The whistle blows six times and kids aged 10 to 15 come running with their counselors to form a perfect square consisting of […]
Published on: 08-31-2018
The whistle blows six times and kids aged 10 to 15 come running with their counselors to form a perfect square consisting of 140 people. Everybody knows what to do, where to stand, how to look. I have seen this repeated in all the Pathfinder clubs I attended since I was 4. The countries were distinct, but the perfect order and the clear objectives were the same. I lost track of all the times I tied the yellow scarf, but I have not lost track of the times God has taught me about His love through this noble and wholesome ministry that fosters a close relationship not only with Him but with nature and with others as well.
I now serve as one of the chaplains of the largest Pathfinder club in Argentina, one of seven clubs representing 20 percent of the entire population of our small community: Aluminé, Benei Elohim, CCC, Kerispen, Shamayin, Shekinah, and Suyai. All these names, in Hebrew or in native dialects, focus on Jesus as the light of the world and the hope we so desperately need. Founded in 1960, the CCC Club was Argentina’s first Pathfinder club. Benei Elohim just began to operate this year. In March, despite our different stories and colors, we all joined together at the local outdoor amphitheater and asked for God’s special blessing to change our small town for Him.
Few other ministries captivate the attention of youth like this. Pathfinders achieve goals that go further than the acquisition of new badges; they prepare for leadership and are committed members of the church that actively waits for Christ’s second coming. Many come from broken homes, but through their units they have the chance of finding new families in Christ.
My task goes beyond the weekly Sunday Pathfinder activities. I pray for members of my club every day, and try to keep in touch with as many of them as I can during the week. I often feel inadequate for the huge task, but God constantly reminds me that it is His strength that counts, not mine. While we care for specialties, advanced classes, camporee objectives, and different requirements that come with the organization of such large groups, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the real purpose: “To save from sin and to guide into service.” Fortunately, His patient grace is sufficient and guides us through it all.
Every Sunday morning, teenagers wake up at 8:00 to attend our Bible study group before the activities begin. Some are training to preach the gospel at a young age. Whenever we go camping, everybody wakes up at dawn to read their Bibles before being called to drill. This is not typical youth behavior, so when I see them rising from their tents, I see God’s army of youth rising as well, anticipating what Ellen White described: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!”*
Wherever you are, be part of this ministry. Be a founder, if necessary. God will enable you. It is the unpaid hours of genuine service to young people that makes them feel most valued.
One day we will not wear uniforms, but white mantles; not sashes, but crowns; not patches, but gems; and the Master Guide of all Master Guides will call His redeemed to a perfect square.
I long to be there!
* Ellen G. White, Education (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1903), p. 271.
Carolina Ramos studies translation, English teaching, and music education at Universidad Advwentista del Plata (River Plate Adventist University) in Argentina. She is passionate about mission and enjoys working with children and teens.