About 100 attendees, including parents and Pathfinders, enjoyed a very special evening in the Dunfermline Vine Conference on Saturday the 18th of November 2023. In line with the Scottish Mission Pathfinder's triennial theme Connecting Generations, this edition had a special touch as for the first time ever, the Pathfinders were given total control in planning the event in collaboration with the Sponsors. Two Pathfinders were chosen by each Pathfinder club leader within the Scottish Mission (SM) to be part of the planning committee, which was led by Pastor Njay and Mthoko Ndlovu, the Sponsors for the Scottish Mission Pathfinder Club.
Previously, the Pathfinder Banquet had always been planned by the club leaders together with the Mission sponsors. Therefore, this was an exciting experience for the older Pathfinders; Rovers or Junior counsellors, to be part of the organising committee. Pastor Njay shared that it was rewarding for him to plan with the youngsters and understand what a celebration meant from their perspective.
“Everyone to the red carpet!” Sylvester and Tawonga were the masters of ceremony; they brilliantly helped the guests relax and enjoy the evening. They greeted the crowd and gave directives on the event as they directed guests to the red carpet for the taking of pictures. All guests, “dressed to impress” as specified in the dress code, had a special time to shine on the red carpet. From catwalk and crowd’s cheering to a series of photographs, many confessed to have felt special, unique and valued.
Once in the hall, beautifully decorated for the occasion by Vicky and Brian who did an amazing balloon garland in gold and black. Chanelle and Mufaro led the prayer and devotion session. “If people hurt you, don’t rise up to their level, forgive them,” the Pathfinders were encouraged. They were told to never take revenge but always forgive those that offend them as forgiveness brings a lot of blessings to enjoy.
The event continued with lots of activities such as ice-breakers, special songs, and games. One of the most complimented moments of the evening was the buffet - a delicious three course meal. The catering team was supervised by Mthoko Ndlovu who worked hard with a team of parents from different churches across Scotland. A special thanks goes to Sheba, Gilbert and Pawkeelar.
The Pathfinder banquet is a time to celebrate all activities carried out in the year such as camporees, achievement classes, special days and baptisms.
A special time slot was allocated for the presentation of awards and gifts to club leaders and SM Pathfinder Sponsors in recognition of their hard work. Pastor Njay, who coordinated the ceremony, acknowledged the efforts and dedication of all the teams involved in the running of clubs in the churches.
The members of the organisation committee also received rounds of applause and credit for their outstanding work.
One of the greatest moments of the banquet was the Pathfinders cake cutting. Finely decorated with flowers, a graduate cape, and the logo “2023 Congratulations Pathfinders”, the cake symbolised the end of the Pathfinders’ year and the celebration of achievements.
The Pathfinders had more than one event to celebrate. Dominic Ncube, the DJ of the event, who did a splendid job, turned 18 on that day! To him, this 2023 edition “was the best so far.” He enjoyed being part of the team who organised such a big and successful event. Dominic “was more focused on the banquet than his birthday, and was honoured to share his cake with all the Scottish Mission Pathfinders.” Everyone joyfully sang to him, in unison, the famous Happy Birthday to You song.
Pastor Weiers Coetser, the Scottish Mission Communication Sponsor, travelled from Aberdeen and brought along his camera to make sure each moment of the event was captured. In the closing prayer, he thanked God for the blessing of the Pathfinder banquet, asking Him to repay the Pathfinders for their time and efforts, to fill their lives with happiness and joy and most of all, to help them flourish as a club and be able to stand by the Word of God.
“The event went very well, both the children and their parents have been giving very positive feedback on the special items, dressing up, the empowerment of the young adults, the great food and drink amongst other things,” Pastor Njay commented.
Yvonne Kanjewe, from Dunfermline, was one of the parents accompanying the Pathfinders to the venue. She was delighted with how much fun and quality time the youth spent together. She expressed her regret for those who could not make it due to distance, wishing the banquet had been organised at a more accessible venue.
Temwa, from Faifley, was very pleased with the event. According to her “the food was delicious and the music soul-refreshing”. She enjoyed working as part of a team that got together to see to the success of this event.
It was a joyous occasion and the Pathfinders spent an unforgettable time together; they are already looking forward to next year’s edition. The Sponsors mentioned that “While this year we had planned to decentralise the banquet, we received an overwhelming request to do another one which not only we as Sponsors and club leaders warmed up to, but our President, Pastor Jimmy Botha and the administrative team agreed to subsidise.”
The 2023 Pathfinder banquet is over but the party is yet to commence; “the Adventurers and Pathfinders have the privilege of an ongoing banquet of harvesting Old Testament stories and values and dining with the likes of courageous Joshua, mighty Gideon, grateful Rahab and the charismatic and militant Deborah in an engaging and fun filled exploration of God's word. It’s an awesome experience and I challenge all parents to do their best for the children in preparing,” Pastor Njay said.
Scotland will be the host for the BUC Pathfinder and Adventurer Bible Experience (PBE and ABE) Final in April 2024.