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 Post subject: Share you faith story
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:31 am 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Just wanted to share a story to remind Pathfinder leaders that each and every activity and moment is an oportunity for a share your faith activity, even when not planned as one.

Our clubs "fall cabin campout" had to be held at a new location due to flooding at our regular spot, so we found ourselves at a camp that we had not stayed at as a club before.

All Sabbath the Pathfinders had been instructed to watch for an object lesson in nature to share around the campfire that evening.

As evening came, the campfire was started and we gathered around for our Sabbath evening worship. The owner of the campground wondered over and sat in on the campfire circle.

We proceeded with our song singing, and each Pathfinder shared their object lesson.

After the club was dismissed to prepare for bed a few lingered around the glowing fire. The owner shared with us that his career job was family laywer, and in his practice he regularly had to go to court to deal with divorce cases, family violence, youth violence, gang membership, drug issues, etc. He said that his job exposes him to the very worst cases of what can happen to youth.

He then expressed his feeling that the Pathfinder club, and it's youth were involved in a very good enterprise. He wished more youth could be exposed to the kind of activities we were doing that weekend.

One small example, but I really feel that each member of our club shared their faith that evening.

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Woodlands Pathfinder Club
Ponoka, Alberta, Canada


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:14 am
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
:arrow: Updated Version 2010
I have the permision of Ben to share this story:

A Pathfinder Hero—An Ordinary Man

Ben’s dad was an elder in the church, a singer, and a child beater. His family had church members over to their house for potluck dinner nearly every Sabbath. During the week, the picture of the perfect family faded as Ben was subjected to beatings, loss of meal privileges, and even locked in his room for three weeks, interspersed with beatings, as punishment for bad grades at school. His parents also took part in a swinging lifestyle and even subjected the children to it. At school, the teachers often thought Ben was stupid or simply not trying and frequently he received beatings there as well. All the men and many women in young Ben’s life were abusive in one way or another—most grow-ups were simply untrustworthy and to be feared.

One bright spot in little Ben’s life was the Pathfinder Club. He loved every aspect of it! Club night brought so many fun activities. Singing, drilling, and classes were thrilling to Ben. Trees, soap craft, mammals, candle making and camping skills were among the exciting honors earned at club. The uniform he wore was just like everyone else’s, not like his everyday hand-me-downs—he loved looking neat and tidy in his uniform. He admired the honors and pins older members and leaders had. His goal was to earn as many as possible! Ben was the after club helper. He loved cleaning up and putting things away—wherever Jon, his Pathfinder director, was Ben was too. The camping trips were the best! Crawling into a sleeping bag in a tent safe away from home was luxury. And there was food! Lots of it! He could always get a good meal and never worry he would be sent to bed hungry by his parents in a fit of rage.

Unlike his father and other men in his life, Jon was a wonderful Christian man. In Ben’s young eyes, Jon was a giant. He was kind. He didn’t hit or yell. He was calm and quiet. He read to them from the Bible and taught them about Jesus and that He loved all of them. Ben could relax with Jon and had nothing to fear.
The truth was, Jon was only about 21-years-old and had a young wife and a new baby son to bring with him on the camping trips. Jon felt inadequate at times as a new director but believed strongly children needed Pathfinders. No one else in his church volunteered, so he did the job to the best of his ability.

Ben was only able to be in Pathfinders for two years. After that his parents divorced, he was sent to live with his abusive aunt for a few years, and then went on the run for six months to hide during a custody battle. Through all the twists and turns his life took, the two happy years in Pathfinders stayed with him into adulthood even shaping his choice of careers.

After he was married and had two young children of his own, there was an appeal at church for help with the Adventurer Club. If there was no response to this appeal, there would be no club that year. Ben felt driven to volunteer even though he had no experience and no idea what Adventurer Club was. By the next year, he found himself the Pathfinder Club director and was putting his efforts into reviving the club that had been scrapped three years before. A few years later, he was surprised with an employment opportunity that involved working with Adventurers and Pathfinders and even the opportunity to encourage and teach other Club leaders and directors how to tackle the sometimes overwhelming task of ministering to children.

After this career change, a highlight came when his own Pathfinder director, Jon—now an Area Coordinator, invested Ben as a Master Guide. He was invested at a Adventurer/Pathfinder leadership gathering in the conference where he grew up, on the same campground where he had attended a camporee with Jon years before and made so many happy memories.

Ben is now an area coordinator supporting Adventurer and Pathfinder directors and staff widening his ministry to children. Wherever Ben goes, church, clubs, summer camp or in his neighborhood, it is often observed that an invisible force appears to draw children to him—especially those with challenges. He loves them unconditionally and seems to have a gift for connecting with them.

When working with children, Ben remembers Jesus example, “And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them” Mark 10:16. Ben well knows the impact made when an adult in Children’s ministry of any kind shows Jesus to a child. Take courage as you too follow our Lord’s example and let God use you in the life of a child.

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Lonny Nelson
http://www.AdventSource.org


Last edited by lonnyn on Tue May 18, 2010 7:07 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:25 pm 
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Master Guide
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:44 pm
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Location: Reynoldsburg, OH (USA)
Lonny,

I read that story somewhere. And it's true. You'll never know what impact you'll have in the kids or vice-versa.

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Betsy Colón


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:21 am 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Quote:
You'll never know what impact you'll have in the kids or vice-versa.

........................Yes! Vice-Versa!
It is amazing how the kids have impacted my life over the years.

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Lonny Nelson
http://www.AdventSource.org


Last edited by lonnyn on Tue May 18, 2010 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:55 pm
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Location: Northern Indiana
Lonny,
I just today found the story you wrote about 'Ben'
it brought tears to my eyes remembering those early years in Pathfinders and being able to invest him as a Master Guide. That event was one of the greatest rewards that we as leaders will receive here on earth. Even now as an Area Coordinator still being able to touch the lives of our young leaders of tommorrow keeps me going as I struggle with Parkinson's. I pray that God will continue to bless 'Ben' and all the other 'Bens' that we touch in our ministry

Jon

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Jon M., Indiana Area Coordinator


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:28 am 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Jon,

Thanks for your reply. Your words speak volumes! Be encouraged - there is a crown in heaven with your name on it and it holds a gemstone for your example to Ben!

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Lonny Nelson
http://www.AdventSource.org


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:12 am
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Location: Invercargill - New Zealand
My story as a Club director shows God's "protection" (miminsizing the greater calamity)
The group were completeing the Winter Camping Honour doing our final weekend in sub zero temperatures. Place Routeburn track Fiordland National Park New Zealand. The week before there was about 1 metre of snow at the carpark. When we arived there was none. We hiked 1.5 hours to Howden Hut still no snow. Next morning we set off to find snow on the track. At the base of a waterfall there was some several of the kids waded into the water under the falls as it was a sunny day. Spent some time there, but we ventured further along the track. Found an old avalanche slope. Snow!!! so we climbed up and across the slope. The group; me another adult and 3 teenagers. One one very slippery patch Phillip the other adult slipped and went slideing down fast and dissapeared I followed but not so fast and was able to stop. Phllip was found over a steep 3m wet soggy cliff thing not vertical. He was injured deffinatly had 1 broken lower leg the other supected broken also and one suspected broken lower arm. Sent one one of the teens (one experienced in outdoors) to run out to the road to get police help. Did bush first aid to imobalise legs kept him warm with survival reflective blanket and sleep bag. Estimated a time for a helicopter to arrive. Pain killers and small fluids. Phillip was quite OK. Prepared to get him down to track or back to hut if help not there before dark. Helicopter arrived as weather started to close in (Clouds and mist up the valley) Policeman and doctor got out of hovering craft and assembled the stretcher then while hovering loaded the stretcher into helicopter not as easy as it looks the slope wet and steep. Had a delayed lunch and then hiked out to road (carrying some items that the doctor left behind) arrived back to car in the dark. 2hours drive to Te Anau to find details from the medical centre and to phone home with the bad news. A further 1.5 hour drive home to Invercargill.
This happened about 10 years ago. Phillip had fractures to 2 legs and arm.
I believe God protects situations. He does not always prevent bad things happening. Just imagine if the two adults went over the ledge and were broken-- a much more serious event.
Lesson learnt-- lots; Things can go wrong very eaisly. The doctor and police in the helicopter were satisfied that our group were prepared. Yes we got the honour.

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Geoff H
Invercargill Club Director
Master Guide, PLA
Fiordland wanderer
Invercargill
Home of the Fastest Indian


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:34 am 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
harv4,
That is a great story! The spiritual application is the part that makes this story good. Without it would be just another story but it is, in fact, a teaching tool for God. Thanks for shairing!!!

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Lonny Nelson
http://www.AdventSource.org


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