Mission Moments: Kilimanjaro
Seeing the Light
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Elia Yona is a Muslim background believer in a country that is not without opposition to Christianity. There are parts of Tanzania where persecution is high. But the biggest challenge often comes in the form of family pressure.
Elia’s family opposed his conversion. Then his mother accepted Jesus. And his older brother accepted Jesus – becoming a pastor in Dar es Salam. And his younger brother also accepted Jesus.
“From one man, the family has seen the Light,” said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s Malawi-based Kingdom worker who made his fourth visit of 2021 to Tanzania from Nov. 22 to Dec. 8.
Elia Yona, left, during Bible study. (Photos by Damson Samson)
Damson was in Tanzania doing our quarterly DMD training with the Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters when the news of another COVID-19 variant broke. The omicron variant had been discovered throughout southern Africa and eight countries were immediately put on the travel-ban list. Malawi was one of the eight.
“Currently, there is no news (about) me getting home with the new variant,” Damson said on Dec. 1. “This is like what I was sharing with my team (the Kilimanjaro Chapter leaders) about taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth, offering yourself to Him. Otherwise, (if you aren’t obedient) you cannot take a step anymore.”
Repeatedly the Bible tells us to “fear not.” We are constantly reminded that God is in control. We can be faithful and conduct the Lord’s work – or we can be paralyzed by the state of the world.
Damson refused to panic. He executed his assignment with the Kilimanjaro Chapter.
He led the training of 35 guides and porters who are among our second group of DMD students. This group covered Weeks 3 (“Assurance of Salvation”) and 4 (“Understanding Prayer & Daily Devotions”) from The Timothy Initiative book. Our first class of 28 chapter members then studied Weeks 13 (“Effective Discipleship, Part 2”) and 14 (“Establishing Churches”). This group, our original DMD class dating to 2017, will graduate during Mission: Kilimanjaro 2022 in January. CLICK HERE to learn more about Mission: Kilimanjaro 2022.
Baraka Mbawe, standing, shares during DMD training.
Baraka Mbawe, who is part of the original group of guides and porters, “gave a vote of thanks to Climbing For Christ for bringing these trainings to them,” Damson said. “(Baraka said) ‘We could not be able to read the Bible and understand it, but now we can see where we are going when reading the Scriptures.’”
This group will be learning more about the Bible in its next study, “Discovering the Bible.”
“We also had a time to do as the first church,” Damson continued. “I asked them to bring gifts so they can bless one another. It was a wonderful moment to see these brothers as the smiles showed they were a blessing to one another. They were putting the Bible to practice.”
“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had” (Acts 4:32, NLT).
After four days of DMD training, Damson made home visits for a week. These moments allow him to see how the guides and porters have been applying the lessons from Climbing For Christ into their lives and work.
Home visits usually lead to the conversions of numerous lost souls. At the home of Elinami Moshi, seven made the decision to follow Jesus. In another home, two new believers committed their lives to Christ. “It was another day the Lord had given us that He may be glorified in it,” Damson declared.
“As we were in (the house of Daniel Nasari, who is part of the second DMD class), another brother had a vision of a hatching chicken,” Damson said. “He wondered what it was. I told him that whatever the Lord has chosen to come into assistance, it begins from here. I gave them the example of brother David Chithyoka from Malawi, who has been sending photos every week of meetings where it shows the group is growing much bigger than before. In explanation, I told them the time before Climbing For Christ, they had not discovered their call. But now, they are learning that God has called them to discipleship.
“Climbing For Christ has come to get you to stand for what you have been called to do. You will soon discover your call as others have discovered.”