more than I imagined!

When I left on July 24 I had no idea where this London Olympic adventure would take me. I originally thought I’d serve in a hospitality sense — handing out water on the streets, helping people get around London and serving them in whatever way I could. My teammate and I received info the night before we left that said they could really use us in the More Than Gold Media Centre. We had no idea what that even meant, but headed to London with open hearts and ready hands. This was the first time More Than Gold had a Media Centre, so this was new to them too.

The Media Centre worked out of one of UK’s Christian Radio stations: Premier. We had a room with tables, chairs, phones, computers, and a huge screen to watch the local news or live Olympic events in the background. It felt like a newsroom! The goal of the Media Centre was to maximize this opportunity with the Olympics being hosted in London, and use the resources MTG had to share about God’s movement in the UK. The MTG team found that one of their programs the Athlete-Family-Home-Stay was a great human interest story. Various media outlets wanted to talk to athletes’ families and their hosts about their experience. These media outlets ranged anywhere from your local newspaper in the UK, magazines in Spain, to even the BBC or NBC. As a volunteer, I made phone calls to ask hosts and the families staying with them if they were willing to be interviewed. Here’s one story that NBC covered because of the More Than Gold Media Centre:

Alice and I partnered on a story. She did the interviews and I put together the story. 

The energy in the Media Centre was electric. The first day on the job I felt like I was working in the midst of a bustling newsroom. We met as a Media Centre Team for about an hour, and then they found out I could write and asked if I could put a story together — in an hour. I loved it!!

I researched and even helped write a couple more stories for the Daily Bulletin that were submitted to journalists and media experts wanting story ideas from the Games. Here is one of the Daily Bulletins that includes a story I helped with:,detailtemplate.html

more than expected
More Than Gold is the organization Greater Europe Mission partnered with to serve at the Olympic Games. MTG is excellent in bringing in teams to serve alongside churches to serve in practical ways and impact lives. Before I left London, I visited a church site to see firsthand what they were doing in their community. I had heard many stories, but had spent a lot of time in the office so it was fun to see it all in person. They had activities and sports for kids of all ages, Zumba classes, and even a Sports Café set up with big screen TVs to watch the Olympics. On Opening Ceremony Night this site that expected 2000 people and had approximately 6400 people show up to watch on the big screen. Here’s a picture of that event: 

It’s hard to know exactly what God has done in the UK. Only time will tell as hopefully churches continue to bring together their communities and share about our amazing God. Who knows what seeds were planted and lives forever changed because of what God did in London in 2012! There were also some moments when I wondered what type of impact I had, in an office on the phone researching needed information and writing. Only God knows! And the way He creates and assembles stories is brilliant (as the Brits would say)!! He’s a Master Storyteller and I have to trust that somewhere in the midst of a crazy week and a half in London that I was a part of a bigger Story. 

more to come . . .
So much happened this summer and so I will have a few more blogs just to catch you up on all that happened. But before the next blog post, here are a few things you could keep on your prayer list:

Thursday, August 23 – CT scan

Tuesday, August 28 – maintenance chemo (I think this is my ninth one . . . only one more after this!!)

In September things will be in full swing! I’m meeting with a German tutor twice a week. I’ll be helping with childcare at a moms’ morning Bible study, where I hope to share Bible lessons to toddlers/pre-schoolers in German. I now have the flexibility to meet with more teens during the week since I’m not in language school, and plan to help with the teen group that has just started through my church. I’m also excited about the possibilities right across the street from my apartment. There is a youth center there, and I believe they have an after-school program for kids and teens. I don’t know what this would even look like, but am excited to explore and see how God leads. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and to share in this God-adventure with me!!  

more pics
Enjoy the pics!:

I was given a GB flag from two little girls who were also attending this live screen event of the Opening Ceremony

Here I am with my teammate, Vera, before the festivities began
One of the perks about this site was that chairs were provided! Score!!

A pic of the screen

A pic from the Opening Ceremony show
While I was in London I did have the opportunity to go to a few Olympic events: a qualifying gymnastics round, qualifying women’s volleyball and beach volleyball, and table tennis

Horse Guards Parade venue and a women’s beach volleyball game: US versus Austria!! Seriously!

Women’s volleyball US versus Brazil; brought my volleyball fan shirt that I have from a high school graduate from Indiana
Even Kobe Bryant, who played on the Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, was there to support the US Women’s Volleyball team. And yes, I was one of those who had to get a picture. Poor guy!

Go USA!!
The arena was packed for table tennis!! And what you may not know is that the majority of the time there are four games happening at the same time. It can be rather confusing to watch. 

The Olympic RINGS on the Tower Bridge
The Rings in one of the Olympic Venues

The Rings in St. Pancras Station

One night we joined a prayer group to prayer walk around London
Big Ben and London infamous Taxis
This was one of the many underground lines I took around London. They definitely had the flow of people traffic organized!

I saw this Reese’s taxi!! You definitely don’t see these in Vienna!
The name of my “home” stop on the Victoria Line during my time in London

In this “home” area where we stayed they had community events happening to celebrate the Olympics. This big inflatable is one of the Olympic Mascots!

The first two days we were in London it was actually warm. This is probably the only day I wore shorts. Here I am on the Mall. This road leads to Buckingham Palace, which I’m facing in this picture. You probably saw any of the road races or marathons in this location. 
One of the Olympic Torches made an appearance in the office with the CEO of More Than Gold, Dave Willson

Getting around London involves taking the Tube. And when we were traveling on the Tube I was usually on my phone. 

You must be careful with not causing delays when the Tube wants to leave
This is a picture from Westfield Mall. This humongous mall was one of the main entrances to the Olympic Park/Village. This was as close as I got to the Stadium, which was from a window in the mall. 

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