Our Unsung Heroes in Uniform

Sue and I had the privilege of spending 10 years of our professional ministry in youth work. We would both agree that these were without question some of the happiest and most rewarding years of our lives.

While there are a number of reasons we look back with such fondness, one stands out in particular. It is the dedication, commitment and hard work of the lay youth leaders in general, and the Pathfinder staff in particular.

Who Else?

Who else would...

• take your kids snow camping to help them get an honor token?

• take vacation time and drive halfway across the Union or the country only to sleep on the ground for a big camporee?

• model the best in Christianity to kids who are otherwise bombarded by the media, video games and every conceivable invention of the devil?

• spend one night a week teaching someone else's kids, some of whom have the attention span of a house fly?

• demonstrate the love of Christ to the lovable and unlovable alike?

And in general...

• be a role model to young men and women who often have no one else to look to?

The amazing thing to me is that after these leaders have done it in the cold, in the heat, in the rain and in the dark, they then agree to do it another year and another. Attending our Pathfinder leadership conferences were people who had been leading for 20, 25 or 30 years. Incredible!

No Retirement Plan

We like to joke that in church work the pay isn't always the greatest, but "the retirement is out of this world." If it is true for anyone, it is definitely true for our Pathfinder leaders. I just have to believe that God has a special place, a special reward in heaven for those who have given their lives in this type of service for His children.

As an Adventist Church we have many dedicated and hardworking members around the world who volunteer countless hours to His cause. But there is something extra-special about the DNA in Pathfinder leaders whether in Australia or Africa, the South Pacific or the North Pacific. Some of the finest people in the world are those who proudly wear the khaki or green and white colors of the Pathfinder uniform.

We Salute You

On behalf of our kids, their parents, our Lord and His church, we give you a smart and snappy Pathfinder salute. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

GLEANER readers, you will be inspired as you read about just a few of our Pathfinder leaders in the next few pages. And you should know that these stories could be repeated over and over again. In fact, the impact of the lives of these heroes will only be fully realized when we get to heaven.

March 01, 2007 / Editorial