Pathfinder flame ‘re-ignited’ in Fijian village

Some of the group assembled after the opening parade.

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Organising a Pathfinder camp can be a big challenge, but for Douglas Babakobau, Sitiveni Vesikula and Peter Varuru, who are passionate about Pathfinders, it was an easy decision to make.

With the support of the local Nakorovou, Nasinu, and Viani Seventh-day Adventist churches, and nearly $A700 donated to assist in costs, the three young men successfully ran a mini Pathfinder camp for 19 children. Held during the second week of the August school holidays in the Nasinu Village, the camp was free of charge, as its purpose was to re-ignite the Pathfinder flame in the area.

“There are Adventists in Nasinu, but no Pathfinder leaders,” explained organiser Douglas Babakobau. “Recent Pathfinder leaders have either passed away or moved to mainland Suva for work purposes and further education for their children.”

Guided by Pathfinder requirements, activities over the six days included a hiking expedition, a three-hour bamboo rafting experience out at sea, and running a health and medical check up for villagers. The children also took part in a STORM Co, where they painted the Nasinu Village community hall toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. The “Voice of Pathfinder” experience saw them preaching in the streets and singing to the village for three days.

Each morning at 5am, the campers would dedicate their day to God in prayer, which became a highlight of the week. With the theme “Courage to Move”, the campers were reminded each day that it is easy to move with the crowd, but only God-given courage can help to move alone. The camp was a success, with Douglas, Sitiveni and Peter planning to head back to the village to run more Pathfinder lessons in the next block of school holidays. Another Pathfinder camp is in the works for next year, and the churches who helped out with the camp have committed to keeping the Pathfinder flame alive.

“[The Pathfinders] have the willingness to learn, but there was no one to guide or direct them,” said Douglas. “We purchased cards to teach counsellors and directors, so that they can then use the Pathfinder Manual as teaching resources, and we are constantly in contact with them.”

Although there hasn’t been an investiture in the area for 25 years, the young men are hoping that will change this December.

“The Pathfinders here have missed five Camporees run by the Fiji Mission,” said Douglas. “But this December, by the grace of God, we will bring these Pathfinders across to the mainland to attend the Fiji Mission Camporee. We are also praying and planning to invest each Pathfinder at the Camporee.”

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