The teams arrived early to the Finish Line at the Oval to help set up and begin cooking pancakes. After a great devotion by Pastor Todd from VA, we prayed and then got everyone ready for their jobs for the morning. People chose a job based on their spiritual gifts: those with serving gifts did the cooking, cleaning up, pouring juice, and the like; those with speaking gifts ate pancakes and talked to people all morning.
We had some wonderful conversations, catching up with athletes and their families that we see each year, as well as meeting new friends. Our team members let everyone know that we will be praying for them and serving in various ways on race day.
And the pancakes were great!
We added fresh fruit to the pancake breakfast this year, and people ate up the oranges, apples and bananas. Those who arrived early were able to pour authentic maple syrup (straight from the trees of the Adirondacks, produced by a family from our church). The fresh fruit and maple syrup complimented the pancakes wonderfully.
About 1250 people attended the Pancake Breakfast this year. Families & friends of competitors, Ironman staff & volunteers, and of course competitors joined us for this annual event. We can't wait until next year.
At many Ironman races, local churches and ministries come together to host an IronPrayer service. The same is true in Lake Placid. Each year we partner with various ministries to have a top-notch program that includes great music, Ironman athletes sharing their personal stories of their faith in Christ and how that impacts them as an athlete, and a time of prayer for each of the athletes in attendance.
This year we partnered with FCA Endurance and 316 Athletic Wear to invite some excellent speakers. A huge thanks to each one of the speakers for keeping it real and talking about their authentic walk with Christ. You can tell that Jesus has really impacted these guys' lives! The theme seemed to be "live your life and run each race not for yourself, but for God's glory." Each athlete touched on that theme during their talk.
We always have a great children's program (including a bounce house!) in our church gym for the kids, and a nursery for the babies. I saw several kids after and you could tell they had a great time.
Altogether, over 300 people were in attendance at the IronPrayer service. Praise to the Lord. At the end of the service, right before the prayer time, I took a couple of minutes to explain the good news of Jesus Christ. Reading from verses in the book of Romans, I shared God's plan of salvation. Sixteen (16) people made professions of faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior! That's something to get excited about! And one young man expressed his desire to follow Christ in believer's baptism. God is on the move.
Now we are getting ready for race day. We have folks serving in lots of areas tomorrow. In the middle of the morning, we will be having Bible studies and worship for those who can navigate the road closures to make it to church.
Three words for race day: serving, encouraging, praying.