Up early this morning to cover the morning shift at the Village. When I was on the bus after going through the security checkpoint one of our other chaplains boarded the bus. When she saw me she said, "Now you're not on duty this morning, right? Just coming in to connect with some athletes?" I double-checked my schedule and she was right. So, I hung around for a few minutes, drank an orange juice and grabbed a muffin, said hello to the chaplains who were on duty, then headed back to the bus to go back into town.
Starbucks is my favorite spot to hang out. It's the Starbucks on Main Street in Whistler, right beside the IGA SuperMarket if you're looking for me. (Some of you will find this on GoogleEarth right now.) I ran into Darren Steele, the CEO of the United States Bobsled & Skeleton Federation, and we chatted a couple of minutes about the bobsled team and my role as a chaplain at the Games. Then I called my father on Skype, then my father-in-law, then tried to call my wife but she wasn't near the computer. Did I say how much I wish Kim was here with me??
I decided to take a walk up the Village Stroll to the Lake Placid Friendship House to see if anyone was there. On the way I bumped into Clark Moran, a youth pastor from Ontario who is one of the coordinators in our Multi-Faith Centre during the Games. He's a great part of our chaplaincy team and a lot of fun to be with. Clark and I stopped to talk to Mike Gravette (from Georgia Baptist Convention, my current "host dad") a few yards up the road, then off to the Friendship House. Saw Betsy Napier (John's mom) and the Lake Placid's own Todd Bissonette, one of our local photographers here covering the Games.
Next I headed on over to the Village to connect with our athletes. I shot some pool with John (he let me win!), then spent some time with Wynn, along with his brother, his sister, his girlfriend, and a family friend. They had a fun time, mostly playing video games in the athletes' game room. Wynn was able to bring those guys in on "day passes" that the athletes are allowed to give out. Each athlete only has a few they can give out the entire time of the Games.
Two interesting things about the Whistler Athletes Village. First, it is built on the site of the former town dump. Second, the dorms the athletes are using will be used as affordable housing for the workforce of the Whistler community after the Games are done.
We had a great chaplains meeting in the afternoon that included one of the chaplains from the Vancouver Athletes Village. We talked about a lot of items, and a had a very stimulating conversation about how God is using us, and how our ministry at these Games fits in with what the LORD has been doing, is doing, and will be doing at Olympic Games in the future. The chaplain from Vancouver was very complimentary of our ministry in Whistler. Praise God.
Our Bible study this evening was more of a special night of testimony by one of our chaplains, Kathy Kreiner-Phillips. Kathy is a Canadian gold medalist from the 1976 Olympics in downhill skiing, and she also competed for Canada in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. She gave her testimony of faith in Christ. The room was packed with people, and lots of people asked questions. Here's a cool part of her testimony: she first started seeing her need for a personal relationship with Jesus by watching the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbrook, Austria.
On the way out of the Village I had a chance to pray with one of the athletes, meet two security guards who are very interested in joining us for Bible study starting tomorrow, and a great chat with Brad from Athletes in Action ministry. Brad serves the LORD in Europe and has a heart like mine to see God do some amazing things in the lives of winter sports athletes.
God continues to expand my vision for how HE is at work around the world. Give Him glory.