Inter-American Division Camporee also includes a replica of the biblical tabernacle.
Published on: 04-13-2023
The blast of a biblical shofar, or ram’s horn, echoed across the Trelawny multi-purpose stadium in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, on April 4. Its sound invited nearly 10,000 Pathfinders and church leaders to prayer at the start of the 5th Pathfinder Camporee of the Inter-American Division (IAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“This camporee is covered by intercessory prayer,” Samuel Telemaque, IAD Adventist Mission director, explained during the opening ceremony. “The shofar will be used to call us together for prayer three times each day,” he said.
Prayers are offered daily at 6:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. Other sessions of prayer take place at five in the morning, Telemaque said.
The five-day event themed “Pathfinders in Mission” carries the branded image of Gideon, a mighty warrior blowing a shofar. It seeks to appeal to today’s young people, reminding them of a God who is omnipotent, strong, victorious, mighty, and powerful.
“These attributes of God appeal to the youth, who are in the prime of their lives and feel that they can do without God,” Telemaque said. “Yet, the story of Gideon blowing the shofar is about a God who is calling the youth into a relationship with Him. He is a God who can use a few to win mighty battles.”
So that participants can better understand the process of prayer, camp organizers invite each person not only to pray but also to tour the replica of the biblical tabernacle or sanctuary on the campground and place their prayer requests in a special basket.
“We will pray on the hour every hour for each request,” Telemaque said.
France Chambers, Spirit of Prophecy director from the West Jamaica Conference, is one of three leaders who guides hundreds of visitors touring the model sanctuary every day. Chambers explained that “prayer requests collected in a basket are placed on the altar of incense in the Holy Place, symbolizing an offering to God as a sweet-smelling incense that would rise and flow into the Most Holy Place.”
Even though the sanctuary system was abolished at the cross when Jesus paid the full and ultimate sacrifice, as referenced in Hebrews 10:10, Chambers explained, “We have the gift of prayer that enables us to come boldly to the throne of grace, seeking forgiveness, renewal of heart, and commitment to Jesus Christ.”
Many Pathfinders said they appreciated the initiative.
“I now understand and appreciate prayer even more, as we do not have to go through all those sacrifices anymore,” 11-year-old Kutzi, from the Caribbean Union Conference, said. Kutzi toured the sanctuary this week. “I can simply talk directly to Jesus through prayer, and He will present [the prayer] to our God, who will hear and answer.”
Fifteen-year-old Michael Mirandar, from Honduras, said he is curious to see how God will answer his prayers. “I have some things I want God to take care of, so I placed my requests in the basket in the sanctuary. I do serve a prayer-answering God,” he said.