Teens Sacrifice Spring Break for Brewster

by Jon Dalrymple

Pathfinder teens carry trusses to the work site of a new pole building that will
house school busses for the Brewster Adventist School.

Teens completely repainted the outside of the Brewster Adventist School.

Pathfinders met Sabbath morning in full dress uniform for church.

Pathfinders traveled to a camp ground across the lake to repair buildings,
clear brush, and dig holes for outhouses.

Pathfinders help build a concrete retaining curb for the playground at the
Brewster Adventist School.

BREWSTER, Wash. — Sixty-one Pathfinders participated in the 14th annual Teen Mission Adventure (TMA) 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, Washington.

Each teen participant gave up their spring break and paid $100 to come and work from March 21 to 28, 2010. During the adventure they learned trade skills, practiced team work, made new friends and got better acquainted with Jesus.

"This event is agreat way to get young people mission minded and showing their love for Jesus in action. It lets them meet other teens who are not afraid to let people know they love Jesus," says Gale Wick, Director Apple Valley Pathfinder Club in Wenatchee, Washington.

"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, Pathfinder Fair and Camporee Specialist for Upper Columbia Conference. "They nearly always complete projects in half the time planned, or better!"

Work crews consisted of teams with two or more adult staff and 6 to 8 youth. The teams rotated each day so that everyone had a chance to participate in each aspect of their projects, including help in the kitchen. Construction projects included building a pole barn to house school busses, completely repainting the outside of the school, remodeling a bathroom, building a roof over the schools front steps. Grounds crews helped clean up yards and landscaping at the hospital, a recreational center and at serveral homes of elderly church members. Other work teams got to build trails, repair docks, build safety railings and build outhouses at a camp on lake Chelan.

"The fact that this event keeps working year after year is amazing because the average person wouldn't consider teens to be this capable," says Al Montgomery, contractor and building design consultant who also directs the Wind Valley Pathfinder Club in Ellensburg and Cle Elum, Washington.

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 shared what Jesus means to them.

"One of the greatest successes of TMA is that God is blessing the teens as they help others," says Frosty Cross, Columbia Basin District Area Coordinator. "One of our main missionsis to reach theTeens that participate, not necessarily the work that gets done."

"For me, it is highly rewarding to see the growth in the kids from the beginning of the week to the end," says June Cross.

Pathfinder Teen Mission Adventures started in 1997 under the leadership of Steve Meharry, TMA coordinator and director of the Waiilatpu Pathfinder Club in College Place, Washington. He and Frosty Cross have participated in every TMA since it began 14 years ago.

"The purpose of TMA is to provide a ‘mission’ experience for Pathfinder teens who wish to serve do not want to travel overseas," says Meharry, "and it also emphasizes that there are lots of mission fields right here at home."