Climbing For Christ


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Gary Fallesen

When all is stripped away

The mission team was supposed to practice the song “God of Wonders” as a special offering to the people of Badeo during the Sunday service. But that all changed the night before the climb, when we sang “Heart of Worship” during the evening Bible study. I told the team that I felt we should sing this song since we sang it so well together, what I didn’t know was this was the beginning of another great lesson from God.

More than a song: Team singing 'Heart of Worship' the first night in Badeo. (Photo by Pat Bonaobra)

When all 19 climbers arrived in Badeo on Saturday, Oct. 22, after a nine-hour trek we were all excited and looking forward to ministry day. Most especially the part where we would be giving away the largest quantity of blessings so far in C4C Philippines HIStory.

The project a “Box for Badeo” yielded a huge response, so much so that we counted 30 boxes when we repacked them in Poblacion Kibungan for the trek to Badeo. There were numerous school supplies, medicines, clothing, and Bibles.

This excited mood was further magnified when I had time to personally talk to the local teachers and they shared with me the seemingly vain effort they exert due to lack of basic teaching resources for the children. I couldn’t wait for the porters to arrive with all 30 boxes.

As sunset came on our first day in Badeo there were only 6 boxes and 1 sack of clothing in the classroom we were using as our quarters. In my mind I was thinking “maybe the porters are just running late,” but I knew this has never happened. Evening came and no more boxes arrived.

One of the elementary school teachers, named Elvira, approached me with a sad look on her face. In a very shy voice she told me that it seems that the porters were not properly coordinated. Only a few had responded, and most were out in the fields still farming. In desperation I asked if the porters could still make a run in the morning and be back in Badeo at lunchtime. She said they would try to get some villagers to porter the boxes, but in a very apologetic tone she expressed the possibility that the boxes may not arrive in time for ministry day. My heart sank at this news, and I was at a loss for a while on how to adjust to this situation, because it had never happened before on a mission climb. This would have been a record setter; instead it threatened to be the first mission climb where we barely had anything for the people. It was a difficult night for sleep.

As we gathered early Sunday morning to worship and pray for ministry day, the whole team by now knew that none of the boxes would be arriving. During the sharing time one of the climbers, Gutch Guttierez, shared with the team a message he believed God had placed on his heart.

The message: “Now that you do not have all the boxes, now that all you have is just Me, could you still do your ministry day?”

We recalled the lyrics from the song “Heart of Worship”:

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

During that moment we realized that we didn’t need the boxes, because we had everything we needed, right there with us. We had Jesus.

With new fire in our hearts we gave our best on that Sunday in Badeo. I gave a message of how God fulfills His promises and that He has a promise of salvation and a better life for everyone. We did a drama about David and Goliath and shared how God promises to protect us from the challenges of life. We sang “Heart of Worship” as a special offering to the people of Badeo.

The hall that we were in was filled with people who laughed joyfully and sang with us. As I stood up to close the service, I closed my eyes and asked everyone to do the same as we prayed. I was not mindful that the Spirit was already moving. When I opened my eyes a number of C4C members and the locals of Badeo were in tears in their seats. It was a precious moment, one you never want to end.

A powerful time of prayer in Badeo. (Photo by Pat Bonaobra)

Teacher Elvira stood up after I prayed. She expressed her gratitude on behalf of the people of Badeo for what we had done there. With tears in her eyes she said, “The boxes may not have arrived, but we now realize that those boxes are not the real reason you are here. We now understand that you are here to share with us how much God loves us. Thank you for sharing Jesus with us.”

The song “Heart of Worship” has a wonderful story. It talks about a time in a church when people were seeking the Lord, and they stopped playing their musical instruments in worship and just sang with their voices. They realized you really didn’t need much to worship God, you just needed Him. It made me realize that in our service to the Lord and our lives as Christians, we don’t need anything else, we just need Him. As the song says, “It’s all about You Jesus.”

God has a profound way of making a point, and in Badeo once more He continues to teach us that despite our concern for all the things we think we posses in life, when all is stripped away, in truth we have nothing. In the end, the only thing we truly have and need is Jesus.

Gary FallesenGary Fallesen

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