by Jay Wintermeyer
COLLEGE PLACE, Wash., March 11, 2017 - The region-wide gathering of Pathfinders was part of the Pathfinder Bible Experience, a team challenge that focuses on immersion in the Word of God. Four levels of play each year culminate in an official North American Pathfinder event held on the third Sabbath of April. This year’s division event will be held in Chicago, Illinois.
While a rainy afternoon outside, inside the church papers rustled and young people whispered in hushed voices, excited for the challenge about to start. This year’s challenge covered six new testament books from the apostle Paul; Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and 1st and 2nd Timothy.
Each group of Pathfinders faced the formidable task of learning these books by heart so they could answer 90 very specific questions from any part of these books. Pathfinder coaches and parents spent more than a thousand hours preparing questions, teaching study and memorizations skills and studying with the teams.
When asked what was the most impactful thing learned, one Pathfinder said, “God never gave us a spirit of fear so we have no reason to fear anything.”
Participating in Pathfinder Bible Experience makes a difference in the Pathfinders’ lives. One of the coaches shared how they had a team member who had trouble reading. They encouraged all their team members to read and young person’s reading level and comprehension went way up from reading the Bible.
It also makes a difference for other family members. One of the judges for the event shared a story about a younger sibling who memorized scripture just from hearing her older sibling practice. When the same verse came up as a memory verse in school, she didn’t have to learn it because she already knew it.
So what did kids say was their favorite part of Pathfinder Bible Experience? Many of the young people said they enjoyed spending time with friends and learning the Bible together.
“It’s a great way to memorize scripture and see what God has to say to us,” said one Pathfinder from the Walla Walla, Wash. Sunrise club.
Of the 11 clubs present, eight placed high enough to move to the final challenge in Chicago.
Randy Hill, Oregon Conference, Pathfinder director said, “I derive much joy watching the kids give each other high fives after getting a really hard question right. The impact of this event today won't be felt immediately. The real impact of this event will be seen in the long haul as the kids become adults. Suddenly these texts will come back to guide them.”
Now for the results:
Cascade Eagles – 1st place
Chehalis Messengers – 1st place
Chehalis Pauliticians – 1st place
Evergreen 1st place
Fort Vancouver 1st place
Hayden Ponderosa Pathfinders – 1st place
Pleasant Valley Faithful Ones – 3rd place
Pleasant Valley the Truth Travelers – 1st place
Vale Explorers – 3rd place
Walla Walla Sunrise – 1st place
Wind Valley Arrows – 2nd place