Tualatin Valley aims for “more than gold”

Oregon teens prepare to minister at 2010 Winter Olympics.

Front (l-r): Danny Thompson, Estanislado Rivera. Back (l-r): Spike Arndt, Maranda Sword, Stacy Mitchell, Maryangel Onsurez, Samantha Mitchell, and Korin Arndt. [Photo by Rachel Vance]

This coming February, as athletes travel to Vancouver, B.C., for the Winter Olympics looking for gold, six teens from Tualatin Valley Citadel’s youth group will be pursuing a different kind of reward. Equipped with an attitude of service and the message of Christ’s love, they’ll be striving to win hearts for the Lord.

“For everyone involved, the goal is the same,” said Spike Arndt, youth pastor for the Tualatin Valley Corps. “We’re going to Canada to serve God.”

Under the umbrella of “More Than Gold,” an organization that works with multiple Christ-following churches, volunteers, donors and organizations at Olympics venues, the team will serve and minister according to the needs of the Vancouver-area community. Through assignments from More Than Gold, they may be called upon to participate in performing arts activities, provide food service support or help run sports activities and kids’ games.

Whatever the need may be, the group will be ready. Having made this commitment, they are preparing to serve by meeting regularly for Scripture reading and prayer, helping lead children’s programs at the corps, participating in teen night and attending Sunday worship services.

They have been raising funds to cover the costs of transportation, lodging and meals. “We started brainstorming ideas for fundraisers,” said team member Mariangel Onsurez. Among those ideas were change boxes distributed during Sunday services, and housekeeping and kitchen work for The Salvation Army’s Camp Kuratli in Boring, Ore.

Of the $5,000 needed, the youth have earned about $1,500 and hope to raise more funds through further work and donations, as well as a planned New Year’s Eve all-night party that will host teens from other area churches. Teen group leader Korin Arndt has faith the group will find opportunities to reach its financial goal. “When you do what God wants you to do, he’ll provide in ways that you’re not expecting,” she said.

For more information about how your corps’ teens can get involved in the New Year’s Eve celebration, or how to contribute to the team’s mission, contact Korin Arndt at 503-794-3258, or by e-mail at

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