Emory Kelley, a member of Winston-Salem First Adventist Church in North Carolina, United States, recently dedicated eight months of his life to a transformative mission on the picturesque island of Palawan in the Philippines. His journey was characterized by service and a deep commitment to his faith, marked by his involvement in various facets of missionary work.
Trained as a paramedic, Kelley diligently served at a local clinic, providing essential health-care services to the community. He simultaneously served as an educator in a humble one-room school. Kelley also seized the opportunity to collaborate with a group of Pathfinders in the village of Kemantian, further solidifying his longstanding connection with the organization.
Kelley’s affiliation with Pathfinders began at the tender age of 9, and his fervor for this youth ministry remains unwavering. As an active participant in the Carolina Conference Pathfinder Council, he is diligently working to bolster the Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program. He firmly believes that with invaluable guidance from adult staff members, this initiative plays a pivotal role in engaging and retaining young members within the church, fostering mentorship opportunities, and nurturing leadership skills among high school-aged Pathfinders.
Kelley’s extensive involvement with the Pathfinder club in Kemantian was the cornerstone of his missionary experience. There, he imparted his knowledge by teaching drilling and marching techniques, actively contributing to the club’s area campout and delivering inspirational worship talks on Friday evenings. Kelley’s dedication also led him to spend four months working at the clinic in Kemantian. During the latter half of his mission he also lived in the remote village of Merma, where he independently operated a small clinic, often embarking on difficult journeys on foot to reach patients in dire need.
Kelley’s devotion to the Pathfinders in Kemantian fueled his dream of affording them an opportunity he cherishes deeply — attending the “Believe the Promise” International Pathfinder Camporee in Gillette, Wyoming, United States, scheduled for August 5-11, 2024. The camporee represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance for youth worldwide to connect with God’s creation, strengthen their faith, and forge lasting friendships, organizers believe. To turn this dream into reality, Kelley is actively raising funds.
Kelley’s mission to Palawan started as a pursuit of his lifelong aspiration to be a student missionary. He chose Palawan for its lush natural beauty, which aligns with his passion for hiking and the outdoors. He was also drawn to the prospect of applying his paramedic training in a meaningful way. Little did he anticipate that this journey would lead to a new mission — one of hope and empowerment.