Pastor Al Powell, youth ministries director of the church in the Inter-American Division, invests an Adventurer member in North Veracruz, Mexico, during one of several investiture ceremonies held throughout the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, Sep. 9-18, 2022. [Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union]

October 12, 2022 | Puebla, Mexico | Cristel Romero and Inter-American Division News Staff

More than 3,500 Adventurer and Pathfinder club members across Seventh-day Adventist Churches throughout the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union 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 people got to meet and greet church leaders and and take photos with their youth leaders during each ceremony from Sep. 9-18, 2022.

Youth ministries leaders stand with Adventurers and Pathfinders recently invested  from the North Veracruz Conference. [Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union]

What normally consists of club investitures performed at each local church switched to larger groups which leaders call “Grand Investitures,” said Pastor Benjamin Camacho, youth ministries director for the church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union and main organizer of the tour.

“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’s youth ministries director throughout our 11 fields,” said Camacho. “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.”

Pastor Benjamin Camaco, youth ministries director for the church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, pins a master guide in Cerro Azul, in north Veracruz as a recognition for organizing clubs in local churches where there were no clubs running,  during one of the dozens investiture ceremonies held  for Adventurers and Pathfinders throughout the region. [Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union].

At each venue, Pastor Al Powell, youth ministries director for the church in the Inter-American Division, saw the excitement of so many youngsters who participated in the investiture program. They came up to him for fist bumps, photographs and autographs.

Powell reminded the Adventurers and Pathfinders 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 challenged them to fully commit to serving God in whatever they do. “God does not want half-committed young people in His service,” said Powell.

A mother of two pathfinder members from Oaxaca, Mexico, stands with church leaders as a sign of commitment to ensuring her daughters continue taking part in the club while posing for a photo with the Pathfinder scarf with youth ministries leaders.[Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union]

The investitures were also an opportunity to encourage parents to remain committed in keeping their children in the clubs through the Pathfinder scarf where they commit as a family to uphold the truths of the Bible and continue to be engaged in all Pathfinder initiatives and activities, said Camacho.

Each year the union sees investitures of about 17,000 Adventurers and Pathfinders at the end of the year and this time it brought a great reminder as they gathered together, some traveling more than eight hours to meet other club members and take in the grand investitures in each region, said Camacho.

IAD Youth Ministries Director Al Powell laughs with a group of Pathfinders from the Southeast Veracruz Conference in Mexico before taking a photograph together, during his investiture visit in September. [Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union]

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 across the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union so far this year of which come 10,000 are Adventurers and 7,000 Pathfinders. Hundreds of investitures are yet to take place before the end of the year, said Camacho, and dozens are making plans to attend Inter-American Division’s Pathfinder Camporee scheduled to take place in Jamaica in April 4-8, 2023.

Youth ministries directors take part in a balloon festival in Los Tuxtlas Mission during the investiture event. [Photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union]

To learn more about the church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, visit iasd-umi.org

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