Mission Moments: Kilimanjaro
From porters to pastors
Damson Samson praying for members of our DMD introductory class during a home visit with DMD advanced class student Baraka Lembani. (Photos provided by Damson Samson)
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Damson Samson planned to move to a place nearer the airport for his flight home, but instead found himself invited back to the Mount Kilimanjaro gateway village of Marangu. It was his last full day in Tanzania after 2 ½ weeks of Kilimanjaro Chapter training and home visits.
“It was a very great time for people there, and wonders happened as well,” Damson said. “The mother of John Mollen was delivered right in that place.”
Mollen, a long-time member and leader of the Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters, had not been welcomed home for some time because of his faith. But salvation visited the house last Friday. “The mother witnessed the great power of God, and they are willing to welcome him again,” Damson said joyfully.
This was a fitting to conclusion to Damson’s successful first quarterly visit for 2022. Among the highlights was the conclusion of the advanced disciples-making-disciples (DMD) study of our original class of 28 guides and porters, the continuation of training for the second class of 35 guides and porters, the leading of a half-dozen people to a relationship with Jesus during home visits, the restoration of some marriages and families, and healings for some enduring illness and bondage to sin.
“If we were farmers, we could say we had opened this garden inside the thick forest, where it couldn’t be possible to plant and harvest as this takes only people with strong minds to venture into such a business,” Damson said, reflecting on the work on and around Africa’s tallest and most popular mountain.
“The porters and guides have been a special kind of people all over and they needed more attention to make sure you plant and harvest. Convincing them and being able to make them disciples, it has been a great achievement to Climbing For Christ. Many of this class are turning into pastors from porters.
“As I had (said before) this organization should be the first to offer such an education to porters and guides.”
Kilimanjaro Chapter leader Dauson Chonjo, in red, leads members of the DMD advanced class in prayer as they face an open door and look outside the church toward those who need to hear the Good News.
John Mollen expressed thanks for the lessons they have received, which have been used to reach many and will be used to reach many more.
- Eliason Mosha was a porter on a Kilimanjaro team with 12 clients. At the end of each day, Mosha “asked the fellow porters and guide to pray together to thank God for the nice climbing of the day.” Some did not want to pray, but many did. This time of prayer led to singing worship songs. Four clients came around to ask what they were doing. Mosha started sharing from his TTI (The Timothy Initiative) textbook. This opened a door for him to pray and share with both clients and fellow porters. Three porters accepted Jesus during the climb.
- Elinami Moshi has led 10 people to the Lord. Many of them work on the mountain. “They come to share the Word within the community, and these people have joined him in the prayer group organized through the (DMD) studies,” Damson reported.
- Elia Yona has made himself available to preach through “open-air platforms” to deliver the Gospel. But during a recent trip to visit his mother’s home village, where all the family members are Muslim, he “felt nothing like sharing the Gospel.” He was “just there with (his) mother taking care of other things.” Until he went to the latrine. When he approached the toilet, he heard a voice telling him not to enter. He obeyed. Then the whole family watched in amazement as the latrine collapsed and sank into the ground. They asked him why he had not gone in, and he told them, “I heard a voice from above (telling him) not to enter. Hence, I didn’t enter.” Elia’s mother was moved to tears and declared, “Your God is the true God.” He used the opportunity to share with his family about victory through Jesus.
Rama, a porter from a Muslim background.
“More of these Muslim (friends and family members) are willing to hear about this Jesus Christ that we have,” Damson said. Thanks to several years of training and Bible study, our Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters are able to seize the chance to lovingly tell those around them the Good News of Jesus.
Meet Rama, a Muslim background believer. Gift Mboya, a Kilimanjaro Chapter member and DMD student from Moshi town, had invited Rama to his Bible study. “(Rama) received Jesus Christ through Climbing For Christ,” Damson reported. “He is able to pray now, and he is not going to the mosque again. Him and his family, they are no longer Muslim.”