• Retah McPherson

Climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

In obedience to YHVH’s voice I found myself, Tinus and friends Deon and Lourette on our way to climb Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa.

We started our first day in a heavy rain storm - walking in the slippery mud of the mountain, with the water coming down like a river around us.  Soaking wet we arrived late that night at the camp with everything wet, wet, wet! You have to get your tent from the carriers, but they were still on their way, so we waited patiently in the cold rain. I realized that the ‘journey’, we have prepared for over many months, has started, and now we just needed to focus on our mission. Silently, every one of us was constantly praying, and that was the beginning of a non-stop 7 day prayer marathon on the mountain. Without Yeshua I would not have been able to do this.    


The truth is that this was the toughest seven days of my life. We had all kinds of weather snow, heavy rains and stormy winds. You have to bear in mind that we came from a warm and sunny Africa and are not familiar with the consequences of ‘snow’. I have never slept in snow, or walked through snow and wind all day. Our faces, hands and feet were literally freezing! I was at one stage so worried about my nose. People’s lips cracked totally open and their faces became one solid blister – raw.


When the German Hans Meyer found snow on Kilimanjaro he wrote to England and said “I found snow in Africa!” They replied to him and said that it must be bird droppings, because there is no snow in Africa. Well, he found the highest point in Africa, and there definitely are snow and a lot of different weather patterns in one day.


Today this mountain is also a stronghold in the spirit realm, filled or should I say ‘packed’ with altars where evil rituals are done daily. Just as we pray to Yeshua and receive His power, these people do rituals, and receive evil power from the mountain and altars.  This is an active trading floor in the spirit. The mountain people are really tough people but, it is not only them that do the rituals. All kinds of peoples, who do not know Yeshua, but seeking power, draw their strength from the altars on the mountain - witch doctors, sangomas and all involved with traditional medicine and muti making.

Already in the first night, I was picked up in the spirit and had a spiritual attack whilst sleeping. I woke up fighting in the spirit and eventually went back to sleep with my heart bouncing rapidly. Two nights after that, I once again had a fight in the spirit and woke up with a heavy fever. That morning my oxygen levels were already at 82. When it is 87 you are normally taken into ICU in hospital.  I did not feel well, but was not moved, because I knew that it was just a spiritual attack. I truly believe that when YHVH asks you to do something, He will protect you. But this was really not a stroll in the park. The climbs were about 10km per day in the cold snowy weather. I was freezing and knew that we just had to keep on focusing.


The first day before we started walking we saw a group from America with amputated legs. Wow, all the way on the mountain I was thinking about them – we all have challenges in life! But amazing how they decided not to sit and feel sorry for themselves, but live life to the full! I am not sure how far they made it, but at least they did not stop dreaming. I cannot tell you how many times I see people that stop dreaming. Don’t let your situations steal your dreams!!

Mountain sickness is the dangerous illness that everyone talks about. It has nothing to do with how hard you’ve trained but, depends upon how your body handles the low oxygen on the mountain top. When you get sick on the mountain they carry you off on a stretcher to a certain point were a Land Cruiser will pick you up, as not many people have the helicopter insurance.  One day we walked and all of a sudden everyone jumped out of the way as a man came down the hill being carried by 6 carriers. They stopped in front of us, and I had the opportunity to pray for him. He was very, very sick and it looked as if he was already in a coma. I bound the spirit of death over him, and just prayed for the angels to protect him down hill, and for healing and mercy.  After we came back we looked at our photos, and we saw an angel in the clouds as I prayed.  People get injured in many different ways on the mountain and they lose their toes, they get heart attacks and sometimes even die.


So, the summit day arrived and we started to climb 24h00 the night in the snow with your light on your head. In single file we climbed for 7 hours to Stella Point. That is the place where you stop and decide if you can go up onto the last tough stretch. Before this point many, many people were grabbed by the arm and rushed off the mountain. It could be because of heavy headaches, their heart or mountain sickness.

We all went to Stella Point but, I could see Tinus suffering a lot. He could not breathe without having to wait a while after every step. His face started to swell and I knew of the heart attack he had when he was young. His veins in his face stood out thickly and he didn’t say anything other than ‘I feel like I’m going to faint’. So, now the enemy starts playing games with my mind. I fought these thoughts and prayed non-stop ”Tinus, the Spirit of life in you, overrules the spirit of death in you...”   I just kept on praying and praying whilst suffering against the strong wind and snow step by step. At one stage I thought this wind would be able to blow me off the mountain. Because of the snow and cold, they said I must keep on walking no matter what, they would stay with Tinus. The man with the stretcher came into my mind, and I had to really fight these thoughts. So what if Tinus dies here? Would YHVH ask you to do something for Him and it can cost your life? As I continued walking step by step conquering the storm I heard Yeshua’s soft voice ”Retah, don’t fear the one who can kill flesh, fear Me – I AM WHO I SAID I AM”. I looked back but didn’t even see Tinus anymore. With tears in my eyes I reach the summit 5 950m without Tinus. I did communion and poured some as well as anointing oil out on the ground. Praying and sanctifying the ground, as the whole week I was busy repenting of these altars and did communion were ever we went. Our friends Deon and Lourette also made it to the top. Because of the danger to your health, the guides want you off the mountain as quickly as possible. As I start picking up my bag I looked up and saw Tinus! His face was so swollen, but he made it!!!!! We could pray together, take a picture and leave the mountain starting on four very hard hours to get off the mountain to base camp. The ground was so slippery, and I had a very hard fall down the hill. Tinus was quiet but slowly he came down safely to basecamp.


There we started to pack straight a way, and started the last eight hours down the mountain for the day. All and all we walked 17 hours that day from midnight to late afternoon to the last camp. I was so, so thankful that Tinus made it. Very late-night in our tent with tears in his eyes Tinus told me “I prayed to Abba on the mountain and asked Him please, He must help me to make it to the top. Many things in my life I did not succeed in because I relied on myself. But, this time I trusted and relied on Him alone. So step by step I asked for helped, and He helped me to the top. Retah, I would never have been able to do this on my own”. It was an amazing moment of victory together, and seven days of great bonding time for us.


Our friends Deon and Lourette had their own mission. Their son Dwaine died in 2003 and Aldo saw him in heaven.  Aldo came back from heaven and wrote his parents a letter on how happy Dwaine is in heaven and that he doesn’t want his parents to cry anymore. This was one of my first steps of faith – it is not easy to contact an unknown family and to give them a letter telling them about their son and what he says from heaven. The words in the letter were so spot-on; Aldo through Wisdom even called his name “Dwaina” as only his parents called him. Many other things in the letter could give the parents - that were at that stage so desperate to know their son was fine – some comfort. There was another boy, as well, that he saw in heaven, and we also found his parents.


But Dwaine had a dream when he was still alive to climb Kilimanjaro one day. So his mom and dad did it for him. With a photo of her son in her jacket, she just never stopped nor complained. Step by step I walked behind her, and saw a mother’s heart for her child.  Tears fell freely at night when we all laid in our tents, and we knew Aldo and Dwaine are happy – even if they were not there on the mountain themselves.

Aren’t our lives the same? – consisting of tough ups, and sometimes even tougher downs. But, how sweet is the reward of being an ‘overcomer in Yeshua’.

Back home, I am at peace and very quiet in my heart. I walk around - feeling a little overwhelmed. I look at Tinus and am so very thankful to Yeshua that He saved his life for us. My body is still tired, but work started again. I look at my children with different eyes, and I am forever thankful that Tinus and I could do this together.

Our hearts bonded in a new way, TOGETHER TRUSTING YHVH FOR EVERY STEP OF OUR LIVES.

This is a new season filled with dreams for me, and I am looking forward to the race of faith with Yeshua!

I bless you with ‘living your dreams and visions in Christ Messiah’.

Retah and family


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