BY KAREN GLEASON –
While nations came together to celebrate human achievement, so denominations came together in the More Than Gold ministry to offer the ultimate “gold” of eternal life.
As part of the More Than Gold ministry, The Salvation Army sent over 100 volunteers to the 2002 Winter Olympics; most from the West, with good support from the Central and Southern Territories as well.
The volunteers, who were placed on teams, staffed 15 hydration stations at Olympic venues, performed in festivals, took prayer walks and, importantly, witnessed. They also participated in the ultimate Olympic tourist sport–pin trading–with the More Than Gold pin, using it to build bridges.
Why did The Salvation Army come to the Olympics? Because the world is here.
At the commitment service for the mission teams, Commissioner David Edwards, Western territorial commander, emphasized “We are not here for a photo opportunity or to proselytize. We are here to celebrate humanity and to promote the Olympic ideals of perseverance, compassion and self-denial.”
Edwards said, “Jesus was often found among crowds and we follow his example. We should always be where the people are, because someone there will need us, will need to hear the good news that Jesus brings.”
The Army will continue its ministry at the Paralympic Games, which will run March 7-16, 2002.
“The More than Gold Ministry will continue throughout the Paralympic Games,” said Intermountain Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Harold Brodin. “By the time the Games are over, we will have served a million 6-ounce cups of water.”