Thousands of Seventh-day Adventists took to the streets of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to commemorate the 69th anniversary of World Pathfinder Day on September 21, 2019. More than 12,000 young people and church leaders wore their uniforms, scarves, and sashes and held banners stating this year's world church theme, “Created with a Purpose.”
The massive group marched through the main streets and avenues distributing literature and the missionary book of the year, Hope for Today’s Families, by Willie and Elaine Oliver.
“Our main objective was to let the Pathfinder ministry in the Dominican Republic be known,” said David Uribe, youth ministries director for the church in the Dominican Republic. The gathering was the first of its kind on the island commemorating the world church’s Pathfinder Day, he said. The Pathfinder ministry in the Dominican Republic was established 62 years ago.
“All these years [Pathfinder clubs] have been restoring and strengthening the youth, molding their character, keeping them away from vices, bringing hope to society,” Uribe said. “Thousands of young people have been promoting the values our nation needs.”
Church leaders and administrators from across the central and southeast regions joined in the march and the large celebration that followed at the Palacio de los Deportes auditorium. Musical performances and spiritual messages were part of the afternoon commemorative celebration.
With more than 159,000 young people across the island, which represents nearly half of the total church membership in the Dominican Republic, church leaders firmly believe that “the young people who are well driven are the most important asset that any organization or institution has,” Uribe said.
“We have a department exclusively for the young people because we love and believe in them and it is our purpose to guide each young persons to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and a life of service in the church and the community,” he said.
Pathfinders is a worldwide, church-centered spiritual and recreational activity designed for young people 10 to 15 years of age. The program was established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1950 and is filled with action, adventure, challenge, and group activities and provides opportunities for the development of new attitudes and skills that produce personal growth, team and community spirit, and a sense of loyalty and respect for God, His Creation, and His church.