More than 4500 Pathfinders from across the Pacific islands came together for the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) Pathfinder Camporee over the year-end break near Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands had the largest number of attendees with more than 2000 Pathfinders.
“I believe the Lord blessed our kids with finance that enabled them to attend the camporee,” said Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) youth director Pastor Steve Aquila. “It’s worth spending [money] for what leads to heaven, rather than spending upon things on Earth.”
With the theme “Hear the Call”, the camporee kicked off on December 16. The 119 clubs were warmly welcomed at the opening ceremony by SIM President Pastor Silent Tovosia.
“On behalf of the SIM, it is an honor and humble privilege for me to welcome you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to the ‘Hapi Isles’.”
The camporee was declared open during the official address by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Other special guests included world church Pathfinder director Pastor Andres Peralta, South Pacific Division youth director Dr Nick Kross and TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga. As part of the opening ceremony, Dr Nick Kross launched the World Changers Bible and challenged every Pathfinder to be a world changer for Jesus.
The five-day event was held on SIM property next to the Lunga River. The camp was split into six sub camps, with a chaplain and sub camp director allocated to each. The 21-acre property with the Maranatha Hall and playground allowed for a wide range of outdoor activities—based on the lives of the Bible characters like Peter, Deborah, Esther, Paul, Samuel and Luke who heard the call, accepted the call and through the power of the Holy Spirit were transformed to be a “beacon of light” to others.
During the evenings, clubs gathered at the main ground to hear Pastor Peralta deliver God’s message. The nightly worships also included a highlight video from each day, and each local mission was allocated a night to prepare a song and drama based on Bible characters who heard God’s call and stood up and make a difference in the lives of their people.
The Sabbath was a special day where church members and Pathfinder leaders witnessed Pathfinders giving their lives to Christ in the waters of baptism. Initially, 19 pathfinders were scheduled for baptism but the Lord changed the agenda. The hearts of the Pathfinders and even four of the media team that were shooting that day were touched, and a total of 278 walked into the Lunga River for baptism.
On Sunday, the lowering of the camporee flag marked the closing ceremony.
Pastor Aquila thanked the committee members and local mission youth directors for working tirelessly from preparation till the last day of the camp.
“The success of the camporee is another evidence of God’s existence,” said Pastor Aquila. “The camporee re-echoed of God’s call to all Pathfinders and their leaders that we are living in the edge of time.”
Local mission youth directors, sub camp chaplains, directors and TPUM staff were awarded with gifts as a token of appreciation in their commitment and sacrifice for the TPUM Camporee 2019. The SIM also said thank you by donating boxes of Solomon Tuna to all Pathfinders for them to share and take back home with them.
In addition, about 90 Pathfinders from Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea were awarded with Long Service Award pins in support of their spirit of leadership, participation, cooperation, initiative and responsibility in pathfindering for the past 10 years.
“After taking over from the leadership of Pastor Faafetai Matai with less than 12 months to prepare and plan—with all of the local mission youth directors involved in key segments of the camporee—it was an absolute honor and privilege to lead them in the running of the ‘Hear the Call’ camporee,” said Pastor Charlie Jimmy, TPUM Youth director. “Our team prayed often, and many people shared that they were praying for us on a regular basis. We saw God at work over and over again during the lead up and running of the Camporee. There is no doubt that memory event like this camporee change lives.”
During the closing of the camporee, the Tongan pathfinders performed the Sipi Tau—a Tongan ceremonial war dance—as they invited Pathfinders for the next TPUM camporee in 2027 hosted by the Kingdom of Tonga.
“It is about living life with Jesus who loves us so much that He gave His life for us and he is there beside us every day, calling upon us to walk with Him,” said TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga. “I would like to thank all the leaders, volunteers, and parents that see the enormous possibilities for the kingdom of God in the ministry of Pathfinders.”