Stories & Commentaries

Georgia Pathfinders Participate in First-Ever Mongolia Mission Camporee


Fernando Verduzco, children's/junior youth ministries director for the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, baptizes a Mongolian girl during the first-ever Mongolian Mission Pathfinder Camporee. Photo submitted by Fernando Verduzco

A small team of Pathfinders from the Georgia-Cumberland Conference participated in the first Mongolia Mission Pathfinder Camporee on July 14-18, 2017. More than 120 Mongolia Pathfinders attended the camporee held at the new youth training center in Bayanchandmani, Tuv, Mongolia.

Anna Bennethum, a Pathfinder from Columbus, Georgia, didn't know what to expect at the camporee. She said she found people who were loving and accepting. “I learned that you don't have to speak the same language or have the same culture to connect with someone on a spiritual level,” Bennethum said.

For Alex Ball, a Pathfinder from Temple, Georgia, this was his first time leaving the country and traveling by airplane. He said, "This trip was my opportunity to leave the United States and experience different cultures. My favorite part of the trip was the camporee. From the drill competition, to honor teaching, to even the morning exercises, it was all a blast. I look forward to seeing a few of my new friends at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee."

The Mongolia Mission group utilized the popularity of Desmond Doss and the movie "Hacksaw Ridge" by choosing the camporee theme “Heroes of the Cross – Live Like Doss.” Mongolia Youth and Pathfinder director Munkh-Orgil Lkhagvaa coordinated camporee along with his team.

“The vast open country, the smiles of the Mongolian people, and their praise songs during the camporee program will stay with me forever. It was a privilege to be part of the Mongolia Mission Team!” said George Kawamura, a Pathfinder regional director from Berkeley Lake, Georgia.

Most Mongolians come from a Buddhist background; the Pathfinder ministry is a vital outreach for the Adventist church in Mongolia. Camporee offered a glimpse of Jesus through the opening ceremony, honors, activities, worships, and even the "Hacksaw Ridge" movie. Eight Pathfinders chose to be baptized at camporee, making for a high weekend.

Team Leadership

The conference Pathfinder team lead worship, special music, activities, and taught the following honors; Sanctuary, Soap Craft, Christian Storytelling, Basic Rescue, Tracking, and Camp Safety.  AdventSource partnered supplying neckerchiefs and honors. A special conference Pathfinder Mission Fund was used to purchase items, including camporee t-shirts, Doss trading cards, Doss books, and prizes.

"My experience on the Mongolia Mission trip was very enlightening. Not only did we get to experience another culture first hand, we also got to spread the gospel to God’s children," said Pathfinder Abbeygale Bonds from Macon, Georgia.

"God is doing great things through Pathfinders around the globe," said Georgia-Cumberland Conference leadership. They share that in Mongolia, the needs are great.

There is an opportunity to help. Partner with GCC Pathfinders to help fund the Mongolia Pathfinders trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee.  The campaign is "Mongolia Mission 1 for 1." The Pathfinders will exchange one Mongolia Tugrik for one U.S. dollar. Those in the conference area are urged to contact their local Pathfinder director or Mari Bowerman at the conference’s children’s/junior youth department, email; or call 706-629-7951, ext. 344.