Surprise Pathfinder Ad
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 29.
oida’s world fell apart at the age of 12 when her parents divorced.
Her parents were Seventh-day Adventist. Her grandparents were Adventist. Loida was raised an Adventist. But when her parents divorced, they stopped going to church. Her father was disfellowshipped.
Loida felt upset. She thought that a loving church would never disfellowship her father. When she spoke about her angry feelings, church members told her that her father had sinned. At the time, Loida was a faithful Pathfinder preparing for baptism. Some church members questioned whether she was ready for baptism while expressing such feelings.
“Maybe you should wait awhile and have your questions answered first,” a church member said.
Loida decided not to be baptized. She stopped going to church.
To her disappointment, no one got in touch with her after she left — not the pastor, not any other church member. She wished that someone would ask if she were well or would encourage her to keep studying the Bible in preparation for baptism. But no one called.
Thirty years passed. Loida got married, became a widow, and remarried.
One day, Loida was scrolling through social media when she saw an advertisement for a Pathfinder camporee. As a former Pathfinder, she was curious to know more. She wondered why the advertisement had appeared on her feed. She had no Adventist friends or any other connection to the church on social media.
Loida clicked on the advertisement and was led to videos from previous camporees. She cried as she watched the videos. She remembered going to church and attending Pathfinder events. A strong desire grew within her to reconnect with God.
As she looked for more information about the Adventist Church online, she learned that the church had many online resources, including sermons. She spent an entire week watching sermons, week-of-prayer programs, and other church events. She showed some of the videos to her 8-year-old daughter, Valeria.
“I have roots in that church,” she said.
Valeria was fascinated by thePathfinder camporee videos.
“Mother, why don’t you go to church anymore?” she asked.
Loida realized that she didn’t have
“I don’t know,” she said.
When she had stopped going to church as a child, she had thought that she had many reasons. But as an adult, she realized that she didn’t have any good reasons at all.
Valeria asked to go to a Pathfinder camporee.
Loida couldn’t think of anyone in the church to contact for help, but then she remembered an old Adventist friend. The friend helped the mother and daughter go to the camporee that had been advertised on social media.
It was a wonderful experience! For Loida, the most wonderful thing was that her daughter fit in well with the other children. After the camporee, she and her daughter both decided to start Bible studies. Two years later, Loida gave her heart to Jesus in the waters of baptism. She was so happy!
Today, Valeria is 10 and studying the Bible in hope of being baptized one day.
Loida has her own dreams. She and Valeria live in a small town with few Adventists nearby. She would like to move across Spain to Sagunto, which has a larger Adventist presence, so she can become more involved in church activities and her daughter can study at an Adventist school.
She is happy that the Pathfinder advertisement popped up on her social media feed. “For 30 years, I felt like something was missing from my life,” she says. “Now that I have returned to the church and God, my life feels complete.”
Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago went to Sagunto Adventist College, whose campus houses the church school where Loida would like to send her daughter. Thank you for your mission offerings that help spread hope.