– Gracias Choir’s opening ceremony performance captivates the hearts of the audience with music – Camp takes place in Kenya by support of government and corporations
On July 25th, the opening ceremony of the 6-day long Kenya IYF Youth Culture Camp took place at the Moi International Sports Centre located in Nairobi with about 2500 youths attending. The Kenya World Camp, which is the 9th this year, was first held in 2008 when Kenya was in great chaos. The first World Camp that was held under the name, ‘Kenya Peace Festival’ was evaluated as having contributed to regaining peace in Kenya, both domestically and externally.
Afterwards in 2011, a Mind Camp was also held for the youth leaders of Kenya by request of Prime Minister Odinga. Now, it is known to the neighboring countries beyond the boundaries of Kenya, and the youth education personnel attending from other countries actively helped in holding the IYF World Camp in their respective countries.
This camp was meaningful in that many corporations in Kenya gave their support. Especially, MoSound rented us sound, lighting, and stage equipment free of charge. Moreover, in celebration of 22 years of mission in Kenya, the ‘mind training’ that trains mind lecturers, ‘retreat’ for the general public, and the ‘Christian leaders’ training’ took place at once.
Pastor Ock Soo Park arrived in Kenya, the first country to hold the African World Camps, and was welcomed by the youths.
The energetic performance of the Righteous Stars and the joyous and passionate Kenyan traditional dance presented the first stage.
After the prayer of Archbishop Kitonga, the representative of Kenyan Christianity, a congratulatory message was given by congressman Hae Dong Jeon of the Metropolitan City of Busan.
Wherever the Gracias Choir goes, they change their performances to fit the tastes of the youths of that country. Although classic music is new to the youths of Kenya, they performed powerfully with a friendly approach that captivated their hearts. Soprano Jin Young Park’s humorous and witty performance, Pianist Seung Hwan Suk’s solo performance, and the duet with Pianist Su Bin Park excited the audience. The following performance of the Choir mesmerized the audience with familiar songs such as Jambo, Jina la Mungu, and Malaika.
By introduction of Pastor Uk Yong Kim of Kenya Nairobi Church, Youth Minister Sicily Kariuki stepped on stage and expressed her surprise and thanks to Pastor Ock Soo Park for having carried out activities for the world youths, and advised the participating youths to remember that they are the leaders of the future and sincerely consider their position in society.
Pastor Ock Soo Park delivered a message for the Kenya World Camp opening ceremony saying, ‘There was clearly an angel inside the sculptor’s mind so the crag looked like an angel to him. We must look at things with our heart, not our eyes. If you plant hatred in your mind, hatred will come forth. God is a farmer who harvests the human heart. It takes 6 months to sow and harvest wheat. But the human heart takes a long time. God plants joy and hope in the hearts of humans for the fruits of happiness, love, and peace to come forth. When the camp ends, I hope your hearts are filled with peace and joy.’
At this camp, there were many youths who are attending for the second time and they had great hopes from before the beginning of the opening ceremony. Through this camp that will be carried out until the 28th, many youths will have hope planted in their hearts and will gain happiness and holiness.