The roar of the 15-member West Palm Beach (Fla.) Pathfinders drum corps heralded the entrance of Oregon’s Pleasant Valley Pathfinders color guard as they prepared to perform the first-ever flag presentation and posting for the 2018 North American Division-level Pathfinder Bible Experience (NAD PBE) event, held April 21 in Florida.
Led by teen Pathfinder Timothy Fullard-Leo, the color guard was part of the three PBE teams from Pleasant Valley Church, each of which qualified for the largest NAD PBE ever. This year’s PBE focused on the books of Esther and Daniel.
Pleasant Valley’s God’s Stars Forever, Team Ashpenaz and King’s Court teams joined 183 other teams that traveled from Canada, England and all over the United States after qualifying through regional, conference and union events for the divisionwide finale.
The Pleasant Valley team members learned a lot through their study of Esther and Daniel. “I loved the stories and adventure and that they prayed to God and trusted Him,” says Ally Moore.
“I learned that it is important to stand up for what you believe in,” reports Jonathan Castillo. That learning begins months before the PBE testing begins each year. Pleasant Valley’s teams gather each week to study together. The Pathfinders also do extensive study at home, including memorizing entire chapters of Esther and Daniel.
The weekly study sessions help the kids transform their memorization into answers. They also learn to work as a team and be accountable to each other for their sections of the books they study. Right before the regional PBE testing, Pathfinder parents form a team to challenge the Pathfinders head-to-head in a format as much like PBE events as possible.
That effort paid off, and all three teams from Pleasant Valley placed first at the NAD event.
The purpose of PBE is far grander than mere competition. The goal is to help kids commit the Word of God to their minds and hearts. The words and stories of Esther and Daniel, along with memories of this trip and experiences shared with countless other Pathfinders, will long be etched in the minds of these kids.
Mike Mirasol, Pleasant Valley Church Pathfinders staff