Tillamook Invest Adventurers
Jesus told the disciples, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not." These words have resonated down through the years, and it was these words that caused Vanesa and Ruben Franco to become involved in the ministry to children. When they moved to Tillamook, Ore., they started an Adventurers Club that has grown to its current membership of 14 children, four assistants and the family members of each child.
Sabbath, May 18, 2019, the entire church service was devoted to and provided by the Tillamook Adventurers Club. Children aged 4 to 9 are eligible to join, and these very young people, supported by the adult assistants, began the service with a color guard processional led by two young men carrying the flags.
Children provided the opening prayer, the Scripture reading, a recitation of the Adventurers Pledge and Law and the offering call. Assisted by the adult helpers, they even collected the offering. Special music was provided by the entire group, and two young children recited the entire 23rd Psalm. Since they have been studying the fruits of the Spirit, they presented placards identifying these fruits as they sang about them. Other placards decorated the platform.
During the investiture, as each child came forward to receive their pin and certificate, the leaders were on their knees so they might be on eye-level with the children. After receiving their pins, the kids were given their sashes by their parents as videos played of each child and they responded to questions. Overseeing the entire service and providing the closing prayer was Gloria Beerman, the Oregon Conference children's ministry director.
The church had been beautifully decorated with mylar balloons attached to each pew, and a rainbow arch of balloons graced the rostrum. The precision and ease with which each child performed their part testified to the attention and hours of rehearsal and caring the adults had made on their behalf. The joy on the faces of families of these children bespoke their thanks and appreciation, and their church family echoes these sentiments.