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11 May 2021 | Nicosia, Cyprus [Marica Mirilov]  

Ripples of Adventurer and Pathfinder BIBLE EXPERIENCE 2021 reached the shores of Cyprus and helped a Pathfinder cope with the worst of the Covid situation.

The Award Ceremony on Saturday, 1 May 2021 acknowledged and celebrated the impressive biblical knowledge of European Adventurers and Pathfinders, who were joined by two guest teams from America. However, for each participant, the process of preparation is the most valuable experience.

The final event was organised by the Trans-European Division (TED) Youth Director Zlatko Musija, and his enthusiastic team of Pathfinder directors, which proved to have had a particular impact for Pathfinders in countries where the church is small and isolated and especially the youth who are going through difficulties.

Trans-European Division Adventurer and Pathfinder Bible Experience 2021Trans-European Division Adventurer and Pathfinder Bible Experience 2021

What is Adventurer (ABE) and Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE)?

The simple concept is a quiz-based Bible study programme for children to learn more about the Bible. Originating in North America, PBE is facilitated through Pathfinder clubs for children aged 10-15. It was then embraced by teams here in Europe and then, more recently, introduced to more Pathfinders across the Trans-European Division. Pathfinders from countries as far apart as Latvia in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe, Poland in Central Europe, and United Kingdom and the Netherlands in the West, down to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

A number of years ago, the British Union Conference (BUC) also realised that this programme would be a good way to encourage the younger Adventurers (Age 4-9) to study and learn the Bible as well since they were already listening and learning with older siblings, and so ABE was born.

PBE final CYPRUSPathfinder Bible Experience - finals, Cyprus teams [Photos: Niki Papaioannou]This year, 43 Pathfinder teams and 27 Adventurer teams qualified for the final online testing on 24 April 2021. Unlike some competitions, a first-place award awaits any team that scores 90% and above.

For this year’s testing Adventurers and Pathfinders studied the New Testament books of James, and 1 and 2 Peter with the addition of the book of Hebrews for the Pathfinders.

The Cyprus Experience

light of nicosia teamLight of Nicosia PBE teamCyprus formed two Pathfinder teams: The Light of Nicosia and the Salt of Limassol. Not to be outdone, a third team, Alphamega, was formed by very supportive parents who, in the same way as the children met on a daily basis via zoom to study the Biblical texts and challenge their memory skills to qualify for the finals.

alphamega pbe parent teamAlphamega parent teamDr Branislav Mirilov, the president of the Cyprus Region, was amazed by the whole programme. "At first I could not believe that the children, as well as the adults, would commit themselves to four months of daily meetings and memorising chapter after chapter of the scripture." He continued with a big smile, "They proved me wrong. I would love to see the ABE/PBE programme introduced to every European country and worldwide. It brings out the best in our children and equips them to be actively involved in church services and the church mission."

PBE helped one Pathfinder through an agonising Covid experience.

salt of limassolSalt of Limassol PBE teamKaterina Goufioti is a team member of the PBE Salt of Limassol, who were awarded first place in the finals. For her, the daily PBE Bible study session had the added bonus of helping her through the most agonising time of her life.

In March 2021 her grandmother, uncle and father all contracted Covid-19. All three were rushed to the local hospital and as the situation worsened her uncle and father were moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) in Nicosia General Hospital. Sadly, after a week her uncle passed away, and the fight for the life of her father, Jimmy, was hanging by a thread. That fight continued for five weeks.

With great appreciation, Katerina shared about her PBE friends, "Every day before our PBE Bible study one of my friends would fervently pray for my father and I could focus on the Word of God. That gave me the courage to face each new day." It is a miracle that Katerina’s father pulled through, and he is making gradual progress in ICU at Limassol General hospital.

Making friends

Award Ceremony Emmanuel preachingABE & PBE, although done virtually, is a real experience of connecting in a time of COVID isolation and the Friday evening zoom vespers before the final testing, gave a chance for participants to separate into smaller groups by entering zoom chat rooms. Here they made new friends from different countries across Europe. Many participants got hands-on experience of being team captains and scribes. Some even got a chance to be main speakers at the Awards Ceremony. A clear message was shared of God’s presence in time of suffering and confusion. An appeal was made to the Gen Z’s to be the generation for Christ.

Going forward

Both Adventurer and Pathfinder Bible Experience can be a positive experience for many more children as they study in depth two books of the Old Testament, 1 Kings and Ruth, in preparation for the ABE & PBE 2022 final. (Please note that Adventurers will only be tested on 1 Kings Ch 1- 6 & Ruth)

Dr Mirilov concludes, “The exposure to the Word of God will impact the participants’ whole life and ripple to eternity.”


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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