Last weekend 18 Pathfinder teams representing all six conferences in the Mid-America Union gathered at the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, to test their knowledge of Scripture during the annual Pathfinder Bible Experience.
“Over the past 12 months, Pathfinders from around our union have been studying the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Hosea, Amos, Jonah and Micah,” said MAUC Church Ministries director Roger Wade. “Though these books don’t have many of the familiar stories we all know, there are positive lessons taught through these books. I am confident that our Pathfinders will be better for the time spent within these books.”
Through a video message, MAUC president Gary Thurber congratulated all the teams for reaching the union level of participation and encouraged the Pathfinders to treasure the words of Scripture they have memorized throughout their lives.
To reach the union level, teams have already advanced through the area and conference levels. Scoring is done on a curve, based on the highest scoring team, and teams advance depending on how they score.
It’s Not Easy
The required amount of Bible memorization is no simple undertaking. Teams must answer 90 questions during the two-hour testing session. A parent in the audience to support her daughter said, “It’s exciting to be here but a little nerve wracking. They’ve worked so hard. I think they’re ready.”
Light of the World club director Jilian Maranga from the Ramsey Church in Minnesota said she has seen spiritual growth in her club as a result of the Pathfinder Bible Experience. “It’s a learning experience for everyone,” she added.
A Pathfinder from Shining Doves, one of two teams from the Ramsey Church, has participated in PBE for five years now. In reference to the testing process, she said, “It’s really nerve wracking because you’re so close to the end, but yet you can be so far.”
What helps in dealing with the pressure? One Pathfinder from United Central Church in the Central States Conference said, “When they show the question on the screen I take my time. I just breathe and think. Praying helps a lot too.”
The Next Level
Based on the scores from February 15, five teams from Mid-America are eligible to participate in the division level PBE. Those teams are:
Church Name Club Name Team Name
Ramsey Church Light of the World Golden Lamps
Ramsey Church Light of the World Shining Doves
Sedalia Church Pioneers Sedalia Pioneers
Cedar Rapids Church Timberwolves Timberwolves
College View Church Trailblazers Machnadebai
The division finals will take place April 17-18 in Salem, Oregon, about one hour south of Portland. “We believe that God has led us to the Oregon State fair complex, where the Pavilion there offers a lot of what we are looking for to make PBE NAD level a better experience,” said NAD associate Pathfinder director Armando Miranda Jr. in a message on the PBE website. “For the last couple of years, our program has exploded to the point that we simply don’t fit in our own churches or even universities. We have been trying to plan and work to find a spot that can accommodate our growing numbers.”
According to Wade, Mid-America’s union level PBE testing is the first in the North American Division this year. “Our Pathfinder clubs that move on to the division level are able to study and prepare for another month,” added Wade. Noting the amount of time, effort and financial support it takes to reach the division level, Wade said, “Thank you to all the Pathfinder leaders and staffers—you ROCK!”
Photos: Brenda Dickerson