The nation’s minister of education and culture encourage youth to apply the ministry’s principles of love and respect to everyday life.
June 27, 2016
Royston Philbert/Inter-American Division Staff
Premier of the Virgin Islands Honorable D. Orlando Smith speaks during the Pathfinder event. [Photo courtesy of North Caribbean Conference]
Government officials from the British Virgin Islands recently praised the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its positive impact on the youth on the islands at a recent weekend celebration for Adventist Youth, and the Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs from across St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Virgin Gorda. The celebration took place at the Sports Complex in Tortola, May 27-29, 2016. The event marked the 40th year anniversary of its Pathfinder ministry.
Minister of Education and Culture Honorable Myron Walwyn addressed the more than 2,000 gathered during the opening of the event.
“The church has what the youth of the world wants. Stick to it. If you do, you will make it,” said Walwyn. “The teachings of discipline and the love and respect that you see in the Pathfinder Club should be applied in your everyday life. Any success achieved by departing from values will not last.” He noted that without the presence of 700 youth in the annual parade, there would not be any parade.
Honorable D. Orlando Smith, Premier of the Virgin Islands, reminded young people of their importance. “You have a heavy responsibility to maintain the values of the Bible,” Smith said.
Church leaders challenged the youth to understand their identity. “Adventism is now an endangered species and I’m counting on you, the youth, to keep the flame alive,” said Pastor Anthony Hall, youth ministries director for the church in the Caribbean Union. “If you are a Seventh-day Adventist youth, it must mean something, you cannot be an undercover Adventist.”
The weekend’s activities highlighted the work of the youth throughout the year including courses on biblical concepts and application, church history and life-skills, first-aid, outdoor survival and care of the environment. In addition, young people exhibited skills and interests developed in areas such as: Scripture memorization, preaching, the Bible Boom competition, drilling, marching, drumming, and sports.
The Lifetime Award was bestowed on Elder G. Royden Fleming for involvement in youth ministry over the last 40 years. During that time, he never missed attending a youth camporee, said Fleming. “I always wanted to be a minister. Since I did not get the opportunity, I decided to channel my energies and passion into youth ministry and I am thankful to God for making a difference,” said Fleming.
Humanitarian Awards were granted to both the current and former premier leaders of the British Virgin Islands, Honorable D. Orlando Smith and retired Honorable Ralph T. O’Neal, for their service to the community and support of Adventist Youth over the years.