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On the mound: ‘Cured’ cancer patient believes God wants him to coach

Marlin Dahlke wants to share how God has blessed his life. He claims God used cancer to help him realize how blessed his life is.

In June 2015, Dahlke became ill, and his doctor revealed to him he had pancreatic cancer stage 4. Though he was in critical condition and told he had a five percent chance of survival, he did not panic.

“The Lord gave me a peace in my heart,” he shared. “He gave me hope, a calmness. I felt no fear, no anger, and I did not ask ‘Why me?’ I just lifted it up to God to take me into His arms.”

This began his journey to what Dahlke aspired to do long ago, and that is to coach baseball and work with kids. Currently he is a volunteer pitching coach for Southeast High School in Oklahoma City.

For 26 years, he worked for Peterbilt Motors. Dahlke made a profession of faith in Christ when he was 22 but claims, before his cancer experience, he was a “pew warmer.”

“My priorities were money, family and THEN God,” he said. “All I was doing was going to Sunday morning service and tithing. After my diagnosis, my priorities changed to God first, family second and money third. I began to pray more, witness more, tithing willingly and just started to do the things God tells us to do. So don’t wait for the Lord to get your attention.”

A member of Oklahoma City, Wilmont Place, Dahlke worked security at the church’s Judgement House every Halloween for 17 years. Being familiar with the suspenseful drama that portrays a Heaven-Hell judgment decision for the many who attend, Dahlke said working Judgement House in 2015 had a different impact on him. He became convicted that he needed to tell others about Christ.

“God told me ‘When I cure you of this cancer, the first thing I want you to do is go and share your testimony with every church that has you on their prayer list,’” Dahlke said. “On July 15, 2016, the doctors told me that I was in remission. The power of prayer is a mighty thing. Praise the Lord!”

While he was being treated for cancer, Dahlke exhausted his sick leave time at Peterbilt. He filed for disability, and when he was able, he decided he wanted to use his time to encourage others.

“I go up to the cancer center at Integris Hospital and talk to cancer patients,” he said. “I try to comfort them and give them hope and share the Gospel with them.”

As an all-state pitcher at Del City High School, Dahlke loved baseball and played at Rose State College and Oklahoma City University. Along with spending time encouraging cancer patients, he also spends time with high school baseball players, as he is in his second year coaching at Southeast. One former Southeast player had brain cancer last year, and Dahlke believes God allowed him to coach at Southeast in order to encourage this player.

He shares with other players too, offering many life illustrations while coaching.

“The Lord has blessed me in so many ways. I’m just trying to share with others,” Dahlke said.

Among his blessings, Dahlke thanks God for his wife Janice of 39 years, as well as his two adult children and grandchildren.

Now Dahlke wants to share his story with others. “I’m willing to talk to anybody who wants to get in touch with me,” he said.

Dahlke has been able to speak at some of the churches that had him listed on their prayer lists, and there are a few more he hopes he can share with them, how he appreciates their prayers when he was suffering from cancer. He wants churches to contact him at baseball10@cox.net.

Whether he’s coaching baseball, encouraging cancer patients or sharing his testimony in churches, Marlin Dahlke is doing what God wants him to do.

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

View more articles by Chris Doyle.

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