Two hundred and nine Pathfinder Bible Experience teams from across North America and the United Kingdom are tested on how much they can recall from the book of Luke.
Photography by Jonathan Logan and Anthony Isensee for the Lake Union; and Mylon Medley for the North American Division.
ROCKVILLE, ILLINOIS--A record-breaking crowd of over three thousand gathered in Rockford, Illinois for the North American Division level Pathfinder Bible Experience on April 26-27. Two hundred and ten teams traveled from every corner of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to attend, filling the Rockford Valley Community College sports complex.
The Division event marked the culmination of the Bible Experience year. Many teams began studying as early as October. Each team of Pathfinders consisted of six members plus an optional alternate member. Generally, each team member was responsible for their own unique portion of the book(s) and commentary, although each team is free to format as they see fit. This year, teams studied the Gospel According to Luke and the accompanying portions from the SDA Bible Commentary.
The weekend kicked off with Friday night vespers, where attendees enjoyed an engaging music service and worship thought. Sabbath morning began at 8 o’clock as teams registered, found their seating areas, and enjoyed last minute words of wisdom and prayer with their coaches.
Once the meet kicked off, and the teams descended into tense, hushed focus. Large screens sat in the four corners of the gymnasium, allowing all teams a view of the questions as they were read aloud. Each question was read in English, Spanish, and French, while a timer counted down as the teams huddled to help each other recall the correct answer to questions in short answer, fill in the blank, and true or false formats.
The event wasn’t exactly a spectator sport, but those watching were here for the kids in these huddles recalling the words of Scripture so diligently buried.
Forty-five questions in, the snack/bathroom break arrived, and Pathfinders emerged from the testing room to discover that snow covered the ground outside, despite being so late in the year! Many captains or coaches used this time to estimate their score and find out if their team was on track to hit the ninety percent score required for a “First Place” mark. Then, teams returned to finish out the meet.
Forty-four questions later, a buzz of excitement filled the room. “THREE! TWO! ONE,” the whole room counted down the final timer, and berets were tossed into the air in celebration like a graduation ceremony. Just like that, the ninetieth and final question was complete.
In a way, this was a graduation, the conclusion of a year’s worth of extensive study and hard work. For some, this was also a conclusion of their time doing PBE as God leads them in different directions for next year. But for all, the friends and memories developed over this year will go with them for many years to come, as will the gems now hidden in their hearts. Years later, these memories may even be the highlight of their Pathfinder experiences. They certainly were for me!
Jonathan Logan is a freelance photographer and filmmaker based in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He participated in PBE for five years with PMC Evergreens, and now serves as deputy director of Master Guide Training at the Center for Youth Evangelism.
Rankings for the 20 Lake Union Teams Participating:
Fort Wayne Hispanic Marantha, First Place
Shiloh Trailblazers, First Place
Ann Arbor Anchors - Luke, First Place
Ann Arbor Anchors - Theophilus, First Place
Belgreen Beavers - First Place
Berrien Springs Spanish Golden Eagles - Anointed, First Place
Eau Claire Critters, First Place
Edenville Mid-Michigan Messengers - Emissaries, Second Place
Gobles Sylvaneers, First Place
Holland Huskies, First Place
Lansing Capitals - Ephesus, First Place
Lansing Capitals - Philadelphia, First Place
Lansing Capitals - Thyatira, First Place
Maranatha Hispanic Lakers, First Place
Stevensville Challengers - Team A - First Place
Stevensville Challengers - Team B - First Place
Wyoming Wranglers, First Place
Madison East Mustangs, Second Place
Milwaukee North Spanish Panthers, First Place
Monroe Trailblazers, First Place
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