Trip Report: Kilimanjaro 2024

Trip Report: Kilimanjaro 2024
Gary Fallesen

Trip Report: Kilimanjaro 2024

HIStoric start that was years in the making

By Gary Fallesen, Climbing For Christ

They wore green Tanzania hats with white Climbing For Christ patches on the side and polo shirts bearing the C4C logo on the front and a Scriptural message on the back.

They were dressed to save.

As Pastor Winford Mosha prayed for our team of 19 guides and porters and three Climbing For Christ staff members, he told the group: “Today is a historical day for this Climbing For Christ Kilimanjaro Chapter. I think you have been prepared well on how to GO and do evangelism.”

This moment was years in the making.

John Mollen, the coordinator of the Kilimanjaro Chapter and our guide for the January trek on Mount Kilimanjaro, registered the team at the Marangu Gate. The two park rangers working there wondered who we were.

“Are you the church or what is happening with you?” one asked.

“Yes, we are Christians,” John told them.

The rangers were happy to hear that. Happy to see us coming and GO-ing. “Please pray for this mountain,” they said. “There is a lot happening with this mountain.”

Ancestor worship and idolatry – the darkness of folk religions – remains a problem even for those professing to be Christian. Along the trail to the Horombo Hut at 12,205 feet/3,720 meters, a hill was pointed out in the near distance. Villagers are known to climb the hill to make animal sacrifices to their ancestors.

“There’s a strong relationship here between the living and the dead,” said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s Kingdom worker in eastern Africa. “Some say they can hear the spirits of the dead talking to them.”

Guides and porters, wearing C4C shirts and hats, during our daily study time on the mountain.

Our guides and porters, trained for years to be disciples making disciples, went to work pursuing dead men walking before our group even left the parking lot at the Marangu Gate. “We’re here to share the Word of God,” Johnson Kimaro, a porter from Marangu, told one man. He handed him a brochure, written by Damson and translated into Swahili by Pastor Mosha, that had a step-by-step guide to “The Choice of Life Before Death.”

During the first five miles of 25 miles of hiking, Godlisten Mosha shared that brochure with three others. One man asked: “Are you being paid to preach the Gospel?” “No,” Godlisten said, “this is our offering.”

Another man wondered, “Is it possible to leave everything at home and come to the mountain just to preach the Gospel?” Yes, it was – and will be.

This was the first on-the-mountain training of our Kilimanjaro Chapter and the Mulanje Massif Chapter in neighboring Malawi. Our goal is to have every one of the 160 or so guides and porters in our chapters trek, be taught, and do outreach on their respective mountains before the end of the year.

“Since we started with Climbing For Christ, it’s our first time to climb on the mountain together. We have never shared as a team,” Jonas Minga, a cook from Marangu, said on Kilimanjaro. “I thank God we are climbing the mountain together and sharing as a team.”

We hiked by day, sharing along the way, and spent evenings together in the mess hall at each camp. We used the time to encourage and be encouraged. Each man shared stories about the day and divine appointments answered. We taught – before and after the trek – about “Communicating the Bible,” and how to follow-up with new believers.

Lessons well learned.

Trail out of Horombo Hut toward Kibo, the summit of Kilimanjaro. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

The Kilimanjaro Chapter was formed in 2008, the result of a divine meeting with Pastor Mosha on our inaugural Mission: Kilimanjaro in 2007. Teaching evangelism was always our goal; equipping Christian guides and porters to do outreach on and off the mountain. They live there, we only visit for a few weeks every year. They can reach the tens of thousands of lost tourists who visit annually as well as hundreds of non-Christian co-workers.

In 2017, we started using resources provided by The Timothy Initiative (TTI): “Disciples Making Disciples (DMD)” introduction and advanced studies; “Discovering the Bible,” and now “Communicating the Bible.” These have been supplemented with teachings about abiding and walking in the Spirit.

“At first, we might have been afraid to preach on the mountain,” said Elia Yona, a Muslim background believer from Marangu who works as a porter. “Now we have a plan. This is an ongoing work.”

The work on the mountain has only just begun. But what a beginning!

In four days, these 19 guides and porters shared the Gospel with 157 people on the mountain, and 57 accepted Jesus as their Savior.

“I never expected this,” said Joshua Mulutu, a porter from Moshi who led 11 people to the Lord the first two days and then teamed with Gregory Nyance to lead four more to Jesus on the third day when Damson sent them out two by two.

“Damson told us, ‘A big thing is going to happen on the mountain,’” Joshua recalled. “I was asking, ‘How?’ He said, ‘You have to believe.’ Now I confirm it has happened.”

Joshua Mulutu shares with a woman at the Mandara Camp at 8,858 feet/2,700 meters.

Elaine called what happened – “seeing a big God dream for C4C come to fruition” – the highlight of this mission: “I’d never before witnessed such pure evangelism in action. It was humbling and convicting watching these men on Holy Spirit fire, taking all their TTI knowledge and following through on the mission.

“It was a long time in the making, and it turned out to be something infinitely greater than I could ever have imagined.”

CLICK HERE for daily Dispatches from Mission: Kilimanjaro 2024.

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