Climbing For Christ

TAKING THE GOSPEL TO MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF THE WORLD WHERE OTHER MISSIONARIES CANNOT OR WILL NOT GO

Articles by Gary Fallesen

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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 do not yet know Him); to Black Saturday, when His followers hid in an unimaginable fear, to Resurrection Sunday. He is risen!

Jesus Christ took on death; He was crucified, descended into hell (which does exist), and then on the third day rose again.

I love what is commonly called Easter Sunday morning. It smells like victory.

I asked some of our co-laborers how they were celebrating this Resurrection weekend. Here’s a glimpse inside the Climbing For Christ world from our family members:

EVANGELIST HASEEB (Save Pakistan) was blessed to spend time on Good Friday with the children at his orphanage, including some who have been freed recently from servitude at the local brick factory. His ministry provided gifts to the children – water bottles, box lunches, and food. “We played cricket and had so much fun,” Haseeb said from an Islamic republic that ranks among the hardest places to be a Christian. (On Easter, a bombing targeting Christians in Lahore killed at least 69 people.)
 


Save Pakistan orphans celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.

Haseeb also met with people at the brick factory, where he and his family spoke about the last seven messages from Jesus on the cross: found in Luke 23:34, Luke 23:43, John 19:27, Mark 15:34, John 19:28, John 19:30, and Luke 23:46.

“It was a really good service to make them understand about the Resurrection day,” said Haseeb, whose ministry then distributed food packs – containing flour, sugar, tea, cooking oil, and rice – to 15 of those families on Saturday (photo below).
 


Haseeb’s family was worshiping and spending time together on Easter Sunday.

MEGH GURUNG (Nepal) met with believers very early Sunday morning to “pray together with happiness,” after which his Milap Church joined an Easter Rally of churches from Kathmandu Valley. This rally occurs in an open place in this predominantly Hindu and Buddhist country. There are banners at the rally, stating: “He is the Way and Truth and He is alive!”

“I hope many believers (worldwide) get together in one place to worship the LORD,” Megh said.

Easter rally in Kathmandu. (Photos by Megh Gurung)

TEJ ROKKA (Nepal) celebrated Easter by “offering selfless service to people and sharing the love of Jesus through setting a model and knowing Christ as our hope and future.” Pastor Tej invited a dozen local churches to join his SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) Kathmandu church to celebrate the Risen Christ together.

In addition to preaching the message of Resurrection, Tej broadcast that message over 20 FM radio stations as part of SARA’s radio ministry. He believes this message has the “power to change lives and offer an opportunity to make a decision for eternity. This is the Good News we have to focus on.”

DUNCAN NYOZANI (Malawi) invited his three churches – two in southern Malawi and one across the nearby border in Mozambique – to gather in one place. “It is good to have fellowship of these churches together during this Easter,” he said from Kambona, site of his church plant and host to this Resurrection meeting.

This idea was born out of the additional funding for food that was included in the monthly support from Climbing For Christ to Searchlight Ministries. “We will use money for food to feed these hundreds of church members from (Sunday) to Tuesday,” Duncan said.

Easter feast: sema,the staple for people in Malawi, made from maize flour. (Photos by Duncan Nyozani)

We rejoice again in the feeding of the many hungry souls we have been blessed to serve during Mission: Malawi 2016. May they also feast on the Bread of Life – the Resurrected One.

CHRIS JOSEPH (Nigeria) commemorated the death of Jesus Christ (Good Friday) and Resurrection morning in a different way this year. “Normally, we used to organize a three-day program, but this year the economic meltdown could not allow us to do so,” Pastor Chris said. “We decided to take the message of the cross to homes. I personally told people about the essence of Jesus’s crucifixion  and the need for people to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice he made for mankind. I led some persons to Christ.

“On Sunday, I preached on the topic of The Empty Tomb. In a nutshell, I said it is only Jesus Christ that was visibly resurrected from the very sealed and heavily guarded grave. Taking my text from John 20:1-18 and Revelation 1:18, the empty tomb signifies victory over Satan, sin, death and the world. Jesus conquered the devil, who wished Him permanently dead, and gave us victory.

“As Christians, we’ve got the same victory in Christ Jesus (John 14:12). Whatever the challenges we are faced with in this world, we should know that victory is not only  guaranteed, but it’s our heritage. All we need do is to celebrate His finished work on the cross. I will constantly cherish the old rugged cross.”

BRANDY FISHER (C4C Canada coordinator) was doing as many in the worldwide church do on Easter – spending time with family and worshiping our Risen Savior. “We will be singing, ‘He’s ALIVE, He’s ALIVE!’” she said from Medicine Hat, AB, Canada.

“The Resurrection from death on the cross is what makes Christianity the truth. As the earth quaked when it happened 2,000 years ago, may it shake our faith and the way we live our lives for His glory.”

Amen!

JORDAN ROWLEY (spiritual coordinator for Climbing For Christ) led worship for Koinonia Fellowship’s Resurrection Sunday Service at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, USA. He shared:

‘But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). The resurrection of our Lord Jesus is a huge tenant of the faith. If the tomb were full, our faith would be empty. Yet, because the tomb is empty and Jesus is risen, He not only fulfilled prophecy and lived up to His own words, but He confirmed once and for all that He is the Son of God. And in Him, all who believe will be raised up, too.

‘And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power’ (1 Corinthians 6:14). That’s our ultimate hope! And that’s what inspires us. This world is not our home. Heaven is our home! So, ‘if then [we] were raised with Christ, [may we] seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God’ (Colossians 3:1).

“May no earthly treasure or worldly comfort take our eyes off of our Risen King and the work He has prepared for us.”

THE FALLESEN FAMILY (Elaine and me, our son Jesse, and our daughter Hayley) also gathered with hundreds of brothers and sisters in our home church, Hope Lutheran, in Rochester, NY, USA. While the style of worship is different from what we have been blessed to experience in mountain churches in Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, and the Philippines (among others), the experience is the same. It is Spirit driven, Christ centered, and God glorifying.

We are one body in Christ. Unified in our faith. One church – no matter how many miles may currently separate us. We come together on this day – at the end of this, the best four-day weekend in HIStory – to declare in one voice: “Hallelujah! He is risen!”


The Word

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’” – Luke 24:45-48 (ESV)


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