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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Carpenter

A YOUNG MAN’S JOURNEY TO SERVE in the Philippines and Beyond

Updated: Nov 22, 2023


Emory Kelley, a member of the Winston-Salem First Adventist Church, spent eight months serving as a student missionary on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. During his time on Palawan, Emory worked in a clinic and taught in a one room school. He also had the opportunity to work with a group of Pathfinders in the village of Kemantian.


Emory has been a Pathfinder since the age of nine, and holds a strong passion for the organization. He is actively involved in the Carolina Conference Pathfinder Council, working to help build a robust Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program, which has proven to be an effective way to retain young people in the church and keep them engaged. The TLT ministry is designed for high school-aged Pathfinders, providing them with mentorship opportunities, the chance to take on more responsibility and, with the help of adult staff members, grow

into capable Pathfinder staff members.

The majority of Emory’s time on Palawan was spent working with the Pathfinder club in Kemantian. He taught drilling and marching, helped with the club’s area campout, and gave the worship talk on Friday evening. He also worked in the clinic in Kemantian for four months and then lived in the remote village of Merma for the last half of his time on Palawan. There, he ran a small clinic on his own and sometimes traveled miles on foot to help patients in need.

With a goal of providing the Pathfinders in Kemantian with the same opportunities he had as a Pathfinder, Emory dreams of giving them the chance to attend the “Believe the Promise” International Pathfinder Camporee in Gillette, WY, on August 5-11, 2024. This camporee is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young people from around the world to experience God’s creation, deepen their faith, and make new friends. Emory is now raising funds to help make

that happen.


Emory always wanted to be a student missionary. He chose Palawan because of his love for hiking and being outdoors and the opportunity to use his medical skills learned in paramedic school in the mission field. He did not expect to come back with a new mission. If you’d like to know more about the TLT program or Emory’s mission, contact him at: thepathfinder629@gmail.com.


— Rebecca Carpenter


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