Online or in person, thousands participate in marches, acts of service, and baptisms.
To celebrate the global youth ministry of Pathfinders, the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Pathfinder Day was held on Sabbath, September 18, 2021, with churches across the South Pacific Division (SPD) gathering together to commemorate and reflect on “I Will Go,” this year’s theme.
While many Pathfinder clubs throughout Australia and New Zealand were forced to meet virtually due to lockdowns, others organized special events to commemorate the occasion. In Luganville, Vanuatu, clubs gathered to compete in activities at the Samna Pathfinder Fair Day, culminating in three Pathfinders’ baptism.
Pathfinders from the Munungjali district in the South Queensland Conference of the Adventist Church were also able to meet together for a “mini camporee” held at Ivory’s Rock. According to a Facebook post by district director Alan Aldridge, the district includes twelve Pathfinder clubs in the area.
“We weren’t scheduled for a Munungjali Camp this year, but since Camporee was canceled at Easter due to COVID, our team … has pulled together a special camp for this weekend,” Aldridge wrote in the post.
In Fiji, Nakaulevu Pathfinder Club demonstrated the theme “I Will Go” practically by putting together care packages and delivering them to families in need. Meanwhile, Pathfinders from Tamavua English Seventh-day Adventist Church participated in a two-hour broadcast, while Wainadoi Hilltop and Wainadoi English Pathfinders also met online.
Online meet-ups were also popular in Australia. Australian Union Conference youth ministries director Jeff Parker said it was “exciting to see so many Pathfinder clubs being active on Pathfinder Day. Unfortunately, the big church population bases are in lockdown, so Zoom it was.”
Despite this, Cabramatta and Cabramatta West Pathfinders in New South Wales, Australia, created an online program for their church, filled with music, messages, special features, and interviews with the Pathfinders. Canberra National Pathfinders did the same, featuring highlights from throughout the year, along with a drama performance. Other Pathfinder clubs across Australia also created programs and celebrated World Pathfinder Day in their own way.
“Pathfinders have had a couple of hard years in the southern states but are still very active, which says a lot about the resilience of both our Pathfinder leaders and Pathfinders,” Parker said.
In Tonga, where Pathfinders were able to meet together in person, clubs gathered for a special World Pathfinder Day service organized by the Tonga Mission.
Then in Papua New Guinea, Pathfinders from across the country — including Rei Village, Manus Province and Kavieng, New Ireland Province — held special church services. Meanwhile, youth from Sonoma Adventist College and Pathfinders and Adventurers from more than 20 churches across the East New Britain Province attended a Pathfinder fair at Kalabon, Kokopo.
An encouraging video from South Pacific Division associate youth director Nick Kross summed up the theme of World Pathfinder Day well when he told Pathfinders, “When Jesus calls you, He calls your life. And when He says ‘go,’ He means go out every day. Continue to go out and make a difference every day. Although we are in lockdown in some parts of the world, in other parts, we can go out and make a difference today! God is going to stand beside you,” he said.