Today was the first day that I felt tired when I woke up. My schedule is pretty long each day, with lots of walking, talking, praying, encouraging, etc. So I needed an extra prayer for strength as I began my day.
I enjoyed a great devotion with the mission team from GA. It was written by Dr. Tom Blackaby and shared with us by Kelly Seckinger. It was about being salt. It beautifully described our opportunity as believers to be catalysts for change in others, if we let God use us to show love and compassion to others. Another Kelly - Kelly Manire - who is on staff with the Canadian National Baptist Convention planting churches on college campuses, led in prayer. He prayed that God would use us all today to touch lives for the kingdom of God, to be salt to the people we would meet.
I felt a bit more energized after the time of devotion and prayer with the team.
My last morning at Starbucks (sigh). Before leaving, I left two copies of the book Soul Cravings for the staff that I have met over these last few weeks. I pray they will take the time to read it.
It was raining at the lower end of the Whistler Village Stroll, but as I walked up the rain turned to snow. Wet snow, however. So we jumped on the gondola (my favorite Australian chaplain - Matthew - and me) and started for the start line grandstands for the four-man bobsled race. In line we connected with some orange-poncho-ed folks from Oregon, and had a great time walking to the start with them, explaining bobsled along the way. It turns out they were believers, and that they were praying that God would connect them with Christians along their journey to the Olympics.
During the first heat, we sat beside John's mom, and he joined us for part of the race. The folks in the stands kept handing me their cameras to get a picture with him. We watched the first heat of the race from the start, then headed down to the finish area, thinking we would get a seat on the grandstands.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
We did manage to get a spot standing, with a great view of the video screen, right near the finish line. If it were not for the thousands of people in front of us we would have had a clear view of the finish line.
We were met by two other folks from our Multi-Faith Centre for the second heat, Lindsay (one of our office coordinators) and Mohammed (one of the imams). Mohammed lives in Vancouver, is originally from India, and has never seen bobsled before. It was a lot of fun to watch the race with them.
Results of the race were:
* Gold medal - USA1, driven by Steve Holcomb
* Silver medal - GER1, driven by Andre Lange
* Bronze medal - CAN1, driven by Lyndon Rush (who was beaten by 0.01 seconds - the slimmest margin possible in bobsled)
By winning the gold in four-man bobsled, the USA ended a 62-year drought. Since 1948, no USA four-man bobsled team had won a gold medal. Congratulations to "Team Night Train" - Steve Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler, and Curt Tomasevicz!
We walked down the ski slope one last time from the bobsled track. The lines for the gondola and buses were way too long. Then I headed back to the house to wash clothes and rest. I had been invited to come over to the USA House for the four-man bobsled victory celebration.
At about 8:30 people, I boarded #1 bus to go the USA House. It was great to hear the speeches by the athletes and coaches. All the "Night Train" team thanked their coaches and staff. They thanked Geoff Bodine for his commitment to the USA bobsled program. Geoff just humbly smiled.
It was pretty emotional at times. A few years ago, Holcomb was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease and he officially retired, but head coach Brian Shimer located a surgeon who attempted an experimental surgery that has brought healing to Holcomb's eyes. Holcomb came out of retirement and is now an Olympic champion! That's perseverance.
Also, praise God for HIS healing. He uses surgeons in amazing ways!
We had some good food and good conversations at the bobsled victory celebration. I was able to meet some of the family members of the athletes, and they were appreciative of our ministry to the athletes. And, I was able to congratulate the team and the coaches. Some of the USOC staff who I had met three weeks ago were very great to talk to. Relationships develop over time. They take perseverance.
Teresa was at the USA House, of course, being her usual cheerful self. She is always so encouraging to everyone. She did share a couple of prayer requests with me, so when you think about it pray for Teresa and the two prayer requests. Pray that she will persevere til the end of her time in Whistler, with joy and effectiveness.
Tomorrow is my last shift at the Village, and then I go down to Vancouver for the evening to spend the night with Nick, one of our chaplains. Then I fly out on Monday, on my way back home (Yay!)
Pray that God will give us a great day tomorrow, and that our time of worship at the Village (tomorrow is Sunday) will be Christ-exalting in every way!
All of the athletes will be leaving the Whistler Village tomorrow to go to the Closing Ceremonies in Vancouver. Pray for God's protection.