were scenes of jubilation at Takoma Adventist Academy in Maryland, as three
U.K. Pathfinder teams came in the first place category in the North American
Division finals of the Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE), on April12.
teams from the U.K. had travelled to the U.S.A. to compete in the PBE finals
after each won first place in the UK Union level competition on March 1. The teams from the
Filipino International Community (FIC) church, Walthamstow church and two from
the Croydon church gave an international flavor to the American challenge,
accompanied by South England Conference Pathfinder director, Kevin Johns.
only the second year that the U.K. had entered the event. FIC won the U.K. challenge,
earning a sponsored trip to the U.S. finals. However, after also coming in
first place in their respective categories, the three other teams were also
eligible to attend. This prompted a slew of fundraising activities by team
members, families, and churches. One team member was even given £200 by a
was very exciting, I couldn't even sleep on the plane because I was so excited;
this is my first time going to America," said Monae Scarlett from Croydon.
"If it wasn't for this competition I wouldn't have picked up my Bible as
frequently. Starting the competition, I have been able to connect to God more
easily than I could have done without the competition and I think my
relationship is stronger than it was before."
months of intense study, the Pathfinders had to display an in-depth knowledge
of the book of 2nd Samuel, as well as the companion section in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary.
Up against 88 teams from across the U.S. and Canada, Walthamstow, FIC, and
Croydon team 1 finished in the first place category, with Croydon team 2 ending
in the commendable second place category.
results were announced, celebrations echoed across the Atlantic, as supporters in
London followed the live-streamed event into the night, U.K. time.
of the most joyful things is to hear Pathfinders say they now enjoy studying
the Bible," commented Johns, "and that the Pathfinder Bible
Experience is having an impact on their lives by drawing them closer to God,
making them think about their own relationship. Parents have expressed thanks
and appreciation because PBE has brought their families back to family worship
and back to Bible study!"
as studying for the event, and practicing for a musical item they were to
perform, the teams and their chaperones were able to explore. They visited
places such as the White House, Hope TV Studios, the Ellen G. White Estate at
Adventist World Church Headquarters, and the extensive Potomac Adventist Book
and Health Food Store.
want to encourage churches to plan financially, from now, to help send your
Pathfinders to next year's finals in the U.S.A.," said Neil Nunes, one of
the Croydon church coaches. "This is more than a competition, the aim is
to help the young people get close not just to the Word of God, but to the God
of the Word and train an army of youth for mission and service by ensuring that
they are serious Bible experts."