Pathfinder Bible Experience Conference Testing
16th February 2018
There was a sense of excitement and passion in Stanborough School, Watford, as over 230 South England Conference (SEC) pathfinders were tested on their knowledge of the Bible books of Daniel and Esther, as well as the companion section in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Bible Commentary, for the Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE) Conference Level Testing, on Saturday, 10 February.
The programme attracted a full house, as this year 34 teams were participating, the largest participating group yet. As PBE is gaining popularity amongst pathfinders across the Union, SEC Pathfinder Director Kevin Johns explains it as an amazing phenomenon, both children and adults are getting more involved in PBE.
Johns’ ideal scenario would be to see all participants make first place and have the resources to go to America in April for the PBE Finals. However, he is glad to see the impact of the programme on the young people’s lives.
"I want every child to do their best and to enjoy the experience more than anything," said Johns. "To realise that they do know God’s word and they feel confident in the knowledge that they gain."
Many new teams have joined this year for the first time, amongst them is the Aylesbury Pathfinder Team. Tabby Magwizi, Pathfinder Director at Aylesbury SDA Church, noticed how PBE was affecting the lives of her team, especially in school. She explained that while the pathfinders were preparing during weekends for PBE, church members even gathered for an all-night prayer session.
"I have noticed the confidence," said Magwizi, beaming with pride. "So spiritually filling and the confidence in the Lord is great."
Each team prepares for the PBE testing in their own way. Some teams like to use drama, others practise through music. But, whatever the trick for each individual is, it has been evident to parents and pathfinder leaders that while the children are memorizing the Bible books, their school grades are improving significantly.
Many pathfinders are completing their GCSEs and A-levels, and as this would be a deterrent for many young people to join, it didn’t stop the Filipino International Church (FIC) Team Emerald to participate again. Team member Onyl Calpatura, explained how his team was concerned if they should join PBE for this reason. However, once the whole team committed whole heartedly, everyone found the time to study for school and for PBE, which turned out to be a success. His favourite part of the testing is feel the energy and the enthusiasm in the room of all participants.
Melinda Ndiweni from Slough, was participating for the first time. She shared that she was enjoying the journey with her teammate, first studying, then competing and finally travelling together to America as a reward.
Johns believes that PBE is a programme that is blessed by God and the programme has influenced the number of baptisms amongst the pathfinders. Since the beginning of the quadrennial, 273 pathfinders were baptised.
"We want to rightly train or young people, and the best way to train them is in the word of God. That way the Word will not depart from them and they will like to remain in the church because they have the word of God in their hearts," said Johns.
The next testing will be held in March at Newbold College which is a Union level testing, determining what teams go to America. John predicts that by 2019 all missions and conference under the British Union Conference will be participating.
To find out more information about the Pathfinder Bible Experience, and how your church can get involved, please email Pastor Kevin Johns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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