The First but not the Last: Irish Mission Pathfinders Excel at Division Level Pathfinder Bible Experience
1st May 2018
The Irish Mission Pathfinder department has broken new ground. For the second year running, a club from Ireland participated in a Division level Pathfinder Bible Experience in the United States. This year, the Dublin Dacians Pathfinder club won a first place in a competition that featured 186 Pathfinder teams.Getting to the USA was the end of a long journey, which started in January. At this time fourteen Irish Mission Pathfinder teams, made up of 7 clubs, met in the Republic of Ireland for an Area Level event testing their knowledge on the books of Daniel and Esther. Five teams advanced through subsequent levels and represented the Irish Mission in Stanborough Park, Watford at the Union level event.
"Daniel and Esther are not easy books to commit to memory," says Erin Gordon, coordinator of the Irish Bible Experience teams. "In order to do well on the tests, memorisation is necessary." The chapters of these Bible books, along with the theme sections of the Seventh Day Adventist Commentary, are divided among the team members. Some teams even put the books to song and memorized it that way. The Dublin Dacians, a team connected to the Dublin Romanian Pathfinder club, chose to memorize their sections. It worked for them and they qualified for the Division level Bible Experience in Orlando, Florida.
Most of the Dacians team had never been to Florida before, but it made a good first impression on them as we were greeted with sunny 28-degrees weather. Saturday morning, 186 Pathfinder teams gathered together at Camp Hawthorne. A total of 193 teams from the North America and the British Union Conference had qualified for this event. The number of teams made this event record breaking for the North American Division. Never before had they had this many Pathfinder teams participate at the Division level testing. Liviu Rotaru, from the Dublin Dacians, said “It was amazing to be surrounded by so many other Adventists and Pathfinders.”
Erin says, "As the test began, you could see the concentration on the faces of the Pathfinders as they re-played Scripture in their heads to find the answers to the questions."
Saturday afternoon, after the test, the sermon was about how God sees the value in things that man does not see. There is a value in us that we need to believe is there. It is special because it is the value that God gives us.
The Pathfinders who participated in this event have seen the value in studying God’s word.
Adelina Mulaj from the Dublin Dacians says that she has never studied so hard in her life, not even for school exams. She added that she will remember the books of Daniel and Esther for the rest of her life.
Well, Adelina, the time that you and your team spent studying for this test, earned you first place! "It is also my prayer that it has blessed you and encouraged you in your walk with God," says Erin. "This is my prayer for all of the Pathfinders who participated in the Pathfinder Bible Experience, no matter how far their team advanced."
Pastor Dejan produced a VLOG sharing some of the experience. You can watch it below.
Pastor Kevin Johns, from the South England Conference also wrote an article with a different perspective on the experience. Read it here.
[Irish Mission Patfhinder Leadership Team with Erin Gordon, Photo Credit - Daniel Mendez]