5000 Pathfinders chosen to serve at union camporee

Philippines Ambassador Pastor Bienvenido Tejano implored Pathfinders "to honour the uniforms you are wearing".

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More than 5000 Pathfinders attended a week-long camporee in Central Province, Papua New Guinea, from January 7-13.

The Pathfinders, from the nine local missions and one conference in the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM), camped at Bautama.

Organised by the PNGUM and hosted by the Central Papua Conference, the camporee’s theme was “Chosen to Serve”.

During the opening ceremony, Tubusereia villagers welcomed the guests with a drama about the arrival of the first missionaries to Papua while the Pathfinders took part in a parade, unfurled flags and received the camporee flag, which was flown in on a helicopter to the campsite.

Pathfinders stand at attention.

Philippines Ambassador Pastor Bienvenido Tejano encouraged the Pathfinders to honour their uniforms and the Bible.

“I implore you to continue to honour the uniforms you are wearing. I implore you to embrace the Bible as we are living in a spiritual warfare,” Pastor Tejano said.

South Pacific Division youth director Dr Nick Kross told the Pathfinders they were beautiful sons and daughters of the King of Kings.

“It is no mistake that you are here today. You will be strengthened as you spend this time at the camporee,” he said.

In welcoming the Pathfinders, PNGUM youth director Pastor Lonol Winnie said, “Pathfinders you have been chosen to serve like the Little Maid, David, Samson, Esther and Joseph. At this camporee make friends and have fun, but remember you have been chosen to serve.”

Meanwhile, camporee guest speaker, Pastor Jose Rojas, inspired the young people each night with his lively sermons on Bible characters under which the Pathfinders were grouped for their activities.

Camporee is a chance for Pathfinders to build their faith, strength and sense of community.

Each night, Pathfinders responded to altar calls by making commitments to serve God.

Character building activities held during the day included obstacles, lashing and frisbee. More than 880 Pathfinders took part in honours classes on community service and Christian grooming.

Pathfinders from the Western Highlands Mission walked away with the shield after scoring the highest points in the marching drill.

The camporee ended with the baptism of 80 Pathfinders after the divine service, singing, speeches, gift presentation and fireworks in the evening.

The next camporee will be held in Morobe Province in 2023.

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