This year we hosted the 2nd World Camp Opening Ceremony in Dominican Republic which is the next largest island in the West Indies after Cuba, is located on the eastern side of Hispaniola Island and is situated in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
The Deputy Mayor came to send the Mayor’s apology to Pastor Ock Soo Park who departed from New York early in the morning and arrived at noon, and told him that the Mayor was on his way back from an important trip to Venezuela. An hour later, Pastor Ock Soo Park went to the City Hall to meet the Mayor who had returned from his trip.
Mayor Gilberto Serulle expressed his meeting with Pastor Ock Soo Park as “lovers waiting for each other” and spoke of his joy and gratitude for Pastor Ock Soo Park’s visit to Dominican Republic.
In the Mayor’s office several politicians and representatives were having a meeting, but warmly greeted Pastor Ock Soo Park. In addition, we were able to observe them sincerely asking questions on how the IYF was founded and what the camp was going to teach the youth of Dominican Republic.
The Mayor asked us to carry out our activities full-heartedly so that the young students of Dominican Republic can prepare for a new future. He also said that he had only known the IYF for two years and back then the IYF was unnoticed and few people knew about it, however now, including himself, many people know and love Pastor Ock Soo Park, IYF and the Gracias Choir. Furthermore, he said that he was so grateful for a large international organization like the IYF to host an event in Dominican Republic and grateful to God as well. The Mayor welcomed Pastor Ock Soo Park, Gracias Choir, IYF and Lincoln House School students with his heart.
After his meeting at city hall ended, Mayor Gilberto Serulle and Pastor Ock Soo Park participated in interviews for channel 25 and 29 broadcasting stations and also for a radio station before arriving at the Opening Ceremony venue. There were many questions from the media as Pastor Ock Soo Park explained the heart of someone who commits robbery and precisely explained why the youth of Dominican Republic need Mind Lectures.
Prior to the Opening Ceremony, 17 excellent college professors from the city of Santiago were chosen to be presented with awards.
The event began with a radiant dance by the Righteous Stars inside the “Grande Art Hall” located in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Afterwards, there was a singing of unison of the national anthem by the City of Santiago Choir which was then followed by a traditional Dominican dance by the City of Santiago Dance Team.
The Gracias Choir presented Spanish songs such as “solamente una vez, Santiago, por amor” and Korean songs such as “Arirang” and receive a warm ovation.
During his Mind Lecture Pastor Ock Soo Park said, “During World War II there were no antibiotics and so because of infections many people had to amputate their hand, foot and some even died. However Penicillin was soon introduced and so today most infections can be cured instantly with Penicillin and surgeries can also be undertaken easily. A person’s heart can become diseased too. If you close your heart your heart becomes sick, and it then becomes weak so that it cannot overcome the temptations of sin and fear. This disease of the heart can only be healed by the heart. When peoples’ hearts begin to flow amongst each other they can feel it and become happy. If one knows another’s heart then that person becomes happy and will be able to know the taste of the other person’s heart. If you have closed your heart to anyone please speak to that person.” Pastor Park’s message was hope that they would open their hearts to those around them and speak with them.
After the Opening Ceremony there was a VIP reception. The reception, which began last year and was also held this year, lacked 130 seats and so some were unable to attend. After the choir’s acapella performance, we were able to observe many people attend and sincerely listen to the Word of God during Pastor Ock Soo Park’s message time.
After the Opening Ceremony ended, Pastor Ock Soo Park contacted us via FaceTime at 4 in the morning. Though they received a lot of support from the Mayor of Santiago and from the government, he asked for us to pray for him to be able to preach the gospel of Christ to the students who are participating and to the Dominican people. The camp starts today and so it will be broadcasted, and Pastor asked us to pray for the gospel to be strongly preached to students, in the pastors’ meeting, to managers and during the many other parts of the schedule.
Every time Pastor Ock Soo Park goes abroad and contacts us, he asks how the brothers and sisters are doing and asks for us to pray for the preaching of the gospel. It is because he knows that the gospel is not only preached by words but it is by the work of the Holy Spirit and so the prayers and earnestness of the church is needed.
Although we are not there physically, I hope that we will be part of the works of the gospel in Dominican Republic and be joyful together.
On site news : Park Sang Ho Reporter