Quiet whispers and murmurs filled the Gem State Adventist Academy gymnasium during the North Pacific Union Pathfinder Bible Experience, March, 12, 2022. Eight Northwest clubs attended the event where teams pushed their memory banks to the limit, answering specific questions from 1 Kings and Ruth.
"The hardest part was 1 Kings, chapter 4," said one young man from the Middleton, Idaho Pathfinder team.
A team member chimed in, "The commentary questions are the hardest for me." Other team members agreed.
In addition to detailed questions from the assigned Bible books, Pathfinders are also tested on information from the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary.
Before the union competition, teams gathered outside the gymnasium for inspection. Pathfinder leaders from each conference worked together to inspect the teams. They reviewed their uniforms, praised teams for their attention to detail and made recommendations for improvement when appropriate. At the end of each inspection, the leaders prayed with each team and asked God to help them remember all they had studied.
After their inspection, members of the Spokane Valley club talked about what surprised them about this year's PBE experience.
Ella, age 15, said, "I enjoyed learning about people you don't normally hear about in children's Bible stories."
"The hardest part for me was the sugar fast," said another 16-year-old team member. The sugar fast is an exercise teams participate in to learn how diet affects brain health and retention.
During the competition, teams sat in a circle and quietly listened as Kevin Wallin, Washington Conference PBE coordinator and this year's quiz master, read them twice. Then, they had 30 seconds to write their answer down and hand it off to the judges. The teams answered 90 questions in all.
PBE is the official North American Division Pathfinder Bible study program. Each year, teams of six club members study a portion of the Bible (alternating Old Testament and New Testament), memorizing large sections of God's word. Large clubs often have more than one team participating.
There are four levels of competition: area, conference, union and division finale. Teams that placed first will move on to the 2022 division finale on April 23 in Eugene, Oregon.
“Regardless of placement, everyone here is a winner," said Rob Lang, NPUC Pathfinder director. "Time spent in God’s word is always a win and we celebrate each one of you today.”
NPUC Team Placement
- Third - Boise Ponderosa, Idaho Conference
- Third - Fort Vancouver, Oregon Conference
- Third - Middleton Swords, Idaho Conference
- Second - Bellevue Sojourners and Golden Lions, Washington Conference
- Second - Spokane Valley Trailblazers, Upper Columbia Conference
- Second - College Place Village Waiilatpu, Upper Columbia Conference
- First - Bellevue Ivory Apes, Washington Conference
- First - Pleasant Valley Carmelites and Mochi Pounders, Oregon Conference