UPDATE 62 DEBBIE WOHLER, TAHOE CITY, CA MARCH 1, 2010: Olympic report
Favorite quotes from the children this month:
I was visiting Glenda, one of our former semester missionaries. Her two children wanted to put on a show for me while I was there. The 2 year old was jumping up and down on the bed with her sunglasses on to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” I asked the 5 year old what his job in the show was. He said, “I’m the boss!” This is a child after my own heart!
Favorite things I’ve seen God do this month: (Olympic report)
Over 500 Baptists headed to Vancouver to minister at the Olympics. People have become Christians during the past three weeks at the Olympics. Thousands of people heard the gospel presented through the use of the “More
than Gold” pins. (In next month’s report I will try to remember to get the final tally of numbers from the total Olympic ministry. I am sure it will take a couple of weeks for all of the teams to report their statistics.) Our goal was to help the people of the world know that a relationship with Jesus Christ was worth “More Than Gold.” The pin had a snowflake on it. Each part of the snowflake represented the colors of the salvation bracelet. On the back of the pin there was a card attached with the meaning of the colors telling how to become a Christian. We also had brochures to give out with the pin that had practical things (maps of downtown and train stations) as well as testimonies from Christian athletes. The types of ministries at the Olympics included:
; Giving out free hot chocolate and coffee at several train stations and bus stops from 4:30 a.m. to 12:30
a.m. (Each team had shifts at different stations)
; Pin trading
; Taking pictures for people by the torch and other points of interest
; Welcome kits with hats, scarves, etc. were given to homeless
; Derek Spain, your NAMB Home Missionary, was an official chaplain at the athletes village in Whistler
; Some Baptists were official Vancouver Olympic volunteers and were able to talk to another whole
group of people.
; Churches in the area had large screen events to attract the community. They had “Opening and Closing
Ceremony parties as well as hockey parties.)
; Prayer ministry. We were able to pray with people who were in need of physical or emotional healing.
; There were people who dressed up as clowns and people who did drama or music on the streets.
; “As you go” type of ministries. As we would travel on the buses and trains we would talk with people
about Jesus. As we waited in line for bathrooms or food we talked with people. As we walked the
streets or went to events we talked with people about Jesus.
Here are some statistics from the official Olympic web site:
; 17 days of thrilling competition and athletic accomplishments
; 15 sport disciplines
; 9 competition venues
; 3 Olympic training facilities
; 86 medal competitions
; 86 Victory Ceremonies (16 in-venue medal presentations, 25 at BC Place and 45 at Whistler Medals Plaza) ; 615 medals awarded
; 1,055 athlete bouquets presented
; 82 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs)
; 6,500 athletes and team officials in total
; 2,632 registered athletes
; 50,000 workforce members for the Games, including paid, contractor and volunteers
You can go to www.namb.net and see an article and pictures of me ministering at the Olympics. You can also
see a video of Derek Spain ministering to the athletes at Whistler Olympic Village.
thWhat a wonderful opportunity and experience to be at the Olympics again. This was my 11 time to minister at
the Olympics. Each Olympics has its own flavor. The local people were so glad that Olympics were there.
There were helpful, kind, and open to the gospel. They also spoke English! Ha! Here are a few thoughts and
; The world is there at the Olympics. I met many people from each of the major countries represented at
the Olympics in my travels during the Olympics. One day when I was fortunate enough to be at an
event I just started crying. To see the countries of the world all together living in peace and harmony
moved me. Then I began to think about how this was a glimpse of heaven. All the nations of the world
will gather and instead of athletes Jesus will be center stage and we will be shouting praises to Him. I
was continually overwhelmed at the opportunities I had to talk to the world about Jesus. I met a man
from Persia (Iran) on the train. He and his wife were there to see the Olympics. I got to freely tell him
about Jesus and give them “More Than Gold” pins and brochures. This could not have happened in his
; I also got a huge sense that God is up to so much more than my human mind can comprehend. It’s all
bigger than we think. One of the highlights for me was getting to see Shannon Barkhe win the bronze in
the women’s mogul competition. . (Shannon was the one you’d see on TV with pink hair!) Shannon
and her brother Scotty grew up coming to our summer programs on a daily basis. I was able to serve
their family in many ways at that event. Did we know that when Shannon and Scotty were hearing the
stories of Jesus as children that they would be Olympic athletes? No! We were just being faithful.
Scotty found out the day after Shannon won her medal that he too would get to ski in the men’s aerials
at the Olympics. Scotty just missed the cut for the Olympics. His friend who made the team had
problems with an appendix surgery he had and couldn’t compete. Scotty had to get his skis flown in
from the Salt Lake City training center. Some of you may have seen me on TV. I was standing behind
Shannon and Scotty’s Mom, Trilla, when Shannon won the bronze. Julia Mancuso’s sister came to A+
as a child and Julia picked her up each day. Marco Sullivan was another Olympic athlete who attended
the Big A Club as a child. At one point during the Olympics, Tahoe Olympians had more medals than
some countries! Many people from Tahoe were at the Olympics and I got to minister to them again in a
different country. We are to plant seeds and God scatters them all over the world. ; While I was at the Olympics I got to see two of our former missionaries. Georganna was a summer
missionary here in 1986! We had lost track of her so it was great to reconnect. She was helping out
with the shower and washer/dryer units brought in by the Washington disaster relief teams. Glenda was
a semester missionary here in 2001. She was from Canada. She and her husband and two children serve
as church planters in Richmond (south of Vancouver). Both of these missionaries expressed how Tahoe
changed their lives and impacted their ministries. It’s bigger than we think and it encourages me to
continue being faithful planting seeds every day. God has spread our kids and missionaries out all over
; I was on the train one day. I was standing by a group of 13 people from Japan. As I began talking with
them I found out that they were the family of “MiHo” a 15 year old Olympic speed skater from Japan. I
told them I had been to Nagano and that I loved their country. We began talking and I got to share the
“More than Gold” pin and brochure with all of them. They were open to hear the gospel and they were
excited to get and read the materials. I asked them what event “MiHo” was in. They said, “The 1,500
meter women’s speed skating event.” Through God’s providence I had a ticket to that event. They were
so excited. They gave me a hand made “MiHo” headband and a “Go MiHo” flag. I told them I’d try to
find them at the event and that I would cheer “MiHo” on while I was there. They were so excited. By
some miracle I remembered the Japanese word for “thank you” and said it and bowed to them. They
clapped! I go to the event and use my long lens on my camera and started looking for Japanese flags.
They were on the opposite side of the stadium from me. During the intermission I went over and talked
with them. I had on the headband and was waving the flag they gave me. There was a much larger
group with them and they all cheered and were so excited to see me. The ones who had been on the
train explained how they had met me to the larger group. When I left them, I was then interview from a
Japanese Olympic broadcaster. He asked how I knew “MiHo.” I told him on camera the whole story.
Then I got to tell “MiHo” that she’d had a good skate and that I would be looking forward to seeing her
at the next Olympics. These divine appointments were amazing!
; One day I was at an event where the USA wasn’t doing well. I sat by people from the Netherlands,
Canada, and Australia. I had long conversations with them about how I came to the Olympics to tell
people about Jesus. I cheered for their countries and Netherlands and Canada won medals. The
Netherlands lady gave me her e-mail and asked for copies of the pictures I took so I’ll have more contact
with her. She had a Dutch passport and offered to take me to the Heineken house for a big party to
celebrate their medal. Fortunately I was meeting Glenda, our former semester missionary, that night so I
didn’t have to go into detail about how it wouldn’t be so good for the Baptist missionary to be at the big
; I got to meet Danielle Goyette from Canada who carried the flag for Canada at the Torino Opening
ceremonies. She was on two gold medal hockey teams for Canada and 9 world hockey championship
teams. I got to talk hockey and Jesus with her. (Can you see why God put this P.E. major at Tahoe and
; I was interviewed by two people with two totally different results. I was interviewed by the French
Public Radio station about my experience at the Olympics. When I started talking about Jesus that
interview was over pretty quickly. One day we took a wrong turn and headed down the wrong street.
There was a “Wall Street Online Journal” reporter who stopped us for an interview. She was a Christian.
Being in the media she hadn’t met many people who were Christians so we were an encouragement to
her. She interviewed us about the luger’s death and about the lack of snow at Cypress.
; Because of knowing Scotty and Shannon Barkhe we got to go into the Proctor and Gamble House. This
is where the athletes and their families hang out. I met a man and he said, “I’m sure you’ve never heard
of my son, Brian Hanley.” I said, “I saw him skate in the men’s 1,500 and he’ a speed skater and I
cheered him on!” He was shocked that I knew who his son was. He shook my hand and said “Thanks
for the encouragement.” While I was in the Proctor and Gamble house I also got to write a message to
the luger’s family and teammates. I told them I was praying for them and “God bless them.”
; I was at the torch run and got to talk with a couple of guys from Vancouver about Jesus. I told them that
the light of the torch reminds me that “Jesus is the light of the world.
; I was also able to pray with two different people as they expressed their needs. Once they found out I
was a Christian they asked me to pray for them. One asked for prayers for their son, Kevin, whose wife
let him with 6 children. The other was a VANOC volunteer who had lost her best friend to cancer the
; It was also good to see friends from all over the U.S. that I’ve served with at previous Olympics. I also
was impressed with how God has made each of us as volunteers so different so that we can each reach
different kinds of people in different ways.
If you are still reading this…you are a saint. These are some highlights. It was an amazing God filled
experience. Thank you so much for your love and prayers!
; Pray that God will send people to water the seeds that were planted at the Olympics.
; Pray for us as we approach Easter on the ski slopes and in our ministry outreach efforts.
; Pray the students will respond to our need for semester missionaries for the fall 2010 semester.
HOUSE ACCOUNT FINANCIAL REPORT-EVERY DONATION HELPS!!
To date: Cell Fund/Recellular-- $2,946.54 =$ 2,946.54 To date: Empties 4 Cash --$56,326.34 + $513.40 =$ 56,839.74 To date: Funding Factory--$2,866.34 + $341.20 =$ 3,207.54 To date: Local Church Donations-- $158,426.61 +$ 1,125.00 =$ 159,551.61 To date: Other Donations--$32,201.00 =$ 32,201.00 To date: Interest--$ 4,417.45 + $111.18 =$ 4,528.63 To date: InkSmile—$201.48 =$ 201.48
To date: I Give checks received: $811.02 + $76.78 =$ 887.80 To date: SHARES program: $861.72 +$427.02 =$ 1,288.74 A+ Program--$61,594.10 =$ 61,594.10
Total: $ 323,247.18
Less van #1 cost $41,296.15
Less van #2 cost $26,499.51
Less van #3 cost $26,499.51
Less check stamp $12.00
Less escrow $ 5,000.00
Total in checkbook and certificate of deposit as of March 1, 2010: $223,940.01! GOD IS AMAZING! Through your efforts we received $2,594.58 this month!! Keep up the great work for the Lord!! I appreciate you!!
Debbie Wohler, NAMB Home Missionary
PO Box 7452
Tahoe City, CA 96145
530-583-2925 (Pacific Standard Time)
Empties4cash account number: 14716
Ink Smile account number: 10172
Funding Factory account number: 44803