Have you ever wanted to do something great? Something that would require significant sacrifice from you, but would have equally significant impact on someone else? And not just something great, but something that would be physically demanding, mentally challenging, and seemingly impossible.

In June 2013, my wife and I decided to go on our first international mission trip to South Africa. Of course when you think about a mission trip to South Africa, you sort of expect it to be a pretty eye-opening experience. Try as we might to prepare ourselves, when we arrived in the country, the living conditions in the squatter camps were far worse than could ever be imagined. We made the decision to maximize our 12 days in the country to love, serve, pray for, and share hope with as many people as possible. I'll never forget the people we met and the stories we heard.

In May 2014, I had a life-changing experience when I was given the opportunity to travel with a small group of leaders to Haiti to witness both unbelievable poverty and hopelessness like I could never imagine. The purpose of my trip was to visit orphanages and schools that doubled as food distribution centers for Convoy of Hope's Feed One initiative. It's one thing to hear about how horrific and desperate the living conditions are in a place like Haiti; it's another to experience it firsthand. I made the decision not just to pray for, but to take action to do what I could to sponsor children with the goal of bringing food, hope, and joy one child at a time.

Right here in Cleveland, OH we find one of America's poorest cities - 1 in 3 people live in poverty; the rate exceeds 50% for children. The city of Cleveland has the second highest divorce rate in the nation. It can be so easy to think about the poverty and overwhelming need in places like South Africa and Haiti, but there is also a significant need right here in my hometown of Cleveland. Just as I did in South Africa and Haiti, I have made the decision to boldly step out and do something to bring about change. 

In cooperation with my church, Journey Community Church, I will be joining a group of adventurers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this September to raise money for church planting, missions, and to fund the creation of the Cleveland Hope Center. The Cleveland Hope Center is a non-profit that will provide resources like food, job placement, counseling, and outreach to those in need in Cleveland. I am looking for individuals, families, and businesses who will partner with me. By contributing financially to this cause, you are doing so much more than supporting me as a climber, you are investing in Cleveland and specifically, in the establishment of the Cleveland Hope Center. For more information, check out www.clevelandhopecenter.org.

My audacious goal is to raise $10,000 in support to send me to Mt. Kilimanjaro to climb Africa's tallest mountain (only $4,000 is needed for the trip and the rest of the money is all fundraising money for the cause). I've had people ask me why I would do something so radical. My answer is simple.

I believe in hope.


All donations are given to Journey Community Church and a tax-deductible statement will be available to you at the end of the year. Contributions are made and received with the understanding that Journey Community Church and its entities have complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds. They may be used for other participants involved in the climb, The Cleveland Hope Center, or Church Planting. No refunds will be issued to participants or donors, even if the climber does not complete the climb. If you have questions or concerns please contact us via email at: info@journeypeople.com.

Kimberly Hartzler
I am so glad Thirty-One gave me the opportunity to give even more to you and your cause! GO GET THAT MOUNTAIN!
$144.50
Kurt and Linzi Geiger
Praying for Clevleand Hope Center, Journey, Pepper Pike!
$500.00
Michael Thomas $100.00
Katie Lamb
We are praying for all of you! What an awesome experience!!!
$50.00
Suppes Family
Praying for your climb for the Cleveland Hope Center! May Jesus be glorified and honored with your sacrifice and your commitment!
$100.00
Anonymous
pasta drive/final tshirt weekend
$202.29
Anonymous
tshirt sales up to 8/30
$29.62
Stephen & Andrea Tax $50.00
Trevor and Cara
We can't wait to hear about your climb!
$300.00
Matt Kysor
Praying for you man!!
Anonymous
Kili Fundraiser Dinner
$338.04
Anonymous
team tshirt sales 8/16-8/23
$119.33
Anonymous
Tshirt sales 8/16-8/23
$47.20
Anonymous
team tshirt sales 8/9-8/16
$59.13
Jeff Dennis $200.00
Carr family $100.00
Phil Kerlin
team tshirt sales as of 8/8
$126.53
Phil Kerlin
tshirt sales as of 8/8
$589.07
Anonymous
Hartzler family
We are so excited to support you and the Cleveland hope center. Expectant and waiting to hear how God multiples what You place in and hands and heals the broken and draws people to himself.
Brian and Kellie Gunter $50.00
Duryea Robinson
So excited for you Pastor Phil!
$100.00
Tyson & Lorena Vines
Take the voyage, share the story!
$100.00
Roberta
Dear Phil, I have often asked myself- why? Why Africa? Why Haiti? and now why Kilimanjaro? I believe I have finally have the answer... you are an amazing son, brother, uncle , husband and now father to my precious grandson Caleb. You have and have always had the biggest heart of any man I know - always giving away to those in need. I remember when you were the president of CCYM and we were wa
$100.00
Kathy Maiorana
Thank you for all that you do and the lives you touch!
$100.00
Chris Thomas $50.00
Eric and Ali Gilson
Wishing you safe travels and an unbelievable adventure! Do good work, brother.
$100.00
Gary & Danielle Bruner
Best of luck, Phil! We will be praying for you!
Anonymous $50.00
Glenn and Jan
WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU
$200.00
Kronenberger CPA & Company
Good Luck!
$300.00
Seraphim Software
Anonymous $100.00
Ryan Coggins
You're the man, Phil. Honored to partner with you!
$100.00
Bob Brown
Hey Phil, will be praying for you to impact the lives of people in our city and beyond.
$100.00
Becky and Terry Latynski
Kudos for your efforts. Thanks for allowing us to play a small role. Blessings and Love from old Irondale UMC friends.
$100.00
Robert Wachs
Are you nuts? But then again I know the answer- great cause-great climb!! Blessings on you my friend.
$200.00
Anonymous $200.00
Alan & Patty Hales
Phil, we love your enthusiasm for the Lord and what He has called you to do in your life! You are such an inspiration! May God bless you for taking this challenge and keep you healthy & safe while on your adventure! We love you, Buddy!
$50.00
Jim & Jennifer Wilkes
Happy Birthday! We are so proud of you and all you do to build God's Kingdom. You truly a man after God's own heart. Your passion, energy, commitment and dedication is a blessing to us and everyone you meet. We got your back and love you very much!! Don't quit, don't stop, don't give in, don't get discouraged....God's got you and is with you every step of the way. Again, Happy Birthday from us!!
$100.00
Collins Family
Thank you for your service to lead as the hands and feet of Christ. Love to you all ☺️
$50.00
Anonymous
Rob Schofield
"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." Go get this!
$50.00
Aunt Kathy
May God richly bless your work in his Kingdom. Love you.
$50.00
Zoe Tatar
Praying for you and hoping you have a great time! God Bless, Bryan & Zoe
$50.00

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