US Pathfinders Support First Mission Camporee in Mongolia

Eye-opening experience motivates youth, leaders for witnessing.

Fernando Verduzco, North American Division News
US Pathfinders Support First Mission Camporee in Mongolia

A small team of Pathfinders from the Georgia-Cumberland Conference church region in southern US took part in the first Mongolia Mission Pathfinder Camporee last July. More than 120 Mongolian Pathfinders attended the camporee held at the new youth training center in Bayanchandmani, Tuv, Mongolia.

Anna Bennethum, a Pathfinder from Columbus, Georgia, didn’t know what to expect at the camporee. She said she found people who were loving and accepting. “I learned that you don’t have to speak the same language or have the same culture to connect with someone on a spiritual level,” she said.

For Alex Ball, a Pathfinder from Temple, Georgia, this was his first time leaving the country and traveling by airplane. “This trip was my opportunity to leave the United States and experience different cultures. My favorite part of the trip was the camporee,” he said. “From the drill competition, to honor teaching, to even the morning exercises, it was all a blast. I look forward to seeing a few of my new friends at the Chosen International Camporee [which will take place in August 2019 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States].”

Living Like Doss

The Mongolia Mission group utilized the popularity of Desmond Doss and the movie Hacksaw Ridge by choosing the camporee theme “Heroes of the Cross – Live Like Doss.” Mongolia Youth and Pathfinder director Munkh-Orgil Lkhagvaa and his team coordinated the camporee.

Georgia-Cumberland Conference Children's/Junior Youth Ministries Director Fernando Verduzco baptizes a Mongolian girl during the first-ever Mongolian Mission Pathfinder Camporee. [Photo: Fernando Verduzco]

George Kawamura, a Pathfinder regional director from Berkeley Lake, Georgia, United States, said he is taking unforgettable memories home.

“The vast open country, the smiles of the Mongolian people, and their praise songs during the camporee program will stay with me forever. It was a privilege to be part of the Mongolia Mission Team!” he said.

Most Mongolians come from a Buddhist background; the Pathfinder ministry is a vital outreach for the Adventist church in Mongolia. The camporee offered a glimpse of Jesus through the opening ceremony, honors, activities, worship services, and even the Hacksaw Ridge movie. Eight Pathfinders chose to be baptized at camporee, making for a high weekend.

Team Leadership

The Georgia-Cumberland Conference Pathfinder team led worship, special music, activities, and taught the following honors; Sanctuary, Soap Craft, Christian Storytelling, Basic Rescue, Tracking, and Camp Safety. AdventSource partnered supplying neckerchiefs and honors. A special conference Pathfinder Mission Fund was used to purchase items, including camporee t-shirts, Doss trading cards, Doss books, and prizes.

Pathfinder Abbeygale Bonds from Macon, Georgia, United States, said she highly value the experience in Mongolia.

“My experience on the Mongolia Mission trip was very enlightening. Not only did we get to experience another culture first hand, but we also got to spread the gospel to God’s children,” she said.

Georgia-Cumberland Conference leaders highlighted the role of Pathfinders in outreach and mission activities.

“God is doing great things through Pathfinders around the globe,” they said.

Fernando Verduzco, North American Division News