »

HIStory

Kilimanjaro holds a special place in the formation and growth of Climbing For Christ. As Gary Fallesen was training to climb Kilimanjaro in 1998, God spoke to him and told him to start a Christian climbing organization. From that meeting on a road, Climbing For Christ was eventually born. In the original “Mission: Vision,” written in 2004, Kilimanjaro was identified as a “model mission,” where we could serve the hundreds of guides and porters and reach tens of thousands of trekkers. In 2007, our first short-term team went to Kilimanjaro. As always, God had gone before ... Read more »

Elaine Fallesen

Elaine Fallesen, with Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, delivers a prayer shawl to a widow in Gentilhomme, Haiti. Nationality: American. Occupation: Marketing associate for MVP Health Care. Missions with C4C: Haiti 2008 and 2009; Kilimanjaro 2011; Malawi 2014, and Nepal 2012. How long have you climbed? Since the early ‘90s when our kids were small and we began discovering as a family the beautiful outdoors. Type of climbing you do: Climbing in His direction. Highlight of climbing career: As I’m vertically challenged, it’s a toss-u... Read more »

Michael Heitland

Michael Heitland, left, on the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2011. Nationality: American. Occupation: Director of Equipping Saints For Ministry (ES4M). Missions with C4C: Kilimanjaro 2011 & 2013, Morocco 2013, Nigeria 2011, and Nepal 2012 and 2013. How long have you climbed? About 10 years. Type of climbing you do: Mountaineering. Highlight of climbing career: I would have to say summiting Kilimanjaro in 2011 during Mission: Kilimanjaro! How long have you been a Christian? I consider my spiritual birthday to be September 1996. This was the start of a long road of sanctification and God ... Read more »

Guide to Kilimnajaro

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 ... Read more »

Shelly Torres

Age: 29. Residence: Chicago, IL, USA. Family: Single. Occupation: Office Manager for Premium Surge Promotions (our company makes the Burger King kids' meal toys). Church: Chicago Tabernacle. Missions with C4C: First. How long have you climbed? Well, climbing more so recent — I’d say, the last 3 years. Hiking/backpacking, I’ve been doing for about 10 years now. Type of climbing you do: Rock climbing. Highlight of climbing career: Climbing in the Snowies of Wyoming last year. Absolutely challenging, but most incredible experience of sheer struggle and witnessing beauty throu... Read more »

Randall McGarvey

Randall McGarvey participating in the 2010 Canadian Ski-Orienteering championships. Age: 43. Residence: Rochester, NY USA. Family: Married to Denise, with two grown children, Emily and Forrest. Occupation: Software Engineer at General Code. Church: LifeTree Fellowship in Pittsford, NY. How long have you climbed? 17 years. Type of climbing you do: Backpacking in the Adirondack high peaks in New York. Highlight of climbing career: Practically running to the summit of Mount Skylight in the Adirondacks in June of 1993, the first of many mountaintop experiences. How long have you been a Ch... Read more »

Bob Kuebler

Bob Kuebler on Armstrong in New York's Adirondack mountains. Age: 55 at time of trip. Residence: Buffalo, NY, USA. Family: Unmarried father of three — Joseph, 28; Steven, 26, and Michelle, 17. Occupation: Youth Ministry. Church: Last Days Fellowship. Missions with C4C: First. How long have you climbed? 20 years. Type of climbing you do: Trekking/hiking. Highlight of climbing career: Baldy Mountain, New Mexico with my son Steve and a Boy Scout troop How long have you been a Christian? More than 50 years. Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: I am the director of Youth Wi... Read more »

Michael Heitland

Age: 35. Residence: South Fargo, ND, USA. Family: Married to Michelle with three daughters — Makayla, 15; Maleah, 12, Molly, 2. Occupation: Chief Technology Officer, V3 Technologies. Church: Bethel EFC, Fargo ND. Missions with C4C: First. How long have you climbed? 8 years. Type of climbing you do: Mountaineering, rock and ice. Highlight of climbing career: Climbing Mount Rainier via DC route in 2007. I climbed as part of a benefit climb for Big City Mountaineers. How long have you been a Christian? I consider my spiritual birthday to be September 1996. This was the start of a long... Read more »

Trip Report: Light in the African darkness

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... Read more »

Wednesday, March 23

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... Read more »

Tuesday, March 22

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 ... Read more »

Monday, March 21

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... Read more »

Sunday, March 20

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 ... Read more »

Saturday, March 19

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... Read more »

Friday, March 18

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 ... Read more »

Thursday, March 16

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. Read more »

Thursday, March 17

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. Read more »

Wednesday, March 16

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... Read more »

Tuesday, March 15

Mike, Randy and Shelly reached the 19,341 foot summit of Kilimanjaro with guide Yusuf and assistant guide Muhammad at 8AM after seven and a half hours of climbing on a clear, cold night. “What a night, what a day,” Randy said. “Amazing,” Shelly added. “Wow,” said Mike. Yusuf said it wasn’t too cold (“comfortable”), compared to other ascents. He estimated the summit temp at minus-7 degrees. “It was challenging,” Yusuf said. Bob turned back above 17,000 feet with altitude sickness and was accompanied down to Kibo Hut by Yusu... Read more »

Monday, March 14

Day 5 on the mountain saw us hike across the moonscape, that is the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Hut. It was about five miles and took us four hours. We reached this high camp at 15,400 feet at 1 p.m. The rest of this day is devoted to rest and waiting to head out toward the summit at midnight. Mike passed his personal high (Mount Rainier) on our move up to Kibo Hut. The walk continued a good discussion on Islam and Christianity. “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” — Psalm 62:6 Read more »

Sunday, March 13

Team ascending toward Mawenzi. Day 4 on the mountain saw us ascend another 2,000 vertical feet from our third camp to Mawenzi Tarn Hut at 14,100 feet. This camp, my favorite on Kilimanjaro, is below Mawenzi- one of Kili’s three summits. There is a pond near the campsite, which has been in the clouds most of the day. Elaine and Bob passed their previous personal highs (both around 12,200 feet), as we ascended toward the jagged ridgeline of Mawenzi. Everyone is doing well in the increasingly thinning air. Read more »

Saturday, March 12

Day 3 was short and sweet as far as trekking. We ascended only about 600 vertical feet in our four-mile hike from Second Cave to Kikelelwa at 12,100 feet. The walk took less than three hours and we beat a torrential rain storm that soaked our camp and left us in the clouds and a fog for the afternoon. Another Christian climber, Nathaniel, who hails from Wyoming but currently is working in Russia, has joined our fellowship. He is trekking Kilimanjaro solo and was happy to spend time with us, and us with him. Read more »

Friday, March 11

Day 2 on the mountain saw us ascend from Simba Camp to Second Cave, a hike up 2,650 vertical feet that took about three hours. For Randy, it marked a personal high as we climbed up to 11,500 feet. It was sunny and hot with clear views behind us out over the plains of Kenya. Along the way we discussed Christianity and Islam with our guide Yusuf. We spent the afternoon and evening in fellowship together as the day's heat cooled and the temperature dove to freezing. Read more »

Thursday, March 10

7 p.m. local We hiked about three hours up through the Rongai Forest from the gate (or trailhead) to Simba Camp, an ascent of about 1,000 vertical feet to 8,850 feet. Our guide, Yusuf, brought 22 other assistants, cook staff and porters, which is common for our size trekking group. It was warm and sunny during our afternoon walk, during which we saw monkeys. An elephant was heard near our camp as we prepared for dinner. A national park staff member who is a friend of Yusuf's arrived with a semi-automatic weapon, which he carries in case of animal attacks. Yusuf told us he is a Christian ... Read more »

Monday, March 9

“Worship can be powerful,” Shelly told the guides and porters attending our Kilimanjaro Chapter evangelism training at Pastor Winford Mosha's Lutheran church in Marangu. She pointed to 2 Chronicles 20 and the story of how King Jehoshaphat “appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him” in order to defeat opposing armies. “There is power in worship,” Shelly said. Shelly was concluding our teaching with a short section on music. It was one of the tools we were encouraging our brothers in Christ to use as outreach on the mountain. Dawson Chonjo, one... Read more »

Tuesday, March 8

We landed safely and without incident this evening at Kilimanjaro International Airport, located between Arusha and Moshi, Tanzania. Dear friend Yusuf, who again will be our guide on the mountain, was waiting for us and accompanied us on our 45-minute ride to the hotel in Moshi. Our arrival capped about 28 hours of travel from the Eastern and Central U.S. As we sat outside in the warm 80-degree evening, reflecting on how God brought us here, Shelly led the group in singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness. I then told them the HIStory of Climbing For Christ and the part this place played in it. In... Read more »

Monday, March 7

The team is all together — all six of us! — and on a plane from New York City to Amsterdam. After that (on Tuesday), a flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. We'll check back in on Tuesday. See you then. Read more »

Sunday, March 6

Michael starts this Evangelic Expedition in motion today, traveling from his home in Fargo, N.D. to New York City. The rest of the team will meet him there on Monday. Everyone is excited about the trip ahead. It has been months in the making. Of course, God had this day waiting before time began. The goals of Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011 include: Teaching in evangelism to the guides and porters who are part of the Kilimanjaro Chapter. We will provide encouragement and instruction on Wednesday, March 9. We are building on what was started during Mission: Kilimanjaro 2010. Hopefully God... Read more »

Mission: Kilimanjaro 2011

Dates: March 7-23, 2011 Purpose: To continue working with Kilimanjaro Chapter members. Climb Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route, which provides views into Kenya and offers the best campsite on the mountain (Mawenzi Tarn Hut). Visit Project 1:27 Malawi orphans and minister to children there. Also, hiking on Mulanje Massif. Cost: $5,430, includes airfare (roundtrip from JFK for North American team members); Tanzania visa, Kilimanjaro climb and tips, hotel, transfers and meals; and Malawi expenses. Payment schedule: $500 deposit – due after being accepted to mission team. ... Read more »

Country: Tanzania

Kilimanjaro, as seen from Moshi, Tanzania. (Photo by Shawn Dowd) Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique. Area: 945,000 square kilometers (slightly larger than twice the size of California). Terrain: Plains along the coast; central plateau; highlands in the north and south. Highest point: Kilimanjaro (5895 meters). Population: 40,213,160. Life expectancy: 51.45 years. (Lowering due to HIV/AIDS epidemic. Note: There are an estimated 1 million AIDS orphans in Tanzania; only South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have more in Africa.) Ethnic... Read more »
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