Camping on Mt. Kilimanjaro

We have now been on the mountain for a week and it has been an amazingKilimanjaro 2014

Lance and Maddie performing Zacheus for a local primary school

Lance and Maddie performing Zacheus for a local primary school

Jakob and Caleb performing Peter Walking on Water for a local primary school

Jakob and Caleb performing Peter Walking on Water for a local primary school

experience for the entire team!  The 4 mile hike up to our camp site
was incredible as we hiked through the jungle on a red dirt road
constantly climbing in elevation and occasionally seeing a
motorcyclist cruise by. Everywhere are avocado trees, coffee berries,
bananas, and other strange fruit we have never seen (and soon tasted).
Our campsite is a paradise!  We are camping on the property of a
Lutheran Church that is designated to become a youth center for the
teenagers living on the mountain.  We have a soccer field, bathrooms
with running water, showers and flushing toilets.  There is a water
spigot that we not only can retrieve our water from, but we can even
drink from!  The water up here is treated already!  Everywhere is lush
and green and the dirt isn’t constantly flying up into our tents and
covering us. It is easier for us to keep clean.  Our view of the
mountain…breathtaking.  Overwhelmingly breathtaking!  If it rains it
does only at night or sprinkles in the early morning.  It has warmed
up quite a bit since we first arrived, but still is a little chilly
some mornings.  Every evening the clouds break and we can see the top
of Kilimanjaro and it appears so close we could touch it!  As the sun
goes down every evening it becomes this perfect orange glow announcing
that it is turning in for the evening.  And at night… we can see the
asteroid belt peppered across the night sky.  As wondrous as this
place is the highlights for our team has been our encounters with the
people here.

We have been getting to head out each day to do evangelism on the
mountain and the students are full of stories and photos.  As our team
continues to head from door to door the people continue to gift our
team with sugar cane, honey, carrots, and various sorts of fruit they
pick from their gardens.  Some of the homes we are invited into are
families who are already Christians and we have an opportunity to hear
their stories, encourage them and pray with them.  They have such an
overwhelming joy that ministers right back to our hearts.  There are
also homes we have visited where we have gotten to share Christ with
for the first time.  Some of their struggles are very real and we find
ourselves able to relate and love them.  We have had moments of
planting seeds, sometimes watering seeds and other times of
The most exciting opportunities our team has had has been being
invited into the primary schools here.  We have had the opportunity to
sing, do puppets, Bible story skits, and share the “Wordless Book”
with the children.  Yesterday Callie and Elijah even shared their
testimonies with the children at the school.  We have also gotten to
play games with the children and have started to come to know many of
the children in the surrounding village.  Currently the team is
presenting the gospel at a local high school.  They are prayed up and
ready to go!

As far as illness we are very happy to announce that a strange rash
that the team members were getting earlier in the trip has stopped and all
have healed.  We still don’t know what it was from, perhaps the river
water or something in the dirt from our earlier campsite.

Today before heading to the high school the team got to go to a
natural warm spring out in the middle of the desert!  It was amazing.
We came off the mountain and drove out into the dirt and tall grass
till we came upon a lush area.  We drove into the overhanging trees
only to find this amazing turquoise watered pool complete with a rope
swing under a canopy of trees!  For $3 each we were able to swim for
as long as we liked.  It was a great time for us to play and warm up
from being on the mountain.  It truly was an oasis in the dessert.
At the little stand where we paid to swim we were also able to buy
chip and eggs, which is a Tanzanian traditional meal of potatoes slice
up like fries and egg cooked over an open fire like an omelet.  It
tasted amazing!  It’s been a great morning.

Our future plans involve going to another school tomorrow, ministering
at a church on Sunday and do more evangelism and then on our final two
days we will take the team into Moshi and to Arusha to do some
shopping.  On Monday we will take the team into Moshi and then on
Tuesday morning we will break our camp on the mountain and head into
Arusha for shopping and spend the night in Arusha at a hotel so in the
morning we are near the airport to catch our flight out of Tanzania.
Our flight plans are flying from Kilimanjaro to Addis Ethiopia, to
Washington DC, to Cleveland Ohio, to Orlando Florida.
On Monday when we go into Moshi we will be able to post our final
report before heading back to the States.

This time has made us all very grateful for the people who are
awaiting us at home and all you who support us and love us.  We love
you too.



  1. Marilyn and Phil Pikaart

    Dear Lance,

    We are so proud of you and your commitment to Christ and your work in Teen Missions this summer. We are looking forward to hearing your stories of this experience. You continue to be in our prayers. We love you.

    Grandpa and Grandma Pik

  2. What a trip these teens have had! I’m sure they have all been blessed and we are looking forward to hearing all about it when our grandson, Lance returns. We are thankful that you have been kept healthy and now we pray that you will have a safe trip back home.

  3. Joe & Jill Vincent

    We miss you Joey. Cannot wait to hear all about the summer. Mom and I pray each night, by name for each of your team members.

    See you soon.

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