Teen Pathfinders Enjoy Helpful Spring Break

April 16, 2015 | Kathy Marson

"Hi, I'm Jake from State Farm, and God is always with us!" This is how Irvin Morales introduced himself Sabbath at the Brewster (Wash.) Church. Morales was part of the Teen Mission Adventure (TMA) in Brewster, which consisted of 112 teen Pathfinders and staff fanning out over the area during spring break to assist with cleanup from the damaging fires that destroyed many homes and acreage the size of Connecticut last fall.

As the week began, Morales did not want to be there. He had come only because his parents wanted him to do something besides watching TV and playing games during spring break. He is a member of Hermiston Faithful Ones Pathfinder Club. On Monday morning after worship, all the teens set out to be helpful. All but the kitchen crew helped the new Brewster Adventist Christian School principal, John McCombs, move the majority of his family's stored items from the storage facility to his new home. The McCombs family had been looking for a home since the Central Complex Fire burned the one they were about to get in July when they first moved to Brewster.

Throughout the week, teams of Pathfinders and staff members did a variety of tasks. They helped split wood, stack it and deliver it to needy folks in Brewster and Pateros. They cleaned windows, re-sided, painted and hung a ceiling for the Brewster Spanish Church. Some working around Lake Alta helping clean up the land. They engaged in trash removal, delimbing felled trees and cutting those trees into rounds. They helped two families clear the burnt trees and debris from their land and also assisted Cindy Cook with sorting clothes at the Pateros warehouse.

At the end of the week, the teens and staff converged on the Brewster Church. The TMA participants filled the church. Morales and other team participants shared about their week. When it was his turn, Morales shared his complete turnaround. "I am now glad I came," he admitted. "I made new friends and enjoyed working for others."

The week was a win-win for the teens and for those who received their assistance. Seven Pathfinders requested baptism. The TMA program in Upper Columbia Conference has been a strong force for good in the lives of hundreds of teens. This year is the 19th year during which teens could experience a mission trip and pay just $100 for food and lodging. Not a bad spring break, according to "Jake."