4th May 2017

May Bank Holidays often involve an exodus from cities to the country side. Irish Mission Pathfinders engaged on an exodus with a difference. The camp-site for the Irish Mission camporee almost resembled an Israelite camp after they escaped from Egypt. The central attraction was a model Tabernacle set up to explain the significance of the biblical Sanctuary.

Model Tabernacle at Pathfinder camporeeAs 200 young children, teens, and parents gathered around the tent in Newmarket-on-Fergus, they learned that the purpose of the Sanctuary is not to show how much God loves blood and death, but it is to show us how much He loves us.

Pathfinders and Adventurers from eight churches around the Irish Mission gathered at the church’s Kilnasoolagh camp-site to learn how Christ was our Supreme Sacrifice. Our guest speaker, Pastor Dragos Brasoveanu from Romania did not talk about the different articles inside the Sanctuary and what they meant, but shared the Sanctuary with the children in a way that was new to many.

MosesTo Adelina from Dublin, the explanation about the blood made an impact on her. She said, “Jesus is love and He sacrificed Himself for us. We shouldn't think of God as a person who liked blood and liked killing animals, but as a person who would sacrifice His only son for us and save us.”

Pastor Dragos also told the children how valuable they are. He said that the value of something is the highest price that someone is willing to pay for it. “We were each bought with the life of God’s son. That is our value, no matter what others around us may say.” 

The last night at camp, the speaker mentioned all the special materials that were used to make the sanctuary, but then he added that those materials are not what made the sanctuary special. It was what was on the inside that was important. God’s presence. And it is God’s presence inside us that is important as well.

Israelites mix with Pathfinder campersAxelle, from Newmarket-on-Fergus, was enthusiastic about the experience: “Camporee is a special time where you get away from your busy life and take time to meet people the same as you who are on the same path of building a stronger relationship with Christ.” She added, “I liked the way his message about the sanctuary had a personal touch and he made it seem as if he was speaking to each individual person, not so complicated that all ages could understand.”

From the practical knowledge of how to put up a tent or build a table out of sticks and rope to the spiritual knowledge of knowing your worth in Christ and that He wants to live inside you, Camporee was a blessing to all who attended. Axelle summed it up well when she said, “The only time that smiles and laughter were replaced with sadness was when we had to say our goodbyes on the last day of camp. I hadn't even left the campsite and already I couldn't wait for camp next year.”

[Erin Gordon]

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