Fireworks lit up the skies during the closing ceremony of the 5th Inter-American Division’s Pathfinder Camporee in crowded Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium, in Trelawny, Jamaica, on Apr. 8, 2023. Nearly 10,000 Pathfinders, youth ministries leaders and chaperones attended the five-day camping event from Apr. 4-8, 2023.
The ceremony included 24 white doves released by children dressed in white as a sign of commitment by each of the 24 unions, or major territories, to be active in sharing the gospel of hope in every community across the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory.Passion for a life with value
“We have come to this moment when we must pull the curtains down on this camporee,” said Pastor Al Powell, youth ministries director of the IAD and main organizer of the camporee. “We will not leave here the same because we have had a new vision, new experiences, a new desire and passion to live a life with value, to make a difference in our community to the people around us wherever we go, and whatever we do.”
It’s all about sharing the love of Jesus and preparing for this world and the world to come, said Powell. “This has been a memorable occasion and we thank God for who made this possible.” Powell reminded the more than 10,000 Pathfinders and youth leaders in the stadium to keep in mind that they are Pathfinders with a mission. “Go back home make things happen for Christ,” he said.The three-hour closing ceremony followed a day that featured an investiture ceremony with more than 200 Pathfinders and Master Guides, two baptismal ceremonies that saw more than 60 Pathfinders baptized, and a large march that ended with music, drill events and spiritual messages in the town of Falmouth in Trelawny.
Strong and courageous like Gideon
Pastor Elie Henry, president of the IAD, encouraged Pathfinders to be strong and courageous just like those in the army of Gideon. “Rely fully on God and continue to be witnesses, growing in service in the community where you are.”It’s the end of a five-day journey that brought Pathfinders from different countries, churches and clubs all across the IAD and beyond, said Pastor Henry. Pastor Henry praised the work of the Adventist Church in Jamaica and government leaders who welcomed with hearts wide open the delegations from 51 countries. “Thank you for opening doors to us before the event and our time here in Trelawny,” he said. “We have witnessed how the church can work in harmony with the community.”
His Excellency the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen, Governor of Jamaica, and former Seventh-day Adventist pastor, commended church leaders for empowering young people to effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.Never lose sight of the mission
“I am a proud product of the church’s teachings, training and preparation for service,” said the Governor General “I thank God for the strong and beautiful heritage into which I was born and equipped for wider service.” Sir Allen encouraged young people to remain steadfast in their faith and grow in knowing God’s Word. Never lose sight of your mission. Remember you are part of a large community of believers who are committed to sharing the gospel and together we can make a difference in the world,” he added. “Be proud of who you are and what you stand for as Seventh-day Adventists, for you have a rich heritage and powerful message of Jesus.”The camporee’s final drama performance concluded with Gideon defeating the Midianites with an army of only 300 men. Gideon realized that the size of the army was not going to win the battle but that even one with God would win it.
Trust what God says
At some point Gideon thought he was not going to make it, said Keynote Speaker Pastor Andres Peralta, youth ministries director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Gideon thought that he had no strength, no experience, and had doubts, but God used him, just like God wants to use you. As you go down to the valley back home, you will deal with the reality of life,” he said. “You have to trust what God says, even when He has not accomplished it yet. In God’s mind, you are already victorious persons. Walk by faith.”Peralta encouraged those who are going through internal struggles in their life. “I don’t want you to go home looking down. I want you to go home with dignity. Stand tall and say that you are valuable, and you will make it with God. You are victorious Pathfinders in mission,” Peralta said.
Honoring youth leaders
The closing ceremony also featured youth ministries leaders who have served across the Inter-American Division for 50 or more years with a medal and current youth ministries leaders who were instrumental in helping organize and lead their delegations to the camporee in Jamaica.The evening program also featured the end of daily lessons by Richard Aguilera on God as Creator. Aguilera reminded Pathfinders to never forget how valuable they are and the powerful brain—the most complex machine every made by God–to praise and serve God always.
Adventist leaders closed the Pathfinders in Mission camporee event with a special dedicatory prayer before the event was officially declared ended.In all, IAD leaders reported that more than 120 baptisms took place during the camporee and hundreds of Pathfinders assisted in community service throughout Trelawny during the week cleaning beaches, painting local infirmaries, delivering food baskets, helping build several homes, and more.
To watch the camporee’s Sabbath afternoon and evening programs of Apr. 8, 2023, visit webcast.interamerica.org
To view a daily photo gallery of Inter-America’s 5th Pathfinder Camporee, click HERE
To watch daily recap videos during the 5th Inter-American Pathfinder Camporee, click HERE