Thursday, February 25, 2010

Women's Bobsled Finals

The morning began quite early, with a 4:20 AM alarm to make sure I was ready for my Skype appointment with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group from Little Mill Middle School in Cumming, GA. A guy who was in my youth group when I served as a youth pastor in GA, Jimmy Woodward, is a teacher and the FCA leader at this school. I had a great time telling the students and parents all about some of my experiences at the Olympics, about some of the Christian athletes, and answering the great questions they asked. The Skype call was 7:45 AM for them, which was 4:45 AM for me. But it was worth it!

The early-morning Skype call made me so tired that I went back to bed for a few hours and caught up on some sleep. Everyone in my house keeps giving me a good-natured hard time about the long hours I am out every day and night. But I guess I am just blessed with an extra amount of energy. (Dad & Mom, was I this way as a kid??) The LORD gives me the strength I need to do all that He wants me to do each day. Every conversation, prayer time, text message, etc that I spend with people here is worth it to advance the kingdom of God.

The mission team staying at the house with me told me their devotion started at 9:30 AM, so I headed upstairs at 9:27. I heard two people praying, one of them praying for my family & me specifically, and it was very encouraging. After their prayer time was over I sat down to hear the devotion only to discover they had started early and I missed the whole thing! Oh well, at least the prayers were good.

I was scheduled to Skype with students from Keeseville, NY but a big snowstorm caused their school to be cancelled. Hopefully we can do that Skype call on Friday.

An hour at Starbucks allowed me to catch up on emails and post a couple of links on Facebook highlighting other ministry going on around Whistler and Vancouver. My friend Debbie Wohler was highlighted in one article, and my friend Sid Hopkins "The Pin Man" in another. Before I left the coffee shop I ran into Amanda Moreley from the Canadian bobsled team. She was the alternate on this year's team, just missing the Olympics. She is a dynamic follower of Christ. She is the person who helped to get our Athletes Bible Study in Lake Placid connected with FCA years ago. I also got to meet her mom and sister at the coffee shop.

The weather was turning a bit rainy/snowy so I headed back to the house for a quick change into my snow pants instead of jeans, then off to meet my friends Otis Jones and Betsy Napier to watch the women's bobsled finals. Before the race began, we had some great conversations with the folks around about bobsled, Olympic chaplaincy and more. I also had a chance to pray with Erin Pac as she came up to the Start area.

I'll get right to the results. Erin and Elana slid very well today, and so did the Canadians. Overall, the Canadian bobsled teams earned the gold and silver medals, and we are so proud of Erin and Elana for earning an Olympic bronze medal!! They are going to be on The Today Show on Thursday morning if you get a chance to watch. Pray that God will give these two Christian bobsledders just the right words to say. The silver medal Canadian bobsled team includes Shelly Ann Brown, who is a devoted follower of Christ also. Pray that her opportunities through the media will allow her faith in Christ to shine brightly too!

After the race and after saying "Congratulations!" to Erin & Elana, I walked down from the sliding track with Erin's family & friends. They of course are incredibly proud of her and Elana. I tried to find Shelly Ann to say "Congratulations!" to her, but there were too many Canadians in the way!


I arrived back at the host home before 9:00 PM, which is actually pretty early for me during these Games. The ladies from the mission team had made some yummy meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and I enjoyed a tasty dinner. After watching some of the Olympic Games from the day on TV with the mission team, it was time for bed.

One other quick praise: the mission team from Hebron Baptist Church (Dacula, GA) applied a few weeks ago to be official volunteers with VANOC, and they were all accepted. They will be official volunteers at the four-man bobsled races on Friday and Saturday. Pray that the LORD will use them to be a witness for Christ with all the volunteers and spectators that they meet.

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