More than 3,500 Adventurers and Pathfinders from Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union (IOMU) territory gathered in auditoriums, schools, and campgrounds during a recent 10-day special investiture tour. Dressed in their uniforms and eager to receive their honor pins, the young club members got to meet and greet church leaders and take photos with their youth leaders during ceremonies held September 9-18, 2022.
While club investitures are typically smaller ceremonies performed at each local church, this event switched to larger groups that leaders call “Grand Investitures,” Benjamin Camacho, IOMU youth ministries director and main organizer of the tour, said.
“We wanted to come closer to the young people at this time of the year while making use of the visit by our Inter-American Division (IAD)’s youth ministries director throughout our 11 fields,” Camacho said. “We are convinced that clubs are a great way to keep our young people in the church and its activities because we know that [church] leaders are formed right in these clubs as they take part in evangelism and planting new churches.”
At each venue, IAD youth ministries director Al Powell said he saw the excitement of so many youngsters. They came up to him for fist bumps, photographs, and autographs.
Powell reminded the Adventurers and Pathfinders of how vital they are to the mission of the church. “God has a special purpose for you. He calls you regardless of where you come from, just like Gideon as a young man,” he said. He challenged them to fully commit to serving God in whatever they do. “God does not want half-committed young people in His service,” Powell said.
The investitures and the Pathfinder scarf ceremony also served as an opportunity to encourage parents to remain committed to keeping their children in the clubs. as a family to uphold the truths of the Bible and continue to be engaged in all Pathfinder initiatives and activities, Camacho said.
Each year, the union sees investitures of about 17,000 Adventurers and Pathfinders at the end of the year. This time, it served as a great reminder as they gathered, some traveling more than eight hours to meet other club members and witness the grand investitures in each region, Camacho said.
The initiative was also part of encouraging new clubs to organize in the fast-growing small groups and new churches formed each quarter, he added. Last year, 150 new clubs were formed, and this year, there are 130 new clubs so far in churches where there were none previously.
There are 1,057 clubs with about 17,000 members across the IOMU so far this year; 10,000 are Adventurers and 7,000 Pathfinders. Hundreds of investitures are yet to take place before yearend, Camacho said, and dozens of clubs are making plans to attend the IAD’s Pathfinder Camporee scheduled to take place in Jamaica on April 4-8, 2023.