“Be generous with the different things that God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it… That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything…” (1 Peter 4:10-11 MSG).
These are the verses that had been resonating in my heart and mind in the days following the 40 Days of Purpose Campaign that our church journeyed together. I found myself praying: “God, use me for your purposes, reveal to me how I can use the gifts and talents you’ve blessed me with.” Thus, the Everest equivalent climb or the so-called “Ascension For Expansion Campaign” was conceived.
It was May 9, 2004 when I made the proposition to the family of believers at Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church : “I’m going to attempt to climb 29,000 feet – the height of Mt. Everest – in 24 hours. I’ll be climbing the 100 foot chimney at the Boiler Room Climbing Gym (where I work), 290 times to raise $29,000 toward our building expansion project and the church’s ministry.” I’m sure a majority of the congregation thought that oxygen wasn’t getting all the way to my brain. However, despite the audacious goal I had proposed, the campaign launch day saw over $5,000 in pledges and donations. As the pledges continued to pile up I began training for the climb of my life. Five or six days a week for almost four straight months I strengthened and toned my body to peak performance: climbing, running, cycling and exercising using weights. I needed to be in the best shape possible for such an endeavour. Finally the day for the climb arrived. I embarked at 1:00 p.m. and climbed 20,000 feet in 13 solid, painstaking hours. For the first 15,000 feet I felt great, I was in a nice rhythm and staying well ahead of schedule. At halfway I took a break to have a shower and rest. When I got back on the wall my performance began to quickly deteriorate. The last 5,000 feet was extremely difficult, I had to push my body beyond what it was capable of doing. I decided to stop to sleep for an hour. When I woke I felt extremely tired, sore and nauseated. I was promptly taken to the hospital and was diagnosed as severely dehydrated. The total amount raised from the campaign was $22,236.80. Looking back, this campaign was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs: heartaches and headaches, blessing and accomplishments. It was a journey of challenges but an amazing experience preparing for such a venture. It was an important time of personal growth: mentally, physically, but most of all spiritually. Throughout the entire campaign, my family at Harrowsmith F.M. Church was incredibly supportive, helpful, and loving. I have seen that through thick and thin God is at my side every step of the way. His love is unfailing and unconditional. He is the only one worthy of all glory, honour and praise.
Greg Adams attends Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church