The Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) launched its first Pathfinder honor on Biblical Languages (Hebrew) held on Feb. 28, 2021. As of the launch date, 230 Master Guides, Pathfinders, and Adventist Youth had registered and more than 130 attended the launch, which was held on Zoom and Facebook Live. The Facebook Live reached 6,377 people, and had 1,600 views, 988 engagements, and 167 shares.

Before the launch, the SSD Pathfinder Committee, made up of 24 members representing all 12 unions, met and voted the Pathfinder Honor on Aug. 4, 2020. Pastor Kevin Costello, SSD associate executive secretary, headed this committee as the chairperson.

The event began with a devotional from Pastor Ron Genebago, the SSD youth servant (director). He shared the four fundamental reasons why it is important to study the Bible in its original languages: (a) the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; (b) the exegetical study of the Bible requires adequate knowledge of the original languages; (c) there are expressions in the original languages that are difficult to recognize after translation, and (d) the witness of scholars confirms the benefits of knowing biblical languages. 

Genebago later gave his launching remarks: “By the grace of God and by the action of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division Pathfinder Committee, as the SSD youth servant, I now officially launch the Pathfinder Honor on Biblical Languages (Hebrew) in SSD. So help our young people, O God.” 

After this, Pastor Jibil Simbah, the SSD stewardship director led in a prayer to dedicate the Pathfinder honor. 

Several students who have gone through the Ministers and Youth Biblical Languages Organization for God’s glory (MY BLOG), which initially sponsored the classes before the launching, gave their testimonies. 

Christina Ingram, a pilot and a Master Guide (MG) from Sri Lanka Mission says, “I am so blessed and so thankful to MY BLOG for giving us this amazing opportunity to learn one of the biblical languages. I’ve always heard Hebrew words during sermons which pastors use, maybe like one or two words. But I never thought that one day I will be able to read Hebrew. So during this time I have been so blessed because I was able to study the Bible and to understand and see things in a whole new light.”

Daniel Victor, a Master Guide from Southeast Asia Union Mission (SAUM), shares, “Learning Hebrew has always been a dream for me. I’ve always wished to learn the Hebrew language because it would enable me to read and understand the Old Testament in the original language in which it was written. By joining MY BLOG that dream has been fulfilled. I would like to encourage every one of you to also take up the Biblical Languages (Hebrew) honor which will enable you to read and understand the Hebrew Language, which will also help you to teach this language to others as well. Join me together as we embark on the journey to learn the biblical Hebrew language.”

Several attendees responded positively to the launching of this new honor. Jeffrey James, a Master Guide from SAUM expresses, “I feel joyful during the launching of the Biblical Languages (Hebrew) honor. It was a dream come true to be able to get the opportunity to learn the Hebrew language especially for Pathfinder ministry.” 

Pastor Robert J. Agustin from SAUM says, “It was a wonderful blessing to witness and to be a part of the Pathfinder Biblical Hebrew honor launching. This honor was one of the most awaited and anticipated for decades. Finally, here we are to be part of the historic moment. I can’t wait to earn this special honor. Thanks to the entire committee and SSD for making it possible. God bless us.”

Lyndelle Da, a Master Guide and a registered nurse from the North Philippine Union Conference testifies, “I was happy when I saw that there are more than 130 participants who are interested in learning Hebrew, including my 12-year-old sister. This Pathfinder honor is a blessing for those who want to have a deeper understanding of God’s Word. I’m excited for the lessons to start.”

The first day of class for level one commences on March 7, 2021, and will be conducted every Sunday from 4:00-5:30 pm (Phil Time). It will be strictly attendance- and Zoom-based.

This article was originally published on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s news site


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