Texans Volunteer for First Egyptian Pathfinder Camporee
ALVARADO, TEX. – From pin trading, honors learning and meeting new friends, the first-ever Egyptian Camporee reminded every Pathfinder who has served through the years that we are indeed one people. Over 240 Pathfinders and staff united on the historical campus of Nile Union Academy in the heart of Gabal Asfar, close to Al Khanka, Egypt, for one week of fellowship, worship and friendship.
Outside the largest city in Africa, Cairo, is the rural and poor town of Gabal Asfar. Nile Union Academy has made its home there for over 50 years. The academy has struggled over the years with local officials, residents and support, but it still educates over 100 students each year.
Surrounded by nine mosques where the calls to prayer are heard five times a day, Pathfinders learned from Texas Conference Master Guides the art of honor and skills training.
As a highlight to most of the young Pathfinders’ summer, many made decisions for glory, under the theme “From Pyramids to Glory.” In any other situation, these decisions for Christ would bring only joy and excitement. However, along with the euphoria of seeing young people accepting Christ, the reality is somewhat fearful for their future, including how their communities will react towards them.
Growing up in this generation has its own set of faults, fearful expectations and anxiety. Adding the stress of knowing that the decision you made during a weekend Camporee could also bring about alienation from family, shame and disrespect from your community, or even one’s demise.
With the thoughts of an uncertain future, more than 30 Pathfinders answered the altar call and 24 were baptized. Praise the Lord!
The feeling of what the world will do to these Pathfinders for accepting the call from Jesus seems not to affect them. All they know is, as Texas Conference Youth and Club Ministries Director Paulo Tenorio shared, “Jesus loves you so much that there is nothing that would keep Him from that love.”
We can be miles from home, away from what is familiar, and still, the message of Jesus’ love for His children will always form roots in our hearts.
Texas Conference President Elton DeMoraes delivered the message Sabbath morning, encouraging them to “Just keep running and finishing the race well.” As the word of God was preached, and hearts received it, more young people made their stand for Jesus.
Over 40 Texas Conference Club ministries volunteers spent over two weeks in Egypt. In The Ministry of Healing, Ellen G. White states, “Nothing will arouse a self-sacrificing zeal and broaden and strengthen the character to engage in work for others. Many professed Christians, in seeking church relationships, think only of themselves. They wish to enjoy church fellowship and pastoral care. They become members of large and prosperous churches, and are content to do little for others. In this way they are robbing themselves of the most precious blessings. Many would be greatly benefited by sacrificing their pleasant, ease-conducing associations. They need to go where their energies will be called out in Christian work and they can learn to bear responsibilities.” Galatians 6:2 reminds us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Article and photo by Kenn Dixon
Vice President for Communication
and Public Relations