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[Tanzania] Interview with Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda (August 13, 2012)

Interview with Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

On August 3rd, at four thirty in the morning, Pastor Ock Soo Park and his crew headed to the airport for an early departure to have an interview with the Prime Minster of Tanzania, Mizengo Pinda. The interview was not a part of the original schedule.

Promoted by Dr. Fenella Mukangara, (Tanzania’s Minster of Youth who attended the Ministers of Youth Forum at Busan in July last year), the interview with the Prime Minister of Tanzania was in the middle of being scheduled around next week August 6th or 7th, but due to Prime Minster Mizengo Pinda’s sudden phone call, the meeting time was expedited.

Upon arrival after the 1 hour and 20 minute flight, the skies of the Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, were ever so clear and blue like scattered blue dyes on a white canvas.

At the airport, the Director of Youth, who also participated in the Ministers of Youth Forum along with Dr. Fenella Mukangara, greeted Pastor Ock Soo Park and delivered the message from the phone conversation he had with the Prime Minster. Due to the Prime Minister’s work schedule, the interview had to end at 8:30 a.m. to be able to finish before 9 a.m. However, in the case that the interview does not go as planned, the Prime Minster said that he would adjust his morning and afternoon schedules to be able to meet pastor at 11 a.m. Also, due to strict security procedures at the presidential residence, the Prime Minister invited Pastor Ock Soo Park and his party to his own private home.

As there were two hours left before the interview with the Prime Minister, Pastor Ock Soo Park and his party moved to the Tanzania World Camp location which begins today and decided to preach the words at the Volunteers’ Workshop prior to the opening ceremony. At the University of Tanzania, the official location for the Tanzania World Camp, the volunteer students and overseas volunteer members came out to the streets to greet Pastor Ock Soo Park and his party.

Before Pastor Ock Soo Park’s mind lecture, the stage was given to the Gracias Choir. Although there were no proper broadcast facilities or nice microphones available, the voice of two people was just enough to grasp the audience. The crowd was truly enthusiastic when they sang the Swahili song “Malaika” only with their voices and no instruments.

Next was Pastor Ock Soo Park’s mind lecture in which he talked about Korea’s current state and how happiness is not having a nice car, nice house or wealth. True happiness is within the heart. If you learn the world of the heart, then you can learn how to live by the heart which will guide your life.

After the lecture, even though Pastor Ock Soo Park was on a tight schedule, he shook the hands of the brothers and sisters one by one and took pictures with them caring for one another’s hearts and being happy.

The Youth Ministration sent police cars for the Pastor Ock Soo Park and his crew to follow and guided them to the Prime Minister’s private home. At 11:30 a.m., Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda and Pastor Ock Soo Park met again in four years after their first meet in 2008.

At the entrance, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda recalled the year 2008 and welcomed Pastor Ock Soo Park with warmth saying that he is glad to see him again. The interview began with an introduction of Pastor Ock Soo Park by the Director of Youth. Then Prime Minster Mizengo Pinda started to talk about the problems of the youth in Tanzania. “Tanzania is a country under development, yet when our youths see the way of life of youths in well-off countries like the United States or in Europe through Facebook, Twitter, internet, smart phone or television, they wish to enjoy the same lifestyle. Why? Because they see it all. Nevertheless, they see their lacking country and resent their country saying what has my country done for me? Rather than thinking about their careers, they have their minds set on immediately getting nice cars, buying nice houses, eating and drinking. The students complain and fall into doing drugs, selling drugs, riots, alcohol, and clubbing.”

Pastor Ock Soo Park introduced his book, “Who are You Who is Dragging Me” which contains the lectures he gave to the youth upon invitation by the Communist Youth League. China faces problems with the youth who lack self-control with their ever-growing desires as a result of China’s fast growing economy. He also spoke about teaching the youth a pure mind and said that it would be good to teach them skill training as well. Also, there were many discussions back and forth about the land that will be supplied to IYF for the youths of Tanzania.

Currently, IYF is in progress of acquiring a 7,000 pyung land within Dar es Salaam and it will take some time to obtain, but the Prime Minister spoke about a 200 acre land about 200 kilometers from there which can be used right away. Also, he mentioned that there is an over 100 acre land available near the coast.

Afterwards, Pastor Ock Soo Park suggested establishing the Korean language in the universities to the Prime Minister in which the Prime Minister also thought was a good idea. They agreed to think further about establishing language academies. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda stressed that the 7,000 pyungs is too small for the many IYF activities and that greater land should be supplied to IYF.

While the discussions about the lands were on-going, Pastor Ock Soo Park began to tell a story about his childhood and took out an Ipad from his bag to read Isaiah chapter 53 and First Corinthians chapter 6. He preached the gospel which God has already prepared.

Finally, Gracias Choir members Jinyoung Park and Haemi Choi sang Malaika in Swahili. The Prime Minister watched with eyes of amazement and sang along with them and was so thankful.

Originally, the interview time was arranged to be 30 minutes but it actually progressed for 70 minutes. Through the interview and discussions with the Prime Minister, one could feel his true willingness and concern for the youth.

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