After listening to the message the students were able to open their hearts towards God and for the first time start to see God’s heart towards them. Today was the second day of the IYF Academy and the students were eager to try new classes. As they tried out the new classes, they gained knowledge of things they never thought of trying out before. This time the participants of each class opened up a lot and asked many questions to the teachers and made the classes very productive and engaging. Many students also returned to their previous classes to learn more about the arts of CPR, beauty, and Korean culture. As the time during the academy passed on, students became more interested and participated with a full and open heart. Not only did they sing and dance as they did in the Korean culture academy, but they also volunteered for demonstrations, willing and eager to learn more. Puja Patel, 23 year old student of Deanza Community College, attended the Journalism academy lead by Jackline Cacho. Listening to her story I realized it wasn’t the success or fame that was important, but after meeting God and receiving salvation became the greatest thing in her life.
Today’s Special Guest Lecturer was Mr. Paul Kim, who is the Assistant Dean for Stanford University School of Education. In his message to the students, he encouraged them to challenge themselves. This matched well with the motto of the IYF, which is Challenge, Change, and Cohesion. Mr. Kim also talked about the challenges that he had to overcome as a new comer to this country. He shared a story about taking a class in which he thought he couldn’t do an assignment so he told his professor that he couldn’t write well in English. After he shared this with his professor, he allowed him to write it in Korean and later on asked him to translate it to English. After going overcoming the burden of writing his first essay in English, he received an A in that class. His story amazed the students and they could see that denying himself changed him to become the successful person that he is today.
Today Gracias Choir member, Cindy Lee, performed her special solo for the students using the French horn. One of her most exquisite performances was a song called, “Moon River” which kindled the hearts of the students as they watched in awe. The Gracias choir played one of their most renowned songs, “Elijah Rock” and a special Armenian song called “Prayer”. The audience shouted encore; shouts and whistles thundered throughout the Grand Pavilion. Pastor Ock Soo Park returned to John:8 and talked about the woman who committed adultery. He stressed deeply about the importance of spiritual life and repentance. As the woman was caught “in the very act” in front of Jesus, she was ready to die for her sins, having no way and giving Jesus the opportunity to save her. Likewise, Pastor Park reiterates how important it is for us to humble our hearts and give Jesus the opportunity to save us. This word humbled the hearts of the students and they could clearly see the heart of Pastor and the heart of God.
As the camp goes on, the students are becoming closer to their classmates. This is why today’s challenge: the Scavenger Hunt was a very fun experience for them. They were able to work in teams, using everyone’s talents to complete each challenge. The most fun part about the Scavenger Hunt was working together and sharing laughs and jokes as they ran from station to station. After it was over, everyone was tired but had many things to talk and laugh about on the way back to the hotel.
Tonight’s performances were truly amazing for the students. The Indian dance was performed for the first time and the students cheered with smiles and happy hearts. Pastor Terry opened the floor the entire Grand Pavilion Hall, giving them the chance to learn and perform a righteous star dance in honor of the Christmas Cantata that is happening tomorrow. It was a song called “Feliz Navidad”. Also, there was a testimony given by a student from UC Riverside, Shay Simmons. As she talked about her heart and how she received Jesus into her heart, the students could see the power of God and his word. Pastor Ock Soo Park’s sermon opened the hearts of all of the students tonight. He talked about how Jesus removed the sin of all the people of the world and made it clear to the students that they too were included in this group as well. As the audience roared with laughter and excitement, shouting “Amen” and “Hallelujah”, they could understand the power of God and how their sins were washed clean in His name. Truly, the word of God is amazingly powerful and affected everyone positively at the Bible Lecture.