Teens Sacrifice Spring Break for Brewster
Sixty-one Pathfinders participated in the 14th-annual Teen Mission Adventure during spring break this year. Youth from all areas of the conference spent seven days doing volunteer community service projects for a school, a hospital, an assisted-living center and a campground in Brewster, Wash.
Each teen participant gave up their spring break and paid $100 to go and work from March 21–28. During the adventure they learned trade skills, practiced team work, made new friends and got better acquainted with Jesus.
"It is amazing to see the reaction from community folks watching these young people at work and how much they get done," says June Cross, Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinder fair and camporee specialist. "They nearly always complete projects in half the time planned or better!"
Work crews included two or more adult staff and six to eight youth. The teams rotated each day so everyone had a chance to participate in each aspect — including help in the kitchen. Construction teams built a pole barn to house school buses, completely repainted the outside of the school, remodeled a bathroom and built a roof over the school's front steps. Grounds crews helped clean up yards and landscaping at the hospital, a recreational center and at the homes of several elderly church members. Other work teams got to build trails, repair docks, build safety railings and build outhouses at a camp on Lake Chelan.
Each day of TMA begins and ends with worship time. This year the worship speakers were staff members and community members who each shared either their conversion story or what Jesus means to them.
"One of the greatest successes of TMA is God blesses the teens as they help others," says Frosty Cross, Columbia Basin District area coordinator. "One of our main missions is to reach the teens who participate, not necessarily the work that gets done."
Pathfinder Teen Mission Adventures began in 1997 under the leadership of Steve Meharry, TMA coordinator and Wailatpu Pathfinder Club (College Place, Wash.) director.
"The purpose of TMA is to provide a mission experience for Pathfinder teens who wish to serve but do not want to travel overseas," says Meharry. "There are lots of mission fields right here at home."