Decades of Missions, Decades of Professions

( [email protected] ) Mar 10, 2004 09:01 PM EST

Debbie Wohler, Lake Tahoe missionary for more than two decades, is among the 5,200 missionaries in the United States and Canada that are supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. Throughout the week of March 7-14, the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, features several missionaries who lead passionate lives as the workers of God.

“Often in Scripture, it looks like it’s the small things -- you know, the salt, the light, the yeast, the seed in the soil -- that add up to big things,” said Wohler, who serves in the scenic resort area that is home to 12 million visitors each year. “I think a lot of times we want to see the big things without having done the small things.”

Wohler services several churches, including the First Baptist Church of Tahoe City, which offers a before- and after-school program and childcare services several weekday mornings and evenings. She also leads a children’s day camp during the summer, and from Christmas through Easter she serves as a chaplain for six ski resorts.

“I wonder what God is going to do in these kids’ lives, and they’re still babies,” she said. “They’re barely walking, but I begin to dream and hope and pray for these children.”

“Jesus said if you want to come into the Kingdom that you need to come like a child,” she said. “I actually think the best years are ahead because there has been a ton of seed planting.”

“I want to raise a generation of people who love God and who serve God,” Wohler said. “I want to teach them how to pray, minister and not be afraid to talk to people about Jesus and what’s happened in their heart.”

Each year, First Baptist provides children’s ministry services to nearly 700 families.

“Every church could be doing what we’re doing,” Wohler said. “We’ve taken care of their kids and loved their families,” she said. “And as a result we’ve seen moms and dads and boys and girls come to know Jesus. My goal is to strengthen the family so that the family can come to know Christ.”

And God is using children to introduce their families to Christ, Wohler said. “We’re starting to get adults in our class for children about how to become a Christian,” she said.

Every year, dozens of people profess their faith through the work of Wohler and First Baptist Church. “We’ve been able to have a lot of influence on people who then leave and go to other places, so we kind of see ourselves as a training station,” she said.

These testimonies are what give Wohler strength and inspiration. The financial support comes through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering of the North American Mission Board.

“I have felt supported, and cared for, and encouraged beyond belief,” Wohler said. “And that makes all the difference. These boys and girls, these young people, these adults are hearing about Jesus Christ because of Southern Baptists’ support of the missions offering for North American missions.”