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WELCOME to our Pathfinder Club! - Oakridge Adventist Church

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WELCOME to our Pathfinder Club! - Oakridge Adventist Church
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WELCOME to our Club!
By Loretta Knopp

Taking a group of twenty 10-18 year olds and building a family is not for the feint of heart.  Ten year olds have hugely different needs than eighteen year olds, and they are interested in much different things.  But the Oakridge Mountain Lion Pathfinder Club has always been unique.  And recently, we spent two weeks together, building something tangible--smokeless stoves with ADRA in Peru, which took two days in transit, without sleep, each way, for the affordable tickets!  If you think joining such a group might actually be fun, WELCOME to our club.
 
WORSHIP, together, is the first secret to a successful club.  And with us, it is always mixed with
EATING, and LAUGHTER.  At home in Vancouver, you will find the club every Friday night bonding over supper and worship at their leaders’ house, Rex and Angela Sheehy, co-leader Debbie Silva helping out.  Some kids will jump on the trampoline, some will play with the dog, some will have singing contests and post them online, and others will just sit and visit.  And many of their parents come along too!  Soon it is time to sit down together and have worship, looking up Bible texts, chatting about relevant issues they face every day, or listening to a guest speaker. 
 
COMMUNITY is the inevitable result of a few months of this.  Throw in a campout every few months, balance it with some Sabbath afternoon hikes, a few birthday parties, Pathfinder marching practices and camporees, and the small group soon begins to function like a family, with everyone having a role and responsibility.  While the relationships are not always perfect, just like brothers and sisters, patience, forgiveness, and love conquer in the end.
 
OPPORTUNITY presents itself as the club, like any happy family, wants to spend time together.   Our club began reaching out to our community with small adventures like yearly can collecting around the church for the food bank, pouring rain or not.  We grew into making and passing out sandwiches downtown, then preparing dinner for 200 of the Lower Mainland’s community outreach group “Let’s Move Vancouver,” going to Chicago and the Pathfinder convention of 40,000 in Oshkosh 2014, and finally graduating to a full two week outreach trip to Peru!  Along the way we learned to fundraise and work together as a team.  We presented our plans to our church, wrote sponsorship letters, sold poinsettias, went on an 80 kilometer bike-a-thon, helped with gardening and painting, and sold Krispy Kremes outside the local Canadian Tire!
And the MASTER is there to meet us every step of the way.  Working as His representatives, Jesus works on our hearts as we learn to serve others. One day it might be helping a shivering younger Pathfinder through a rainstorm back to the tents from a hike, the next it might be playing Frisbee with a smiling child too poor for a school uniform in a little village on the other side of the world.  Our club finds adventure wherever we go.  And we always find that God has something new to teach us.
 
EXCELLENCE is what you’ll find when children, teens, and adults work and grow together, serving God as a team.   We have discovered that in our club, the more we “WELCOME,” the happier we are, and the more joy we can bring to others.