Our first day in Moshi, Tanzania we traveled quite a ways to arrive at Pastor Moshe’s church. By all accounts, we were out in the country where this church was perched on a hillside, shrouded by lush trees and farm land. But to the locals, it seemed that this was a rather well populated area.
Part of our time at Pastor Moshe’s church was to teach and encourage the local Kilimanjaro Chapter members. What does that mean? These are the men who are guides and porters on Mt. Kilimanjaro and they are also brothers in the faith. Being a porter and guide on Mt. Kili is a well sought after job because of it’s pay. Remember how most people live off of less than $1 a day? Well, if you’re a porter or guide, you can make up to $800 a year. To them, that’s a lot of money and at the same time it’s hard for me to fathom, especially since these men carry easily 70 pounds of equipment up the mountain and make $8 a day! We definitely sought to bless them above their regular pay, but with more than just finances as well! Although these would NOT be our actual porters and guides, we still came with blessing and encouragement.
The INCREDIBLE and strategic vision of Climbing For Christ is to reach the unreached people in mountainous areas, while encouraging and strengthening the local church to go and do the same. It was the intention all along not to take Christian guides/porters up the mountain with us – we wanted opportunities to share the Gospel with those who have yet to receive Christ. At the same time, we wanted to come along our brothers who have an incredible task put before them – to reach the people of the various Nations that come and climb on Mount Kilimanjaro! People from all over the world come to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. How incredible is that, that these men have been placed strategically by the Lord to witness to the Nations?! They truly need much encouragement and strength, because the task and role of these men is not only physically demanding but spiritually and emotionally.
So, we had just a rough outline upon arriving at the church and Gary said, “Hey team, I need y’all to teach today”. YEP – no preparation, just get up and be led by the Spirit of God. Honestly, that was one of the GREATEST blessings that the Lord did in my heart on this trip. He showed me my fears of speaking/teaching, especially without preparation. This required faith and trust that the Lord would fill us all with the words He desired these men to hear. None of the others guys seemed like deer in headlights…only me!! 😀
WHAT A TREMENDOUS BLESSING STEPPING OUT IN FAITH IS!! God prepared us all beforehand (duh – Eph. 2:10) for these messages we’d share that specific day. Bob spoke on intercession, because that’s his heart. Elaine spoke on evangelism and was ready with Gospel bracelets. Mike, our theologian, spoke on the Word and it’s authority. And last, the title of my message (as my pastor would say!), “Worship: One of the Greatest Weapons of Our Warfare“. Why? Because worship is a means by which we pray and intercede through song. Worship is a battle tool that David used, as seen in the Psalms, King Jehoshaphat used to defeat opposing armies (2 Chronicles 20) and Jesus also used as he worshiped with his disciples just before being arrested (Mark 14:26). It was awesome to see how God had provided his Words and it was even more so incredible to see these men encouraged for the battles that lay ahead!! FAITH is powerful!
After I shared, we had a time of worship and we were filled with such joy and strength. Then, one of the guides by the name of Dawson, shared a testimony of the power of worship from one of his trips up Kili. He had been building relationships with the team he was leading. On the summit day, the weather was really bad and the strength of the climbers was giving out. Dawson began singing praise songs to Jesus in Swahili and praying over his group. Eventually they all made it to the summit. Once they were there a lady asked, “What were you singing, because all of a sudden i felt something like a hand come against my back, as though I was being pushed up the mountain. That was the only reason I made it up!” She said she even looked back to see if someone was actually helping her! The other people in the group said the same thing. Dawson was then able to share with them that he was singing to Jesus for protection and strength for them to summit AND he shared the gospel with them right there!!
Please continue to pray for Pastor Moshe and these men of the Kilimanjaro Chapter, that they would proclaim Jesus to the Nations! Pray for boldness, protection, strength and also their witness to the other guides who are not Christians.