After the World Camp in St. Petersburg, Russia, which began on the 7th of May, ended, an IYF Festival was held at the IYF Centre for two days. Nearly 70 people arrived and enjoyed the festival.
Volunteers and even new people who were invited to the Christmas Cantata arrived and spent a wonderful time with us. The performance by the Righteous Stars at the start of the festival warmed the cold hearts of the Russian students, and each cultural performance moved their hearts. The African dance “Tumani”, which was performed by Kennedy and Margaret from Kenya as well as short term missionaries, especially received the greatest response and cheers. The Russian students who watched their first cultural performance could not take their eyes off the passionate African dance. The performance that was prepared with one heart and one which leapt over racial and language boundaries gave joy and happiness to the audience.
Shasha Mahalilova, a volunteer during the World Camp, had time to testify about the heart she felt through the World Camp. “Before I received salvation, I had so much hatred towards my father, however after I received salvation my hatred vanished, my heart became peaceful and gained faith.” She said she hoped to live under God’s faith.
One of the students, Ana Novikova said, “I was so glad to be able to share with many new people. The IYF is like my home. I love the comfortable and warm feeling I receive when I am with the IYF. I will be with the IYF next year as well.” She rejoiced and was so happy.
Pastor Sung Hoon Kim said that people can overcome incurable diseases depending on which heart they possess. “Despair cannot overcome a disease. However if one overcomes their disease from their heart, then he or she can overcome the disease. I hope that you become people who give hope to many hopeless people in Russia. Overcoming a disease from the heart means that hope defeats all types of despair. I wish for you to become people who can say such words.”
The main event of the festival was the awarding ceremony for outstanding World Camp volunteers. The outstanding volunteer who was awarded first place was given a plane ticket in order to participate in the World Camp in Korea. Shasha Mahalilova, who was awarded first place, said during her awarding ceremony speech, “I was so glad to have been able to meet new people through the World Camp festival. I am so grateful that this organization exists, and am so thankful to be able to give and receive so much help.”
We hope that through the festival, many people in Russia will be freed from despair and live with hope. We are also so hopeful towards God who will work through the IYF in Russia.
“It was my first time attending the IYF Festival. It taught me many things. I hope that the IYF in Russia continues to grow and wish that it will help students who are living in pain and despair to be freed from them.” (Granuis Baskanan)