by Chris Urton
The Olympic rings. It’s a symbol that everyone recognizes. They happen every two years now. We just had the Winter Olympics and in two years we will have the Summer Olympics.
I love the Olympics. I watch as much of them as I can. Some of the sports I don’t understand, but it’s just fun to watch the Olympians compete. Some of the athletes know that they don’t have a chance at winning a medal, but they have had a life long dream of being an Olympian and represent their country. Some countries only send one or two athletes, while some countries send hundreds of athletes.
I was watching the Olympics on the last Saturday of the games. The USA Men’s Bobsled team had won Olympic Gold! It was the first time in a long time that the USA had won a Gold Medal in the sport of Four Man Bobsled. The driver of the bobsled team had a disease and it almost left him blind. He was almost at the end of his rope and had thought about retiring from the sport, when he was encouraged to have an experimental treatment to restore his eyesight. The treatment worked and he was able to see again. He had to retrain himself in the bobsled, because before his eye procedure, he drove the sled by feeling the sled run down the track. It was totally different when he was able to see where he was going down the track.
So, where is this story going? Well, for one, the driver of the bobsled didn’t let his hardships keep him from competing in the Olympic games. He trained, and trained and the outcome of his training was a Gold medal for the USA. I’m sure if he didn’t win a medal, he was excited just to be at the Olympic games competing for his country.
As I sat there with tears in my eyes watching him get his Gold Medal, the look on his face was priceless! As they played the National Anthem of the USA, they showed the three flags of the countries that had won Gold, Silver and Bronze rising above the crowd. The sea of people that were there watching that ceremony were from different countries around the world. Most of them probably couldn’t speak to the people standing next to them because of language barriers. They were waving flags of their own countries during the celebration. It wasn’t their country that had won the gold medal, but they were just there to celebrate with the other athletes. I thought to myself, how neat would that be to win a gold medal and how it would feel to have them place the gold medal around my neck.
And then I thought, someday I will have the gold medal around my neck, and you will too. Not because of any great athletic thing that you or I have done, but because we are faithful servants. The last two and a half years have probably been the hardest years of my life. Gearing up to head back to PNG just to have the wind knocked out of our sails and learn of our mother’s illnesses was very hard. Then to take care of your mother while she is ill knowing what the outcome will be was very hard. We treasured the times though that we spent with our mothers.
So, we are gearing back up to continue to run the race that the Lord has set before us. During those two and a half years, we could have just packed it in and stayed here in the US, but we really felt that the Lord was leading us back to PNG. We want the Sob people of Papua New Guinea to be able to stand some day on the medal stand to receive their gold medal. The most exciting thing is that there will be people watching the medal ceremony that come from every tribe, tongue and nation. Unlike at the Olympic games where some couldn’t communicate with others because of the language barrier, we will all be in unison celebrating our Heavenly Father and worshiping at His feet.
There were times when we wanted to quit, but with your love, support and encouragement, we continue to run the race that we’ve been called to run. Thank you so much for your support of our training and continued work among the Sob people.
We can’t wait for the day when we will all stand in Heaven with people from all over the world, and you will get to meet the Sob people of Papua New Guinea because of your faithfulness. The words Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant will be music to our ears.
Chris and Lori continue to work among the Sob people. They are currently working on translating the books of John and Luke. Chris also serves as a Translation Consultant for PBT doing consultant checking for other language groups that PBT works with.