“Paraguay’s National Pavilion Day,” chosen as the best National Day at the expo. “Good News Corps was the Star of Paraguay’s national pavilion day celebration.” – Paraguay government agent – . At 2012 Yeosu World Fair (Expo), a grand ceremony was held to commemorate “Paraguay’s Day” on the 28th.
For this event, Paraguay President Fernando Lugo Méndez came along with about 20 other officials, such as the Ministers of the Department of Foreign Affairs, of Agriculture, and of Industry and Trade, and the ambassador.
This was the first time to have a president attending the Expo throughout its history. Moreover, the 28th was Paraguay’s Independence Day; the event was much more meaningful.
Especially for the Paraguay Day, Pastor Ock Soo Park, 600 IYF (International Youth Fellowship) members, and the Gracias Choir attended to congratulate. The Choir and the IYF students performed the Paraguayan traditional songs and dances at the Expo Hall and the exhibition. The Ministers and agents who came with the President were very delighted when the IYF students welcomed them with Paraguayan and Korean flags. They said, “It’s a very nice welcome.” The Paraguay President attended the official event at the Expo Hall after a brief conversation with Pastor Ock Soo Park.
After the morning event at the Expo hall, the Paraguay President visited the Paraguay exhibition. In front of the exhibition, the Goodnews Corps students and IYF members welcomed the President with a Guarani song, “We love beautiful Paraguay,” and a banner that read, “We love Paraguay” in Guarani.
The Gracias Choir welcomed the President, sing 2 Paraguayan songs in front of the exhibition. When the choir was singing the second song – it goes, “Paraguay, you are the brave country, the heart of the South America” – Pastor Ock Soo Park said, “The Choir prepared this song for you.” And the President Lugo was very delighted and said, “Thank you. It is very good.” Throughout the Gracias Choir’s songs, the President and his companies enjoyed with a bright smile. For such an unexpected welcome, the Paraguay President became very happy; he shook hands with and hugged each one of the IYF students.
At the luncheon prepared by the Expo Committee, the Paraguay President came near to Pastor Ock Soo Park, addressing him with a nickname used between old friends. He said, “I will wait for you to come to Paraguay,” and he talked about how happy and thankful he was to have Pastor Park at the event.
The representative of Paraguay Congress expressed his gratitude at the luncheon, “I was fascinated by the Gracias Choir’s performance at the Paraguay Congress during the World Camp. Today’s performance was just as wonderful.” Also, the other agent, the director of Congress Choir who used to rent the instruments whenever we needed for the performances in Paraguay, was very pleased as well. Other Ministers were very thankful and they all invited the Choir to visit them if the Choir stops by Paraguay.
May 28th is Paraguay’s Independence Day. Yeosu Expo Committee has chosen the 28th as Paraguay’s Day and officially invited the President. It was such a meaningful day on which we could express the heart of IYF to the President and accompanying government officials.
On the other hand, one of the agents commented, “This Paraguay Day can be seen as the best of the National Days at the Expo. Although Paraguay is a small country, with a passionate support from the citizens and Goodnews Corps students, it was pressed many times. Also the Paraguay officials showed gratitude to Goodnews Corps for being the star of the event. He mentioned that the Paraguay Day contributed so much to enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.
IYF, with the 200 members, is currently assisting the Yeosu Expo in interpretation and exhibition.